Tokyo has been on our bucket list for many years, and when we finally booked tickets to Japan we planned to stay five days in Tokyo thinking this would be more than enough. But we fell head over heels in love with this metropolitan city, and ended up spending two weeks exploring this strange and fascinating place!
Tokyo has it all – all sorts of excellent and corky museums, grand temples, atmospheric shrines, and lovely zen gardens. It is a city filled with Japanese history, but also modern, futuristic neo-sci-fi streetscapes that make you feel like you’re a part of the Blade Runner movie. Tokyo’s 13,8 million inhabitants are equally proud of its ancient history and culture, as they are of its ultra-modern technology and architecture.
Tokyo has a neighborhood for everyone, and it sure has something for you. Here we have put together a five-day Tokyo itinerary with all the best things to do in Tokyo. If you don’t have five days, then feel free to cherry-pick your favorite days and things to see and do, and create your own two or three-day Tokyo itinerary.
For more about Tokyo’s many exciting neighborhoods and our favorite Tokyo hotels, click here to read our ultimate guide to where to stay in Tokyo.
BONUS: We have made a free printable PDF version of this Tokyo Itinerary available to our newsletter subscribers. Perfect to print out or carry on your iPad!
What To Do In Tokyo
– The Ultimate 5 Day Tokyo Itinerary
Here we give you a complete guide and itinerary to Tokyo with all the highlights of Tokyo.
Table of Contents:
Day 1 – Meiji-jingu Shrine, Shopping & Japanese Pop Culture
⇒ Areas: Harajuku – Omotesando – Shibuya
The public train, subway, and metro systems in Tokyo are superb! They take you all over Tokyo in a blink, with a net of connected stations all over the city.
This first day, after breakfast, head to the nearest subway station to your hotel and take the JR Yamanote train line to Harajuku station (take the Omotesando exit once you get there). Alternatively, take the green Metro Chiyoda Line or the brown Fukutoshin Line to the Meiji-jingu-mae Metro Station depending on which line runs closest to your hotel.
These two stations (Harajuku train station and Meiji-Harajuku Station and Meiji-jingu-mae Station are located relatively close to each other, so it doesn`t matter which one you choose.
The Harajuku area in Tokyo is like a catwalk. Harajuku is the place where Tokyo’s youth come to show off their latest fashion outfit and shop for new ones. It is a fun area to walk around in or grab a seat at a cafe and sit and watch all the people walk by in hypermodern and fashionable clothes and hairstyles.
1. Meiji-Jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park
From Harajuku Station or Meiji-Jingu-Mae Station, follow the crowds and head to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji-Jingu Shrine.
The Meiji-Jingu Shinto Shrine is Tokyo`s biggest shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his Empress Shoken. It is beautifully located in a big green and lush park – the Yoyogi Park.
The Meiji-Jingu shrine was built in 1920 but was sadly bombed during World War II and rebuilt in 1958. Walking around the temple, it still feels like an ancient temple, and it didn’t even occur to me that it was restored in recent time.
I loved the walk up to the temple. It was great walking on the broad pathway surrounded by tall green trees, and eventually through the 12m high wooden torii gate.
If the weather is good, Yoyogi Park that surrounds the temple is the perfect place to kick off your shoes or sandals, lay down on the grass, and relax. On warm sunny days, you will see Tokyo’s inhabitants lazing around the large grassy park, playing some frisbee, or groups of youths that dance around a boom box. The perfect place to chill with some snacks and something cold to drink.
- How to get there: Take the JR Yamanote train line to Harajuku station (take the Omote-sando exit once you get there) or take the green metro Chiyoda Line or the brown Fukutoshin Line to the Meiji-jingu-mae metro station.
- Opening hours: basically from dawn til dusk
- Ticket price: FREE! Yay! 🙂
- Webpage for the Meiji-jingu temple
2. Takeshita-dori pop culture alley
From the Yoyogi Park, head to the nearby Harajuku shopping area, and walk down Takeshita-dori Street (located just next to the park).
