Tokyo, the capital of Japan and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. There are over 13 million people currently living in Tokyo. It’s no wonder why every square meter is of high value. A glimpse of Tokyo is like looking through a futuristic metropolis. The tall buildings, high tech vending machines, fast trains and fashion forward trends. On the other hand, Tokyo has kept its traditional culture so well, both past and future coexist side by side.
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I have visited Tokyo a couple of times, and each time, there’s always something new and exciting things to see and do. It’s like a different world, from the ancient temples to the modern skyscrapers, it never ceases to amaze me. That’s why I consider it as my most favorite city. It also inspired me to create a guide of things to do while in Tokyo. I hope that this post will help you on your next visit to Tokyo.
100 Awesome things to do in Tokyo:
1. Senso-ji Temple
The Sensoji-ji is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is also considered as the oldest temple in Tokyo. Many visitors go to this temple because of its well preserved structure and beautiful shrines. It is also one of the most famous temples to visit among tourist in Tokyo. At the front gate, you will see the huge paper lantern painted in red and black.
2. Yoyogi Park
The Yoyogi Park is located near the Harajuku station, next to the Meiji shrine. This park is the perfect place to relax after a full day of shopping in Harajuku. This is also a place for picnics, meetups and sometimes a flea market.
Odaiba is an artificial island in Tokyo. It is a shopping and entertainment district. The best way to reach Odaiba is to take the Rinkai Line. Rinkai Line is a Waterfront Area transit in Tokyo, and it runs on the undersea tunnel.
4. Shibuya Crossing
A trip to Tokyo will not be complete without walking through the Shibuya Crossing. It is a famous land mark located near the hachiko exit in Shibuya station. It is known as the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.
5. Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree was built in July 2008. At the moment, it is considered as the tallest structure in Japan, and second tallest in the world (first is Burj Khalifa). The Skytree has an observation tower, restaurant and it is also for broadcasting. Connected to the Skytree is the Tokyo Solamachi which is a shopping mall with over 300 stores.
6. Meiji Shrine
The Meiji Shrine is located behind the Harajuku station. It is an Imperial Shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. At times, on a Sunday morning, you might see a traditional wedding.
7. Tokyo Disneyland
The Tokyo Disneyland was opened on 15 April 1983. It is the first ever Disney theme park outside the United States. There’s also a Tokyo Disney Sea, this park opened in September 2001, and it has a nautical exploration theme.
8. Tokyo Imperial Palace – East Gardens
The Imperial Palace is the residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is surrounded by gardens and contains several offices, residential buildings and main palace. A visit to the Imperial Palace grounds requires an advance booking, and there’s only a limited number available. However, the East Gardens in the imperial palace are open to the public on certain days.
Akihabara is known as the ‘Electric Town’. This district is the largest town with all kinds of electronic products in the world. It is also a popular place to find animes and mangas. And there are tons of maid cafes here too.
10. Harajuku Bridge
The Harajuku bridge is a pedestrian section near the Harajuku station. The best time to visit the bridge is on a Sunday. You can see cosplayers and Japanese street fashionistas hanging out.
11. Sunshine City
The Sunshine City is like a complex with a 240 meter tall skyscraper. There’s an observation deck, aquarium, restaurants, shops and indoor theme parks. Its open from 10:00 to 20:00 located in Ikebukuro, about 10 minute walk from the station.
12. Tokyo Tower
The Tokyo Tower has been a popular icon of Tokyo. It is an observatory as well as a communications tower. Next to Tokyo Skytree, it is the second tallest structure in Japan.
13. Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow bridge is bridge that connects the Shibaura Pier and Odaiba waterfront. It is called the ‘Rainbow bridge’ because at night, colorful lights are illuminated creating a rainbow like effect.
14. J-World Tokyo
J-World Tokyo is an indoor theme park by Namco located inside the Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. It is based on popular mangas and animes such as Dragonball, Prince of Tennis, Naruto, One Piece, etc. There’s a character themed restaurant/cafes inside this place too. Admission ticket is 800 Yen.
15. Takeshita Street
Takeshita Street is pedestrian street located in Harajuku. It is a famous shopping street for the young trendsetters in Tokyo. There are many shops, restaurants and cafes located in this street.
See post: Top Ten Places to Shop in Harajuku
16. Shinjuku Gyoen
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Park is Tokyo’s largest park located in the Shinjuku and Shibuya area. It has been considered as the most beautiful park in Tokyo.
