A Complete 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary
Welcome to the hustling neon city of Tokyo! Every time we visit Japan we always make sure we have at least a day or two in Tokyo and not because it’s the easiest place to fly into, we absolutely love this city! We’ve collectively spent over 30 days in Tokyo and still feel it’s not enough to even scratch the surface of this massive city. But don’t worry, this 5-day Tokyo itinerary and travel guide will help you plan your perfect trip no matter how much time you have.
But before we get started, here is the first thing you need to know about Tokyo.
Tokyo is HUGE. I’m pretty sure that even living in Tokyo you could never see or do it all. Because it is such a large city, planning your Tokyo itinerary logistically is EXTREMELY important.
On our very first trip to Japan, Tokyo was our last stop and we didn’t plan as extensively as we did for other cities we visited in Japan. Thus, we wasted A LOT of time on trains, searching for places to eat, and more places to go. After visiting Tokyo many other times we decided to write this Tokyo itinerary to make planning a trip to Tokyo easier for first-time visitors and for those who might be searching for new things to do in Tokyo. Now let’s get started!
Transportation in Tokyo
Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world and has great public transportation that can get you close to wherever you plan to go in Tokyo! I always recommend using Google Maps to determine the best routes, timetables, and more of the places you plan to visit.
Trains in Tokyo & Using IC Cards
If you plan to visit the main areas of Tokyo you’ll become quickly familiar with the JR Yamanote Line which is Tokyo’s loop service train line. The Yamanote Line is the most convenient line to use in Tokyo because it stops at most major stations including Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Ueno, Akihabara, Shinagawa, and more!
Instead of purchasing tickets each time you ride public transportation, get an IC card to easily swipe in and out of the station. IC cards are prepaid rechargeable cards that can be used all over Japan and even used at some restaurants, stores, and vending machines. The cards that you can buy in Tokyo are the Suica and Pasmo cards. If you happen to have an ICOCA card from Kansai prefecture they work in Tokyo as well!
The easiest way to get an IC card is to add Suica or Pasmo under the transit cards to your Apple Wallet and add funds via Apple Pay. But if you want to get a physical card you can do so at one of the ticketing machines at most train stations. You will purchase a new card from the ticketing machine and add funds with cash. When recharging you’ll then have to go to a recharge machine or ticketing machine (located at almost every train and subway station) and add cash to fund your card. I recommend starting with 2,000 yen and adding more as needed.
TIP: If you have difficulty adding funds to your transit card via Apple Pay try using an American Express or Mastercard. We can’t get any of our Visa credit cards to work for some reason!
As of early 2023, it was announced that there is an IC card shortage in Tokyo so getting a physical Suica or PASMO card in Tokyo might be harder to find currently.
Tokyo Subway & Subway Passes
Tokyo also has two subway systems, the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subways which are interlinked so they’re easy to navigate.
Most people know about the Japan Rail Pass for traveling around various cities in Japan. But the JR Pass isn’t necessary to activate if you’re planning to spend 5 days in Tokyo or really, regardless of how much time you choose to stay in Tokyo. Instead, consider using a subway pass and IC card for your Tokyo itinerary and activating your JR pass later. However, if you already have an active JR pass you can use that while in Tokyo too!
If you plan to be in Tokyo for a few days we highly recommend looking into a Subway Pass. They are inexpensive and a time saver! The Tokyo Subway Pass works on the Tokyo Metro and the Toei Subway lines and you can purchase a card for 24, 48, or 72 hours. You can easily purchase a Tokyo Subway Pass up at many hotels, BIC Camera, or Tokyo Metro Stations. To use the subway pass you’ll simply insert it inside the ticket slot at the automatic ticket gate for the subway. Upon leaving the station you’ll insert it again. Make sure you grab it each time you use it because it’s good for the entire time period you purchased it!
If you don’t want to use a subway pass you can also use an IC card which is the transit card I mentioned above in the Tokyo train section of this post. You can use an IC card on buses, trains, and subways in Japan.
Tokyo Subway Pass Rates
- 24-hour Ticket: 800¥ (Adult), 400¥ (Child)
- 48-hour Ticket: 1,200¥ (Adult), 600¥ (Child)
- 72-hour Ticket: 1,500¥ (Adult), 750¥ (Child)
Tokyo Combination Ticket
If you don’t have a JR pass and plan to use both trains and the subway in Tokyo you can also consider purchasing a Tokyo Combination Ticket which allows for unlimited use on both Tokyo Metro and Toei subways, JR trains, and Toei buses. This pass can be purchased at vending machines and ticket offices in Tokyo Metro stations or in the Toei or JR East ticket offices.
