Your time in Tokyo is precious. However long you spend in the city, you’ll never run out of attractions to visit, new neighborhoods to explore, or mouthwatering food to sample. 

For first-time visitors we typically recommend a three-day stay in the Japanese capital. Your trip will most likely be starting (and possibly concluding) here, so this length of stay gives a decent amount of time to discover the city, whilst also providing a warm-up for your oncoming adventures through Japan. 

If we were asked to describe the perfect three-day Tokyo itinerary it would run something like the below. There’s no end to the fun and adventures to be had in the city though; so if you have specific tastes or interests make sure to run them past our enthusiastic Japan experts.

Tokyo Day 1 - Tsukiji, Asakusa, Shibuya

Day 1

Major Sites & Districts

We’d always recommend making an early start to visit Tsukiji fish market, which is at its most active in the early mornings. Although the famous tuna auctions have now moved to a modern, purpose-built complex nearby, you can still take in the hustle and bustle, and possibly call in to one of the many excellent sushi restaurants for a true breakfast of champions. 

We’d then move on to Asakusa, which at over 1,000 years old is one of the best-preserved shitamachi (old style) districts in the city. Here you’ll find the Senso-ji temple, the oldest and most significant place of worship in Tokyo. 

Continue to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, tucked away in a corner of modern Shibuya district. Dedicated to deified spirits of former Emperor Meiji (1852 – 1912) and his consort Empress Shoken, the shrine is surrounded by parkland and is especially beautiful in spring, backed by blossoming cherry trees. 

Head deeper into Shibuya – Tokyo’s busiest and most commercial district – to explore its endless shopping and entertainment. Tick off one of Tokyo’s major sites by passing through the famous ‘Shibuya Scramble’. A pro tip is to head up to one of the coffee shops which overlook the crossing, then sit back for some of the best people-watching you’ll ever do.

Check out our Grand Tour of Japan sample itinerary
Tokyo Day 2 - Nakameguro, Ginza

Day 2

Discover Hidden Neighborhoods

Today take yourself away from the well-beaten path, jumping on the Yamanote Circle Line from Tokyo Station which loops around the city center, passing through a series of intriguing residential neighborhoods along the way. 

Yanaka, Nakameguro, Shimokitawaka – none are major train stations or notable sites, but all have a distinct charm. We guarantee that getting away from the beaten path and sampling contemporary or traditional Japanese local life will likely become one of the highlights of your stay in Tokyo. You’ll find a link to our guide on the city’s best hidden neighborhoods just below. 

Finish the day by contrasting the traditional and laidback with the pulsating and modern. The Ginza district is a long strip of upscale department stores, draped in neon after dark. There are plenty of excellent places to eat and drink in the vicinity, and never-ending shopping to keep you busy.

Tokyo Day 3 - Ueno, Yoyogi, Tokyo Skytree

Day 3

Parks and Recreation

After a busy couple of days, today can be spent catching up on anything missed so far, or taking a more laidback day strolling through one of Tokyo’s lovely parks. 

Yoyogi Park is a hive of local life, and especially fun to visit over the weekend when the various sub-tribes of contemporary Japan – cosplayers, street dance crews, mimes, rockabillies – meet in the park to celebrate their weirdness.

Ueno Park, in the north of the city center, is a sprawling public space that is a great base for the day. In addition to the open park, you’ll find the Tokyo National Museum, Metropolitan Art Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Royal Museum, and Ueno Zoo – plenty to keep anyone occupied for a day! 

As the sun starts to fall, head for the Tokyo Skytree in Sumida. A small entrance fee takes you to the top of this freestanding broadcasting tower from where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the city. Alternatively, if you’re looking to save pennies, head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Tower in the heart of Shinjuku, which has a free observation deck on the 45th floor. On a clear day you can see the peak of Mount Fuji rising over the western outskirts of the city.

When to visit Japan

Ready to start planning your next trip?

Get in touch with our Japan specialist, Luke, to start planning your luxury Japan safari and adventure today.

+44 208 004 2345OR

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