Travel Japan

Christmas Markets in Tokyo 2020

Japan has some odd ways to celebrate Christmas. 

Christmas in Japan is a couple’s day, it’s not a day off, and it’s common to celebrate by eating KFC. 

Yes. Not just any fried chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

However, one (normal) tradition that has made it’s way to the Far East is Christmas Markets!

This 600 year old German tradition is celebrated in various parts of Japan and some of the best ones are right here in Tokyo!

So in this article, we’ll be introducing some of the best Christmas Markets you can find in Tokyo in 2020!

Warning: because of coronavirus, some places may restrict entrance or even cancel to event itself so do further research before you go!

Roppongi hills

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The Roppongi Hills Christmas Market will be celebrating its 14th Christmas in 2020. This event is sponsored by Volkswagen, a German car company, so you know that this Christmas market is legitimate!

This event features a total of 7 shops, 3 for authentic German cuisines and 4 for German Christmas goods. Also, the Keyakizaka Street illuminations are close-by, so you can enjoy incredible illuminations on the way to the market. 

It doesn’t get any more authentic than this!


Date & Time: 11/28/2020 – 12/25/2020 11:00 – 21:00

Access: Roppongi Hills O-Yane Plaza 

Admission: Free


Yokohama red brick warehouse

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We visited the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Markets last year and it was nothing short of amazing. There were about 20 small vendors, set up in front of the brick houses to form an alley. 

At the end of the alley is a 10m tall Christmas tree shining brighter than any Christmas tree in Japan. 

Perfect spot for any date.


Date & Time: Dec 4th 2020 – Dec 25th 2020 11:00 – 21:00

Access: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse #2

Admission: Free


Tokyo christmas market

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The Tokyo Christmas Market opens again this year in 2 locations: Hibiya Park and Shinjuku Odakyu Park. This Christmas Market is easily recognizable by the Christmas Pyramid standing tall in the middle. 


Date & Time: Dec 10 – Dec 25 11:00 – 22:00

Access: Hibiya Park

Admission: Free


Tokyo tower


— TOKYO TOWER 縁日テラス クリスマスマーケット (@ennichi_xmas) November 12, 2020

Celebrate Christmas right under the iconic Tokyo Tower at the Ennichi Terrace Christmas Market! This Christmas Market is set up right at the base of Tokyo Tower and you can enjoy both Japanese and foreign foods!


Date & Time: Oct 30 – Jan 11 

Weekdays 16:00 – 21:30 / Weekends & Holidays 11:00 – 21:30

Access: Tokyo Tower 1st Floor Entrance

Admission: Free



Unfortunately, some Christmas Markets, such as the Ebisu Garden Place Marche de Noël, are not being held this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, it’s also great to see that coronavirus countermeasures, such as requiring a mask and taking temperatures, are taken at the ones that are taking places this year. 

Whichever one you decide to go to, you’re bound to have a great Christmas time! Let’s be safe and have a Merry Merry Christmas!

Which Christmas Market will you be attending this year?

Travel Japan

Illuminations in Tokyo

As winter begins, the days are becoming shorter in Japan. While this means that your daytime is limited, it’s finally the season for Christmas decorations!

One of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Japan is to watch illuminations, and this is especially true in Tokyo. Different parts of the city light up with incredible light decorations, competing to attract the crowds. 

If you’ll be enjoying Christmas in Tokyo this year, here is a list of different places to check out the winter Christmas illuminations in 2020!

Warning: because of coronavirus, some places may restrict entrance or even cancel to event itself so do further research before you go!

Illuminations in Tokyo



Date & Time: Nov 5 – Feb 4 15:00 – 23:00 (24:00 in December)

Access: Marunouchi Naka Dori, Around Tokyo Station, Otemachi Naka Dori

Admission: Free


Tokyo midtown

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Date & Time: 11/19/2020 – 2/28/2021

Access: Tokyo Midtown (Roppongi) 

Admission: Free


Ebisu garden place

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Date & Time: 11/14/2020 – 1/11/2021 11:00 – 24:00

Access: Ebisu Garden Place Plaza

Admission: Free



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Date & Time: 12/1/2020 – 12/25/2020 17:00 – 22:00

Access: Harajuku Station to Omotesando Station

Admission: Free


Tokyu plaza rooftop

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Date & Time: 11/17/2020 – 17:00 – 23:00

Access: Tokyu Plaza 6th Floor

Admission: Free


Tokyo dome city

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Date & Time: 11/13/2020 – 12/25/2020 17:00 – 24:00

