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Tokyo, Japan is a buzzing city unlike any other place we have visited. The city is massive – and each neighborhood is unique. Dotted with famous Tokyo must-see sights – like Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace – hidden gems are found in the depths of the sprawling districts. In the tangle of streets, we spent long days sightseeing, discovered a unique culture and tasted delicious cuisine. Our Tokyo Itinerary condenses our best experiences into 3 days in Tokyo.
3-Day Tokyo Itinerary
Tokyo, Japan is a modern city with an intriguing history. The sprawling city is densely packed with eateries, bars, people and culture – which can feel overwhelming for a Tokyo first-time visitor. It can be a daunting task trying to figure out what to see in Tokyo in 3 days. However, with a solid plan, three days in Tokyo allows visitors just enough time to get acquainted with the city. Our Tokyo, Japan itinerary focuses on our top experiences in the city that visitors won’t want to miss!
Tokyo Itinerary Tips
Before we dive into our list of things to do in Tokyo, Japan, we have a few tips about our itinerary.
Suggested Tokyo Itineraries
Below we provide a detailed outline of how to spend three perfect days in Tokyo – but what if you have more (or less!) time in the city? We are here to help! At the end of the post, we include Tokyo sample itineraries for 1 to 7 days. Whether you are limited to a Tokyo 1-Day Itinerary, have just two days in Tokyo or are planning one week in Tokyo, we’ve got you covered!
Tokyo Day Trips
Want to see more of Japan? There are many places to visit near Tokyo as well! Day trips out of Tokyo allow visitors further exploration – and are often a highlight of the trip. At the end of the post we include information on the top short trips from Tokyo – and ideas for weekend trips from Tokyo, too! Trips can be booked online and in advance.
Tokyo Maps and Links
To make our Tokyo Itinerary blog even more useful, we have included information and/or links to each sight. We also include a link to Google Maps for each sight so that you can easily navigate to the sight from your current location. At the end of our Tokyo travel itinerary, we include a handy Tokyo Map with all sights marked.
Having an internet connection is essential when sightseeing Tokyo! There are free WiFi spots throughout the city, but it’s better to have your own connection. Plan accordingly – by either adjusting your phone plan prior to arrival, renting a mobile hotspot (also called pocket WiFi) or purchasing a SIM card. We rented a hotspot that we carried with us to provide a connection on multiple devices at one time (which is great for families and groups traveling together). You can rent the device in advance for easy pick-up at Tokyo Airports – find out more about pricing and details for renting pocket WiFi at Narita or Haneda.
Sights are grouped by neighborhood and listed in order to enable easy navigation from one sight to the next. That said, our Tokyo tour itinerary covers some ground! To get to each sight, we indicate our preferred method of travel, either walking or public transportation, which is based on arriving from the previously listed sight. We provide more information at the end of the post about how to get around Tokyo.
Tokyo is a notoriously expensive destination. However, budget travelers will be happy to know there are many free things to do in Tokyo, many of which are featured! We have indicated fees to enter the sights listed. Therefore, our Tokyo trip itinerary blog can be used by anyone traveling to the city – regardless of budget – with slight adjustments!
What To Do in Tokyo in 3 Days – Day-by-Day
Our Tokyo trip blog includes the city’s top attractions formatted into a detailed Tokyo trip itinerary. Our top recommendations for food and drink are added into the itinerary, however, you can find more details on our Tokyo Travel Guide Blog Posts: What To Eat in Tokyo and The Best Tokyo Bars. We have included an astounding amount of information and detail in this Tokyo blog post.
Be sure to Save, Bookmark or Pin this Tokyo travel blog post for future reference and to use during your trip!
Day 1 in Tokyo
On Day 1 of your Tokyo three-day itinerary, explore the best attractions in Asakusa, Ueno and Sumida districts – starting (and ending!) at the famous Sensoji Temple.