Joypolis is an indoor amusement park that has Sega theme attractions. The Tokyo Joypolis in Odaiba has three floors, admission is 800 Yen. I think there are other locations in Japan.
Omotesando is a street that contains luxury shopping buildings like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Omotesando Hills. It is also compared to the Champs Elysees in Paris and Fifth avenue in New York.
Purikura is a photo booth that prints photo stickers. It’s best to take Purikura photos with friends and add cute graphics and text. Purikura stickers are cute remembrance items, since you can print and share them. These machines are available on arcades, theme parks, and malls.
20. Maid Cafe
A maid cafe is a cafe-restaurant where the waitresses are dressed in a maid outfit. This type of cafe is one of the popular themed cafes in Tokyo. In Akihabara, you will notice tons of this cafes all around. There’s an entrance fee on many of the maid cafes. Famous maid cafes are Maidreamin’ and @home cafe.
21. Namja Town
Namja Town is another indoor Theme Park located below the J-World Tokyo in Sunshine City. There are different rides and attractions as well as a gyoza stadium. Admission ticket is 500 Yen.
22. Mori Art Museum
The Mori Art Museum is a contemporary art museum located in the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower Roppongi Hills. There are no permanent exhibits in this museum rather it holds temporary works by contemporary artists.
See post: The Doll Culture Exhibition in Roppongi
Ginza is a district famous for its high end shopping places. Stores like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, etc. have flagship stores in this area. On Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 17:00 the main street in Ginza is closed, only accessible by pedestrians.
24. Tokyo Dome City
The Tokyo Dome City is located in the Bunkyo area. It is an entertainment complex that contains the Tokyo Dome stadium, amusement park, hotel, LaQua and many others. The two popular rides in the complex are the ferris wheel and roller coaster.
Kabuki-za is a Kabuki drama theater located in Ginza. It features traditional Kabuki Japanese drama performances. Kabuki is known for its elaborate make up and costumes.
26. Taito Station
Taito Station is a place for arcade gaming. It has the latest games, purikura machines, claw machines, and many others. There are several Taito Stations around Tokyo – I recommend visiting the Taito Station in Akihabara, it has floors of arcade gaming. Also, there’s no admission fee to get in.
27. Studio Ghibli Museum
If you love watching the Studio Ghibli animations, then consider visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum. The Museum is located in Mitaka, western side of Tokyo. The museum has a shop, cafe, theater, and lots of Studio Ghibli themed items (like the cat bus from ‘Totoro’). Also, at the theater they show an exclusive Studio Ghibli short clip movie.
See post: Studio Ghibli Museum
28. Sanrio Puroland
The Sanrio Puroland is an indoor theme park that is all about Sanrio characters. This theme park is located in Tama New Town. There are 4 Floors of rides, games, and many attractions. As well as shops and restaurants. A must visit especially for the Hello Kitty fans.
See post: Sanrio Puroland
29. Fresh Sushi
Enjoy a fresh cut of sushi (or sashimi) at the local restaurants in Tsukiji Market. Tsukiji Market is the best place to get the freshest seafood in Tokyo.
Shop at the oldest chain department store in Japan. Mitsukoshi department store was founded in 1673 and now has international stores around the world. The headquarters is located in Nihonbashi,Tokyo. And one of their stores is located in Ginza.
There are tons of Karaoke hubs all around Tokyo. It’s definitely a favorite past time for many, since its enjoyable. And a fun activity to bond with friends.
32. Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari is a hot springs theme park located in Odaiba. There are many varieties of baths available. And you get to wear yukata robes around the theme park. Also, there’s a section in the park where it has the old Edo theme.
G2? is a vintage clothing shop located in Harajuku. J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a fan of this store.
34. Freshness Burger
Freshness Burger is a fast food chain restaurant in Japan that was established in 1992. The main headquarters is located in Tokyo. It is a popular burger place as well as a cafe. It serves organic coffees and teas too.
35. DiverCity Tokyo Plaza
DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is a famous shopping center located in Odaiba. It’s also widely known for its permanent 18 meter high Gundam statue. Inside there are shops, entertainment facilities, restaurants, and many more.
When visiting Tokyo, you definitely have to try eating a bowl of Ramen. There are plenty of ramen shops around the Tokyo area. I highly recommend the Ichiran restaurant – classic Tonkotsu ramen from the 60’s. They have locations in Shibuya, Roppongi, Harajuku, Ikebukuro and other areas in Tokyo.