- 24-hour ticket: ¥1,600 for adults, ¥800 for children
TIP: Although buses are extensive in Tokyo too I wouldn’t recommend them for tourists because the subway and train lines are so efficient!
When is the Best Time to Visit Tokyo?
Really there is no bad time to visit Tokyo because there is something to enjoy in every season. In spring there are the beautiful sakura trees that line the streets and bloom, in summer there are countless festivals, in autumn there is the fall foliage to enjoy, and in winter there are beautiful snowy streets at times mixed with winter activities like ice skating, holiday decor, and more.
Regardless of which time you choose to visit Tokyo, you’ll surely enjoy it. But I would recommend that you avoid visiting during Japan’s Golden Week (held in late April-early May) and keep in mind that visiting during
Where to Stay for Your Tokyo Itinerary
The Prince Sakura Autograph Collection Marriott Hotel
Tokyo is a vibrant city full of friendly people but it can be intimidating at first, especially when looking for the best places to stay in Tokyo. Now we have stayed in a few hotels in all different areas for each of our Tokyo itineraries. The first is The Prince Sakura Autograph Collection Marriott Hotel. The rooms were spacious, the hotel was elegant and classy, and the location of the hotel was convenient as it was only a block or two away from Shinagawa Station.
The room itself was Western style and large, it had a comfortable king-sized bed, an excellent bathroom with a large shower and a jetted tub, and many extra amenities are provided. Our favorites are the mini-refrigerator with a mini-bar, fruit basket, and toiletries.
Breakfast was free of charge with certain Marriott status or ¥3500 per person otherwise at the time of our visit. For the Western breakfast, they provided eggs served to order, pastries, fruit, a salad bar, french toast, waffles, etc. They also had a Japanese-style breakfast which served fish, vegetables, miso soup, etc.
Park Hotel Tokyo
Another place we have stayed during our visits to Tokyo is the Park Hotel Tokyo. We had heard a lot about this hotel because of its popularity with Western tourists and the modern luxury artistic rooms that you can book as well. Overall our impression was that while this was a nice luxury hotel, it needed some upgrades and we enjoyed our stay at The Price Sakura more considering the price of the two were the same during the times we booked them.
You can easily walk to the subway station by taking the elevator inside the Park Hotel Tokyo to the bottom level, however, you will have to walk a short trek underground in order to get to the
It wasn’t too bad, just significantly more walking than some of the other places we have stayed so that is something to keep in mind should you consider using trains and the subway as your main form of transportation in Tokyo. However, you can also call a Taxi from the hotel to get to your next destination (it’s just more costly).
Mitsui Garden Hotel Gotanda
Another place we want to include in this 5-day Tokyo itinerary that we have stayed at is the Mitsui Garden Hotel Gotanda. This hotel was brand new as of spring 2018 and we got an absolute steal on the price per night because of it being a new hotel when we visited but prices haven’t jumped too drastically (but this is also based on seasonality).
The location is not a place that most travelers in Japan would go to, but it made it nice to get away from the crowds and it is conveniently located on Tokyo’s Yamanote line at a stop that isn’t usually as busy. There is also a Lawson (convenience store) in the hotel parking garage which was SUPER handy if you needed a snack or drink. Overall this was one of our favorites out of the places we’ve stayed in Tokyo considering the price and location and we’ve stayed here a few more times since our first visit.
The Tokyo Station Hotel
The Tokyo Station Hotel is an iconic historic hotel within Tokyo Station. It was first built in 1915 one year after Tokyo Station was completed. The Tokyo Station Hotel has since been the subject of many books, movies, television episodes, and more. You might wonder, what is it about The Tokyo Station Hotel that brings so many visitors and why is it the subject of media attention? Well, besides its history, it has a unique architecture for Japan using elements from the European Renaissance style. It has been even rumored that The Tokyo Station Hotel was designed after Amsterdam’s Central Station. The architecture of this hotel is so iconic that many people stop by to take photos of it!
We stayed three nights at Tokyo Station Hotel during one of our trips to Tokyo and it was, to put it simply, incredible. The staff is exceptionally accommodating and helpful, the rooms are elegantly decorated with quality amenities, and the dining options are all fabulous. I’m still thinking about their breakfast stations. Being connected to Tokyo Station, this hotel is also very convenient for traveling around Tokyo as well as traveling on a Shinkansen for further travel in Japan or to either of Tokyo’s airports.
Needless to say, there are many places to stay in Tokyo as a first-time visitor. It all depends on what style of hotel you are looking for and the neighborhoods in Tokyo where you plan to spend the most time. Typically, we’ve seen that most visitors prefer to stay in the Shinjuku or Shibuya areas of Tokyo.