The Sensoji Temple is the oldest and largest temple in Tokyo. Founded in the year 645, the key sights at the temple include the Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate), the market on Nakamise dori, the temple, Sensoji Pagoda and the Asakusa Shrine. Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center
In addition to free maps and information (for Asakusa, Tokyo and Japan), the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center has a top-floor café and outdoor viewing platform with views of Sensoji Temple and SkyTree. The center also organizes free Asakusa tours on weekends, free Geisha performances and a range of classes to learn more about the Japanese culture. We highly recommend the Geisha performance – as it was a highlight of our Tokyo trip! Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Located beneath the Yamanote Line tracks, the Ameyoko Market is one of the most popular open-air markets in Tokyo. Featuring more than 180 market stalls selling everything from fresh fish to fashionable clothing, Ameyoko Market is a feast for the senses! Top Tip: Grab something to eat at the market for lunch. We recommend getting take-away menchi katsu croquettes from Niku no Oyama (Meat Dish and Beer). Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
One of the oldest and most visited parks in Tokyo, Ueno Park was established in 1873. In addition to the numerous cherry trees (which attract many visitors during cherry blossom season), Ueno Park is also home to multiple museums. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Museums at Ueno Park
Among the open space and cherry tree-lined paths at Ueno Park, several of the city’s top museums are on the park grounds. Visitors could spend an entire day just visiting these museums, but with limited time in Tokyo, we recommend just going to one. We chose to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo National Museum
National Museum of Nature and Science
The SkyTree Tower, which was built for broadcasting – features a rotating restaurant and observation deck. SkyTree ranks as the World’s Tallest Tower. Other attractions near SkyTree include the Sumida Aquarium, Planetarium, Solamachi Shopping Center and the Postal Museum. Visitors to SkyTree observation deck are treated to panoramic views of the city; tickets can be purchased in advance. Fee: Ticket prices vary based on age of visitor and which floor is visited; Fast Track tickets are also available – adult prices: 2,060 yen to 4,000 yen | Bus | Map | Info
Asahi Brewery Building
Tokyo’s iconic Asahi Brewery Building houses the beer company’s corporate headquarters (not the actual brewery). The building was designed to look like a tall glass of frothy beer and the Asahi Flame meant to represent that same frothiness (however, most people just refer to it as The Golden Poo). The 22nd Floor Asahi Sky Room bar offers patrons stellar views of the city. Fee: Free (must make a purchase; beers cost about 600 yen) | Walk | Map | Info
Spanning the Sumida River, the Azuma Bridge dates to 1774 (although the current bridge was constructed in 1931). The bridge and western riverside provide a great vantage point to see SkyTree, the Asahi Building and skyline. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
DINNER: Sometaro Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki – or Japanese savory pancakes – are classic Japanese cuisine that every visitor should try. At Sometaro Okonomiyaki, guests sit on mats on the floor around a small teppan grill. After ordering from a range of standard and innovative options, the raw ingredients are brought to the table. Patrons then cook the okonomiyaki themselves – creating a unique and memorable experience. Fee: Prices range from 700 to 1,380 yen | Walk | Map | Info
Running 80-meters-long on the west side of Sensoji Temple is Hoppy Street. Packed with small bars, the street is known for the “Hoppy” alcoholic mixer that most of the bars sell. Tables and chairs spill out onto the street and a jovial atmosphere abounds. Whether stopping for a drink or just out for a stroll, Hoppy Street is entertaining (especially in the evening!). Fee: Free to walk down the street; bars range in price and some charge a cover | Walk | Map | Info
For an after-dinner drink, stop by the historic Kamiya Bar. Dating to 1880, the classic beer hall is known for their ‘Electric Brandy’ drink, called Denki Bran. The cocktail is a secret concoction of brandy, gin, wine, curacao and herbs. Fee: Prices for Denki Bran are less than 300 yen; a liter of Asahi Beer is 1,080 yen | Walk | Map | Info
Sensoji Temple at Night
As stunning as Sensoji Temple is during daylight hours, it’s even more amazing at night. Although the temple and shopping street are closed, it is worth it to circle back around to see Sensoji Temple, the pagoda and Thunder Gate lit up at night. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Day 2 in Tokyo
On Day 2 of our Tokyo suggested itinerary, explore the sights in a few of Tokyo’s most iconic districts: Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
One of the tallest buildings in the city, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building houses the city’s government offices that govern all 23 Wards in the city. The building has two observation decks on the 45th floor – which are free! There is no outdoor space, but the floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping views of the city. On clear days, it’s possible to see Mount Fuji! Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
Meiji Jingu Shrine
