This is THE guide to our 23 fun things to do in Tokyo, Japan; from watching Sumo wrestlers go at it to anime museums, delicious Japanese street food and everything in between that the largest metropolis on Earth has to offer to the world.
This Asian metropolis is one of the best cities in the world for you to visit. Its culture and its food are going to blow your mind.
Tokyo, a great mix from modern and traditional cultures in each corner, beautiful temples with hundreds of years of history, modern and gigantic buildings, parks with fantastic landscapes, and streets just like the best cities in the world; NYC, London and Paris.
Check out also their incredible hostels, bars and much more in our our guide to 3 Best Hostels in Tokyo, Japan – From Luxury Cafés to Backpacker Nightlife
Just Browse through our list , and pick up your favorite.
1. Morning Sumo Practice
Let’s start this list with a morning of 300 pound men fighting each other in a small circle.
Sumo is unique to Japan and has a long history going back over 400 years.
If your trip is outside the months of January, May and September you won’t be able to see the Sumo tournaments which are held only three times per year during these months in Tokyo.
No need to miss out though, you can take a tour of a Sumo Wrestler Stable and see the wrestlers train up close.
This tour is the only way to guarantee getting the full Sumo experience while in Tokyo with a local guide to explain all the moves to you as well as the history of the Sumo tradition.
Remember the rules in the Sumo stable are quite strict during the tour as these morning practices are important training sessions for the Sumo wrestlers.
Don’t try and jump in the ring with them during your tour unless your goal in Japan is to upset a Sumo wrestler, then go ahead.
Before, you could even dress up as Nintendo characters!
Nintendo recently won a lawsuit against MariCar that operate these Go Karts, so you may not be able to dress up like Super Mario anymore but it’s still a blast driving through the streets of Tokyo in a little red Go Kart.
Here you have a video with tips to ride your kart around Tokyo.
3. Find anything, ¡Yes! ANYTHING in Mega Don Quijote in Shibuya
Don Quijote isn’t just a store, it’s an insane nirvana of discount goods.
The chain can be found all over Japan but the stores in Tokyo are the biggest and offer the greatest choice of products.
Find anything from a 100 ¥en razor set to a wide screen TV to groceries and a lot more all under one roof.
Check out the 24/7 Shibuya Mega store or the store in Roppongi complete with roller coaster on top.
…yes, a roller coaster!
Its never been used though due to the local residents not being too happy with the idea of living with the constant excited screams of discount shoppers all day, still it makes for a great pic.
So, go and see for yourself¡
4. Cruise Ship From the Future Around Tokyo
Himiko’s cruise ships are a mix between space ship and lost submarine.
Getting to see these ships up close is worth the ticket price in itself, the river cruise company have many routes to take along the rivers and throughout Tokyo Bay all providing for unique photo ops.
Make sure you can get out of the space ship hull and enjoy the views from the open deck.
Good to know: The Akakusa to Odaiba offers the best views of Tokyo.
Harajuku is the cultural capital of Japan. Cosplay is the norm here so if you want to get some use out of that D. Va costume then bring it with you to Yoyogi Park and feel free to let your inner superhero out.
This is one of the best girly things to do in Tokyo.
Harajuku also offers more than just cosplay, it boasts some seriously awesome food from Japanese crepes in Takeshita Street to sushi at Gonpachi Nori-Temaki and much much more.
Set aside 10% of your food budget just for Harajuku, you won’t regret it.
You can easily lose track of time and spend all day wandering around Harajuku stuffing your face with glee surrounded by cosplay and kawaii.
There are worst ways to spend a day though, Harajuku will guarantee that it’s not a boring one at least.
10. Nostalgia Electronics in Akihabara
Ready to become an 8 year old again? Yeah? Alright then let’s go to Akihabara, the undisputed paradise of electronics in Japan.
After walking down memory lane in the many large stores here buy a dirty cheap 1990’s laptop or phone just for the story or take a chance on one of the many artists and singers selling their own work, a lot of which is actually quite good.
When your brains has been fried by the immense amount of electronics, take a break in one of the many maid or cosplay cafes.
