Tokyo is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. It’s a place where you can experience a unique blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern urban living. If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo, you’re in for a treat. There are so many fun things to do in the city that you’ll never run out of options. Here are 20 fun things to do in Tokyo that you won’t want to miss.
- Top 20 fun things to do in Tokyo
- Visit the Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa
- Explore the trendy neighborhood of Shibuya
- Stroll through the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Take a bike tour
- Tokyo Disney Sea – the one and only Sea themed Disney resort
- Enjoy the view from the Tokyo Skytree
- Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for fresh seafood
- Visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka
- Visit the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum
- Try street food at Ameyoko Market
- Visit the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku
- Experience Japanese martial arts and feel like a Samurai
- Explore the trendy district of Ginza
- Join a bar crawl tour to experience the nightlife of Tokyo
- Explore the traditional district of Yanaka
- Have a fun night in Kabukicho
- Meet the Sumo wrestlers
- Visit the capital of Otaku culture, Akihabara
- Drive a go-kart through the center of Tokyo in costumes
- Sumida River Cruise
- How many days to stay in Tokyo?
- Have fun in Tokyo!
Top 20 fun things to do in Tokyo
Visit the Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa
The Sensō-ji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temple. Located in the neighborhood of Asakusa, the temple attracts millions of visitors every year. The temple complex is home to several buildings, including the main hall, a five-story pagoda, and a shopping street called Nakamise-dori. Visitors can take part in traditional Japanese rituals like washing their hands and mouth before entering the temple and offering prayers at the main hall. It’s a great place to experience traditional Japanese culture and architecture.
Tip for travelers: The temple can get crowded, so it’s best to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Also, make sure to try the local street food at Nakamise-dori, which sells traditional Japanese snacks like senbei (rice crackers) and manju (sweet buns).
Explore the trendy neighborhood of Shibuya
Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most popular and trendy neighborhoods. It’s famous for its bustling streets, fashionable shops, and iconic pedestrian crossing. Visitors can explore the neighborhood’s many shops and restaurants, or take a walk through the nearby Yoyogi Park. Shibuya is also home to several nightlife spots, including bars and nightclubs.
Tip for travelers: Don’t miss the iconic Shibuya pedestrian crossing, which is busiest during rush hour. For a bird’s eye view of the crossing, head to Shibuya Sky, a popular attraction located in the heart of Tokyo, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape from its observation deck.
Stroll through the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen is a peaceful oasis in the middle of bustling Shinjuku. The garden is home to several ponds, gardens, and walking paths, and is a popular spot for picnics and cherry blossom viewing in the spring. The garden also features several tea houses where visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese tea.
Tip for travelers: Shinjuku Gyoen is closed on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly. Also, make sure to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the garden.
Take a bike tour
Biking is a great way to explore Tokyo’s many neighborhoods and attractions, and it’s purely a fun thing to do in Tokyo. There are several bike tours available that take visitors through popular areas like Asakusa, Shinjuku, and Tokyo Bay. Biking is also a great way to see Tokyo’s parks and riverside paths.
Tip for travelers: Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring plenty of water. It’s also important to follow the rules of the road and be aware of other pedestrians and cyclists.
Tokyo Disney Sea – the one and only Sea themed Disney resort
Tokyo DisneySea is a unique Disney theme park that’s located in Urayasu, just outside of Tokyo. The park is based on the theme of the sea and features several attractions and shows that are exclusive to Tokyo DisneySea. Visitors can explore themed areas like Mediterranean Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, and Arabian Coast.
Tip for travelers: Tokyo DisneySea is very popular, so make sure to book tickets in advance and arrive early to avoid long lines.
Enjoy the view from the Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree is a towering landmark that’s located in the neighborhood of Sumida. At 634 meters tall, it’s the tallest tower in the world and offers stunning views of Tokyo’s skyline. Visitors can take a ride to the top of the tower and enjoy the views from the observation deck.
Tip for travelers: The Tokyo Skytree can get crowded, so it’s best to book tickets in advance and arrive early. If you’re afraid of heights, it’s best to avoid the glass floors in the observation deck.
Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for fresh seafood
Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest wholesale fish market in the world, and a must-visit for seafood lovers. Visitors can watch the auction of fresh tuna and other seafood, and sample some of the freshest sushi and sashimi in Tokyo. In addition to the fish market, the area also has several shops and restaurants selling seafood and other traditional Japanese dishes.
Tip for travelers: The fish market is open early in the morning, and the best time to visit is around 5:00 am. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as the market can get crowded and slippery. Keep in mind that the market has moved from its original location to Toyosu, so make sure to double-check the address before you go.
Visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka
Studio Ghibli is one of Japan’s most famous animation studios, and the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka is a must-visit for fans of Japanese animation. The museum features several exhibits showcasing the work of Studio Ghibli, including original artwork, short films, and interactive displays.
Tip for travelers: Tickets for the Ghibli Museum can sell out quickly, so it’s best to book in advance. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly. Also, be aware that photography is not allowed inside the museum.
Visit the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum
The teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum is a unique museum that features immersive digital art exhibits. Visitors can explore several rooms and installations that use light, sound, and technology to create stunning visual experiences.
Tip for travelers: Tickets for the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum can sell out quickly, so it’s best to book in advance. The museum can get crowded, so try to visit on a weekday or early in the morning. Keep in mind that photography is allowed in most areas of the museum.
Try street food at Ameyoko Market
Ameyoko Market is a bustling street market in the neighborhood of Ueno, and a great place to try traditional Japanese street food. Visitors can sample snacks like takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), and taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes filled with sweet red bean paste), and a lot more!