Shibuya109 is a department store in Shibuya mainly for women. The building has 10 floors with trendy and unique stores. Many stores offer only one size clothing or may be limited sizing (like S, M, or L). Shibuya109 is the place to visit if you want the latest fashion trends.
Animate is a store that sells anime merchandise. The Animate flagship store is located in Otome Road Ikebukuro, and there are over 100 stores across Japan.
39. Tokyo Bay Cruise
Discover Tokyo through cruising at the Tokyo Bay. It’s a unique experience seeing different views of Tokyo on a boat cruise.
40. Ueno Zoo
Ueno Zoo is Japan’s oldest zoo located in Taito Tokyo. There are over 2,600 animals in this zoo and the most famous are the giant pandas.
41. Butler Cafe
A butler cafe is a themed cafe/restaurant where the waiters are dressed in suits (like formal butlers). It’s like a male version of maid cafes, their main customers are mostly women. The famous butler cafe in Tokyo is the Swallowtail cafe located in Ikebukuro. This cafe is usually fully booked, and I think reservations must be made weeks in advance.
Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion retail brand that was founded in 1949. Today, it has become an international brand across the globe. When in Tokyo, don’t forget to visit the largest UNIQLO store in the world located in Ginza.
Hanami means flower viewing (Cherry Blossoms). Around late March to early April, there are many parks in Tokyo where you can view the delicate and beautiful cherry blossoms. Friends and families often go together to see the flowers.
Daiso is a store that sells items for 100 Yen. A great place to buy souvenirs and presents for friends and family. There’s a huge Daiso store located in Harajuku.
Parco is a shopping center that has been around for over 40 years. There are many unique and trendy stores in this shopping center. Parco has many stores all over Japan. One of shopping centers is located in Shibuya.
Take a walk in Daikanyama, admire the upscale boutiques and luxury stores. Daikanyama is an area located in Shibuya.
47. Convenience Stores
Convenience Stores in Tokyo are pretty much on every block. They sell snacks, drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner and other necessities. Stores: Family Mart, Lawson, Sunkus, 7-Eleven, etc.
6%DOKIDOKI is a ‘Sensational’ Kawaii store in Harajuku that was established since 1995. If you want to see a kawaii store, then 6%DokiDoki is the store to visit. The store is also like a gallery since it has colorful and pop decorations. Even the staffs are dressed in fun and kawaii clothing.
See post: 6%DokiDoki Harajuku
49. Capsule Hotel
Capsule hotels are very tiny rooms with just the basic accommodation for those who want to save money. They are relatively cheap compared to hotels in Tokyo. Many travelers that want to visit Japan have added staying at capsule hotels on their bucket list. Since it looks like a very interesting place to stay overnight.
When you’re in Tokyo and you don’t want to spend a fortune on lunch (or dinner) try Gyudon. Gyudon means beef bowl, it is a dish with thinly sliced beef on top of rice. There are tons of Gyudon restaurants around Tokyo (like Yoshinoya) and the price for the classic bowl is only 300 Yen ($3 USD).
See post: 25 Foods to try in Japan
Onigiri is a snack made from rice with seaweed and other ingredients. Best place to get onigiri? The convenience stores, they have different flavors – spicy, mayo, chicken, etc.
A fukubukuro is an event in Japan, where stores sell ‘grab bags or lucky packs’ that contain random items. Fukubukuro events happen around New Year. The items inside the bags are from previous season merchandise that were not sold, so usually the bags contain items that are heavily discounted. Many tourists visit Tokyo during this season to participate in the Fukubukuro shopping event.
53. Cat Street
Cat street is a street nearby Omotesando, where you can find trendy shops in a much relaxed setting. There’s not much people or cars in this street, however you can find cool brands and unique stores here as well.
54. Kiddy Land
Kiddy Land is a store in the Omotesando Street where you can find the cutest character items. There are 4 floors in this store – and each floor has a different character theme. From what I have heard, many international and local celebrities visit this store when they visit Tokyo (especially those with kids). Definitely a cute destination to visit in Tokyo.
See post: Kiddy Land Harajuku
Try a super crunchy Calbee crisps in Harajuku. Calbee is a Japanese brand that sells snack foods.
56. Tokyu Hands
Tokyu Hands is a department store that sells all kinds of products. You can get souvenirs, home goods, stationery, and other variety of items in this store. And the products in this store are unique and useful too.