This alley is Harajuku’s famous show-off street packed with Japanese teenagers wearing colorful and eccentric clothes, make-up, hair, and fashion. Here you will see everything from goths, punks, hipsters, and lolitas. Great fun!
3. Omotesando Street
Walk over to Omotesando street for some high fashion (window) shopping and have a look at the architecture of the super cool Dior building, Prada building, Tod´s building, and Louis Vuitton building.
This street can be compared to some of the best shopping streets in New York, London, and Paris, but a special highlight is the extravagant building facades. Kind of cool, and like nothing I`ve seen elsewhere.
Have an ice cream at Ben&Jerry and visit the grand Apple Store. You will also find some great art museums in this area.
4. Lunch at The Great Burger
By now you might be hungry, and if you fancy a burger you can take a little walking-detour over to our favorite burger place in Tokyo – The Great Burger.
- Address: 6-12-7 Jingumae Street, Shibuya
- Read what other people think of The Great Burger at Tripadvisor
5. Ura-Harajuku area
From Omotesando street, stroll down through the cozy alleys in the Ura-Harajuku district, filled with cool small shops. The area is famous for its many small independent designers shops as well as vintage shops.
We fell in love with this quiet little area and went here on several evenings. Here you will also find small cozy cafes and restaurants. It feels like walking around in a small hip city.
Shibuya is Tokyo’s center of teen culture, where teens show off their pink hair and funky dressing. Here are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. If you have some more energy left, this is the place to party hard and dance the night away.
Must-do-things in Shibuya:
- Take a selfie with the famous Hachiko statue outside of Shibuya Station. Read the story about Hachiko here: The Amazing And True Story Of Hachiko The Dog
- Go for a stroll or two (or 10 like we did) through the world’s busiest neo crossing in front of the Shibuya Station.
- Have a coffee/ tea break at Starbucks, located right above the easily spotted Tsutaya bookshop, just opposite Shibuya subway station. Sit down, relax, and have a bird`s eye view of the crowds crossing the street in front of the station.
Day 2 – Shopping, Tsukiji Fish Market, Japanese Garden, River Cruise & Tokyo Skytree
⇒ Areas: Ginza & Asakusa
Start your day two by taking the Yurakucho metro line (light orange) to Ginzaitchome Station, or the red Marunouchi Line or the grey Hibiya Line, or the orange Ginza Line to Ginza Station.
If you have been to New York City and London, Ginza is Tokyo`s answer to Fifth Ave in New York or Oxford Street in London. The center of Ginza is the crossing where Chuodori and Harumidori intersect.
Ginza was the first area of Tokyo that got modernized, where they welcomed western-style brick buildings and things like streetlights and Tokyo´s first department stores. Go window-shopping or visit one of the many galleries in this area.
2. Tsukiji Fish Market
From Ginza, walk southeast towards the Sumidagawa River, until you get to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market (what’s left of it, the outer market).
The grand old famous Tsukiji Fish Market, which opened in 1935, has just (October 2018) moved to a new location two km away from the old location. It has also got a new name – Toyosu Market (豊洲市場 Toyosu Shijō). It is near the Shijomai Station in the Odaiba Area.
The outer area of the old Tsukiji Market, Uogashi Yokocho, is still close to the Tsukijishijo Station, however, and well worth a visit. Uogashi Yokocho (open 5 a.m. – 2 p.m.), the outer market of Tsukiji is a cluster of small sushi restaurants where you can have some super fresh fish. We are not huge fans of sushi but had some delicious fish cakes and crab here.
Grab some delicious fish dishes!
- How to get there: You can get directly to the market by taking the pink Oedo Line to Tsukijishijo Station (exit A1 and A2).
- Opening hours Uogashi Yokocho (outer area of the old Tsukiji Fish Market): 05:00 a.m. – 14:00 (2 p.m.)
3. Hamarikyu Gardens
After some stressful fish dealing, it is time to relax and get the smell of fish out of your nose. Walk over to the nearby Hamarikyu Gardens.
