Tokyo is one one of the most epic cities in the world and this is what to do in Tokyo to get the best out of the city.

After visiting many times these are eight things to do in Tokyo that I recommend to everyone.

It’s a place so big you could lose yourself in it for weeks, and still have lots more to see.

Here’s a rundown on all the things I loved about this city from the normal to the bizarre and is what you can do in Tokyo yourself.

The list is in no real particular order. It was all awesome!

 

Find places to stay in Tokyo here.

 


 

 

What To Do In Tokyo

 

 

BEST THINGS TO DO IN TOKYO JAPAN

 

 


 

 

1. Walking The Streets of Tokyo

 

 

shinjuku in tokyo

Shinjuku

 

You could wander for days and never get bored.

Visit the huge shopping and nightlife areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya.

These are my favourite places to wander around and are absolutely packed with people.

This is the heartbeat of the city and in particular the nightlife of Tokyo.

 

THINGS TO DO IN TOKYO

 

At night the bright neon lights come out, and it feels like you are in a scene from a sci- fi movie like Bladerunner.

The areas are only a few stops apart on the metro, and both have many restaurants,bars,clubs and massive shopping streets and malls.

 

shibuya-crossing-tokyo

 

Near Shibuya is Harajuku Street which is more youth centric and fun to walk around and try to find people doing “cosplay“.

 

HARAJUKU TOKYO

 

cosplay tokyo

 

Cosplay meaning costume play, where they get dressed up as their favourite anime characters etc.

However these days there are not as many as there used to be.

 

cosplay in harajuku

Cosplay in Tokyo

 

If the busy modern bright lights don’t appeal then you can loose yourself in the old areas of Tokyo like around Asakusa and north of Ueno Park.

There you can find many temples, historic buildings to see, and a really chilled out atmosphere.

 

Asakusa tokyo

Asakusa Temple area

 

Ueno Park tokyo

Ueno Park

 

Ueno Park tokyo

 

Another beautifully chilled out place to walk around is Yoyogi Park which is conveniently located next to the busy area of Shibuya, so is easy to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo.

 

Yoyogi Park tokyo

Entering Yoyogi Park

 

In Yoyogi Park you can find the Meiji Shrine to wander around.

 

meiji shrine tokyo

Meiji Shrine complex

 

If you want to get even more away from everything then head to the top of a skyscraper for amazing views across Tokyo and catch the sunset (if there is one).

 

tokyo skyline

 

sunset in tokyo

 


 

 

2. Tokyo Food

 

 

tokyo food

 

Wow!

That could pretty much sum up this part completely.

Yes the food is that good.

Especially If you love seafood then you will be in heaven. (Side note: this is my favourite documentary about sushi in Tokyo – Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

 

SUSHI TOKYO

Fast sushi!

 

sashimi tokyo

 

Street barbecues can be found in many market areas.

 

fish-tokyo

 

Everywhere else is just as good for all varieties of Japanese cuisine.

All food specialities from all over Japan can be found in Tokyo, representing all the different regions.

From a delicious bowl of Fukuoka ramen to extravagant barbecues built into your table.

 

tokyo food

 

tokyo ramen

 

It has it all!

 

ramen-japan

 

Although certain districts have a higher concentration of restaurants than others, I found the food good wherever I was.

For example the best bowl of ramen I had there was near a friends house in a non-touristy suburb, Shimokitazawa.

Read:  10 essential Japanese foods to try

 


 

 

3. The Stranger Things (No Not The TV Show)

 

 

video gaming in tokyo

 

You travel to experience different things, right?

Well Japan is certainly a culture shock.

One of my favourite areas to go in Tokyo is the anime area of Akihabara. There many otaku (geeks) go to play games in the huge gaming arcades.

Go and join in!

 

akihabara-gaming

 

There are many shops there selling a massive selection of animation products. But there is nothing bizarre about all that.

However I bring up Akihabara because of some of the rather comical things you can also see and do there.

 

akihabara-tokyo

 

As mentioned previously you can also see the cosplay, with mostly young people getting dressed up in anime outfits.

There are also weird ‘maid cafes’ where women dress as maids and serve you.

Other places are cafes devoted to everything from cats to famous Japanese bands, such as AKB48.

 

akb48 cafe tokyo

 

Strolling around many parts of Tokyo you will see all kinds of things you are not used to.

One fun way of exploring Akihabara is to do a go kart tour of Akihabara!