11. Make Friends with Owls at Owl Village in Akihabara
Animal cafes are fairly common nowadays in major Asian cities, the owl cafe phenomenon however is unique to Japan. While in Seoul and Taipei you can hang out with cats or dogs, in Tokyo you can drink a coffee surrounded by curious… owls.
And spend 30 minutes trying to make them your friends too. The owls are mostly friendly.
Staff members at Owl Village speak English so need to worry about any awkward owl related language barrier situation.
Another thing you should do in Tokyo, which for me it was quite special, was to walk across the Rainbow Bridge as the sun goes down and the lights turn on.
It was then when I got the feeling of “I’m in Tokyo!”
Rainbow Bridge connects Shibaura District to Odaiba Island. A replica of the Statue of Liberty, being out of the usual tourist zones, this bridge is often overlooked but shouldn’t be.
The views of Tokyo at night from the walkways are stunning. And it is completely Free!
Tip: Take the North Walkway for the best views of Tokyo including a close up view of Tokyo Tower.
13. Spend an hour in a Net Café
Usually an Internet café should be kept far away from a guide of fun things to do in a city, but not in Tokyo.
These Net Cafes are a part of big city life in Japan and you can’t walk a street in central Tokyo without spotting at least one and definitely much more than that if your walking in Shinjuku or Shibuya.
There are a largest amount of net cafes in Japan and most offer self serve ice cream and drinks included in the price along with:
high speed internet,
a huge collection of anime and manga.
And accommodation as well, yes you can sleep in a Internet a cafe in Tokyo, Japan.
Prices are around 100 ¥en for 30 minutes and 800-1500 ¥en for three hours.
14. Drink All Night long at Shinjuku Golden Gai
No trip to Tokyo is complete without at least one night of getting drunk with the locals.
Golden Gai in Shinjuku is THE place to drink the night away until you wake up the next morning and forget who or where you are.
Golden Gai consists of hundreds of bars squeezed into a network of narrow alleyways in Shinjuku.
Some bars only serve regular customers but the majority are welcoming to foreigners and some even have foreign owners.
Many of the bars are themed with rock, karaoke and jazz bars taking up the largest share.
You should spend the night barhopping and see how many different types you can visit and how much you can drink before your too drunk to walk.
Once you are too drunk to walk, no worries, just find a quiet spot next to all the salary men on the pavement and have a sleep or if you can still walk book yourself into a capsule hotel nearby.
15. Relax in a Japanese Onsen
After waking up with a Golden Gai hangover, have a curry at CoCo’s Curryhouse or a bowl of Ramen and then head to Oedo Onsen Monogatari Luxury Spa to recover.
The almost boiling water temperatures here will cure you instantly.
The Spa is themed after the Edo era and uses real hot spring waters pumped from 1,400 meters below ground into the many natural baths.
The facilities also include a shopping mall and amusements as well as massages and other types of natural healing.
Be prepared to leave your swim shorts or bikini behind as this is a No Clothes hot spring.
And if you have Tattoos give this one a miss, like many hot springs in Japan it’s operates a No Tattoo policy.
Here you have 6 tips to enjoy a Japanese public bath:
16. Pay your respects to histories most loyal dog – Hachiko
Hackiko returned to wait for his deceased owner to return outside Shibuya Station everyday for nine years until he himself passed away in 1935 aged 11.6.
The story of this loyal dog has been an inspirational story for the Japanese for almost 100 years now and the legend of Hachiko is saluted every year with an annual ceremony.
The most prominent landmark associated with Hachiko is this statue outside Shibuya Station where he waited for those nine long years for his owner to return.
The legend of Hachiko lives on with this statue saluting his loyalty.
You can also go and pay Hachiko himself a visit or at least his stuffed fur which is on display at the National Science Museum of Japan.
Tip: Don’t set this as the location of a meetup with your new Japanese drinking buddies, for some reason a lot of Tokyoite’s meet at this statue among a few hundred other people also meeting up at the same time.
17.Visit Zōjō-ji Temple
Zōjō-ji Temple provides the best setting of the many ancient Buddhist temples within the city.
Tokyo Towers looms high over the temple grounds creating a special contrast between ancient and modern Tokyo and earns it’s place on this list as the most fun temple experience to be had in Tokyo.
There are many events and ceremonies held at the temple throughout the year, the temple is one of the favorite cherry blossoms viewing spots in Spring.