Places to Eat in Tokyo
Katsumidori Kaiten Zushi
Katsumidori Kaitenzushi is one of our favorite sushi restaurants in Tokyo! The quality at this conveyor belt sushi spot is always fresh and it is inexpensive. The nice thing about conveyor belt sushi is you can try many different things for lower prices. Katsumidori has an iPad with English that you can order from and also has options for cooked or seared sushi items and non-sushi menu items. The wait is usually long but it always moves quickly and we promise it’s worth it!
Location: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho, 21−1 A 館8階 レストラン街ダイニング プラザ // MAP – 8F of the Seibu Shibuya building (close to the Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble)
Nemuro Hanamaru Ginza
Another place to get terrific conveyor belt sushi is Nemuro Hanamaru Ginza. Like Katsumidori, Nemuro Hanamaru is very popular so expect to see a pretty large line. But they have a ticket system so you can get in the virtual queue and check the progress of the queue online while you shop around Tokyu Plaza. They have a very expansive sushi menu you can order from directly or grab something off the conveyor belt!
Location: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza, 5 Chome−2−1 東急プラザ銀座 10階 // MAP
Gonpachi Nori-Temaki is a hand-roll sushi restaurant. All of the seating is at a circular bar area and you can select from a Japanese/English paper menu which hand rolls you want. You can always order a couple then get a new sheet to order a few more! Each hand roll was less than 800 yen and we had 3-5 each to fill us up.
Pssst, fun fact, the owners of Gonpachi Nori-Temaki also own the restaurant where the infamous fighting scene in Kill Bill was filmed.
Location: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 6 Chome−35−3 コープオリンピア // MAP
Afuri Ramen has a few locations in Tokyo (we visited the one in Shinjuku Station) making it a very convenient place to get ramen. We loved Afuri because it had a variety of ramen choices such as traditional chashu pork ramen, halal-friendly chicken ramen, and even a vegetarian option as well. It can be difficult to find ramen that caters to many different dietary needs and Afuri does it well without sacrificing quality ingredients and flavor.
Location: Japan, 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−1−5 ルミネ1 B2F // MAP
Another ramen shop we’ve enjoyed in Tokyo is Kyushu Jangara. This quaint ramen restaurant is located in Akihabara so it’s great to visit after browsing through electric town! Kyushu Jangara is known for its Kyushu-style ramen as well as its vegan ramen. We ordered both their Kyushu Jangara signature ramen and the vegan ramen (although I added an egg) so we could have both.
I was blown away by how delicious the vegan ramen was! The broth was flavorful, the noodles were perfectly cooked, and the vegan chashu was a nice touch. If you are looking for a place that has quality vegan ramen, this is a great pick! In addition, the Kyushu Jangara ramen was also amazing with thick pieces of chashu pork, mushrooms, green onion, and a rich and creamy pork broth.
Location: Japan, 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 3 Chome−11−6 一枝ビル １Ｆ// MAP
We first went to Tsurutontan when visiting Osaka not knowing that this restaurant was a small chain in Japan. Once while we were in Tokyo I saw Tsurutontan listed as a top-rated restaurant in a few different locations in Tokyo and had to find out if it was the same udon noodle restaurant we loved so much in Osaka – it was!
Although it is somewhat of a chain restaurant, we LOVE this place. The udon noodles are freshly cut, the broth is perfectly flavorful but light, and they have a variety of soup add-ons or options. If you’re REALLY hungry, no problem, you can order a double or even triple portion of udon noodles for no extra charge!
Location: Japan, 〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 3 Chome−14−12 六本木三丁目ビル 1F // MAP (A few other locations in Tokyo too)
Kanda Matsuya has been around for over 100 years and their tried and true soba entrees definitely enticed us to visit and we are so glad we did because their soba is fantastic! We each decided to try a cold soba set that came with tempura shrimp and tempura squid both cooked to perfection with light, crispy batter. The dipping broth was unique and had a light citrus flavor from the sudachi citrus added to it which was absolutely refreshing on the hot summer day that it was.
Location: 1 Chome-1-13 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0041, Japan // MAP
Shin Udon is an intimate udon restaurant located on a street near Shibuya Station. Don’t be surprised if there is a long line when you arrive, not only is this restaurant tiny, but it’s become increasingly popular. But, the line does typically go quickly. I’ve tried a few dishes from here, all of which have been terrific. I personally recommend the udon set with tempura bacon for something unique or the cold udon with sudachi citrus! One last thing to know is Shin Udon is cash only.