When you buy tickets at the entrance to this garden, they hand you a complimentary audio guide. Using satellite technology to detect your location, you get interesting stories, all in perfect English, as you stroll through this green and lush garden. Loved it!
There are several lakes in the garden, and at the biggest one, there are some cozy, old Japanese tea houses. We had some delicious green tea and Japanese cake here while enjoying the beautiful and peaceful surroundings overlooking the lake and the garden.
Drinking tea in Japan is something special, there are certain rules as to how you should sit, how you should drink, how to hold the cup and so on. There are written explanations handed out at the tea house, so don´t worry. 🙂
- How to get there: You can go directly to the park by taking the pink Odeo Line to Shiodome station (exit A1).
- Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (5 p.m.)
- Ticket prices (including the audio guide): 300 Yen = 3 us$ (free for children)
4. Boat Trip On Sumidagawa River
Inside the Hamarikyu garden, there is a water cruise station by the Sumidagawa River. Once upon a time riverboats were the primary means of transportation in Tokyo, and the Sumidagawa river was the main “highway” through the city.
Hop on one of the water buses on the Sumidagawa Line to Asakusa run by Tokyo Cruise (departs every 20 minutes). Hop off at Asakusa Station.
We enjoyed the boat ride on the river! It is the perfect way to experience this traditional form of transportation while at the same time getting some excellent sightseeing in Tokyo.
- Ticket price: 980 Yen = 10 us$, children 370 Yen = 4 us$. Includes admission ticket to the Hamarikyu garden.
- Estimated time: The boat ride from Hamarikyu Garden to Asakusa takes about 35 minutes.
- Departures: About every 20 minutes. Check the timetable here.
- Web page: http://www.suijobus.co.jp/en/
5. Tokyo Skytree
Hop off the water bus at Asakusa Pier; the boat ride takes about 35 minutes. Walk over the bridge to the easily spotted communication tower Tokyo Skytree.
We had fun visiting the KL Tower in Kuala Lumpur, but since that is “only” 421 m high we had to visit its big brother, the Tokyo Skytree!
Tickets to the Tokyo Skytree work on a kind of time slot system. This way you don’t have to stand and wait in line for too long. First, you buy the tickets, and then you return at the time stamped on your ticket.
The time between purchase and entry will depend on how many people are ahead of you. I think we had about an hour to wait and we used the time to get something to eat and explore the Tokyo Solamachi Mall located at the base of the tower.
When we returned, the queue system was very efficient and fast, like everything else in Japan.
If you don’t fancy waiting around for your tickets, you can order E-tickets online and skip the line entirely!
Tokyo Skytree (opened in 2012) with its 634 m is the world´s tallest free-standing communication tower and the second tallest structure on earth after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The tower has two observation decks, one at 350 m (Tembo Deck) and one at 450 m (Tembo Galleria). We bought tickets for the Tembo Deck, as there was fog the day we went up so we would not have seen much from 450 m.
On a clear day, you can see Mt Fuji even from the lower deck, but unfortunately, we did not due to the fog. The sections of glass floor panels at the observation deck are a little scary…….
At the base of Tokyo Skytree is Tokyo Solamachi, a huge shopping mall with lots of restaurants and shops. Well worth a visit, especially if you have some time to wait until your ticket is up. Solamachi also has a huge aquarium.
- How to get there: If you don`t want to take the water bus here, take the purple Hanzomon Line to Oshiage (Skytree exit).
- Opening hours: 08 a.m. – 22 (10 p.m.)
- Ticket price: 2060 Yen = 20 us$ for the 350 m high Tembo Deck, 1030 Yen = 10 us$ for the 450 m Tembo Galleria. The ticket counter is on the 4th floor.
- Web page Tokyo Skytree: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp
- Web page Tokyo Solamachi shopping mall: http://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp
Day 3 – Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo National Museum & Ueno Park
⇒ Areas: Asakusa & Ueno
Start day three by taking the orange Ginza metro line or the Asakusa train line to Asakusa Station.
