Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo
Don’t miss out on the best attractions in Tokyo
There's no denying that Tokyo will keep you busy. The world's most populated city, it's a busy destination with so many attractions and highlights. The top activities in Tokyo include world-famous landmarks, beautiful gardens and even places to people-watch.
If you're visiting Japan's thriving capital, here are the Tokyo tourist attractions that you simply won't want to miss.
See the top 10 things to do in Tokyo below:
- Tokyo Tower
- Sensō-ji Temple and Asakusa
- Takeshita Street and Harajuku
- Tokyo Skytree
- Imperial Palace
- Shibuya Crossing
- Meiji Jingu
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Robot Restaurant
What are the best Tokyo attractions?
#1. Tokyo Tower
This Japanese radio tower is one of Tokyo's most recognisable landmarks. It's a white and orange structure similar to the famous Eiffel Tower in France and stands 1,092ft tall.
At the base of the tower you'll find shops, museums and restaurants. There's also an arcade, an aquarium and a small indoor theme park including rides and a children's play space. At the top, observation decks provide an incredible view of the city. On a clear day, you might be able to see Mount Fuji in the distance.
#2. Sensō-ji Temple and Asakusa
The largest temple in the Asakusa district, Sensō-ji, is also known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple. It's a colourful Buddhist temple, constructed in 645AD.
When you walk through the temple's first gateway, you'll find a long street that's lined with shops selling food and souvenirs. Beyond this, the temple's main hall and the Asakusa Shrine. As Tokyo's oldest temple, it's easy to see why this is one of the top attractions Tokyo has to offer.
#3. Takeshita Street and Harajuku
Harajuku is an amazing place for people-watching. Young people in Harajuku are very fashion-focused, with incredible trends that make them stand out from the crowd. Cosplay is popular here, and trendy shops sell incredible clothes that are bright, bold and colourful.
Takeshita Street in Harajuku is a long and narrow street that you won't want to miss on your visit. It's very crowded, but a great place to shop amongst Japan's trendiest teens. If you're wondering what to do in Tokyo, this is somewhere you'll be entertained for hours.
#4. Tokyo Skytree
Like Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree is a communication and observation tower. It's lit at night to an ever-changing schedule so that every visit feels different. One night the tower might be purple, whilst the next might be a rainbow of colour.
You can view the Tokyo Skytree lighting schedule online, to see which colours have been chosen each night. You can view the city from the top of the tower, tour the Skytree Gallery, enjoy food or drinks with a view, or visit the on-site gift shops. If you love Japanese cartoons and shows, there are plenty of character stores.
The Tokyo Skytree has a glass floor for those that are feeling very brave. If that's not your thing, put on a VR headset and keep your feet firmly on the ground.
#5. Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace is the home of Japan's Imperial Family. You may not see the Emperor on your visit but can enjoy the tranquil surroundings with guided tours of the palace grounds.
The Imperial Palace East Gardens are always open to the public, but you're particularly lucky if you get to visit on 2nd January or 23rd February. The first of these dates is a New Year celebration, and the second is the Emperor's Birthday. On these days, the palace is more open to the public, and the Emperor may stand on the balcony.
#6. Shibuya Crossing
It's hard to imagine an intersection being one of the best attractions Tokyo has to offer, though the Shibuya Crossing is widely known as an unmissable highlight. It's said to be the busiest intersection in the world, with between 2,500 and 3,000 people crossing at any given time.
The Shibuya Crossing is a Tokyo landmark, having featured in movies including The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Be amongst the bustling crowds crossing the street, or find a local coffee shop to watch the chaos from a distance. Overlooking the crossing is one of the world's largest Starbucks outlets, with window seats for a great view.
#7. Meiji Jingu
Meiji Jingu, also known as the Meiji Shrine, is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji who lived until 1912. The Meiji Shrine is adjacent to the Yoyogi Park, with winding paths through the forest.
This is a wonderfully calm place to spend your time. Though it is just 10 minutes from Harajuku Station, you'll feel like you're in another world. Meiji Jingu remains an important religious destination, as well as a top wedding venue.
Many visitors write their wishes and tie them onto a prayer wall, which is a great way to celebrate your visit to the Meiji Shrine.
#8. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
One of the most beautiful Tokyo attractions, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden looks spectacular at every time of year. Arguably, the best time to visit is during the spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, though many love the rich oranges of late autumn and winter.
This is a free attraction in Tokyo, and the perfect spot for a bite to eat or a relaxing stroll. Within the grounds of Shinjuku Gyoen you'll find lakes, bridges and landscaped gardens with lawns that are perfectly maintained.
#9. Robot Restaurant
If you're looking for one of the best things to do in Tokyo, then you won't want to miss a visit to the Robot Restaurant. This is a unique experience, and easily one of the best activities in Tokyo to tell friends about when you get home.
Family friendly, this attraction has a bright, colourful and loud live show that lasts for roughly 90 minutes. Large and brightly-lit characters dance to Japanese pop music, making this a colourful circus that's truly unique entertainment.
Don't expect to sit down and enjoy a meal at the Robot Restaurant. Despite its name, this is a show rather than somewhere to eat. You can, however, buy light snacks including popcorn and bento boxes.
If you love anime, cartoons and video games, you'll want to take a trip to Akihabara. This is one of the best attractions Tokyo has to offer for those who love Japanese pop culture.
Dine at cosplay restaurants, shop at comic stores and find cheap gadgets at the many electronics shops on offer. If you love video games, you won't want to miss Super Potato - one of the world's largest and most well-stocked video games stores, with almost every console ever to exist.