Location: Japan, 〒151-0053 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Yoyogi, 2 Chome−20−16 相馬ビル １F // MAP
Before you dive into the beautiful corners of Asakusa, the entertainment district of Tokyo, pop on over to Asakusa Tsurujirou for some lunch! Asakusa Tsurujirou is a restaurant that serves up delicious okonomiyaki and monjayaki.
Okonomiyaki is basically a Japanese savory pancake made up of cabbage, vegetables, meat and/or seafood, and occasionally noodles. It is topped with a sweet and savory sauce with a few other toppings depending on the style of okonomiyaki you get! Okonomiyaki is most commonly found in Hiroshima and Osaka, its two origin cities, but Tokyo is a mecca for all of Japan’s regional cuisine. We ordered a shrimp option and the traditional style with pork and I’m still thinking about it.
Location: 1 Chome-20-8 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan // MAP
Isen Hontan is a tonkatsu restaurant that specializes in fried pork cutlets, shrimp, and even crab croquettes! They are very well known for their tonkatsu sando which is one of their crispy pork cutlets drizzled with tangy tonkatsu sauce and placed between two pillowy pieces of milk bread. I truly loved their crab croquettes and ebi katsu (fried shrimp) and the pork cutlets are very juicy and tender.
Location: 3 Chome-40-3 Yushima, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan // MAP
Nogataya (野方屋 新宿思い出横丁店)
Nogataya is a small izakaya restaurant located in the famous Omoide Yokochō alley which is well known for its smoky narrow alleyways full of yakitori restaurants. Nogataya is one of these serving up delicious comfort foods like yakionigiri, oden, and countless options for yakitori. Because Nogataya is so small, it’s best to arrive for an early dinner. The food here is great and it also is an amazing experience that I personally feel can’t be missed. I recommend ordering a variety of yakitori to try as well as some traditional side dishes.
Location: 1 Chome-2-12 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan // MAP
Eggs ‘n Things
Location: Japan, 〒135-0091 Tokyo, Minato City, Daiba, 1 Chome−7−1 アクアシティお台場 3F // MAP
DAY ONE – 5-DAY TOKYO ITINERARY
What better way to start your time in Tokyo than to visit one of the most iconic neighborhoods? Shibuya! Shibuya has tons of shopping from specialty stores to department stores. There is the infamous pedestrian scramble located right outside the train station. Harajuku is just around the corner with its wild desserts and cosplay outfits. There is also fantastic nightlife here and you can book a shopping tour of Harajuku as well!
Meiji Jingu & Yoyogi Park
Start your day off with a special cultural site in Tokyo. The walk through Yoyogi Park is always delightful as you’ll make your way to Meiji Jingu. When we first reached Meiji Jingu Shrine we immediately were impressed by all of the temple buildings. Despite Tokyo being such a big city it also has a lot of Japanese World Heritage Sites close by and you can still escape to nature in many parts of the city, this shrine and park included.
Location: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan // MAP
Hours: 5am-6pm daily
Cost: 500 yen
Watch the Rockabilly Dancers
If you happen to be in Tokyo on a Sunday consider going to see the rockabilly dancers of Tokyo. These dancers perform every Sunday on their own schedule outside of the entrance of Meiji Jingu shrine.
Since they don’t have a set “performance schedule” you’ll have to play it by ear, but we arrived around 2:00pm and saw they were getting ready to start dancing. The group has been meeting here for over 30 years and is trying to keep the rebellious rockabilly culture alive.
Takeshita-dori in Harajuku
If you want to find some unique shops and awesome sweet treats to eat, Takeshita-dori in Harajuku is your place! On one of our trips to Takeshita-dori we ate so much sugar we crashed hard in the afternoon and had to stop by 7Eleven for some caffeine. But hey, we wanted to give you lots of options!
If you’re into cotton candy, Totti Candy Factory will blow your mind! The cotton candy they sell is bigger than our heads and you could actually taste the flavors of each kind swirled together into one sticky mess.
Of course, you can’t leave Takeshita-
Location: 1 Chome-17 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan // MAP
READ MORE: Delicious Desserts to Try in Tokyo
Shopping in Harajuku
If you’re looking for some unique shopping in Tokyo, the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando is a popular spot to shop and also see the mirrored glass staircase that has been featured in many photos! Looking for thrift stores? Harajuku is a haven for all things quality vintage! A few of the best upscale thrift store shops in Shibuya include G2, RAGTAG, and Pass The Baton. Pass The Baton is even where many celebrities donate their items to sell and shop!
Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble
This picturesque intersection of Shibuya has been featured in a lot of films in recent years and is a popular area for shopping and dining. Your 5 days in Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this wild street! First, watch the spectacle for a little while, it’s amazing how synchronized everything was at this busy intersection. Then be a part of the scramble at least once (I mean, when in Tokyo right?). But if you want a bird’s eye view you can also look out from Shibuya Station!
