Tokyo Itinerary How To Spend 3 Days in Tokyo, Japan by JetSettingFools.com

Tokyo Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days In Tokyo, Japan

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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 the information you will find in our Tokyo 3 Days Itinerary.

 

Navigating Tokyo

Sights in our 3 Day Tokyo Itinerary 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 (but you could also use taxis or Uber), 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 Maps and Informational 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 in our Tokyo 3 Day Itinerary 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.

 

Tokyo WiFi

Having an internet connection is essential when sightseeing Tokyo! In fact, to use the links and maps provided in our 3 Days in Tokyo Itinerary, it is necessary. 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.

Update: Since our trip to Japan, we have purchased a GlocalMe Mobile WiFi Hotspot – and highly recommend it as a source for internet connection globally.

 

3 Days In Tokyo Budget

Tokyo is a notoriously expensive destination. However, budget travelers will be happy to know there are several free things to do in Tokyo, many of which are featured in our list of things to see in Tokyo in 3 days!

We have indicated fees to enter the sights listed in our Three Days in Tokyo Itinerary to help budget travelers determine what activities to include or skip. Our Tokyo trip itinerary blog can be used by anyone traveling to the city – regardless of budget – with slight adjustments!

 

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.

 

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 with shorter and longer Tokyo trip planning, too! 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!

Planning a longer trip to Japan? Use our 2-Week Japan Itinerary for a trip plan that includes seeing Mt. Fuji at Kawaguchiko and spending 3 Days in Kyoto!

 


 

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 also included to make this the absolute best Tokyo Itinerary. That said, we provide even more dining details in 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 so that you can easily plan your 3 days in Tokyo, Japan.

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. Our outlined One-Day Sumida, Ueno, Asakusa Itinerary includes everything you need to know!

 

Sensoji Temple

The Sensoji Temple is the oldest and largest temple in the city – and visiting is a Tokyo must-do! 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. Pro Tip: Find more information about Sensoji and other must-see temples in our blog post, The Best Temples in Tokyo. 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 cafe and outdoor viewing platform with views of Sensoji Temple and SkyTree. The center is also a place for Japanese culture for tourists. They organize free Asakusa tours on weekends, free Geisha performances and a range of classes for visitors 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

 

Ameyoko Market

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

 

Ueno Park, Tokyo

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

Featuring a variety of artwork styles, the museum displays artwork from masters and budding artists. Fee: Free (some exhibitions for fee)  |  Map  |  Info

Tokyo National Museum

Housing both permanent and rotating exhibits, the Tokyo National Museum displays art and antiquities from Japan and Asia. Fee: 620 yen  |  Map  |  Info

National Museum of Nature and Science

The National Museum of Nature and Science first opened in 1871. The exhibits focus on natural history and interactive science experiences. Fee: 620 yen  |  Map  |  Info

Ueno Zoo

Established in 1882, the Ueno Zoo houses more than 3,000 animals – including giant pandas, gorillas and tigers. Fee: 600 yen  |  Map  |  Info

 

Tokyo SkyTree

The SkyTree Tower, which was built for broadcasting – features a rotating restaurant and observation deck…and it is a must-see in Tokyo, Japan. 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

 

Azuma Bridge

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

 

Hoppy Street, Tokyo

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

 

Kamiya Bar

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

Start Day 2 of your Tokyo, Japan travel itinerary at one of the tallest buildings in the city, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The soaring skyscraper houses the city’s government offices that govern all 23 Wards in the city. The reason to include it on your itinerary for Tokyo, however, is that 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

 

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

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

 

Takeshita Dori

The pedestrian-only shopping street, Takeshita dori, is the epicenter of Japan’s Kawaii (“cute”) culture – and it ranks high on our list of Tokyo must-see sights!