The Meiji Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken and was built shortly after their deaths in 1912. Located in a city-center forest, visitors walk through the lush grounds to get to the shrine. Fee: Free | Walk or Subway | Map | Info
One of the city’s most popular green spaces, Yoyogi Park features open spaces, ponds and lush nature…it also has a historic past. Prior to becoming a park, the land was used as an airfield, army parade grounds, military barracks and the 1964 Olympic Village. Today, the park is used by families and friends as a place to relax and enjoy nature. The park is especially crowded in the spring for the cherry blossoms and in the autumn when the leaves change colors. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
The pedestrian-only shopping street, Takeshita dori, is the epicenter of Japan’s Kawaii (“cute”) culture. Lined with boutique shops and candy stores, Takeshita dori is a haven for the city’s youth. Girls wear (and shop for!) unique Kawaii fashion trends while ingesting rainbow-colored sweet treats. It can feel a little over-the-top, but strolling the length of the street is a great introduction to Kawaii. Pop into Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, where most items are just 108 yen (which make great gifts and souvenirs!). We also highly recommend joining the masses and getting a tasty crepe from Marion Crepes. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Tokyo Plaza Omotesando
The Tokyo Plaza Omotesando mall provides a refined shopping experience with upscale boutique shops selling the latest trends. However, it isn’t just about the shopping. Many visitors go to the mall just to ride the escalators through the mirrored entrance, while others skip past all the shops and head straight for the Starbucks on the rooftop garden. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Having absolutely nothing to do with cats, Cat Street is one of the trendiest streets in Tokyo for fashion and food. While Takeshita dori caters to the youth of Tokyo, Cat Street attracts the late-20s and early-30s crowd. Featuring trendsetting international brands and local designers, the street runs a half-mile (but side alleys shouldn’t be missed!). There are numerous eateries along the route, but for a quick bite, we recommend Harajuku Gyozaro (a classic Tokyo snack!). Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Filled with fashion outlets, chain restaurants, bizarre shops and nightclubs, Shibuya Center-Gai boasts a lively atmosphere both day and night. Large signs, which are illuminated after dark, loom over the pedestrian paths that are packed with people. A top destination is Shibuya 109, a mall with more than 100 boutique retailers. Visitors can easily be entertained for hours at Shibuya Center-Gai – whether shopping, eating, drinking or just watching. For a unique dining experience, go to Genki Sushi – where they take conveyor belt sushi to the next level. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Also known as the “Shibuya Scramble,” Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest intersections in the world. When all traffic lights change to red, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pedestrians surge through the intersection. While joining the hordes on the journey from one corner to the other is an essential Tokyo experience, watching the spectacle from above is mesmerizing. The best viewpoint is from Mags Park, which is a rooftop park on top of MAGNET mall located on the northeast corner (and, it’s free!). Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Hachiko Memorial Statue
Hachiko is Tokyo’s most-loved and loyal dog. He faithfully met his owner every day after work at the Shibuya Station to accompany his owner on the walk home. His owner died suddenly at work, but for the next nine years, Hachiko waited at the station every evening for his return. The story of Hachiko captured the hearts of the Japanese and has been made a legend in books and movies. His statue stands outside the station, just like he used to. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
DINNER: Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
The narrow alleys at Omoide Yokocho are densely packed with hole-in-the-wall Yakitori eateries. Smoke billows from grills while the scent of sizzling chicken and seafood fill the air. Some restaurants are so tiny that they can only accommodate six patrons. Although the alleys are located just outside the Shinjuku Station, Omoide Yokocho (also known as Memory Lane or Piss Alley) is an intimate and fun Tokyo restaurant experience. Fee: Free to walk through; prices vary by restaurant | Subway | Map | Info
Known for its seedy entertainment, Kabukicho glows at night. The red-light district is packed with more than 3,000 bars, hostess clubs, massage parlors and love hotels. Although the entertainment in ‘Sleepless Town’ is not for everyone, the lively district is a must-see at night. Don’t miss the odd/interesting/creepy 40-foot-tall Godzilla Head that peeks over the top of the Toho building and lets out a screech every few minutes. Top Tip: If you would feel more comfortable exploring Kabukicho at night with a guide, join this highly-rated tour. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
There are nearly 200 bars in Golden Gai, all densely packing into six narrow alleys. Many of the bars can only accommodate a handful of patrons and most bars feature a specific theme. The proximity of the bars makes for a great night of bar-hopping! Fee: Free; some bars charge a cover | Walk | Map | Info
Day 3 in Tokyo
On day three of your Tokyo city tour itinerary, visit the fish market, discover the Odaiba district and then return to the city center for more sightseeing.
