Welcome the Capital.
Tokyo is a sprawling metropolis which encapsulates all aspects of Japan. You can catch a glimpse of future technology in Akihabara, get swept up in the fast pace lift and energy of the city in Shibuya, visit an ancient temple and catch a glimpse of traditional life in Asakusa, shops to your hearts content in Shinjuku, feel the pulse of the underground fashion style scene in Harajuku or leave the hustle and bustle behind as you relax in a traditional teahouse in one of the many state gardens within the city.
The below listings are just a small selection of what is on offer in Tokyo…
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Tokyo is a huge city with endless activities. See some of our top suggestions below.
Shinjuku, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu & Shibuya
Can be accessed on foot or by train, depends how much energy you have!
- Start your day in Shinjuku by visiting the Metropolitan Government Building, access if free and from the top you get a 360 degree (free!) view of Tokyo. Best to go early as it can get busy.
- Next head to Harajuku famous for its quirky cosplay shops and people dressed up. If you’re around on a weekend (especially a Sunday) visit then as that’s when its busiest with people dressed up. Wander its main street ‘Takeshita St’ which is next to Harajuku Station.
- Harajuku leads into the more upmarket Omotesando area which has a lot of boutique and designer shops.
- Return to Harajuku Station area and enter Yoyogi Park, here you can visit Meiji Jingu Shrine the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
- Next head to Shibuya where you can experience its famous cross walk. The Shibuya area is a lively and interesting shopping and entertainment district so wander further beyond the cross walk and see what you come across!
- Return to Shinjuku for dinner. Visit Omoide Yokocho for some beer and yakitori (grilled chicken) or an Izakaya meal. Better known amongst foreigners as Piss Alley, these alleys right by Shinjuku railway have become very popular and busy recently. If it’s very busy there’s lots of great places in Shinjuku to eat and drink – make sure you ask your hotel for their best recommendation.
If you’re not staying in Shinjuku you could visit the Metropolitan Government Building in the afternoon or evening before dinner OR have dinner in Shibuya, there are lots of great places there as well.
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3 night add-on
Tokyo is a vast and varied city with something for everyone. You can easily spend a week in Tokyo but for those with limited time 3 nights should be enough to take in the highlights of the city.
Spend a day shopping in Shinjuku and Harajuku before visiting Mejijungumae Temple and Yoyogi Park. In the evening prepare for the surreal with a show at the Robot Cafe or meet some friendly locals on Golden Gai.
The next day a trip to Asakusa will see you visit Sensoji Temple and take in the views from the observation deck at Tokyo Sky Tree. A quick stop in Akihabara for your tech and anime needs and then off to dinner in an Izakaya in Shibuya.
Day three could see you wander through Shinjuku-Gyoenmae gardens partaking in a tea ceremony before heading off to the airport or onto Kyoto on the bullet train.
See our ‘Mt Fuji & Hakone’ and ‘Nikko’ pages for information on day trips from Tokyo.
Most people stay in the below areas:
- Shinjuku & Shibuya
The modern, vibrant, cultural hub of Tokyo, think Lost in Translation. If you want to experience the loud and bright areas of Tokyo then this is the area for you!
With a central location it makes accessing either airport easy as well as the rest of the city.
If you prefer to stay somewhere near the action but not so overwhelming then the west side of Shinjuku is for you – check out Keio Plaza Hotel.
- Tokyo Central & Shiba Area
This is great for people wanting quick access to Tokyo station as most of the hotels in this area are a short walk, train or taxi ride from Tokyo station, making your journey to/from Nagano-Niigata or Tohoku very easy.
Access from both airports is easy as there is a mono-rail which comes directly from Haneda nearby and there is the Narita Express from Narita.
For those that are only spending a short amount of time in Tokyo (1-2 nights) and are flying in/out of Haneda this is a great option as it’s only 20 mins to Haneda on a direct train.
