Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo is more than a city. Japan’s sprawling capital bursts at the seams with a population of 37 million to form the largest metro area on the planet. With the neon nightscapes of Shinjuku and Shibuya in the west, the ancient temples and wooden houses of Ueno and Asakusa in the east, and palpable energy coursing throughout, Tokyo packs a strong sensory punch.

Here are the best things to do in Tokyo—all worthy of your bucket list:

Shibuya Crossing

Simply crossing the world’s busiest pedestrian intersection will leave you gobsmacked by Tokyo’s formidable pulse.

buildings surrounding a people-filled Shibuya Crossing
Cross the busiest intersection in the world. Photo © Jonathan DeHart.


Ground zero for Japan’s colorful youth fashion scene, this neighborhood is full of hip boutiques clustered around the busy thoroughfare of Omotesandō and tucked down a dense tangle of pedestrian-friendly backstreets.

Meiji Jingū

Surrounded by forest, this majestic Shinto shrine provides an oasis of calm just beyond the fashionable throngs of Harajuku.

Tokyo City View and Sky Deck

Tokyo City View offers one of the most thrilling ways to get the lay of the land. Ascend to the Sky Deck on the building’s roof for windowless views in all directions.

Ghibli Museum

This fantastical museum dedicated to Japan’s most beloved anime studio, Studio Ghibli, sits within Inokashira-kōen, one of Tokyo’s most appealing parks.

statue of totoro peeking out a window at the Studio Ghibli Museum
Step into another world at the Studio Ghibli Museum. Photo © Jonathan DeHart.


Tokyo’s most famous temple houses a golden image of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Tokyo National Museum

If you only have time for one museum in your Tokyo itinerary, make it this one—it holds the world’s largest collection of Japanese art.

Dining with locals in a culinary alley

Take a seat beside locals at a hole-in-the-wall eatery in one of Tokyo’s numerous yokochō (culinary alleys) for a meal and an experience you won’t forget.

view of lanterns hanging outside of restaurant doorways at night Yakitori Alley
Duck into an alley for a truly local experience. Photo © Jonathan DeHart.

Nightlife in Shinjuku

Tokyo’s most eclectic nightlife zone offers experiences from robot battles to pub crawls through the tumbledown bars of Golden Gai.

Start planning your adventure today:

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