Toyosu Fish Market (formerly Tsukiji Fish Market)
Recently opened as the Toyosu Fish Market (October 2018), Tokyo’s fish market ranks as largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Although an unseemly tourist destination, visitors can view the tuna auctions from a platform and feast on fresh seafood from the on-site restaurants. Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
The Rainbow Bridge straddles the Tokyo Bay, connecting Minato to Odaiba. Despite the name, the bridge is white and is illuminated with solar lights (in red, green and white) at night. Visitors can walk across the 2,618-foot-long bridge on the pedestrian paths (limited hours) or take the metro. Fee: Free to walk | Subway | Map | Info
Odaiba is a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The island serves as an entertainment district, featuring four shopping centers, as well as Sega World Joypolis, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Legoland Discovery Center. The area also has several museums, observations decks and restaurants. Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
Odaiba Statue of Liberty
Standing on the Odaiba shore is a 40-foot-tall replica of NYC’s Lady Liberty. However, the Statue of Liberty has no connection to the United States, rather it represents of Japan’s relationship with France. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Fans of Transformers will want to be sure to check out the 60-foot-tall Unicorn Gundam Transformer. Be sure to be there at the top of the hour when the Transformer moves! Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
A transportation hub, Tokyo Station serves intercity trains and the city’s subway and buses. It is one of Tokyo’s busiest stations, with more than 415,000 daily passengers utilizing the 3,700 trains that chug through the station every day. Within the station are numerous shops and restaurants. The original brick building dates to 1914, but only a portion still stands today (west side). Top Tip: Tokyo Station is a great place to grab lunch! The station features everything from fine dining to grab-and-go options. Fee: Free; some shopping and restaurants are within ticketed areas | Subway | Map | Info
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Protected by moats and imposing stone walls, the Imperial Palace is home to Japan’s Imperial Family. The palace is off-limits to visitors except on January 2 and December 23, but the plaza in front of the palace is open to the public. The iconic Meganebashi Bridge (Eyeglass Bridge) is located near the palace entrance and is a popular tourist photo-op. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Imperial Palace East Gardens
The Imperial Palace East Gardens are the previous site of the Edo Castle. All that remains is the base of the castle tower (which dates to 1638). A Japanese-style garden covers the grounds with many paths weaving through the park. North of the garden are three large museums: The National Museum of Modern Art Crafts Gallery, the Science Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Hotel New Otani’s Garden
The 400-year-old garden at Hotel New Otani is a Tokyo hidden gem. The 10-acre park features red bridges, koi ponds, a waterfall and lush greenery. The beautiful park is open to the public. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Akasaka Palace State Guest House
Built in 1909 as the Crown Prince’s Palace, the Akasaka Palace now serves as a State Guest House, welcoming dignitaries from around the world. The Baroque palace and grounds can be visited when it is vacant. Fee: Garden admission is 300 yen; buildings and special gardens require separate tickets, starting at 1,500 yen | Walk | Map | Info
