Heading to Tokyo this March for an immaculate view of the cherry blossoms? Check out our guide on the best things to do in Tokyo while you’re there on your Japanesey getaway!
Tokyo is a city like no other. With its bright lights and towering skyscrapers, the capital of Japan is a bustling metropolis that is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing a unique blend of modern and traditional culture. Known for its impressive modern architecture, rich history, traditions, and delicious cuisine, Tokyo offers something for everyone.
From the neon lights of Shibuya to the serene gardens of the Imperial Palace, there are countless sights to see and experiences to be had in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient temples and shrines, indulging in a sushi feast, experiencing the latest technological innovations, or checking out the latest fashion trends, Tokyo has it all. If you’re planning a trip there, get ready for an unforgettable adventure with this list of must-do in Tokyo!
As usual, before you get packing, remember to choose the best deals in accommodations, flight tickets, travel insurance, and exchange rates with your trusty Youtrip multi-currency card and its features — YouTrip Perks.
1. Take Cool Photos At Shibuya Crossing
Image credits: Japan Travel
Shibuya Crossing is one of the most iconic spots in Tokyo and is often featured in pop culture like Lost in Translation and Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift. When the lights turn green, it’s a pedestrian scramble that sees thousands of people crossing the street in all directions at once, creating a thrilling spectacle that is both exhilarating and overwhelming if it’s your first time there.
The area also boasts a plethora of large shopping centres, small boutiques, discount stores, bars, clubs, cafes, and restaurants, making it a prime location for shopping, dining, and enjoying a night out on the town.
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about the Shibuya Crossing here
2. Visit Tokyo Skytree
Image credits: Japan Cheapo
The Tokyo Skytree, Japan’s tallest building, is an impressive sight even from the ground. However, to fully appreciate the sprawling metropolis, taking a ride on the super-fast elevator to the top is a must. You can take in all of Tokyo’s most famous landmarks, including the Tokyo Tower, clusters of high-rise buildings in Shinjuku, Roppongi, and Shibuya, as well as large parks such as Yoyogi Park and Ueno Park from the bird’s-eye view at the top floor. For the ultimate experience, you can even walk on the glass-bottom skywalk. BUT do not attempt if you have a fear of heights! On a clear day, it’s even possible to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from the top of the Tokyo Skytree.
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 10 AM – 9 PM
Nearest Station: Tokyo Skytree Station
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: For more info on the Tokyo Skytree click here
3. Visit Senso-ji At Asakusa
Image credits: History Hit
Located in the heart of Tokyo, the Asakusa district is home to Sensoji Temple, the city’s oldest temple. You must definitely check out the iconic Kaminarimon gate, followed by a leisurely stroll down Nakamise Street, where you can get traditional street snacks. Additionally, Kimono shops and Rickshaw tours can be found nearby. Asakusa provides an ideal opportunity to experience traditional Japanese culture and a historic townscape, all within a modern metropolis.
The district is also a culinary haven, offering a variety of long-established Japanese restaurants serving authentic dishes like Sukiyaki, Tempura, and Sushi. Traditional activities, such as Rickshaw rides and donning Kimono attire, are available in the area. Asakusa’s proximity to other tourist attractions, including the Tokyo Skytree, Sumida River, Kappabashi Street, and Ueno area, make it an excellent destination for everyone to explore.
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily from Mondays to Sundays. Main Hall is open year-round from 6 AM – 5 PM (Opens at 6:30 AM from October to March)
Nearest Station: Asakusa Station
Price: Admission is free
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about Senso-ji here
4. Tsukiji Fish Market: For The Freshest Seafood
Image credits: Savvy Tokyo
For many years, the Tsukiji Fish Market was renowned as the world’s largest wholesale market and a top tourist attraction in Tokyo. However, in Autumn 2018, the wholesale market (inner market) was relocated to a new site in Toyosu. You can still witness the famous tuna auction at Toyosu Market. Nevertheless, the outer market of Tsukiji still retains its lively and bustling atmosphere and is well worth a visit.
If you are feeling hungry, the Tsukiji Outer Market boasts hundreds of long-established restaurants and shops, including sushi restaurants. It wouldn’t take too much effort to immerse yourself in the wide range of seafood delicacies originating from the abundant seas around Japan. You can also wander through the slightly chaotic side streets of this renowned food market area to check out grocers, kitchen utensil stores, and Japanese knife shops, all brimming with an authentic market vibe. To get the full range of options, it’s advisable to arrive before noon since some places may close or sell out later in the day. Note that many shops are closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so it is best to plan your visit accordingly. The Tsukiji Market is also conveniently located near the Ginza area, where several Michelin-starred fine restaurants can be found.
Opening Hours: 24 Hours, closed on Sundays
Nearest Station: Tsukiji Shijo Station
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about Tsukiji Fish Market here
5. Catch The Sumo Morning Practice
Image credits: Asian Wanderlust
Sumo wrestling, one of Japan’s national sports with origins dating back to ancient times, is a fascinating and unique aspect of Japanese culture that captivates foreign tourists. Numerous Sumo stables, where wrestlers train, are situated in Tokyo, particularly in the Ryogoku area which is conveniently located near Asakusa and the Tokyo Skytree. Some of these stables allow public viewing of their morning practice sessions.
Being able to witness Sumo wrestlers in such close proximity is absolutely awe-inspiring, and learning about the rigorous physical and mental training they undergo will give you a newfound appreciation for the sport and its athletes. While it may not be the most budget-friendly activity, the experience is undoubtedly worthwhile and one of the most unforgettable experiences you can have in Japan.