57. Character themed cafes
There are tons and tons of character themed cafes in Tokyo, to mention a few: Alice in Wonderland, Moomin, Panda, etc. If you want to try a unique cafe experience, visit any of these character cafes.
See post: 12 Unique Themed Cafes in Tokyo
58. UFO Catchers
An exciting thing to do in Tokyo is playing the UFO catchers (or claw machines). A bunch of these game machines are at the arcade, and have different types of prizes. It may take some practice or even luck to win.
59. Capsule toy vending machines
If you don’t like the uncertainty of playing UFO catchers (or claw machines), try the capsule toy vending machines (or Gashapon). A Gashapon is a coin dispensing machine, where you get a random item. Many of the Gachapons have famous character toys from animes, Sanrio, video games, etc.
An Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese dish made from flour, eggs, cabbage, meat all mixed together and cooked looking like a pancake. There are different styles of Okonomiyaki across Japan. When in Tokyo, try the Tokyo style Okonomiyaki.
61. Roppongi Hills
Roppongi Hills is an urban center that has shops, apartments, cafes, restaurants, museum, etc. all in one place. The main attraction in this location is the 54 floor Mori Tower. Roppongi Hills is a luxury complex that opened in April 2003.
Loft is a store that sells home goods and everyday items. There are stores located in Japan and Thailand. The main headquarters is located in Shibuya. Another shopping option similar to Tokyu Hands.
63. Yamanote Line
The Yamanote Line is railway loop in Tokyo operated by JR. In this line, the most popular destinations in Tokyo can be reached – Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, Shinagawa, Tokyo, and many others. No need to change lines to see all of these destinations.
64. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) is a museum that displays latest technologies, robots, and discoveries. Miraikan is located in Aomi (Odaiba) Koto.
65. High tech toilets
Many toilets in Tokyo are quite high tech, with the different buttons on the side each with different functions (heated seats, bidet, music, etc). It’s quite exciting trying out the modern toilets in Tokyo.
Fujiya is a bakery and restaurant shop that has been around since 1910. Their famous mascot is Peko-chan. There’s a Fujiya bakery in Ginza and a restaurant in Shibuya.
See post: Fujiya Bakery in Ginza
67. Melon Pan
Melon Pan are sweet bread that have a melon shape and flavor. Apparently since its been so popular, there was a recent Melon Pan festival. Also, a Melon Pan with ice cream shop can be found in Shibuya. You can also get Melon Pans on convenience stores as well.
Lotteria is a fast food restaurant that started in Tokyo. It is famous for their teriyaki and shrimp burgers.
69. Sanrio World Ginza
For the Hello Kitty fans, one of the places to visit is the Sanrio World in Ginza. This flagship store has the largest selection of Sanrio products in the world.
See post: Sanrio World Ginza and Questina
70. Sky Deck
At the top of the Mori Tower, there is a Sky Deck (with a Helicopter pad) where you can view the city of Tokyo all around. There is an extra charge to go up to this floor but it is totally worth it. Many have claimed that the view in Sky Deck is better than the one at Skytree.
71. Square Enix Artnia
If you’re a Square Enix fan, one of the places you shouldn’t miss is the Artnia. Artnia is a store in Shinjuku that sells character items, and it’s also a bar/cafe. The food/drinks in Artnia are inspired from Square Enix games. The building has a white pill-shaped design.
See post: Artnia Square Enix in Shinjuku
72. Harajuku Gyozaro
The Harajuku Gyozaro is a restaurant that specializes in Gyoza. Need a quick lunch break in the Harajuku area? Check out the Harajuku Gyozaro.
73. LaForet Building
One of the famous fashion building in Harajuku is LaForet. This building has over 100 stores and a museum at the top floor. It is also a shopping destination for Lolita, Gothic, and other Japanese fashion enthusiast.
74. Vending Machines
In Japan, there are so many vending machines they are pretty much in every corner. The most common are the drink vending machines (hot or cold). In the past few years, the next generation vending machines were released around Tokyo. These machines have sensors, and provide a recommendation to drink.
75. Hello Kitty Japan store
The Hello Kitty Japan store is a shop that sells Sanrio items, especially Hello Kitty. The items in this store are mostly Japanese themed Hello Kitty. At the Odaiba Hello Kitty Japan store, they have a Hello Kitty pancake and ice cream shop.
76. Hachiko statue
The Hachiko statue is a famous dog structure located near the Shibuya station. This statue was to built as a remembrance of Hachiko, the loyal dog. Now, it is a popular spot for as a meeting place.
