A visit to Japan is not complete without spending a day or two in Tokyo. It is the most popular travel destination in Japan because it has so much to offer – fashion, entertainment, shopping, food, museums, and more.
The best way to see Tokyo is to ride the JR Yamanote line, a circular line that loops around the city, stopping at the major city centers, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and Ueno.
11 Popular Tokyo, Japan Travel Destinations
Shinjuku station is one of the busiest in the world, with over three million people passing through on a daily basis.
Take the West Exit, and you are in Tokyo’s business district with five-star hotels, premier restaurants, and some of the tallest buildings in Tokyo.
Take the East Exit, and enter flashing neon lights, shops, pubs, and the biggest entertainment district in Japan, called Kabuki-cho.
The Shibuya station area is a popular landmark because of its famous crosswalk seen in many photos and movies.
The Hachiko Exit leads directly to the crosswalk and to shopping, entertainment, and restaurants.
Akihabara (often called Akiba) is a favorite for many tourists. It is the center for electronics, anime, manga, video games, and Cosplay.
There are many small shops selling new and used electronics, and there is also a large Yodobashi Camera, a chain electronics store in Japan.
Harajuku is one stop from Shibuya on the Yamanote line. It is a popular area for teenagers in Japan. The area features clothing stores, cafes, and fast food.
The most popular street, called Takeshita Dori, is worth a stroll to see the latest fashion. At the end, you can travel on to Omotesando for more higher-end stores.
Asakusa features traditional-style buildings, small shopping alleys, and a glimpse into old Japan.
The famous gate, Kaminarimon, leads the way to Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple), a popular Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. The long path from the gate to the temple (called Nakamise) has shops offering souvenirs, snack foods, and traditional Japanese goods.
Only a 20-minute walk away is the Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest towers in the world standing at 645 meters. There are two observation decks, one at 350 meters and the other at 450 meters (entrance fee required).
Ginza is a famous area with upscale, brand name shops. There are many department stores, boutique stores, art galleries, and restaurants. It features Western-style buildings and is the most expensive place in Japan to own real estate.
7. Ueno Park
Take the Park Exit out of Ueno Station and you arrive at Ueno Park. There is so much to do (i.e., museums, shrines, walking paths, Ueno Zoo), you could spend a whole day just exploring the area.
Near Ueno Park is the Ameya Yokocho Market (also called Ameyoko), a busy street selling a little bit of everything. You can find clothing, household items, toiletries, food, and fresh fish.
Note: In the Spring, Ueno Park becomes a major attraction when its 1000+ cherry trees start to bloom. It is one of the most popular places for Hanami or cherry blossom viewing.
Ikebukuro station is the third busiest after Shinjuku and Shibuya with over two million people passing through everyday. It offers restaurants, entertainment, and two of the largest department stores in the world, Tobu and Seibu.
Roppongi is a popular area for foreigners because of its large expat community. The area is near many embassies, so there are international restaurants and bars.
Not too far from Roppongi is the Tokyo Tower. The Tokyo Tower was built in 1958 and was the tallest building in Japan until the Tokyo Skytree was built in 2012. It stands at 333 meters. There are two observatories: one at 150 meters and one at 250 meters.
10. Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace is surrounded by a moat and houses the Imperial Family. The inner grounds are not open to the public, but you can visit the large park and gardens.
11. Tsukiji Outer Market
Tsukiji Market opened in 1935 and became the world’s largest wholesale fish market. It handled over 2,000 tons of seafood each day and was famous for its tuna auctions. The wholesale market closed in October 2018 and relocated to Toyosu.
The lively Tsukiji Outer Market is still open and has many shops and restaurants. The shops sell fresh fish, dried fish flakes, a variety of seaweed, vegetables, fruit, knives and kitchenware. You can try Japanese omelets called Tamago-yaki, fresh seafood, sushi, sweets, and much more!
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Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!