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Bucket list trip:

Toyko 3-day Itinerary

  • Japan

Last updated: 04 April, 2024

Where to go and what to see in Tokyo to get the most from your trip – a 3-day itinerary from destination expert and Japan travel writer Rob Goss.

Editor note – Rob has not included specific recommendations of where to stay each day unless it’s necessary. Instead, see the ‘Where to stay’ section in our Tokyo destination guide.

Day 1

4

Start the day at Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, then take the Ginza Line a couple of stops to Ueno for the vast collection of Japanese art and artefacts at the Tokyo National Museum.

For lunch in Ueno, try Ichiran Ramen. Like all the best ramen joints, just be ready to queue.

Near Ueno, visit the Yanaka area’s traditional shopping street (Yanaka Ginza), then explore the winding backstreets for contemporary art venues like SCAI the Bathhouse.

Afterwards, stop for locally made craft beer at Yanaka Beer Hall, which also serves izakaya food.

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

  • Bucket List Experience

Sensoji temple at Asakusa.The Sensoji temple in Asakusa area is the oldest temple in Tokyo.

Experience

Sensoji Temple

With towering gateways and a five-storied pagoda, this busy temple in Asakusa is a standout. If you have time for just one temple in Tokyo – make it this one.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

  • Bucket List Experience

Japan’s oldest and largest art and cultural museum, is a must-see for anyone interested in Japan’s fascinating history. Collections include samurai armour and swords, ancient Buddhist sculptures even tea ceremony utensils.

Adult price: 6

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

  • Bucket List Experience

A collection of six excellent museums in one park, including the Tokyo National Museum. Also one of the city’s most popular sites for hanami in Cherry Blosssom season.

Adult price: Varies

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Having avoided damage from the great quake of 1923, the bombs of World War Two and the attention of developers, this mellow, retro and rickety neighbourhood is reminiscent of ‘old Tokyo’.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Day 2

4

Begin with the traditionally landscaped Hamarikyu Gardens before a short walk to the food stalls of Tsukiji Outer Market.

While in Tsukiji, don’t miss the sushi. Sushizanmai is one of many places here that serve super-fresh sushi for lunch at excellent prices.

In the afternoon, head to the upscale Ginza district for its plush department stores and international boutiques, or try a tea ceremony at the nearby Imperial Hotel.

If you fancy splurging on dinner, try the teppanyaki at Ukai Tei.

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

A bustling and vibrant food market offering a wide variety of fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and traditional Japanese delicacies. Sample delectable sushi, sashimi, street food, and local snacks.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Ginza Six

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Ginza Six is a luxury shopping complex located in the Ginza area of Tokyo, jointly developed by Mori Building Company, Sumitomo Corporation.

Experience

A swanky retail complex in Ginza – a plush district in the heart of the city, home to high-end department stores and boutiques.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Website >
  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

  • Bucket List Experience

From mega-malls and swanky boutiques to food markets and traditional craft stores, Tokyo has all the shopping bases covered.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Day 3

5

Have a morning of contrasts, with the serene Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori street, an epicentre for quirky youth fashions.

For a high-calorie, sweet-toothed lunch on Takeshita-dori, try Marion Crepes.

From there, take an afternoon walk along the boutique-lined Omotesando-dori and on to Shibuya for the iconic Shibuya Crossing.

A few stations away in Shinjuku, dinner could be Hokkaido-style mutton barbecue at Youichi, before finishing your visit with bar hopping in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai district.

Harajuku district

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Crowds walk through Takeshita Street in the Harajuku district at night.

Experience

The place to come to discover the latest urban street fashions on Cat Street, as well as the colourful teen trends on the narrow and frequently ram-packed Takeshita-dori (street).

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Shibuya Crossing

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Shibuya Crossing

Experience

Like a thousand-person scrum, this is purportedly the world’s busiest road crossing – with as many as 3,000 people crossing at any one time. Grab a photo from above at the Crossing View observation deck.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Experience

Hundreds of cherry trees, combined with an entrance fee and no-alcohol policy, make the lawns of this park a great hanami spot for families.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

This collection of ramshackle alleyways in Shinjuku is home to some of Tokyo’s tiniest, but most unique bars.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Freq: annually