Top attractions in Tokyo
The Japanese capital is both bold and humble, chaotic yet ordered, with people-watching as much an attraction as the sightseeing. You'll also discover great food, eccentric shopping, and a unique nightlife, but here's a mixed bag of essentials to squeeze in!
Tokyo's answer to the Eiffel Tower provides visitors with more than just an observation deck. It's also home to the Guinness World Records Museum, an aquarium, and a wax museum!
Most famous for being the heart of Tokyo's youth culture, the district is great for unique boutiques and restaurants. It's even better for sipping Macha and watching people go by!
Tokyo's most visited temple remains a site of spiritual worship as well as a hotspot for tourism. The elegant structure makes a key addition to any sightseeing tour.
If you find Senso-ji a little too busy, then check out the sublimely austere Meiji-jingu, dedicated to the 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West.
On a clear day you can see as far as Mount Fuji, but it's at night when the views from Japan's tallest structure are most mind-blowing! It's open daily from 8:00AM till 10:00PM.
Built on the site of the old Edo Castle, the resplendent palace gardens are made for slow history tours. They're free, but you must apply online in advance.
With the world's largest collection of Japanese arts and artifacts – from ancient pottery to majestic sculptures and samurai swords – you really can't miss the National Museum!
What to see for free in Tokyo? The world's busiest pedestrian crossing descends into organized chaos every 2 minutes. It's more impressive when it's crowded, so go at rush hour!
Cat cafés are a surprisingly common sight, but which to choose? Try the fairytale decor of Temari no Ouchi in Musashino or find unusual breeds at Chiyoda's Neko JaLaLa.
Up early? The world's largest and liveliest fish market is open daily from 5:00AM for the tuna auction, with several stalls selling the freshest sushi for breakfast!
Summer sees visitors flock to the already crowded city, but the best time to go is between September and November. Temperatures remain moderate to warm and the end of peak season means less crowds and shorter lines. Many of Tokyo's sights are completely transformed by the autumn foliage and spring is, naturally, another great time to visit for the parks, trees, and floral displays!
First time visitors should book at least 4 or 5 days to see Tokyo. However, a few extra days also allows time to check out other major cities like Kyoto or Osaka. Not that you'd be stuck for attractions in the capital!
Taxis are incredibly expensive and always run the risk of hitting stubborn traffic jams. The best way to get around Tokyo is via its extensive subway network. Be warned though, information in English is hard to come by, so prepare for you journey in advance and don't be afraid to ask station staff or commuters for help!
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- Best time to visit
- A visit in the fall offers mild temperatures, shorter lines, and beautiful foliage!
Things to Do in Tokyo
Top Attractions in Tokyo
Cities in Japan
Other Sightseeing Options in Tokyo
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What people are saying about Tokyo
Kawaguchiko Lake was the highlight of the trip. We only had 30 minutes but I could have stayed at least an hour. Not only were the flowers blooming but there were local booths set up to shop. These were items I didn’t see later in the trip. I felt rushed and would have enjoyed more time. The stop at Mt Fuji was nice but not a lot to do. The 7 sacred pools was another favorite of mine with just about 45 mins it could have been 15 mins longer to look around the shops. My least favorite stop was the outlet mall with an hour to spend I was bored since I have most of these shops back home. Our guide was wonderful and very patient with those that were late to arrive (50 mins) for the beginning of the tour and those that lost track of time and were late coming back to the bus. 5 minutes is one thing but 35 mins was crazy. We were still able to get back on time which makes me wonder if we would have had more time if those that were late had showed up on time.
This day was really nice. Great locations, nice guide, small group, everything you like. English guidance was very good, equal to the Chinese one. Only downside was that the cable car wasn't running and so the schedule was changed without prior notice. But the change schedule was still great. Tip: Forget the shopping, go for the hot spring. We didn't see Mount Fuji in its full beauty before, in the bath you had a great view...
I wish if they can extend the time in Ghibli Museum , It was crowded and there is a line in each room so I couldn’t visit the whole museum in only 2 hours and thirty minutes! Otherwise excellent lunch buffet and friendly tour guide.
Mike is a superb guide. he’s very knowledgeable about Japanese architects and their fabulous creations. The walk not only focuses on the main roads but also takes you to the back streets, which are equally or even more interesting.
Levin, our guide took care of us in a very kind and funny way. He was great in his way to explain the historical topics and always informed us about something interesting outside. Highly recommended - with Levin!