13 Best Things To Do In Tokyo, Japan – Food, Temples, & Castles
Tokyo is commonly rated the world’s #1 city for travel.
Even though it’s the largest metro area in the world, it’s also one of the safest and easiest to get around, thanks to Japan’s convenient rail system.
Here’s our list of some of the best things to do in Tokyo, Japan! Most of these are free or can be done on a pretty modest budget!
Best Things To Do In Tokyo, Japan
1. Shinjuku Samurai Museum
No Tokyo trip would be complete without a visit to the Samurai museum in Shinjuku. You can see swords, armor, and more historical stuff here. The entrance fee is $17 USD and there’s a free guided tour in English.
More info: Shinjuku Samurai Museum
2. Omoide Yokocho
The Shinjuku district is a good place to try some Japanese eats. One of the most famous spots is the Omoide Yokocho alleyway, where you can find all kinds of grilled meat skewers and other things in a laid back ‘street food’ type setting.
3. Shibuya Crossing
This spot is famous as the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. It’s fun to watch the sea of people crossing the street, especially on a weekend. This is also a great area for shopping or eating.
This is the major electronics district of Tokyo. You can find anything related to electronics here, but it especially caters to anime/manga and video gaming. The SEGA and Nintendo retro game shops here are fun to explore.
5. Souvenir Shopping
Of course you can’t leave Tokyo without doing some souvenir shopping. The Shinjuku and Shibuya districts are two of the best for shopping, but you can also find some good souvenirs in places you might not expect it, like the street stalls at Sensoji Temple.
6. Bullet Trains
Japan’s futuristic bullet trains (called ‘shinkansen’) are a joy to ride, and they can go hundreds of miles per hour. You can ride these on the JR East and JR Central lines near Tokyo.
7. Tokyo Skytree
The Skytree is the tallest tower in the world, and the 2nd tallest building in the world (after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai). From the top of this tower you can get some great views of the Tokyo cityscape.
8. Sensoji Temple
Sensoji is the oldest and biggest temple in Tokyo. If you only visit one temple during your time in Tokyo, this is the one to see! It’s a great place for souvenir shopping too. All in all, Sensoji was one of our favorite things to do in Tokyo.
More info: Sensoji Temple
9. Kawasaki Temple
The temple at Kawasaki may not be as big as the one at Sensoji, but it was better than I expected. It’s a great option if you’re wanting to see more temples in the Tokyo area.
More info: Kawasaki Temple
10. Kimono Rental
There are lots of kimono rental shops in the Tokyo area where you can rent Japan’s traditional dress. My wife rented a kimono in Tokyo and we headed over to the famous Shibuya Crossing. Perfect photo spot!
Kamakura is one of the closest day trips you can take from Tokyo since it’s just 1 hour south of the Tokyo city center. Some top tourist sights here are Hasedera Temple and the giant Buddha statue at Kotoku-in.
12. Matsumoto Castle
If you run out of things to do in Tokyo city, this is an awesome black and white samurai castle that you can visit on a day trip from Tokyo. Matsumoto is one of Japan’s top 3 castles, along with Himeji and Kumamoto.
More info: Matsumoto Castle
13. Snow Monkey Park
One of the best winter day trips from Tokyo is to visit the Snow Monkey Park near Nagano. This is a long day trip, but you get to hang out with snow monkeys in the mountains and watch them soak in the natural hot springs.
More info: Visiting The Snow Monkeys
More Tokyo Travel Tips
I hope you enjoyed this list of some of the best things to do in Tokyo, Japan.
Don’t forget to check out my complete Japan Travel Guide for free tips, info, photos, and more!