The Asakusa area has not gone through the same modernization process that other parts of Tokyo has, and remains almost unchanged. Except for the Tokyo Skytree, this area consists of low-lying residential buildings.
Asakusa on the other side of the river Sumidagawa is home to the National Sumo wrestling stadium of Japan – Ryōgoku Kokugikan, also known as Ryōgoku Sumo Hall. You can watch three Sumo wrestling tournaments here each year; in January, May, and September.
There are a total of six Grand Sumo Tournaments in Japan each year. We saw the one in November, which takes part in Fukuoka, and it was great fun.
1. Senso-ji Temple
You can tell that this is a grand temple complex by its impressive bright red gate – the Kaminarimon Gate. After stepping through the gate, you enter the temple precincts shopping street – Nakamisedori.
I love markets and shopping, so of course, I enjoyed walking through this street looking at all they had to sell, everything from tourist stuff to genuine Edo-style crafts. I bought an elegant silk kimono robe in this street.
Once you get to the end of this alley, you are at the Senso-ji Temple itself. The temple`s 55 m high five-story Pagoda is easy to spot. This Pagoda is a reconstruction, dating back to 1973. In the evening the pagoda is beautifully illuminated making it look even more impressive.
Senso-ji Temple is Tokyo´s most visited. Apparently, inside the temple, there is a golden image of the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon. According to legend, Kannon was saved and pulled out of the nearby Sumidagawa River by two fishermen in 628 AD. But the golden image is not on display for the public to see, so who knows if the image actually exist?
Inside the temple ground, there is a large metal pot full of burning incense. I noticed a lot of Japanese people rubbing the smoke from the incense onto their bodies and clothes.
Apparently, the smoke is said to give you good health. Hmmm, I must admit I am not entirely convinced, so I skipped this part of the temple experience….
- How to get there: Take the orange Ginza Line or the Asakusa Line to Asakusa Station (Exit 1).
- Opening hours: 24 h
- Ticket price: FREE! Yay! 🙂
2. Tokyo National Museum
From Asakusa Station, take the Ginza Line to Ueno Station. Step into the beautiful Ueno Park, located just next to Ueno Station. The park contains several large museums: Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, National Museum of Western Art, and Ueno Royal Museum.
We visited the Tokyo National Museum, and loved it! It has the world´s largest collection of Japanese art, with pottery, sculptures, samurai swords, woodblock prints, kimonos and so much more. If you only want to visit one museum in Tokyo, this is the one to pick!
I´m usually not a huge fan of museums, but this one is well worth a visit.
If you want an in-depth tour of the museum, you can hire a guide to show you are around the museum and the Japanese garden that surrounds it.
- Address: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Opening hours: 9:30 – 17:00 (5 p.m.). Closed Mondays.
- Ticket prices: 620 Yen = 6 us$
- Web page: http://www.tnm.jp
3. Ueno Park
Ueno Park is Tokyo´s first public park, established in 1873, although the park structures date all the way back to the 17th century. So if there is anything like an ancient park, this is it! 🙂
We were pretty exhausted after the Tokyo National Museum, so it was great to go for a stroll in this stunning park, lay on the grass, have something to drink and eat, and relax for a bit. The park also has a big pond where you can go for a paddle in swan boats, or just get entertained by all the Japanese couples going for a romantic swan-paddle-trip.
The park is constructed like a “mini Japan” so that the people of Tokyo could experience their country without having to leave Tokyo. Yep, it sounds crazy, but during the Edo, period travel was heavily restricted, so it kind of makes sense. Here you can, for instance, see a model of Kyoto’s most famous temple and a replica of one of the shrines in Nikko.
The park is huge, but there are big easy-to-read maps all over the park (also in English). The park is ideal for cherry blossom viewings if you are there in the springtime.
Ueno Park also houses Japan´s oldest zoo (opened in 1882) – Ueno Zoological Gardens. Its biggest attractions are Ri Ri and Shin Shin, two pandas that moved to the park from China in 2011. Awwww, they are super cute! The zoo is closed on Mondays.