Shinagawa is also linked to the main Yamanote JR line which makes accessing the rest of Tokyo for your sightseeing very easy.
Give us a call and we’ll help you find the best area for your time in Tokyo!
Love food? Great, you’ll love Tokyo and its huge variety of food!
France is the only place with more Michelin stars than Tokyo. Not to worry if you’ve not got the budget or into fine dining, Tokyo has everything. Check out some of the must trys:
- Sushi – what better place to try Sushi than the world Sushi capitol, better yet visit the Toyosu fish market and have it fresh from the world’s biggest seafood market.
- Ramen – a great, filling cheap eat you should try many different ramen styles whilst in Japan. You’ll find many different styles in Tokyo including: soy sauce, salt, miso and tonkotsu (pork bone broth).
- Tempura – deep fried vegetables and fish, yum! Often served as a side dish or on top of Soba noodles.
Most international flights into Japan will land at either Haneda or Narita. with most domestic connections being from Haneda. If you’re connecting to/from Hokkaido then be careful your airline don’t have you swapping between the two airports. This is at least 90mins.
Haneda is closer to Tokyo central, however, Narita is easier to access with the Narita Express train connecting Shinjuku and Tokyo Stations directly to the airport.
If you’re flying into Haneda you can be in Tokyo central within 20-30mins but will often involve a few train changes.
- Haneda Airport (HND) – located in the south of Tokyo you can access the city using train, monorail or bus.
- Narita Airport (NRT) – located about 1 ~ 1 1/2hrs from Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. Easily accessed by Narita Express direct train service.
Both airports have direct buses into the city, these take longer but are convenient if you have lots of luggage and/or children, or if it’s your first time in Japan and you don’t want to navigate the train network straight off the plane.
Bullet train is the quickest way to access most cities on Honshu:
- To Kyoto 2 1/4hrs
- To Osaka 2 1/2hrs
- To Nagano 1 1/2hrs
- To Hiroshima 4hrs
Times are approximate. See www.hyperdia.com for train timetables and best routes.
Sensoji Temple – A temple for the Goddess of Mercy in Asakusa
Tokyo Sky Tree – The tallest tower in Asia
Harajuku – Renowned for the quirky and vibrant street scene. Come here to buy the best in trendy fasion
Tokyo Tower – The Eiffel Tower of Japan, you can view the city of Tokyo and Mt Fuji.
Shinjuku – When staying in Shinjuku a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan building is a must. You can visit the observation deck for free and see for yourself how vast Tokyo is.
Kabukicho – Located in Shinjuku this is the entertainment and red light district of Tokyo. Visit the Robot Cafe or live out your childhood fantasy and race Mario Cart in VR at the VR Zone
Yoyogi Park – Yoyogi park should be on your must see list especially on the weekend. Each Sunday sees performs present their shows. If you visit Meji Jingumae Shrine you might see a traditional wedding and Harajuku is located right next to the park entrance.
Shibuya – Home to the Shibuya Scramble; the famous 4 way crossing.
Roppongi – The night life capital of Tokyo, come here for a big night out or to visit one of the many museums in the day time.
*Teamlab Borderless – Tokyo’s digital art museum. Immerse your body in borderless art in this vast, complex, three-dimensional 10,000 square meter world. Wander, explore with intention, discover, and create a new world with others.
*Studio Ghibli – This should be high on any anime or movie fans list. Ghibli is the Disney of Japan and the museum is full of wonderful displays of their most memorable movies.
*The Imperial Palace – home to successive Emperors since 1868. It contains the Imperial Residence and the Imperial Palace Complex, where His Majesty the Emperor undertakes official duties. Although not always open to the public if it is its well worth the visit, if not then the exterior and gardens are lovely if you’re in the area.
**Disney Land & Sea – A great day for families or adults who enjoy theme parks!
*Advance bookings required – visit above links to book tickets.
**Advance bookings can be made to avoid queues at park. We advise avoiding weekends if possible.