Location: 2 Chome-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan // MAP
Tokyo is full of observation decks, each one boasting its own special view but Shibuya Sky is one of the best. This observation deck offers a 360° open-air view of the city on the roof of the Shibuya Scramble Square skyscraper which is absolutely breathtaking. You can visit this observation deck during the day or night, both have their own charm but regardless of when you visit, make sure you book far in advance! Tickets sell out quickly and are available up to four weeks in advance.
Location: Japan, 〒150-6145 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Shibuya, 2 Chome−24−12, Shibuya Scramble Square, 14階・45階・46階・屋上 // MAP
I know, I know, I just told you to visit another observation deck but after consider heading to Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Tower is just one of two iconic landmark towers in Tokyo, the other being the SkyTree which we will cover later on in this Tokyo itinerary. Tokyo Tower is simply stunning to view at night time which is why we saved this for the last attraction of the day. While you can pay to go to the top of the tower, I personally enjoy the view of the tower from a distance or nearby just as much!
Location: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9am-11pm daily
Cost: 900 yen/adults, 350 yen/children
DAY TWO – 5-DAY TOKYO ITINERARY
Visit Tokyo’s Imperial Palace
Since the Imperial Palace is somewhat out of the way from other main attractions, I think it’s best to visit here in the morning and then head over to another area of Tokyo for the rest of the day. While you aren’t able to visit inside the palace because it is still the Imperial family residence, you can go towards the Nijubashi Bridge in front of the main entrance for a nice photo spot and viewing location. The Imperial Palace is also a lovely viewing spot for fall foliage or spring sakura.
Location: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan // MAP
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-11:15am, 1:30pm-2:45pm, Closed Sunday & Monday
Shopping in Akihabara
No trip to Tokyo would be complete without seeing the kooky electric town of Akihabara. Truly, the best way I can describe shopping in Akihabara is a sensory overload. Every store you visit will be stuffed to the max with narrow aisles, music blasting, and many many stairs to climb to find what you might be looking for but it’s all part of the experience and I love it.
Some stores are designated to one specific thing but most have a little of everything. There are tons of used and new electronics like cameras, computers, gaming systems, and televisions. There are also tons of manga and anime goods like movies, television series, figurines, keychains, T-shirts, and other memorabilia. Akihabara is also a great place to look for some inexpensive regular souvenirs!
Have we spent hours here aimlessly searching? Absolutely. Have we brought back a lifesize Evangelion model? Yes… Okay, it wasn’t life size but the box was large. Akihabara is a wild, magical place.
STORES TO VISIT IN AKIHABARA
- ANIME AND MANGA
- TRADING AND COLLECTOR CARDS
- OTHER SOUVENIRS
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
After spending some time shopping make your way to Shinjuku to visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This stunning 144-acre park was once a former estate of a feudal lord and was under the care of the imperial family until it opened as a public park in 1949. Inside the park, there are three main gardens. The oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden with ponds, bridges, and pavilions.
In the spring, Shinjuku Gyoen is full of fragrant blooming sakura trees! In fact, they have so many they even have a map of the different varieties and where you’ll find them in the park. Cherry blossom season is also a popular time to visit to have a hanami picnic (sakura viewing picnic). You’ll often see people bring a blanket to lay out under the sakura trees to relax and enjoy the day.
One thing to note, Shinjuku Gyoen is very busy in many different parts of the year so be sure to book your tickets in advance to ensure you get a time slot to enter the park!
Location: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan // MAP
Omoide Yokochō also referred to as “Memory Lane” is a maze of narrow alleys close to the west exit of Shinjuku Station. Omoide Yokochō is known for its small izakaya restaurants and nostalgic old Tokyo vibes. Most of the restaurants here serve grilled meats and comfort food snacks. Because Omoide Yokochō is a very popular place to visit and as I’ve mentioned, has very narrow alleys there are some things you should know prior to visiting!
Things to Know About Omoide Yokochō
- Restaurants are tiny, some have 10-15 seats max.
- Most will allow you to take any open seat.
- A lot of restaurants have a food and beverage requirement. These vary by restaurant but typically you must order at least one drink and one food item per guest. Some also have a small cover charge/fee per patron that you’ll see added to your bill.
- On the flip side, some restaurants have additional rules where you can only order a max of three alcoholic drinks and dine for 90 minutes. This is to allow for other patrons to visit.
- If you want to eat at a specific spot, I’d recommend going early. Before 6pm is ideal. There is a decently quick turnaround but since the restaurants are small you still might have to wait and there isn’t standing room to do so in the alleys.