If you are keen on seeing another temple, you can walk over to Kaneiji Temple, located on Ueno Hill inside the park.
4. Dinner At Hantei Restaurant
Top off your day in Ueno with a stroll through the atmospheric Yanaka neighborhood and have dinner at Hantei restaurant.
Hantei restaurant serves elegant Kushiage (ingredients skewered and then deep-fried) in a beautiful 100-year-old traditional Japanese wooden building.
We ordered the dinner course set that contains six skewers of different meat, fish, and vegetables all artistically served. After that, you can order more skewers of your choice. It felt like eating works of art.
The food was delicious but pricey, and like many high-end restaurants, the portions are small. The lunch set is cheaper, so you can always opt for that one. Overall we had a great dining experience, and it was entirely worth it in my opinion.
- How to get there: Take the Chiyoda Line to Nezu Station (exit 2).
- Opening hours: Noon – 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
- Price: 5000 Yen = 50 us$ for the dinner set (six skewers), 3000 Yen = 30 us$ for the lunch set.
Day 4 – Pancakes, Gadgets, Robots & Samurais
⇒ Area: Shinjuku
1. Pancake Breakfast
Start day four by taking the grey Hibiya Line to Naka-Meguro station.
There is a pancake craze in Tokyo. You’ll see pancake cafes wherever you go and the Tokyoites will happily queue up for hours at these super popular places. Naturally, we had to see what all the fuzz was about by visiting the pancake cafe that started the craze five years ago with their Hawaiian-inspired pancakes, Mokes. And, yes it was totally worth it!
If you are two people, consider sharing one plate of pancakes since the portions are huge. You can read more about the pancake craze here: Why Tokyo Is Crazy About Pancakes
- Address: KRK Bldg. 1-17-8 Kamimeguro Meguro-Ku, close to Naka-Meguro Station.
- How to get there: Take the grey Hibiya metro line to Naka-Meguro Station
- Opening hours: 09 – 22 (10 p.m.)
- Webpage: http://www.mokeskailua-japan.com
Take the subway to Shinjuku Station, the world’s busiest railway station. Spend the day exploring this urban entertainment district with its many skyscrapers, shopping, and bustling nightlife.
Around Shinjuku Station, you will find many of the world’s largest camera and electronics stores, such as Bic Camera and Yodabashi Camera. We went shopping for some camera gear here and ended up buying a new lens for our Sony camera at about half the price of what it costs at home.
Even if you are not looking to buy anything, it’s still fascinating to take a peek inside these electronic mega malls to see the newest gadgets. There are also plenty of regular department stores in this area.
3. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
A landmark in this part of town, the Government Building, offers free access to their observation decks on the 45th floor. On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji from here.
4. Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Check their webpage for more updates. Time will show if and when it reopens.
This is the one we are kicking ourselves for not going to. We had planned to, but then Maria got sick and we had to skip it. It looks absolutely crazy and fun! A restaurant where the staff wears robotic manga-inspired dresses and put on a futuristic cabaret show that is fun, kitschy, and completely over the top. What’s not to like about that?!
From what I hear the food is nothing to write home about, and the drinks are overpriced, so save your dinner for later. The show, however, is an unforgettable experience for both adults and kids. One show lasts about 90 minutes.
- Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho | B2F, Shinjuku
- Opening hours: Shows from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m (each show last 90 min).
- Tickets: From 8000 Yen = 77 us$. You can book tickets in advance.
- Webpage: http://www.shinjuku-robot.com
5. Samurai Museum
The Samurai Museum in Tokyo is the perfect place to learn about the history of Japan and the ancient Japanese Samurai culture.
The museum has a great collection of Samurai armors, real Japanese Samurai swords, helmets, and other ancient artifacts dating back to this ancient era of Japanese history. You can even dress up like a real samurai for a photoshoot!
I recommend that you pre-book your tickets and join a tour with an English-speaking guide. The ticket also includes a Samurai show.