In Tokyo, many shrines and temples have become tourist attractions, but that is not the case at Hie Shrine. Located on a hill, visitors should look for the back entrance staircase, which is covered in a tunnel of bright red torii gates. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Reminiscent of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower is a 1,092-foot-tall red-and-white radio tower. Ranking as the second-tallest structure in Japan, the tower is also a tourist attraction. In addition to the observation decks, there are museums, restaurants and shops at the base of the tower. Fee: Main Deck adult tickets are 900 yen; Top Deck Tour adult tickets are 2,800 yen | Subway | Map | Info
The historic Zojoji Temple sits next to the Tokyo Tower. On the grounds of the temple is the Tokugawa Family mausoleum, where six of the Tokugawa shoguns are buried. Visitors can also walk through the Sentai Kosodate Jizo – or the Unborn Children Garden. Parents decorate their statues with clothing and toys. The main gate, Sangedatsumon Gate, is the oldest wooden building in Tokyo, dating to 1622. Fee: Free | Walk | Map | Info
Meishu Center Sake Tasting
Popular with both locals and tourists, Meishu Center is a great spot to get an informal introduction to sake, the national beverage of Japan. Patrons can choose their favorite sake, get a sake tasting paddle or buy a bottle to-go – all with the helpful guidance of the professional staff. Fee: Tastings start at 200 yen | Walk | Map | Info
Tokyo MidTown, a mixed-use space, was built in 2007 – and at the time, it ranked as the tallest building in Tokyo. Its height has been surpassed, but the building remains an attraction. Inside, visitors will find a mall and restaurants, while others visit the surrounding gardens at Hinokicho Park. Nearby, visitors will also find the Roppongi Hills Mall, the Mori Art Museum, the Suntory Museum of Art and 21_21 Design Sight Gallery. Fee: Free | Subway | Map | Info
DINNER: Ippudo Ramen
Proclaimed by many as the best ramen in Tokyo, Ippudo Ramen is dedicated to preparing high-quality ramen and innovative, seasonal specialties. Offering both counter and table seating, Ippudo Ramen has friendly staff and menus in English. Fee: Dishes range from 750 yen to 1,100 yen | Walk | Map | Info
Roppongi is well-known as a nightlife destination. Upscale restaurants and chic clubs abound in the district. The most famous club in Roppongi is V2 TOKYO, which occupies the top floor of the Roppongi Roa Building. There are nightclubs where you can dance or (karaoke) sing until dawn. We prefer more low-key entertainment where we can toss back a few beers in the company of good friends. Our recommended spots in Roppongi to have a drink are Two Dogs Taproom and Mistral Bleu Train Bar. Fee: Expect to pay more for drinks in Roppongi | Walk | Map | Info
Tokyo Sightseeing Map
This Tokyo Map includes our recommended sights for our 3-Day Tokyo Itinerary.
More Tokyo Exploration
We fit as much as we could into our 3-day Tokyo itinerary, but it is by no means an exhaustive list of things to do in the city.
Nicknamed ‘Electric Town,’ the Akihabara District is known for its electronic shops, computer goods, video games, anime and manga. Gamers might want to check out some of the top arcades, like Taito HEY, Super Potato, Club Sega or Game Bar-A-Button. The district also has an abundance of Maid Cafes and a 7-story sex shop, M’s. The district comes to life after dark when the neon lights cast a glow on the streets below.
Famous for its upscale shopping and dining establishments, the Ginza District was once the site of the city’s silver mint (which is what Ginza translates to in English). Luxury retailers – like Cartier, Chanel and Bulgari – are located in Ginza, along with other high-end flagship stores. Ginza real estate is said to be some of the most expensive in the world. Need some guidance on things to do in Ginza? Check out this list.
Yokohama City and Chinatown
Just a half-hour train ride from Tokyo is Yokohama, the second-largest city in Japan. There is plenty to see and do in the city that is home to 3 million residents. Not to miss is Chinatown, which has a 150-year history and colorful streets. Another top attraction is The Cup Noodles Museum that traces the history of instant ramen with interactive displays.