- Most restaurants only accept cash payments so make sure you have enough prior to visiting!
- There is absolutely no smoking on the streets! This is due to a fire that happened here in 1999 which destroyed 1/3 of the streets.
Robot Restaurant closed in 2020 and is finally reopening in 2023!
First things first, the Robot Restaurant is not technically a restaurant but more of a show. They do have snacks for sale but you must purchase meal tickets before the show otherwise you will not be able to eat there. But we recommend eating before or after the show.
While this is definitely a tourist trap, we really enjoyed it. It’s all the neon you imagine when you think of Tokyo! If you think you want to marvel at this event, then go ahead and book your tickets to the evening Robot Restaurant show. It usually sells out ahead of time!
Location: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−7 新宿ロボットビル B2F // MAP
DAY THREE – 5 DAY TOKYO ITINERARY
Ameyayoko Shopping Street
We’ll admit, on our first trip to Tokyo, we weren’t impressed with Ameyayoko Shopping Street. But on our next trip, we wanted to visit some of the shrines and temples in Ueno so we decided to give this shopping street a second chance and we’re really glad we did. Although it still feels a little older than some shopping streets in Tokyo, we really enjoyed browsing and getting some items from the market. I even got a really cool Sukajan (Japanese bomber jacket)!
Places to Shop on Ameyayoko Shopping Street:
Location: 4 Chome-9-14 Ueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan // MAP
Hours: 10am-8pm daily
Next, venture over to some of the temples and shrines in Ueno. Although most of these are popular, they often go unvisited by tourists unless you have more time in Tokyo.
Kiyomizu Kannon-do is tucked away inside Ueno Park where you may even forget that you’re in this expansive city. It is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo dating back to 1632. If the break from the city isn’t enough to draw you in, be sure to check out the interesting pine tree that has formed a circle with its branches. Thus, this pine tree is known as
Location: 1-29 Uenokoen, 台東区 Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9am-5pm daily, closed Saturdays
Cost: Free to visit grounds
Ueno Toshogu Shrine
About a 7-minute walk away from Kiyomizu Kannon-do is Toshogu Shrine. Toshogu Shrine was founded in 1627 and has survived through wars and a number of natural disasters. While visiting make sure you pay attention to the beautiful golden elements and intricate architecture with carvings of birds and dragons.
Location: 9-88 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9am-4:30pm daily
Cost: Free to visit grounds, 700 yen for the peony garden
Settled in lush greenery, Nezu Shrine is a short distance away from Ueno Toshogu Shrine and was built in the mid-17th century. In the springtime, you can see thousands of pink and white azalea bushes which makes it incredibly popular to visit during that time. Though it’s not Fushimi Inari located in Kyoto, there is a path of vermillion
Location: 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0031, Japan // MAP
Hours: 6am-4:30pm daily
Cost: Free to visit
Nakamise Shopping Street
Now it’s time to go to Asakusa where you’ll start on Nakamise Shopping Street. Now I will say, this shopping street gets EXTREMELY busy it’s well worth it! However, if you want to avoid the crowds I suggest coming here first thing in the morning! There are tons of souvenir stores, cafes, and restaurants, not to mention the alluring smell of incense on every corner. If you’re pressed for time during your 5 days in Tokyo or if you have a shorter time to visit Tokyo one place we feel you cannot miss is Asakusa.
While in the area make sure you stop by Amezaiku Ameshin, a store that sells pretty sugar candy lollipops that would make a great gift. They also have workshops you can take to make your own! Another favorite is Kagetsudo a melon pan shop that serves up fresh melon pan filled with ice cream.
Last I always stop at Kibidango Azuma which sells delicious kibidango which are made with millet flour, not sweet rice flour like mochi. At Kibidango Azuma, they are made fresh and then covered in a heavy layer of kinako (roasted soybean powder). Over the years, Kibidango Azuma has become very popular but the line moves incredibly fast so you never have to wait to long to enjoy this tasty snack! Don’t forget to get a cup of green tea to wash down all the kinako powder I know you’ll be scraping out of the bag.
Location: 1 Chome-36-3 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan // MAP
Perhaps the most iconic and oldest temple in Tokyo is Senso-ji. Legend says that in 628 two brothers found a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy while fishing in the Sumida River. After finding the statue, they put it back in the river only to continue to find it again and again. Seeing this as a sign, Sensoji was later erected nearby in 645 for Kannon to reside in.
We’ve visited Senso-ji at different hours of the day on our visits to Tokyo and both have their own charm. During the day you’ll get to see all the action – crowds of people, burning incense, and the noise from the nearby shops. But at night, it is rather peaceful.