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

 

Cat Street, Tokyo

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

 

Shibuya Center-Gai

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

 

Shibuya Crossing

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

 

Kabukicho Nightlife

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

 

Golden Gai, Tokyo

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

 

Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo

The Rainbow Bridge straddles the Tokyo Bay, connecting Minato to Odaiba. Despite the name, the Tokyo suspension 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 Island

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 in Japan has no connection to the United States, rather it represents Japan’s relationship with France. Fee: Free | Walk  |  Map  |  Info

 

Gundam Transformer

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 movesFee: Free | Walk  |  Map  |  Info

 

Tokyo Station

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

 

Hie Shrine

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

 

Tokyo Tower

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

 

Zojoji Temple

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

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 Nightlife

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

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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. Fellow travelers may want to add these attractions and sights to see in Tokyo into their trip plan.

 

Akihabara District

Nicknamed ‘Electric Town,’ the Akihabara District is known for its electronic shops, computer goods, video games, anime and manga. For gamers, it is a must-see Tokyo district; some of the top arcades to check out are: 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.

 

Ginza District

Famous for its upscale retailers and dining establishments, the Ginza District is one of the places to visit in Tokyo for shopping. The 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 – and many visitors include visiting Yokohama in their Tokyo trip planner. 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.

 

Tokyo Karaoke

Karaoke is one of the top things to do in Tokyo, Japan! 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 Parlors

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 on your Tokyo, Japan trip!

 

Tokyo 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 Tokyo visitor’s guide to Tokyo Temples.


 

Tokyo Tours and Activities

In our 3-Day Itinerary for Tokyo, we outline top Tokyo must-see and do districts and attractions that will fit any budget. It it fits in your daily budget for Tokyo, consider enhancing your Tokyo experience by joining one of these popular Tokyo day tours.

 

Tokyo Highlights Tour by Bus

Visit the city’s best of the best in an all in one one-day-in-Tokyo tour. See 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

Designed as a Tokyo 1-Day Itinerary Tour, the day is packed with top sightseeing. 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

Spending time with a Geisha is a fantastic activity to add to your Tokyo travel plan. 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

Most travelers don’t think of wrestling practice as a place to visit in Tokyo, Japan – but it is on this short tour! 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 and top places to visit in Tokyo on this fun-filled adventure. Get The Details!

 

Tokyo in a Day Private Customizable Tour

To ensure you tick of your list of Tokyo must see sights, hire a guide that will design a tour specifically to your interests. 

Spend either 4 or 8-hour with a professional guide on a tour that features your top places to visit in Tokyo, Japan. Let your guide know exactly what you want to see or tell them what you enjoy and let them plan a perfect Tokyo sight seeing day for you! Book It Now!


 

Day Trips From Tokyo

Our trip plan outlines the best places to see in Tokyo, Japan…but nearby destinations are within easy reach, too. There are numerous Tokyo day trips for visitors who are interested in seeing more of Japan on a Tokyo one-day tour. 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 trip is a must for visitors who want to escape the city. On the full day Tokyo tour, 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!

Rather than visiting Hakone, we planned our own trip to Lake Kawaguchi. Find specific details in our blog post, Things To Do in Kawaguchiko

 

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!

Alternatively, book this trip on your own and use our guide of Things To Do in Kyoto

 

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!

 

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 many days to spend in Tokyo, there are many factors to consider. Before you think about how to plan a trip to Tokyo, you need to think about your interests, how fast you want to sightsee and your overall budget.

The list of what to see in Tokyo, Japan is endless. 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.

 

How Many Days: Tokyo

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.

That said, visitors creating a 1 Week Tokyo Itinerary will have no problem filling their days with incredible sights and adventures. 

 

Planning a Tokyo Trip: 1-7 Days

Planning a trip to Tokyo, Japan can be overwhelming! 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 – and tweaking it to fit your own interests and budget.

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 outlined sample Tokyo itineraries 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 create a Tokyo half day itinerary of top places to go in Tokyo, by pairing Sensoji Temple and SkyTree, or the Imperial Palace and Gardens, or Shibuya Center-Gai and Shibuya Crossing.