- Address: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Kabukicho 2-25-6
- How to get there: Take the brown Fukutoshin line or the pink Oedo Line to Higashi-Shinjuku Station (exit A1). It takes about 6 minutes to walk from the station to the museum. Or take the metro to Shinjuku Station (East Exit). From here, there is an 8-minute walk. You can also take the train to Seibu-Shinjuku Station, from which there is only a 4-minute walk.
- Opening hours: 10:30 – 21:00 (last admission 20:30)
- Ticket price: 1800 Yen = 17 us$, 800 Yen = 8 us$ for children.
- Web page: http://samuraimuseum.jp
6. Shinjuku Gyoen Park
If you are getting a little tired of the Shinjuku crowds then go for a walk in one of Tokyo’s most scenic green lungs – Shinjuku Gyoen Park.
The Shinjuku Gyoen Park is split into three gardens, a Japanese, English, and French garden. There is also a tea house if you get thirsty.
7. Golden Gai
Have a drink or two in Shinjuku’s old neighborhood Golden Gai. In stunning contrast to the modern skyscrapers and the neon-lit urban madness that otherwise dominates this area are the charming small bars and narrow streets that form the Golden Gai.
It is a miracle that this area, a couple of blocks in size at most, has not been redeveloped and has been left alone for such a long time.
Wandering around the Golden Gai, you are effectively taken back to post-war Tokyo. Here every bar is different, many are tiny with room for less than ten guests, and there are still bars that will only cater to locals.
Peeking inside these bars may feel a little intimidating but look for signs in English on the door outside, or step in with a friendly smile. They will politely let you know if they do not cater to foreigners, probably by saying they are full.
The larger Albatross bar has a rooftop terrace with a great view of the Tokyo night lights.
End your day with some food in one of the many small restaurants along nearby Omoide Yokochō.
Day 5 – Manga Craziness & Rainbow Bridge
⇒ Areas: Akihabara & Rainbow Bridge
To deep dive into the nerdy side of Tokyo, head for Akihabara. While Tokyo has many surprises, this is where the feeling of having entered another dimension kicks in for real.
Akihabara used to be known as the electronics district of Tokyo, often nicknamed “Electric City”. While there are still plenty of electronics stores along the main Chuo Dori street, as well as camera and electronics mega-store Yodabashi, during the last decade Akihabara has transformed itself into the center for Japanese otaku and anime culture.
Here you will find five-story warehouses filled with comic books, video games, music, movies, action figures, and other collectibles. Girls dressed in French Maid uniforms walk the streets trying to entice customers into their Maid Restaurants, where they will welcome and serve you as if you are the master just returning to your home. It’s bizarre, but also fairly innocent and fun if a little embarrassing.
A walk around this area feels a little like being Alice in Wonderland with strange things appearing from left and right.
Nowhere else will you find comic book stores like here. In Japan, comic books are read by everyone. It is common to see well-dressed businessmen on the train reading comic books. Comic books are not simply for entertainment but also textbooks and factual works are published as comic books. A little warning, if you go up to the higher levels of the large comic book stores, you will most likely come across some very adult-themed comic books.
A short walk away from Akihabara is Asakusabashi, a quiet residential neighborhood and an excellent place to stay if you are looking for reasonably priced accommodations in Tokyo within easy access to the rest of the city. We stayed at Hotel MyStays Asakusabashi for most of our two weeks in Tokyo and it was great
2. Rainbow Bridge
Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge is a spectacular sight at night as it crosses Tokyo Bay from Shibaura to Odaiba. Thousands of white led lights illuminate the bridge, and around Christmas, it is lit up in all the colors of the rainbow.
Walking across the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge provides some truly spectacular views of the Tokyo skyline. The first decision you must make is whether to choose the north or the south side walkways. The north side provides views of the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Tower. While you can see the Shibaura highway loop and the Fuji TV building from the south walkway.
We took the north side, but I am sure the south walkway is equally impressive. The best time to do this walk is around twilight just as the city lights are turned on. The walk is about 1.7 km long and takes about 30 minutes.