 

go kart Akihabara

Go karting in Akihabara

 


 

 

4. The People in Tokyo

 

 

japanese-woman

 

You could be in the most incredible place on earth, but if the people around you are assholes then it will kill the whole experience.

In Japan you will find some of the most friendly and polite people you could meet anywhere.

 

japan-park-dancing

 

When you try to ask something, even if they don’t understand, they will try to help you.

Meeting and getting to know some local people should be high on your priorities of a visit to Japan.

I personally loved spending time with my Japanese friends in Tokyo.

 


 

 

5. Traditional Tokyo Culture

 

 

traditional music in japan

 

There are temples and shrines in many places, you wouldn’t even notice some as they can be tucked away down side streets.

You can easily stumble upon traditional things going on, and a visit to Ueno Park is great for this, where people seem to be doing dances, and the National Museum shows displays of traditional music sometimes.

 

traditional-music-japan

 

In peaceful Yoyogi Park there is a huge temple to visit, and like I said earlier there are the old areas around Asakusa and north of Ueno to explore. In many other areas you can find the old mixing with the new.

If you are in Tokyo in winter there are some good escapes to be had out of the city with some good traditional experiences.

 


 

 

6. Sumo in Tokyo

 

 

sumo in japan

 

This could be added to number 5 on the list, as it is very traditional, but I figured it deserved its own spot.

It could almost just squeeze into the bizarre section as well! If you are lucky enough to be there when sumo tournaments are on, then it is a no-brainer to take a look.

 

sumo tokyo

 

Now it’s not the sexiest of sights seeing a bunch of seriously overweight men, basically wearing what could be described as diapers, wrestle each other.

 

sumo tokyo

 

But the sumo atmosphere there is electric.

 

sumo in japan

 

The big stadium in Tokyo holds 8000 people, and watching them shout and support their favourite wrestler is great.

Seeing the old rituals at play you could loose track of time enjoying it.

Having said that, these are all personal experiences and I could see how some could get bored more than others.

Share the sumo! 🙂

 

things to do in Tokyo sumo

 


 

 

7. The Museums in Tokyo

 

 

contempory-art-museum-tokyo

 

Now I must admit that I am not much of a museum person, but the few museums I did visit were good.

From the big national museum full of history, to the more modern contemporary art museums.

 

contemporary-art-museum-tokyo

 

There are so many to choose from so you will for sure find something to your tastes.

The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park is definitely worth a visit.

 

tokyo museum

Looking onto Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park

 

One very popular museum is the animation studio Tokyo Ghibli Museum.

Read: 10 Best Japanese Animation to Watch

This is perfect if you are just by yourself, with friends,  or with children in tow. However it’s so popular it’s often booked out weeks/months in advance. 

You can reserve a Ghibli Museum ticket here.

 

Studio Ghibli Museum tokyo

Outside the Ghibli Museum 🙂

 


 

 

8. Getting Lost and Finding Some Secret Places in Tokyo

 

 

tokyo-park

 

Tokyo is massive.

Even after many weeks there I would still find myself lost from time to time.

And that’s part of the fun of any big city, getting lost.

That’s when you tend to run into the random things you may not have seen otherwise.

 

off the beaten path tokyo

 

Indeed along with number one on this list it could be the best thing you do: getting lost in off the beaten path neighbourhoods in Tokyo.

 

off the beaten path tokyo

Un-touristed neighbourhoods to explore.

 

One other great thing you can do (during the summer season) and is highly recommended especially if wanting to get away from the big city, but is not in Tokyo itself, is to go and climb Mount Fuji.

 


 

 

Things To Do In Tokyo

 

 

So that’s a rough rundown on some things you could get up to in a visit to Tokyo.

Some people will obviously enjoy things more than others, but all of it combined is what makes it such a cool city to see.

The purpose of this post wasn’t to give an extremely detailed Tokyo travel guide. It’s more to give you an idea of the kind of things you can do to get the best out of the city.

You can get most of this done if looking for what to do in Tokyo in three days.

I hope you enjoy Tokyo!

 

Find places to stay in Tokyo here.

 

Useful Tokyo links:

 

Tokyo Metro Pass to get around.

Transport from Narita Airport into Tokyo by shared van.

Transport from Haneda Airport in a shared van.

Japan is an expensive destination and the medical treatment is not cheap. Be sure to take travel insurance before going just in case.

I use World Nomads Travel Insurance for my travels.

 

If you liked this article about things to do in Tokyo a share would be appreciated! 🙂 

 

BEST THINGS TO DO IN TOKYO

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