Alternatively, you could book a half-day Tokyo tour with a private guide, who will be able to create a detailed Tokyo 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 from our above Tokyo 3-day tour. Because each day explores sights that are in close proximity, you can use our detailed outline for either Day 1, Day 2 or Day 3. 

Alternatively, you can create a One Day in Tokyo Itinerary by selecting top sights from throughout our itinerary. In either case, you will need to spend part of your time figuring out public transport and/or walking directions on your own. 

Tokyo Itinerary 1 Day Guided Tour

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.

Tokyo 2 Day Itinerary with Short Tours

Although seeing Tokyo in 2 days will be a fast-paced trip, it is possible to add a short Tokyo tour into your plan. 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! To create a 4 days in Tokyo itinerary, use our outlined 3-day Tokyo itinerary as a base for your Tokyo vacation planning guide. Then spend the last day exploring one of the cool districts that we couldn’t fit into our 3-day Tokyo trip plan. 

Tokyo 4 Day Itinerary

We think a perfect Tokyo 4 days itinerary would be to spend the last day in Tokyo in Akihabara. Peruse electronic stores, play video games and try your luck at pachinko, then spend the evening at a Maid Cafe (or check out one of the Butler Cafes; they 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 (or participate in a cultural tour). 

Tokyo 5 Day Itinerary

To create your Tokyo 5 days itinerary, 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 – like Hakone. Alternatively, stay in the city and participate in a Geisha experience. 

 

Tokyo Itinerary 6 Days

Visiting Tokyo in 6 days allows visitors plenty of time to see the highlights of the city…and partake in a few cultural experiences. 

6 Day Tokyo Itinerary

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 and really get acquainted with it! 

1 Week Tokyo Itinerary

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.

 

Don’t forget to check out our 2-Week Japan Itinerary for more tips on visiting the country!

Japan Itinerary Kyoto Mt Fuji Tokyo by JetSettingFools.com


 

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 into the city, determine how well the terminating station is connected to your accommodations.

 

Getting Around Tokyo

Subway on tracks at station in Tokyo, Japan

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 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.

Tokyo Visitor Transportation Passes

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

We were International Housesitters during our visit to Tokyo, however there are numerous options for Tokyo accommodations. Apartments, hotels, hostels and capsule hotels are available in a range of prices – from budget to mid-range to luxury. We have stayed in multiple Tokyo hotels in locations around the city.

 

Tokyo Hotels

Although we usually prefer staying in Airbnb apartments, we chose to stay in hotels in Tokyo. it is important to note that in most hotels in Tokyo the rooms are small and compact. It is not uncommon for accommodations to have shared bathrooms, so double check when booking!

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!). That said, we did spend enough to stay in hotel rooms with private bathrooms (which is a must for us!).

Asakusa Hotel

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.

Roppongi Hotel

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 is 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.

Find out more about how to become and International Housesitter – and stay in places around the world for free! 

Narita Airport Hotel

Due to an early departure 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 shuttle to the airport. 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 – another fun destination to check out near Tokyo. 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).


 

What To Do In Tokyo 3 Day Itinerary: Packing Tips

We have outlined what to do in Tokyo for 3 days, but we have a few final tips about what to pack! Here you can find all of our packing advice plus our top packing hacks.

 

Walking Shoes

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. Find more of our tips in our blog post, The Best Travel Shoes.

 

Weather Appropriate Gear

Tokyo weather varies by season…and there are 4 distinct seasons. Our visit was in the autumn and we experienced a range of weather from hot sunny days to torrential downpours (technically, it was the tail end of typhoon!). Be sure to a great day pack and appropriate weather gear for your trip – like sunglasses, plenty of sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, a travel umbrella and a raincoat

 

Travel Camera

Tokyo is a city that begs to be photographed! If you are anything like us, you will 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 is fantastic for beginner photogs!) and use an everyday 18-135mm lens (that is perfect for cityscapes!).

 

Travel Insurance

We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

 

Start planning your trip to Japan! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

We want to know: What would you add to our Tokyo Itinerary 3 Days? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below! 

 

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