77. Tokyo Anime Center
The Tokyo Anime Center is located in the Akihabara UDX building. This place showcases anime designs, character goods and there’s also an information desk too. They provide you with a free Akiba map and internet access.
78. Don Quijote
Don Quijote (or Donki) is a retail chain store that sells a wide range of products. There are several stores around Tokyo, and some of them are open 24 hours. This store is also a great place to find souvenirs and unique items from Japan.
During the festival seasons in Japan, many wear yukatas (a casual kimono made of cotton). Try a Yukata on your next visit to Tokyo. There are several stores around Asakusa that sells Yukatas.
Shimokitazawa has been a popular destination among the younger crowds. This district is considered to be the hipster area of Tokyo. There are tons of indie stores and cafes in this town, but less crowded than Shibuya.
81. Shinjuku station
A stop at the Shinjuku station. The station is the busiest transportation hubs in the world with over 200 exits.
82. Tokyo Character Street
The Tokyo Character Street is a famous destination for those who want to visit cute character shops. The area has about 21 stores – Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Rilakkuma, etc.
83. Mandarake store
Browse through the different animes and manga products at the Mandarake store in Akihabara. Mandarake is one of the largest store that sells used anime and mangas in Tokyo.
84. Kimukatsu Curry
Kimukatsu is a restaurant in Japan famous for its crispy pork cutlet. There are several locations of this restaurant in Tokyo. The Kimukatsu is a bit different from ‘Tonkatsu’ since the inside has stacked layers of thinly sliced pork. This dish is served with curry sauce and rice.
Muji is a store that sells simple and natural design home goods. Visit the world’s largest Muji shop located in Yurakucho.
86. Marion Crepes
Enjoy freshly made crepes from Marion Crepes – a patisserie from Harajuku. This store offers a variety of crepes with fruits, cream, ice cream, and many more.
See post: Marion Crepes in Harajuku
87. Harajuku street
Stroll along the trendy Harajuku street. This street is located across from Takeshita street. It also has many unique and vintage shops.
88. Skyscrapers in Shinjuku
Admire the tall skyscrapers in Shinjuku. The skyscraper district is located at the west side of Shinjuku.
89. Tokyu Plaza
The Tokyu Plaza is a fashion store building located between the intersection of Omotesando and Harajuku. The entrance has a shattered-like mirror design and there’s an elevator that takes you up the building. There’s a terrace inside, with greenery and seating, a very cool place to visit.
90. Pancake Days
Taste the super adorable pancakes at Pancake Days in Harajuku. The Pancake Days restaurant is famous for the smiley design pancakes.
Watch a Sumo show at the sumo stadium in Ryogoku. The Sumo tournaments are held in January, May and September. When there are no tournaments, the stadium have a Sumo museum and shop open to visitors.
92. Q-pot Cafe
Q-pot Cafe is a cafe located in Omotesando. This cafe has a ‘sweets’ theme similar to their accessory brand (Q-pot). Even their parfaits, cakes and other pastries have very cute designs. It’s one of the cutest cafes to visit in Tokyo.
Shabu-shabu is a hot pot dish where you dip a thinly sliced meat into the boiling soup. Having a shabu-shabu is an experience itself, it takes focus to do it correctly. And a fun dish to eat with friends and family.
94. Auction at Tsukiji Fish Market
Wake up early in the morning to see the famous Tsukiji Fish Market auction. The Tsukiji Market is famous for its tuna auctions, fish markets and seafood restaurants.
95. Tea Ceremony
Participate in a traditional tea ceremony at the Happoen gardens. Learn about the traditional tea making and culture in Japan.
96. Gotoku-ji Temple
Visit the famous ‘beckoning’ cat temple located in Setagaya. The figurine is believed to be a lucky charm for businesses to bring customers in their shop.
The Maman is a giant spider sculpture created by the artist Louis Bourgeouis. Near the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, you can view this giant spider up close.
98. Tokyo International Anime Fair
Attend the largest anime convention in the world. Tokyo Anime Fair is usually held annually at the end of March.
99. Nakamise Shopping street
Shop for traditional souvenirs at the Nakamise Shopping Street. This shopping place is located near the Sensoji temple in Asakusa.
100.View of Mount Fuji
While Mount Fuji may be miles away from Tokyo, there are views of the mountain nearby. You can visit the different observatories in Tokyo like Tokyo Tower, Tokyo City View, and many others to see Mount Fuji.
I hope that you have enjoyed the list. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment. Thanks!
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