10 Must Do Things in Tokyo For First Time Visitors
Due to Tokyo being the worlds LARGEST metropolis there is simply so much to do, meaning it can be quite overwhelming for first time visitors. That’s why we’ve created this handy list of the top 20 things you HAVE to do when visiting Tokyo for the first time! From Harajuku, to Akihabara, to shrines and temples… Tokyo really does have something for everyone! So take a look through this following list and see what catches your eye!
1. Walk Around Senso-ji, Asakusa in a Kimono
Senso-ji is one of the most famous temples in Tokyo due to it’s size and beauty. In the temple you can get a feel for what traditional Tokyo was like during the Edo period! Why not add to this by walking around the grounds in traditional Japanese clothing known as Kimono (着物), which can be rented from one of the many Kimono rental shops around Asakusa!
Whilst you’re in the temple grounds don’t forget to do omikuji (御神籤)! This is a strip of paper with your fortune on, which you receive by drawing a wooden stick with a number on which corresponds to the draw with your fortune in. If you get a bad one make sure you tie it on to one of the allocated places to get rid of your bad fortune!
Information on Senso-Ji:
2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Take the subway to Asakusa Station, Asakusa or Ginza lines. The temple is a short 10 mins walk away from the station.
The temple grounds are always open.
The main Temple is open from 6:00 am to 17:00 pm (from 6:30 am from October to March)
Information on renting a kimono:
There are tons of places to rent kimono in Asakusa. Some places include:
2. Go Shopping on Takeshita Street
Harajuku, more specifically Takeshita Street is the hub of all things ‘kawaii’ in Tokyo. From fashion to food, Takeshita street has it ALL! For those interested in Japanese fashion this is the place to go!
Takeshita street has shops dedicated to all fashion subcultures, from Lolita to Yamikawaii it has it all!
On top of fashion, Takeshita street also has tons of cute cafes and restaurants, such as the POMPOMPURIN Cafe or the Kawaii Monster Cafe. There is also tons of cute street food located here such as rainbow toasties, giant candy floss and cute crepes!
1-Chome-17 Jingūmae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Take the subway to Harajuku Station, JR Yamanote Line.
daily, from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm but the opening times might vary shop by shop.
3. Explore Ueno Park
Ueno Park is one of the first recorded parks in Japan and was established in 1873. The park has slowly developed over the years and has acted as a focal point for people living around the area!
Today, the park is full of museums, beautiful views and activities! It’s particularly beautiful in the spring when all the sakura are out in Japan. Locals will often go to this park and do 花見 (hanami) which means ‘flower viewing’. This is when people sit under the blossom and have a picnic whilst looking at the flowers!
5-20 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Take the Ginza/ Hibiya Line to Ueno Station.
The park is open 24/7. The museums usually open at 9:30 am and close at 17:00 pm.
4. Check Out The View of The City From Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is an extremely famous viewing tower in Tokyo, know both for its amazing views of Tokyo and its beautiful architecture.
Tokyo Tower is also one the cheapest viewing towers to go up, with the main deck only costing 900yen! This offers amazing viewing of the city both in the day and night! It’s also a great place to watch the sunset!
If you’re visiting the tower you should also visit Shiba Park. This is a park located next to the tower offering amazing views of the Tower itself, allowing you to take a picture with it!
4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan
Akabanebashi Station (Oedo Line). The tower is about 10 mins walk.
from 9:00 am to 23:00 pm, daily (last entry 22:30 pm)
Main deck: 900 yen, Top deck tour: 2800 yen
5. Go Full Otaku Mode in Akihabara
Akihabara is a hub of all things otaku in Tokyo! From anime stores to game centers to maid cafes, this place really is like no other!
Go shopping for anime merchandise at the top anime store in Tokyo such as: Mandarake and Animate. Or try your luck on Akihabaras many UFO catcher machines in the SEGA arcades!
For more information on anime stores in Japan CLICK HERE.
Taito City, Tokyo 110-0006
Take the Chuo-Sobu Line to Akihabara Station.
The opening times of department stores, attractions and independent shops vary. However, they are usually open until late at night.
6. Go Drinking in Golden Gai
Golden Gai is located in the backstreets of Shinjuku and is known for its tiny alleyways full off tiny bars, izakayas and restaurants. This is a famous place where Japanese workmen gather after work to drink and eat with one another.
Common drinks and food include beer, sake, fried chicken, yakitori and MUCH MORE!
The atmosphere of the area is like no other and really makes you feel like you’re in Japan! It’s great for experiencing the local culture!
1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
Take the subway to Shinjuku Station. Golden Gai area is about 5-10 mins walk.
Hours vary from place to place. Some are open 24/7 some open from afternoon until late.
7. Relax in an Onsen (Public Bath)
One of the most famous onsen in Tokyo is the Oedo Onsen, located in Odaiba. Odaiba is a small manmade island just off of Tokyo which can easily be accessed by train.
The onsen is full of many different kinds of baths, activities and even a restaurant!
Whilst there, make sure to check out Odaiba and walk around, it’s very pretty and has many shops and activities to do there.
2 Chome-6-3 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
Take the subway to Telecom Center Station, Yurikamome Line
daily, from 11:00 am to 9:00 am (next day)
8. Cross the Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest crossings in the world with 2.5 million people crossing it EVERYDAY! If you’re in Tokyo, you have to go and experience the amazing atmosphere of the crossing!
Whilst there, you can also grab a drink at the Starbucks that offers a great view of the crossing. Or better yet, get a birds eye view of the crossing at the Magnet viewing tower!
The crossing is located right infant of the station and is extremely easy to access!
2 Chome-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043
Take the JR Yamanote line to Shibuya Station.
9. Experience Team Lab, an Interactive Art Gallery
Team Lab is an interactive art gallery full of many different rooms each with a different interactive art piece. There are digital projections, LED lights, huge balloons, water features and much more! It really is like nothing else!
Team Lab is great for people wanting to get a good instagram picture in Japan as it offers the most unique and pretty settings and backgrounds!
6 Chome-1-16 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061
Take the Yurikamome line to Shin-Toyosu Station.
Adults 3,200yen. Children 800yen.
10. Have a Relaxing Walk around Meiji Shrine
Located in Harajuku, Meiji shrine was built in the Meiji period and was dedicated to emperor Meiji. The shrine is extremely beautiful and is surrounded by forests and tons of nature!
The shrine itself is very peaceful, allowing you time to think and pray to the kami (gods). At the shrine you can also write and leave an ema. This is a small wooden plaque that you write your wish on and hang it up at the temple.
1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan
Take the subway to Harajuku Station and cross Yoyogi Park.
The shrine opens at sunrise and closes at sunset so the opening hours change every month. It’s always open between 7:00 am and 16:00 pm.
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Otaku in Tokyo is a travel website dedicated to helping your trip to Japan with tips and information on where to visit. With particular focus on real life anime locations, pop culture and Tokyo’s hidden gems!
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