Are you a first-time visitor? Let us be your city guide with our list of all the best things to do in Tokyo!

Planning for an unmissable adventure to a new city can be hard. But, thanks to our travel guide, we’re giving you a list of all the best things to do in Tokyo regardless if your trip is 48 hours, a few days or a week.

Known as the land of the rising sun, Tokyo has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and for a good reason. Despite Japan’s small size, Tokyo is brimming with plenty of must-see modern marvels, deep-rooted cultural traditions, quirky oddities and plenty of stunning vistas.

Whether you are keen to immerse yourself in a tech-based art gallery, shuffle through crowds or unwind in nature, there is never a dull moment to be had in Tokyo, Japan.

So, to help you with what to do, whether you’re a first-time visitor or not, we’ve put together a simple travel guide list of the best things to do in Tokyo, Japan!

<strong>teamLab Planets Tokyo</strong>
Photographed by KenSoftTH. Image via Shutterstock.

teamLab Planets Tokyo

This mind-bending interactive experience will change the way you think about what ‘art’ even means. An enthralling mix of sight and sound, light and lasers, this avant-garde art exhibition pushes the limits of digital technology, letting you play with some of the most interesting interactive art in the world. Whether you’re walking through a mirrored green house, a room packed with giant balloons, or ‘swimming’ through a digital koi pond, your body will be completely immersed. Make sure to orbit teamLab Planets on your next trip to Tokyo, one of the most unique exhibitions in the world!

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<strong>Shibuya Crossing</strong>
Photographed by FiledIMAGE. Image via Shutterstock.

Shibuya Crossing

The busiest crossing in the world, Shibuya Crossing is a sight to behold. An intersection between two of the busiest train stations in the world, making your way from one end to the other feels like a chaotic scramble. When those green lights flick on, you’ll be weaving and dodging hundreds of people from almost every direction, and when it’s red, the crossing starts to reload people, just to do it all over again. Scaling up one of the nearby skyscrapers lets you gaze down at the tiny people hustling from one station to the next, like an hourglass of people. Make sure to cross Shibuya Crossing off your bucket list on your next visit to Japan!

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<strong>Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan</strong>
Photographed by J. Henning Buchholz. Image via Shutterstock.

Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan

As the national sport of Japan, sumo wrestling can be one of the best sport activities to visit in Tokyo. This intense one-on-one competition is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, and it is not hard to see why. Sumo tournaments are held every second month starting in January and running throughout the year, meaning there’s plenty of chances to see this historic and unique sport. Tickets for sumo tournaments are sold a few weeks before the start of each match, with more tickets sold on the morning of each day. So book ahead for this cool and equally fun thing to do in Tokyo!

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<strong>Kawaii at</strong> <strong>Harajuku</strong>
Photographed by Torjrtrx. Image via Shutterstock.

Kawaii at Harajuku

Fans of Hello Kitty, Pokémon, street wear and all things cute, we have found your new mecca. Recognised as the epicentre of Japanese youth culture and fashion, Harajuku is a shopping and eating district with no equal. Quirky and adorable stores line the tight alleys of Takeshita and Cat Street, letting you peak at the latest trends of Japanese street style. That cuteness also feeds into the dining options, with crepe stands and bubble-gum bright street foods that will have you screaming ‘aww’ like an anime character. Get cute at Harajuku on your next trip to Tokyo!

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Photographed by ESB Professional. Image via Shutterstock.


Anime, manga, and all things geeky; there’s a good reason Akihabara has been titled as the centre of Japanese pop-culture. Walking down the streets for the first time can feel overwhelming with multi-storey candy-coloured arcades, gigantic anime billboards that fill the skyline, crowded vintage and modern electronic stores and, let’s not forget, the flashing lights and loud music that lures you in. The plethora of maid cafes — a unique cafe where the all-female staff where maid outfits and play games with the guests — are a quirky phenomenon that can make for a fun snack in between shopping. Spend a few hours in the nerdy mecca of the world at Akihabara!

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<strong>Jigokudani Monkey Park</strong>
Photographed by Danita Delimont. Image via Shutterstock.

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Monkeys bathing in a hot spring sound like a punchline. But at Jigokudani Monkey Park, you have the chance to witness this firsthand. A four-hour drive from central Tokyo, this remote natural hot spring has become famous for the Japanese macaques who call this reserve home. Visiting lets you see these snow monkeys bathing, eating and just having fun. Best experienced with the rising snow fall of January and February, take some time out of your trip to witness these loveable snow monkeys taking a dip at Jigokudani Monkey Park.

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<strong>Hiking Mount Fuji</strong>
Photographed by mapman. Image via Shutterstock.

Hiking Mount Fuji

One of the most beautiful places in Japan, Mount Fuji has become a towering icon of the tranquil majesty of the island nation. Standing at almost four kilometres tall, Mount Fuji is the tallest peak in Japan, a peak you have the chance to climb. To reach the summit can take about a day’s worth of strenuous walking, hiking, and climbing. Luckily there’s a number of lodges set up the at various stations, giving you a chance to rest your feet or even sleep for the night. Since the best time to reach the summit is at the crack of dawn, sleeping overnight gives you the perfect timing to see the sun rise on one of the most incredible experiences in Japan. The climbing season runs from early June to mid-September, so make sure you book this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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Are you looking to explore more of what Japan has to offer? Prepare for an unmissable adventure with our Ultimate Guide to the Best Things To Do in Japan in 2022. Can’t make it to Japan just yet? Experience a taste of the east thanks to the Top Japanese Bars around Australia.

Feature image: Photographed by Jezeal Melgoza. Image via Unsplash.
This article was first published on July 17 2017. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on October 20 2022.
Editor’s Note: Our writers and contributors have independently selected and curated this article, and all opinions are their own. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.