There are plenty of observation decks along the way, and it is fun watching the ships pass beneath the bridge. This is also a popular destination for the city’s many photographers since from here it looks as if the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Tower are the same height. They’re not.
- Opening hours: 09-21 in Summer (1. April – 30. October), 10- 18 in winter (1. November – 30. mars). Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
- Ticket price: The walk is free
- How to get there: Take the metro to Shibaura-futo Station (Yurikamome line)
Once you have walked across the bridge, you are on the island of Odaiba. Odaiba is a man-made island that in the ’90s was turned into a modern shopping and entertainment center.
Along the south shore of the Bay, you will pass Tokyo Beach, a favorite spot for Tokyo’s young couples to meet. It’s also a perfect place from which to take some photos of the bridge itself.
There are plenty of entertainment options available on Odaiba such as the Aquacity Odaiba mall with its 13 cinema screens and a Ramen food theme park (!) where you can sample Ramen soup from all over Japan. The Decks Tokyo Beach Mall has a Madam Tussaud wax museum and a Legoland Discovery Center.
We didn’t feel like trying any of the entertainment options, so instead, we went in search of a place to have dinner. We found an excellent Indian restaurant on the third floor of the Decks Tokyo Beach Mall. We sat outside on the balcony and enjoyed our meal while watching the spectacular view of Tokyo Bay.
This was our last evening in Tokyo and the perfect way to end our trip.
To get home take the metro from the Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station, or walk back the same way across the bridge if you want to see the view from the other side.
BONUS: We have made a free printable PDF version of this Tokyo Itinerary available to our newsletter subscribers. Perfect to print out or carry on your iPad!
There you go, our recommended 5 day Tokyo itinerary. We hope it has given you some ideas for what to do in Tokyo. It’s quite a busy itinerary, so so you might want to skip a few things along the way, so you can have some more time to relax.
There are of course plenty of more things to do in Tokyo. Why not try out a public hot spring bath – Onsen? Or visit one of the 58 Cat cafes in Tokyo? Or one of the many animal cafes, like rabbits, dogs, snakes, and goats, yep g-o-a-t-s! Tokyo sure is wonderfully crazy, and it truly has something for everyone! You never get bored in Tokyo, that`s for sure!
If you enjoyed this Tokyo guide, be sure to check out some of our other popular guides to Tokyo and Japan including:
- Where to Stay in Tokyo
- Complete Kyoto Itinerary with all the highlights of this stunning historic city
- Finding the perfect Kyoto Hotel
- Osaka itinerary – 2 days in Japan’s liveliest city
- Our recommended Japan Itinerary
And lots more, in fact, we now have more than forty travel articles and guides to Japan.
Day Trips From Tokyo
If you fancy getting out of the city for a day trip, there are plenty of options. You can get pretty far on a day trip due to the high-speed Shinkansen bullet train.
One of the most popular day trips from Tokyo is to the temple town Nikko north of Tokyo (2 hours by train). Nikko is a lovely hillside town with an impressive amount of Buddhist temples and shrines tucked away in the green and lush forest. We did a day trip here from Tokyo and loved it. It is well worth a visit!
⇒ Read more: Temple & Shrine Bonanza In Nikko
Hakone – Mount Fuji
If seeing Mount Fuji is on your list, you have two options; either head to Hakone or Fuji Five Lakes (see below).
Hakone (1 hour by Shinkansen train) southeast of Tokyo is a popular area to head to see the famous Mt Fuji and to go for hikes. The mountain landscape is fantastic, and you get to do a round-trip of the Hakone area on five different transport means, called the Hakone Round Course.
Fuji Five Lakes – Mount Fuji
Fuji Five Lakes (2 hours by train or bus from Tokyo) is a lovely area of five lakes surrounding Mt Fuji. Lake Kawaguchi/ Kawaguchiko is the most popular lake to visit and stay at. You get a fantastic view of Mount Fuji from the Fuji Five Lakes area, which also has several temples and shrines to visit. A great day trip to do from Tokyo.
