- Top 5 Things To Do In Tokyo Japan
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- Parts Unknown Star Anthony Bourdain’s Tips For Tokyo
Top 5 Things To Do In Tokyo Japan – Tokyo is a city like no other. Sure, you can visit museums and temples and eat at one of thousands of delicious restaurants, but you can also do things you can’t do anywhere else.
We had some of our craziest experiences in this big city and spent our time feeling overwhelmed, surprised, and 100% safe.
Top 5 Things To Do In Tokyo Japan
Here are our favorite unique, weird, and wonderful things to do in Tokyo, one of the best places to visit in Japan.
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At the end of the post, you’ll find a map of these fun Tokyo activities as well as tips for exploring the city.
Dressing up in your favorite style and driving a car through the streets of Tokyo should be the best thing you can do in Tokyo.
Go-karting was a dream come true for Simon, but as I hadn’t driven in years, I spent the first hour of the two-hour ride nervous and the second hour I’m so happy!
It’s a surreal experience as you drive past tall monuments and small temples, busy streets and quiet residential areas, while people stare, wave and take your photo.
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Go-karts are easy to operate, but you need an international driving permit, so make sure you get one before you leave your country. This is important and many people miss out by not bringing one.
Note: This was called Maricar and you could dress up as Mario characters, but Nintendo shut that down. Now it’s a similar experience called Monkey Kart where you can choose many types of clothes.
This hour-long Go-Kart and Monkey Kart tour costs $135 including costume rental and photos. It takes you to iconic Tokyo landmarks like the Skytree and the geeky Akihabara neighborhood. Check availability here
It may seem like a waste to spend a day of your Tokyo trip at Disney, but DisneySea is unlike any other Disney theme park in the world (and it’s probably the best).
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The nautical theme park features seven harbors inspired by real-life locations and maritime legends including the American Waterfront, the Mediterranean Harbor (which looks like Italy), the Arabian Coast, and the unique Mysterious Island with and volcanic lava.
The attractions are more adult-oriented than neighboring Tokyo Disneyland, and you can see a Broadway show and shop in a 1920s lounge aboard a cruise ship.
What a beautiful day! Read about our favorite DisneySea rides including recommended rides for adults and tips for avoiding the crowds.
Tokyo Disneyland is a classic Disney theme park with a fairy tale castle and popular rides such as Space and Splash Mountains. If you have time, spend a day at each.
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If you’re a theme park lover, we also recommend Universal Studios Japan in Osaka where you’ll find thrill rides, the new Nintendo World, and the magical Harry Potter World—one of the world’s top tourist attractions. Japan.
Tokyo DisneySea ticket prices vary by day. One-day tickets cost 8400 yen ($62). It is best to register online to avoid queues on the day. You just show the QR code to enter. Buy your Tokyo Disney e-ticket on Klook here.
Robot Restaurant is currently closed. It was due to reopen in May 2023 but has been delayed with no new opening date announced. I will keep this post updated.
The Robot Restaurant is not a restaurant and there aren’t many robots, but this exhibition is one of the most amazing things to do in Tokyo.
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A lively, wild game with robots, dragons, ninjas, blue-haired dancers, guitar players, swing guitarists, drums, lots of neon lights and loud music .
The digital art program TeamLab Planets is one of the most Instagrammable things to do in Tokyo. But this unusual interactive museum is worth a visit even if you don’t plan to take the perfect photo.
TeamLab’s displays are unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Their immersive shows use light, projection and sound in creative ways and break down the boundaries between viewer and art.
We visited TeamLab Borderless, which closed in 2022 but is set to open in a new location (Toranomon-Azabudai Project) in late 2023.
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TeamLab Planets has four large exhibition spaces and two gardens. You walk in the water and become one with the flowers.
Be prepared to walk barefoot and wear shorts or pants that can be rolled up as the water reaches the knees in patches. Some of the floors are made of mirrors, so the skirts are not good. You can borrow shorts if needed. Lockers are available for your shoes.