Once all the shops have shut down for the day very few people visit. The glow from the lights makes for a beautiful setting and each time we’ve visited at night we feel a sense of nostalgia. No matter what time of day you decide to visit Sensoji Temple you’re sure to enjoy it.
Location: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan // MAP
Hanayashiki Amusement Park
You may have noticed that the Asakusa district of Tokyo has some of the oldest buildings, temples, and other structures. Hanayashiki Amusement Park is one of these and is the oldest amusement park in Japan dating back to 1853. While you might think that it’s only for touring, it is actually still in operation!
There are a number of rides including a space shot, swan boats, and a haunted house. You can even rent a motorized panda car to drive around the park. Don’t worry about those amusement park prices because it only costs 1,000 yen to go!
Location: 2 Chome-28-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan // MAP
Hours: 11am-5pm daily
Cost: 1,000 yen
Kappabashi (Kitchen Town)
It seems like most major cities in Japan have a kitchen town and Kappabashi happens to be Tokyo. Kappabashi offers a unique insight into Tokyo’s restaurant business but also can be a neat place to find souvenirs and honestly just look around. There is a variety of cookware, tableware, and cutlery. But the most prized of all are the Japanese knives, cast iron teapots, and the fun fake food samples that you see in many storefront windows.
Location: 3 Chome-18-2 Matsugaya, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0036, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9am-5pm daily
Honestly, if you only had one day in Tokyo, the Tokyo Skytree would show you a taste of everything. It has shopping, foods from all over Japan, souvenirs and gifts, and an excellent view. We’ve spent a few hours here shopping at the retail stores, sampling the various confections and food gifts, and eating samples from their sweets shop.
Location: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-8634, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9am-9pm daily
DAY FOUR – 5 DAY TOKYO ITINERARY
Toyosu Fish Market
The Tsukiji Fish Market was one of the largest fish markets in the world until it closed and the operation moved to Toyosu Market in 2018. While we haven’t visited the new location, we found a fun tour of the market if you want to see part of the tuna auctions!
TIP: While Tsukiji Market has changed without the tuna auctions, many of the restaurants and shops in Tsukiji Market remain the same and it is still absolutely worth visiting this iconic place in Tokyo!
As of October 2018, the Tsukiji Market moved to its new location at the Toyosu Market.
Location: 6 Chome-6-1 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan // MAP
Hours: 5am-5pm daily, closed Sunday & Wednesday
teamLab is always pushing the boundaries to be unlike any other art museum you’ll ever visit. Each exhibit they debut is highly interactive, emotional, and beautiful. We’ve been to both teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets in Tokyo and each has their own unique characteristics. teamLab’s current Tokyo exhibit, Planets is a multisensory journey where you’ll walk barefoot through water, gardens, and digital art spaces blurring the boundaries of art and reality to become one with this created world.
Tips for Visiting teamLab Planets
- Because there are many water features in this exhibit, some even nearly knee-deep, make sure you wear clothes that you can easily roll or hold up. There are towels available to wipe off your feet after visiting each room with water.
- If you are wearing a skirt or dress consider wearing shorts underneath because many of the floors have mirrors. If you forget, the museum has loan shorts available.
- I’d recommend getting the earliest time slot possible because the water features in this exhibit make it a little messier as the day continues. But if you can’t work that into your schedule the first two hours of the day and last two hours of the day are usually the least busy.
- Book your tickets ahead of time if you can because tickets can sell out quickly.
- Make sure you account for at least 2-3 hours of time to visit.
- teamLab Planets is available to visit until the end of 2023. TeamLab Borderless is set to reopen in Azabudai Hills in January 2024.
Location: 6 Chome-1-16 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan // MAP
DiverCity Plaza is one of our favorite places in Odaiba. Outside of the plaza is the huge Gundam statue and each hour you can see it come to life! Inside DiverCity Plaza are a huge assortment of restaurants (from casual food court dining to fine dining), specialty shops, and gaming centers. There is even a store completely dedicated to Gundam.
Location: 1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan // MAP
Hours: 10am-8pm daily
The Rainbow Bridge
Before heading back into the city make sure you get a glance of the Rainbow Bridge, it is especially pretty at night when it’s lit up. The Rainbow Bridge was started in 1987 and completed in 1993 as a suspension bridge from northern Tokyo Bay and Odaiba. You can easily view the bridge from a number of places in Odaiba like DiverCity Plaza or you can even walk across the pedestrian area of the bridge.
Shopping in Ginza
If you’re looking for upscale, luxury shopping then Ginza has it all. Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, and more – it’s definitely for the big spenders out there! We enjoyed window shopping for a short while at all the fun places and seeing the glitzy architecture of the buildings.