A mashup of the words kara (empty) and okesutora (orchestra), karaoke was created in Japan in the 1970s and is still popular today. Tokyo visitors can belt out tunes at bars or in private rooms around the city. We highly recommend participating in the essential Japanese entertainment during your visit! Find the best Tokyo karaoke bars here.
Pachinko is Japan’s version of a slot machine – and it’s wildly popular. Visiting a pachinko parlor can result in sensory overload – unlike most dimly lit casinos, pachinko parlors are bright and the games are obnoxiously loud. Although the game is a little confusing, it can be fun to try your luck!
Temples and Shrines
Tokyo is home to numerous temples and shrines. Sprinkled throughout the city, not all temples and shrines are tourist attractions. There are many unique and quirky shrines and temples; visitors keen on creating a Temple Tour can follow our guide of Tokyo Temples.
Tokyo Tours and Activities
For a richer Tokyo experience, consider joining one of these popular Tokyo day tours.
Tokyo Highlights Tour by Bus
Visit the city’s best shrines and temples (including Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple), government buildings (including House of Parliament and Imperial Palace East Garden) and go shopping in the Ginza district. End your day on a 1-hour cruise in Tokyo Bay then take in the sights in Odaiba. Find Out More!
Tokyo Landmarks and Culture Tour
Start the day by soaring to the observation deck of the Tokyo Tower, then participate in a traditional tea ceremony. Continue with the tour group to the Imperial Palace Plaza and learn the history of the emperor’s residence. Take a cruise on the Sumida River and make a final stop at the Sensoji Temple. Get the Details!
Tokyo Geisha Cultural Experience
Spend 1.5 hours in the company of a geisha as you learn about the fascinating Japanese culture. While you enjoy refreshments, the geisha will perform songs, dances and play games. Book It Now!
Watch a Sumo Wrestling Practice
Learn about the Sumo wresting tradition while you observe morning practice. Spend two hours with your guide and wrestlers at this up-close experience. Find Out More!
Go-Kart Street Tour
Get dressed up as your favorite character and then jump behind the wheel of a Go-Kart to explore Tokyo’s city streets. A guide will lead the way to iconic landmarks on this fun-filled adventure. Get The Details!
Tokyo in a Day Private Customizable Tour
Spend either 4 or 8-hour with a professional guide on a tour that is specifically designed to your interests. Let your guide know exactly what you want to see or tell them what you enjoy and let them plan a perfect day for you! Book It Now!
Day Trips From Tokyo
There are numerous Tokyo day trips for visitors who are interested in seeing more of Japan. Both private and group side trips from Tokyo venture to nearby cities and nature parks.
Tokyo to Hakone Day Trip (Mt. Fuji)
Ranked as one of the best day trips from Tokyo, the Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi by Bullet Train is a must for visitors who want to escape the city. Guests travel by bullet train to Hokone National Park where they will see Mt. Fuji (on clear days), take a boat cruise on Lake Ashi and ride the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway for stellar views. Learn More Here!
Nikko National Park Day Trip from Tokyo
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall at Nikko National Park on a one-day trip from Tokyo. Get The Details!
Kyoto Day Trip from Tokyo
This Kyoto Day Tour includes roundtrip tickets between Tokyo and Kyoto, a professional guide, a Kyoto sightseeing tour and provided lunch at an upscale hotel. The tour of Kyoto includes top attractions, like Heian Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Thousand-Armed Kannon at Sanjusangen Hall. Book This Trip!
Kamakura and Tokyo Bay day trip from Tokyo
Visit historic temples, shrines and gardens in Kamakura on a one-day trip from Tokyo. Highlights of the trip include visiting a bamboo grove, seeing the famous Great Buddha, enjoying matcha green tea and eating a Japanese-style lunch on Enoshima island. Find Out More!