Notes: Admission is 3200 yen ($24) and it is important to book in advance (within 1-2 months) as it often sells out.
TeamLab Planets is open from 9 am to 9 pm most days (with some closing days). It gets very busy so avoid weekends and public holidays and get there early.
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From Shinkuku Station take the Shinjuku Line to Ichigaya Station and change to the Yurakucho Line at Toyosu. Allow about 45 minutes for the trip.
Most of the shows and cartoons are written in Japanese, but it’s still fun to see props and scenes from old movies like.
When we visited there was a special display of the food that the actors eat. The attention to detail in every second of the footage is amazing.
Excitingly, the new Ghibli Park opened in Nagoya in November 2022. You can immerse yourself in the world of Studio Ghibli films. The train journey will take about three hours from Tokyo (using the fastest shinkansen).
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It is important to buy tickets in advance – you can find details on the Ghibli Museum website. Tickets cost 1000 yen ($7).
On the 10th of each month for the following month and sell early. So, if you are visiting Tokyo in November, you must book by October 10th.
The museum is a 15-minute walk from Mitaka Station and a little longer from Kitoji Station through a beautiful park. Don’t forget your passport and printed tickets.
Harajuku is Tokyo’s youth district along Takeshita Street. It is one of the busiest and most exciting places in Tokyo.
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It gets crowded on the weekends, but it’s worth walking around to see the cosplay kids, browse the fashion stores, and eat from one of the famous crepes—a stuffed crepe. Cheesecake slice, anyone?
Nearby you can visit the beautiful Omotesando shopping street, the Meiji shrine inside Yoyogi Park, and the Ota Museum (see below).
Sensoji is a Buddhist temple in Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s traditional areas where you can still find old wooden shops among the concrete. It is one of the best things to see in Tokyo.
The vibrant red temple gets crowded, but you can escape by wandering through the gardens to one of the quieter shrines.
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In the main square, make sure you find your fortune and cover yourself with incense for good luck.
Nearby go up to the 8th floor of the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center overlooking Asakusa Station for free views of the Tokyo Skytree (the tallest tower in the world) and the Nakamise shopping street leading to Sensoji.
The Ota Memorial Museum in Harajuku is a small art gallery that has a versatile collection of ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints.
We were lucky enough to see 36 Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai including the famous Great Wave off Kanagawa.
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800 – 1200 yen ($6-8) entrance fee depending on the current exhibition. Open from 10.30am – 5.30pm. Closed on Mondays and other holidays (check the calendar on their website). Take the train to Harajuku Station.
This beautiful garden is at its best when the cherry blossoms are blooming or the autumn leaves have turned red, but even at the end of summer, we enjoy strolling past the ponds, pagodas and tea house.
It’s a beautiful meadow away from the bustling city, and having a picnic on the main lawn here is one of our favorite things to do in Shinjuku, especially under the cherry blossoms. They have late bloomers if you miss the big season in early April.
Shinjuku Gyoen is also one of the best places in the area for a morning jog (worth the entrance fee).
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500 yen ($3.70) entrance fee. Open 9 am – 4.30 pm (until 7 pm in summer). It is closed on Mondays. The Shinjuku Gate entrance is a 10-minute walk from the New South Exit of Shinjuku Station.
Japan’s national sports are steeped in tradition and sports still include traditions that began in its origins as part of the Shinto religion.
Sumo wrestling tournaments take place in Tokyo in January, May and September, each lasting 15 days. If you’re visiting during this time, try to get a ticket.
During the rest of the year you can attend a practice session at the sumo stable, which is what we want to do on our next visit.
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In sumo training sessions you are close to the action, but you have to sit still and watch (1-2 hours).
Tokyo has the best food in the world, from cheap to delicious.
Even vegetarians are well catered for, as long as you know where to look—see our picks for vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo.
They are expensive so it is better to go for lunch
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