Tip: Go early in the morning before the crowds descend.
18. Get your Manga fix at Ghibli Museum
This one is for the anime lovers and the anime curious.
The Ghibli Museum is the biggest collection of the works of Studio Ghibli whose films include My Neighbor Totoro and world famous Spirited Away.
The museum gives the feeling of being in an anime itself with large set pieces recreated from the studios films located around the grounds, the rooftop garden is also a nice bonus since it is one of the more relaxing places in Tokyo.
Super Budget Version If your on a tight budget head into Lawsons or 7-Eleven and browse the anime and manga shelves which can sometimes turn out to be even more interesting.
If our heading to Tokyo during climbing season from July to September then make sure not to miss climbing Mount Fuji and looking down upon an ocean of clouds as the land of the rising sun does its thing.
The Willer Express tour leaves from Shinjuku at 7:30am and by 4am the next morning you will be on top of Japan.
You can take a day trip to visit Japan’s highest mountain and one of the Fuji five lakes at lake Kawaguchi-ko, with Japanese lunch included.
Tip: If your not into hiking or are not visiting during climbing season you can visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on a clear day and spot Mount Fuji on the horizon, entrance to both towers viewing platforms is completely free.
Price: Entrance ranges from 1500-3000 ¥en and includes the first drink.
23. Sushi-go-round? Interesting place!
Someone said sushi!
If you love Japanese food and sushi as much as I do you should visit a go around sushi restaurant, they are very interesting place, and great food.
We all want to experience Japanese culture
24. Escape to Onjuku Beach
The only fun thing to do on this list that is truly outside of Tokyo but it’s a must visit and only two hours away from the downtown area making for a great day trip.
Surf, sunbathe and revel in the glory of the pacific ocean as you down a cold Asahi and drink to your time in Japan.
If your new to surfing and want to try it out for the first time in Japan Onjuku Beach offers waves if not the biggest in the world to get started, surf lessons as well as board rentals are available from several surf shops near the beachfront.
How to get there Onjuku Beach is located in Chiba prefecture just two hours by highway bus from Tokyo.
Highway buses leave four times a day from Tokyo Station.
We have decided to add some more fun things to do in Japan, so you make the best of your visit.
So keep scrolling!
through its cuisine so do not miss out their amazing restaurants.
25. Showa kinen park
A close friend from Tokyo recommended this place as it is one of her favorite spots in Tokyo.
It is the Japanese answer to Central Park in NYC.
You should rent a bike and cycle around this beautiful park with its many flowers, fountains, and more.
Note: this park is also a great place to go see the Cherry Blossom season.
26. Experience a Tokyo’s old-school alleyways, called „Yokocho“
These tiny streets can be found all over Tokyo, and remind you of the old days. Here you can find eateries, pubs, and every kind of shops. These streets are now becoming very trendy among locals again as hip modern restaurants are settling down here.
The most popular one is the Nonbei Yokocho (‘Drunkard Alley’), the most representative yokocho plus most-visited in town. It is still worth it to come here and check it out.
Another one we really like is the „Minamiguchi no Nomiyagai“, a street for food-lovers on budget!
It opens already for lunch time and keep being busy until it closes.
Find a great guide for „Tokyo Alleyways“ here: http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/feature/9714/Tokyo-alleyway-guide
27.Market to visit
While in Tokyo, you can’t avoid Tsukiji fish market.
Many travelers check it out every single day. It is naturally quite touristic, but absolutely worth it to step by.
We recommend to check it out in the morning as there will be less people.
It is worth it!
28. EXTRA: Okatimachi Ameyoko Street
This place is Japan in one street. You will find here everything from food to clothing, watches and basically everything from small to big.
FYI This street was once a black market place to buy illegal American products.
If you are going to spend a few days with the family in Tokyo, a very good option is the aparthotels.
Petit Grande Nuage is fantastic option because it has comfortable facilities, large beds, it is equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, washing machine, microwave, television and THE best thing, it has access to a hot tub.
Sounds fantastic, right?
Its decoration is very beautiful and clean.
It is very close to attractions like Tokyo Skytree, Sensoji Temple.
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality accommodation, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.