Mt. Fuji, Onsen (thermal bath) Experience and Outlet Shopping
On this one-day tour from Tokyo, travel with a group via coach bus to the Mt. Fuji region. Go to Mt. Fuji’s famous 5th Station, soak in a resort hot spring and spend time shopping at Gotemba Premium Outlets. Learn More Here!
Universal Studios Osaka Day Trip with Overnight Accommodations
Take a day trip to Osaka from Tokyo to spend a fun-filled day at Universal Studios. The jam-packed Osaka day trip itinerary includes the exciting 3-hour bullet train ride, then a full day of entertainment at Universal Studios (Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Wonderland, rides and shows). Top Tip: Both Osaka and Kyoto are great overnight trips from Tokyo…whether going to Universal Studios or not! Book It Now!
The Tokyo excursions featured above are the best Tokyo day trips as rated by fellow travelers. If you are looking for a different day trip outside Tokyo, check out what else is offered on Viator!
How Many Days in Tokyo?
When determining how to plan a trip to Tokyo, there are many factors to consider – such as interests, mobility and budget. Tokyo is a massive city filled with incredible history, delectable cuisine, intriguing culture and modern attractions. We think that first-time travelers who want an overview of the city – including sights and experiences – need at least 3 days in Tokyo.
Our itinerary of things to do in Tokyo in 3 days is jam-packed with the top sights and neighborhoods. That said, we would have no problem spending a week in Tokyo – and, even then, we would only scratch the surface of the fascinating city.
Planning a Tokyo Trip
We encourage other travelers to create their best Tokyo itinerary by using our list of things to see in Tokyo in 3 days as a guideline. To help travelers with more (or less) time, we have created a sample itinerary for Tokyo, Japan (for a half day to 7 days) that travelers can use to plan their trip. If you are a visitor wondering what to do in Tokyo in 2 days – or if you have a week in Tokyo – check out our tips below.
Half Day in Tokyo
If you want to create a Tokyo half-day itinerary, we recommend picking just one or two sights that you most want to see…and that are close together. For example, you could visit Sensoji Temple and SkyTree, or the Imperial Palace and Gardens, or Shibuya Center-Gai and Shibuya Crossing. Alternatively, you could book a half-day tour with a private guide, who will be able to create a detailed itinerary just for you.
One Day in Tokyo
Trying to see Tokyo in a day is tough! But, if 1 day in Tokyo is all you have then make the most of it! If you like to explore on your own, we recommend creating a Tokyo one-day itinerary by using our detailed outline for either Day 1, Day 2 or Day 3 from our above Tokyo 3-day tour. Choose the day based on your specific interests.
However, following our Tokyo day itinerary, means that you will need to figure out public transport and walking directions on your own. If the prospect of figuring out the details is too tasking, we recommend hiring a guide or joining a group for your Tokyo one-day trip. Find the perfect Tokyo one-day tour in our list of Tokyo Tours above or start your search on Viator.
Tokyo Itinerary 2 Days
With 2 Days in Tokyo, visitors can experience quite a bit of the city! We recommend creating a Tokyo 2-day itinerary by following our detailed outline for any of the two days as outlined in our Tokyo 3-Day trip. Visitors interested in adding a cultural experience, could squeeze a Geisha experience or Sumo wrestling practice into their Tokyo two-day itinerary, too.
Tokyo Itinerary 4 Days
Wondering what to do in Tokyo in 4 days? No problem! With 4 days in Tokyo, use our outlined 3-day Tokyo itinerary and then spend the last day exploring Akihabara. Peruse electronic stores, play video games and try your luck at pachinko, then spend the evening at a Maid Café (Butler Cafes are a thing, too!).
Tokyo Itinerary 5 Days
With 5 days in Tokyo visitors have enough time to explore the city and take a 1-day trip from Tokyo. We recommend following the above outline of four days in Tokyo and on the last day, choose one of the day trips around Tokyo (listed above) to see more of the country.
Tokyo Itinerary 6 Days
With 6 days in Tokyo, we recommend following our above advice on what to do in Tokyo in 5 days and, on the additional day, immerse yourself in the Japanese culture. Create a one-day tour in Tokyo that focuses solely on culture; join a food tour, visit obscure temples, dress in a kimono or learn to be a Samurai warrior.