To Note: The sumo stable’s location and assemble time will be decided three days before the selected date. (Meet up between 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM)
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more here
6. Head To Meiji Jingu
Image credits: Loving Tokyo
As a visitor, Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine in Tokyo is a must-see attraction that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, who were instrumental in modernizing Japan during the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century.
The entrance to the shrine is marked by two massive torii gates made of cypress wood, and once inside, visitors are surrounded by towering trees that create a serene atmosphere. The main shrine building is a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture. Visitors can participate in traditional Shinto rituals, such as writing wishes on wooden plaques and throwing coins for good luck. Surrounded by a beautiful park with walking trails, the shrine is also the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll in nature. A visit to Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich history and culture and is an experience not to be missed!
Opening Hours: Depending on the month, it opens from 5 AM – 6:30 PM
Nearest Station: Harajuku Station
Price: * Admission is free
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine here
7. Harajuku Street
Image credits: Go Tokyo
If you’re into Japanese fashion or the “Kawaii” culture, you’ll need to explore Harajuku street! A vibrant and eclectic district located in the heart of Tokyo, Japan, Harajuku street it known for being the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion. A must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the unique and colourful side of Tokyo.
As you explore the streets of Harajuku, you’ll find an endless array of boutiques, vintage shops, and high-end fashion stores. The area has several backstreets that are home to popular high-street clothing brands such as Bape and Supreme. While, the main streets of Harajuku, Omotesando Street, and Meiji Street have large shopping malls like Laforet, Tokyu Plaza, and Omotesando Hills, which cater to adult shoppers. Conveniently located near Shibuya, you can easily walk between the two areas in about 20 minutes.
In addition to its fashion scene, Harajuku is also home to some of the most delicious and diverse cuisine in Tokyo. From traditional Japanese dishes to international flavours, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and food stands offering mouth-watering treats.
One of the most popular spots in Harajuku is Takeshita Street, a bustling pedestrian-only street lined with trendy fashion boutiques, cafes, and dessert shops. You can also check out the famous Yoyogi Park, located nearby, which is a great place to relax and people watch.
Nearest Station: Harajuku Station
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about Harajuku & Takeshita Street here
8. Visit The Tokyo Imperial Palace
Image credits: KCP International
The Tokyo Imperial Palace, also known as the Kyūden (former palace grounds), is located in the heart of Tokyo and is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. The palace is surrounded by a moat and walls, with beautiful gardens and parks that offer a serene and peaceful escape from the bustling city. You can take a tour of the palace grounds, including the East Gardens which are open to the public, and see the stunning Nijubashi Bridge — the main entrance to the palace. The palace also has several museums and art galleries that showcase the history and culture of Japan. The Tokyo Imperial Palace is a must-visit destination if you are interested in Japanese history, culture, and architecture.
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about the Tokyo Imperial Palace here
9. See The Cherry Blossoms In Spring
Image credits: Rove
You’ll be surprised to discover that the city boasts more nature than you’d have anticipated, amidst its renowned skyscrapers and advanced technology. Spring is the peak season for tourists to witness the stunning cherry blossoms, and Tokyo is no exception. There are countless locations to admire these beautiful flowers that typically bloom in mid to late March and early April.
Some of the most popular parks to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom are Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi Park, and Inokashira Park. Traditional Japanese gardens like Rikugien Garden and Koishikawa Korakuen Garden offer a mix of greenery and vibrant pink cherry blossoms during spring. Along the Meguro River and Sumida River, hundreds of cherry trees line the sidewalks, creating a picturesque scene.
For a unique experience, head to Tokyo Midtown in the modern Roppongi area, where the cherry blossoms are beautifully illuminated in the evening, and there are plenty of dining options available.
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Check out our Japan Sakura Forecast here
10. Tokyo Disney Resort
Image credits: Girleatworld
Tokyo Disneyland is arguably the world’s most magical place filled with wonder and excitement. From the moment you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by colourful parades, thrilling rides, and beloved Disney characters roaming around. The park is divided into several themed areas such as Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and Toontown, each with its own unique attractions.
One of the highlights of Tokyo Disneyland is the impeccable attention to detail that has been put into every aspect of the park. The buildings, decorations, and costumes are all meticulously designed to create an immersive and enchanting atmosphere. It’a a true must-go for avid Disney fans! Long lines are expected for the most popular rides, so it’s recommended to arrive early and make use of the FastPass system to minimize waiting. Other than rides, there are also entertaining shows and parades throughout the day, featuring beloved Disney characters and impressive choreography.
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 8 AM – 10 PM
Nearest Station: Maihama Station
YouTrip’s Not-So-Basic Guide To JB 2023: Find out more about Tokyo Disney Resort here
Sushi. Sleep. Tokyo. Repeat.
So there you have it, folks! A list of must-do things in Tokyo that will have you saying “Arigatou Gozaimasu” (thank you very much) for experiencing all that this vibrant city has to offer. From slurping on piping hot ramen to taking in stunning city views from towering skyscrapers, Tokyo is a city that truly has something for everyone. But before you grab your bags and cameras, start planning with your best travel companion, and Singapore’s favourite multi-currency wallet, YouTrip! Not only does YouTrip offer favourable foreign exchange rates, including SGD to Yen and vice versa, but it also has discounts on air tickets, hotel or lodging and travel insurance.
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