Tip for travelers: Ameyoko Market can get crowded, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the evening. Make sure to bring cash, as many of the vendors don’t accept credit cards.
Visit the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku
The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is a Shinto shrine located in the trendy neighborhood of Harajuku. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, and is a popular spot for traditional Japanese weddings. Visitors can participate in traditional rituals like washing their hands and mouth before entering the shrine, and offering prayers at the main hall.
Tip for travelers: The Meiji Shrine can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. It’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds. Keep in mind that photography is not allowed in certain areas of the shrine.
Experience Japanese martial arts and feel like a Samurai
Tokyo offers several opportunities for visitors to experience traditional Japanese martial arts, including kendo (sword fighting), judo, and karate. Visitors can watch a demonstration or even participate in a lesson to learn more about these ancient practices.
Tip for travelers: Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and bring a bottle of water, as martial arts can be physically demanding. Some dojos (training halls) may require advance reservations or fees, so be sure to check ahead of time.
Explore the trendy district of Ginza
Ginza is a chic and upscale neighborhood that’s known for its luxury shopping and dining. Visitors can explore several high-end department stores and designer boutiques, or enjoy a meal at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.
Tip for travelers: Ginza can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to budget accordingly. If you’re on a budget, consider visiting during the Ginza Street Food Festival, which takes place in September and features food stalls selling affordable Japanese street food.
Join a bar crawl tour to experience the nightlife of Tokyo
Tokyo offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with several bars and clubs catering to all tastes and preferences. Visitors can join a bar crawl tour to experience some of the city’s best nightlife spots, or even create their own itinerary.
Tip for travelers: Tokyo’s nightlife can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to budget accordingly. Make sure to drink responsibly, and be aware of Japan’s strict laws regarding alcohol consumption and public behavior.
Explore the traditional district of Yanaka
Yanaka is a neighborhood in Tokyo that’s known for its traditional architecture and quaint streets. Visitors can explore several temples and shrines, including the Yanaka Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many famous Japanese figures. The area also has several small shops and restaurants selling traditional Japanese goods and dishes.
Tip for travelers: Yanaka is a great place to explore on foot, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Try to visit during the cherry blossom season in late March or early April, when the area is especially beautiful.
Have a fun night in Kabukicho
Kabukicho is a neighborhood in Tokyo that’s known for its nightlife and entertainment. Visitors can explore several bars, clubs, and restaurants, or take in a show at one of the many theaters in the area. The neighborhood is also home to several themed cafes, including a robot cafe and a ninja cafe.
Tip for travelers: Kabukicho can be crowded and overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to go with a group or a local guide. Keep in mind that some areas of Kabukicho can be seedy or unsafe, so it’s important to exercise caution.
Meet the Sumo wrestlers
Sumo wrestling is a traditional Japanese sport that dates back several centuries. Visitors can watch a live sumo match, or even attend a sumo practice to see the wrestlers up close. There are also several sumo stables in Tokyo that offer guided tours and demonstrations.
Tip for travelers: Sumo matches and practices can get crowded, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a good seat. Keep in mind that photography is not allowed during matches or practices.
Visit the capital of Otaku culture, Akihabara
Akihabara is a neighborhood in Tokyo that’s known for its anime, manga, and gaming culture. Visitors can explore several shops and arcades selling merchandise and games, or even participate in a cosplay event or maid cafe.
Tip for travelers: Akihabara can be overwhelming, so it’s best to focus on a few specific areas or shops. Make sure to budget accordingly, as some merchandise can be expensive. Be respectful of cosplayers and maid cafe staff, and ask for permission before taking photos.
Drive a go-kart through the center of Tokyo in costumes
Tokyo offers a unique experience for visitors who want to explore the city in a fun and unconventional way. Visitors can rent go-karts and drive through the city’s streets in costume, creating a memorable and exciting experience.
Tip for travelers: Make sure to follow all traffic laws and regulations, and be aware of other drivers on the road. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, and bring a valid driver’s license from your home country or an international driving permit.
Sumida River Cruise
The Sumida River is a major waterway in Tokyo that flows through the city’s central districts. Visitors can take a cruise down the river to see several of Tokyo’s iconic landmarks, including the Tokyo Skytree and the Asahi Beer Tower.
Tip for travelers: Sumida River cruises are especially beautiful at night, when the city’s buildings are lit up. Consider taking a dinner cruise for a special and romantic experience. Be sure to check the schedule and route ahead of time, as some cruises may only operate during certain times of the year.
How many days to stay in Tokyo?
As one of the largest and most exciting cities in the world, Tokyo has a lot to offer for tourists. The amount of time you should spend in Tokyo depends on your interests and how much you want to see and do.
If you only have a few days, you can still experience many of Tokyo’s highlights, such as visiting popular tourist spots like the Senso-ji Temple, exploring the trendy neighborhoods of Shibuya and Harajuku, and enjoying the view from the Tokyo Skytree. However, you may have to prioritize and focus on the most important attractions.
If you have more time, such as a week or longer, you can have a more leisurely experience and explore some of Tokyo’s less touristy areas, as well as take day trips to nearby attractions like Mount Fuji or the Hakone hot springs.
In general, we recommend spending at least 4-5 days in Tokyo to see some of the city’s major attractions and get a feel for its culture and vibe. However, if you have the time and interest, you can easily spend a week or more exploring this fascinating city.
Have fun in Tokyo!
In conclusion, Tokyo is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in traditional Japanese culture, modern urban living, or just having a good time, Tokyo has it all. These 20 fun things to do in Tokyo are just a small selection of the many experiences that await you in this incredible city.