Tokyo Itinerary 7 Days (1 Week in Tokyo)
Planning a Tokyo 1-week itinerary allows visitors ample opportunity to explore the city. With 7 days in Tokyo we recommend following our outline above for 6 days in Tokyo and, on the last day, either go on a shopping spree in Ginza or revisit your favorite neighborhood to discover more of it.
How To Get To Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo can be reached by plane, train, bus or car. There are two Tokyo airports: Haneda Airport (mostly domestic flights) and Narita Airport (mostly international flights). Haneda is much closer to the city, but both airports are connected to the city with public transport. When we buy plane tickets, we always start our search with Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. Trains and buses arriving at Tokyo terminate in various stations around the city. Before choosing a train or bus route, determine how well the terminating station is connected to your accommodations.
Getting Around Tokyo
Tokyo is well-connected by a network of trains, subways and buses. The modes of transport are managed by multiple companies, but tickets for all forms of transportation can be paid using a pre-paid card, called an IC card. During our stay, we used a Suica Card (which is refundable at the airport at the end of your stay). Visitors can buy Suica and Pasmo pre-paid IC cards in Tokyo stations.
Multiday passes that are valid for unlimited transport on limited networks are also available for purchase. The downside is that none of the multiday cards cover all modes of transport. For example, visitors can buy a Tokyo 3-Day Pass for the subway, which is valid for unlimited use on all Toei and Tokyo Metro subway lines, but it won’t be valid on JR trains. The 3-day Tokyo pass can save money, but only if subways are going to be the sole mode of transport. Find more info, including info about the Japan Rail Pass, here.
Tokyo Tourist Map
Google Maps are great for traveling around Tokyo, but not if your battery is dead! We highly recommend investing in a portable charger for your phone – as well as a good Tokyo city map, which you can purchase in advance of your trip on Amazon.
Where To Stay in Tokyo, Japan
There are numerous options for Tokyo accommodations. Apartments, hotels, hostels and capsule hotels are available in a range of budgets – from budget to mid-range to luxury. We have stayed in multiple Tokyo hotels in locations around the city. Although we usually prefer staying in Airbnb apartments, we chose to stay in hotels in Tokyo. As budget-conscious travelers, we opted for basic accommodations in Tokyo, rather than splurging on luxury stays, like the Keio Plaza Hotel (but you can book it here!). However, we only stayed in hotel rooms with private bathrooms.
In Asakusa, we stayed in Hotel MyStays. Located near the Asakusa sights, but tucked into a neighborhood, the rooms are small but well-equipped, including a small fridge and hotplate. Robes and umbrellas are provided for guest use – and there is a selection of toiletries available in the lobby.
During our time in Roppongi, we were housesitting for a friend, but spent one night in Sotetsu Fresa Inn. The hotel is located just steps from the Roppongi Station and convenient for sightseeing the Roppongi neighborhood on foot. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious. Amenities include slippers, robes and an assortment of toiletries – all free of charge. For a fee, a breakfast buffet is available in the adjoining ground floor restaurant.
Due to an early flight, we spent our last night in Tokyo near the Narita Airport at the APA Hotel Keisei Narita Ekaime. We chose the APA Hotel because it was located right outside the Keisei Narita Train Station and provided a free airport shuttle. The tiny rooms are equipped with an electric kettle, fridge, slippers and toiletries. However, what we loved about staying at the APA Hotel is that we were within walking distance to Narita City. If staying in Narita, we highly recommend drinks at Narita Radio Taps and dinner at the restaurant that is two doors down (to the left when looking at the bar).
Before You Go
- Our 3-Day Tokyo Itinerary includes a lot of walking! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your trip. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Skechers. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.
- We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
- It’s easy to get turned around in any foreign city…and especially Tokyo! Make sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook before arriving.
- We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
We want to know: What would you add to our Tokyo itinerary? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!
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