DAY FIVE – 5-DAY TOKYO ITINERARY
On your last day in Tokyo, you should consider visiting Tokyo Disney or taking a day trip to a nearby city or town such as Yokohama, Nikko, or Kamakura which are great day trips from Tokyo. For this Tokyo itinerary, we’re going to cover Tokyo DisneySea!
We didn’t plan it this way, but it’s become somewhat of a tradition to visit Disney for a day on our last day in Tokyo and it’s always a magical ending. Tokyo has two Disney parks to choose from, Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. If you only have time to visit one, my recommendation will always be the iconic Tokyo DisneySea because it is unique to Japan.
Not to mention, if you ever wanted Disney souvenirs this is the place for it! Sure, we live near Disney World and are annual pass holders but Tokyo Disney and DisneySea have elite souvenirs like their infamous popcorn buckets!
Something else we love about Tokyo DisneySea is the fact that you do not have to pay extra for a Fast Pass! It’s included in your ticket and you can get a fast pass from one of the ticket machines inside which gives you time to return to the ride of your choice and skip the line. We recommend doing the fast pass for the top rides since you can only get one fast pass every hour!
Dining at Tokyo DisneySea
While we haven’t eaten at all of the restaurants in Tokyo DisneySea, here are the ones we have been to as well as the snack stands we visited.
Inexpensive Dining Options
Zambini Brothers’ Ristorante: This is one of our best restaurants in Tokyo DisneySea and decently inexpensive. We recommend getting the Marguerita pizza which is a decent portion for lunch or dinner. You can also get a side salad or a bowl of minestrone soup.
Mid-Range Dining Options
Yucatan Base Camp Grill: Wasn’t our favorite place to dine at in Tokyo DisneySea, but it did have some options that other restaurants didn’t have. We had the smoked chicken accompanied by rice and vegetables which we felt lacked flavor. If we could choose again we would have eaten at another restaurant in the park.
Snacks Around The Park
Mamma Biscotti’s Bakery: Mamma Biscotti’s is the perfect place to enjoy a late-night snack or dessert before leaving the park. The items change seasonally but we got a chocolate orange cake and latte.
Sultan’s Oasis: Definitely get the soft-serve ice cream with shaved ice topped with coconut milk. It’s creamy, refreshing, and so yummy!
Popcorn Stands: Even if you’re extremely full, another must-try snack at Tokyo DisneySea is the popcorn flavors. You can get a decent-sized basket for around ¥300. We like white chocolate, cheddar jalapeño, strawberry, curry, and black pepper.
Other Things to Do in Tokyo
In case you aren’t interested in visiting Disney on your last day in Tokyo or you’re looking for a few other things to try, here are some places we have gone to that are worth a visit!
Namjatown is an indoor theme park with food amusement as well such as a gyoza stadium and dessert bar. It’s the perfect activity for kids in Tokyo or adults too!
Location: Japan, 〒170-0013 Tokyo, Toshima City, Higashiikebukuro, 3 Chome−1−3 サンシャインシティ ワールドインポートマートビル 2F // MAP
Hours: 10am-10pm daily
Cost: 3,500 yen/adult, 2,800 yen/child
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a unique cultural experience that grasped what life was like in Japan over many centuries. You could easily spend three hours here and be intrigued by the fascinating history of Japan by viewing artifacts and models between 1590 and 1964.
Location: 1 Chome-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo 130-0015, Japan // MAP
Hours: 9:30am-5:30pm daily, closed Mondays
Cost: 600 yen/adult, 480 yen/college student, 300 yen/high school & junior high, free for elementary students.
The Ghibli Museum is dedicated to showcasing the animated works of Studio Ghibli – mostly focusing on Hayao Miyazaki’s works. There is no map and no photos allowed (except a few designated areas) in order to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Inside the museum, there is a bookstore, cafe, rooftop garden, and a small theater for short films.
During our first trip to Japan, we were unable to get tickets to visit the Ghibli Museum. They sell out VERY quickly and you are not able to buy them at the entrance. If you are planning to visit you’ll need to book your tickets three months in advance either at a Lawson Loppi Machine in Japan or on the Lawson Ticket website. There are other places you can purchase Ghibli Museum tickets as well, but they are far more costly and not always legitimate.
Location: 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan // MAP
Cost: 1,000 yen/adult, 700 yen/ages 13-18, 400 yen/ages 7-12, 100 yen/ages 4-6
After visiting Tokyo on countless occasions we still have yet to see and do everything and even many other places outside of Tokyo! What are you most looking forward to on your trip to Tokyo?