Kamakura is a beach-side little town (55 min from Tokyo by train) with an impressive number of stunning old Buddhist temples. Kamakura’s highlight and most iconic sight is the 11,4 m tall bronze statue of Amida Buddha, completed in 1252.
Izu peninsula is the perfect get-away from the bustling Tokyo if you want some beach and sea time. It has a cool surfer vibe, green and lush scenery, nice beaches, and some great onsen (hot springs).
You will find several small beach towns here, like Atami (on the east side) which is both the gateway to Izu and its largest town. You can take a ferry to the Izu Islands from here. Ito (on the east side) is a laid-back low-rise seaside town with some onsen and ryokans. Shimoda (on the southeast side) has some of Japan’s best surf spots. Shimoda is popular for its “black ships” that take tourists on harbor cruises. You can also visit some shrines here.
The east coast gets pretty crowded on weekends and holidays during the summer. The west side is quieter but lacks a railway so you will have to take the bus or a taxi here.
Yokohama is only a 30-min train ride from Tokyo. The small seaside town had a laid-back vibe, breezy bayfront, jazz clubs, a creative art scene, and several microbreweries. Head here for some great international dining.
Mitake, under an hour west of Tokyo, is a popular and beautiful hiking and mountain area with several peaks above 2000 m. The area has lots of hiking trails, also for beginners and families.
The most popular route is Trail No 1 up Takao-san (599 m) which is gentle and year-round hiking. The trail is paved all the way and passes the main points of interest. You can also take the railway up the mountain from Takaosanguchi Station and hike back (or take the railway back too).
Oku-Tama was once a popular pilgrim destination and is now a popular escape for Tokyoites. It is Tokyo’s best spot for easy hiking and river activities along the Tamagawa River. You can hike from Takimoto or take the cable car up via a lovely cedar-lined pilgrim path to Mitake-San (939 m) where you find a charming Shinto shrine.
Where To Stay In Tokyo
Tokyo has an incredible variety of accommodation available. Here you find some of the world’s most luxurious hotels as well as traditional Japanese Inns where you sleep on a futon mat. Famous tiny pod hotels, love hotels for couples, business hotels for the businessmen that stayed out drinking too late to go home, and everything in between.
The Park Hyatt
Made famous by the movie ‘Lost in Translation’, The Park Hyatt is absolutely one of Tokyo’s most luxurious hotels. The hotels 178 rooms are among Tokyo’s most spacious and elegant and provides all modern comforts. The hotel’s friendly and professional service is legendary, and the hotel’s restaurants world-class. Located on the top floor with stunning views over Tokyo is the world famous New York Bar Grill, where Bill Murray’s character enjoyed his many whiskeys.
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Tokyu Stay Shinjuku
This hotel has a great location within just a few minutes walk from Shinjuku-sanchome station in Tokyo’s shopping and entertainment center. The hotel is bright and modern, with small but comfortable rooms that include a tv, refrigerator, microwave, safe and a washing machine(!). Wifi is free and fast. They serve a tasty breakfast in the bar next door. In an otherwise very expensive area of the city, this hotel offers great value for money.
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Hotel MyStays Asakusabashi
We stayed at Hotel MyStays in Asakusabashi and really liked this hotel! It is brand new, and the rooms are actually decent sized compared to the average hotel in Japan (choose a twin room if you need the biggest room). The neighborhood is great, with lots of restaurants and cafes, and a short walk to the underground station Asakusabashi. It was the cheapest and best hotel we could find in Tokyo.
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MyCube by MyStays
If you’re traveling solo on a budget or would simply like to try one of the famous and unique cube/pod hotels of Tokyo then this is a great choice. It is a brand new hotel and quite spacious for a pod hotel. Every pod has lockable baggage storage and free Wi-Fi. The underground station is located right next door and there are plenty of places to eat in the neighborhood.
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Budget Alternatives: Khaosan Asakusa Hostel
Tokyo has a lot of accommodation options to choose from in different areas of the city. Click here to read our complete guide to our favorite areas and hotels in Tokyo.
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