Access: Tokyo Dome City

Admission: Free


Keyakizaka street illumination

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Date & Time: 11/13/2020 – 12/25/2020 17:00 – 23:00

Access: Roppongi Keyakizaka Street

Admission: Free


Yomiuri land

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Date & Time: 10/22/2020 – 4/4/2021 16:00 – 20:30

Access: Yomiuri Land

Admission: 1,500 yen for adults


tokyo city keiba

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Date & Time: 11/7/2020 – 1/11/2021 16:30 – 21:30

Access: Tokyo City Keiba

Admission: 1000 yen


tokyo midtown hibiya “Magic time illumination”

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Date & Time: 11/17/2020 – 12/25/2020 17:00 – 23:00

Access: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Admission: Free


Meguro river (online only)

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Shibuya ao no dokutsu(Cancelled)

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Honorable mention

Tokyo has some amazing Christmas illuminations, but there are places in other parts of Japan that are just as incredible, if not more. Here are some noteworthy places to take a visit to!

nabana no sato (Mie)

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Date & Time: 10/24/2020 – 5/31/2021 

10:00 – 21:00 (22:00 on weekends, holidays, except January and February)

Access: Nabana no Sato

Admission: 2,300 yen


huis ten bosch (nagasaki)

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Date & Time: 11/1/2020 – 12/25/2020 

Access: Huis Ten Bosch

Admission: 7,000 yen



While there are many places to see the Christmas illuminations on this list, it’s nowhere close to being a complete list. There are many smaller places and random streets around Tokyo that have fantastic illuminations as well!

What is your favorite place to watch Christmas illuminations?


Things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo, the urban capital of Japan and a very popular tourist destination. In fact, it’s one of the most populated metropolitan area in the world, with more than 38 million people. Being a city so popular, Tokyo definitely has a lot to offer.  

We’ve gathered some of the best things to do in Tokyo and organized it into easy to understand groups. Every district in Tokyo has its own features, so we’ve also included some insight into these different districts. If it’s going to be your first time Tokyo, we highly recommend checking out the full guide to Tokyo for tips on how to prepare a trip to Tokyo. 

Classic Spots

Shibuya Crossing, the Busiest Crossing in the World

Just like visiting the Times Square in New York, the Shibuya Crossing will make you realize that you are finally in Tokyo. At the crossing, up to over 3,000 people cross the intersection per light, from all directions. Once you’ve experienced the crossing first hand, step away and watch from a distance to really feel the magic!

Sensoji Temple, the Oldest Temple in Japan

Built in the mid 7th century, Sensoji temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan. It was built to honor the god of mercy, Kannon. The temple is located in Asakusa, where there are lots of shops and traditional Japanese buildings still remaining. Once you pass the iconic Kaminarimon gates, there is a long row of food stands and souvenir shops before reaching the temple itself.

Tokyo Skytree, the Tallest Building in Tokyo

Located right across the Sumida river from Sensoji Temple is Tokyo Skytree, the tallest building in Japan. Standing at 634m tall, you can get the highest view of Tokyo from the observation deck. There’s also a shopping mall on the bottom floors full of various restaurants and shops.

Tokyo Tower, the Tallest Steel Structure in the World

Despite being shorter than the Skytree, Tokyo Tower is actually the tallest standing steel structure in the world. Both have an observation deck and are radio towers, but they’re quite different in many ways. 

Tokyo Tower is located on the opposite side of Tokyo, in the Hamamatsu-cho area. Near the tower is the Hamarikyu gardens and the entertainment district, Roppongi. 

Tokyo Metropolitan Building, the Cheapest Viewpoint of Tokyo

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - Tokyo, Japan

Most viewpoints in Tokyo require money to access the observation deck, but there’s a free one near Shinjuku Station. On a good day, you can see all of Tokyo’s famous landmarks, as well as Mt. Fuji in the distance. The observation deck itself is free to access and there are souvenir shops at the top, to help finance the deck. 

Ueno Zoo, the Oldest Zoo in Japan

Entrance to Ueno Zoo (9409818400)

If you love animals, you should check out Ueno Zoo, the oldest zoo in Japan. This zoo is home to over 400 different species and even has a monorail to connect the two parts. The zoo is most famous for its pandas, which is the reason for the panda statues all over Ueno station. 


Tokyo Disneyland Theme Park

Whether you’re a Disney fan or not, the Disneyland Theme Park is worth a visit! There are two parks: Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea. While Tokyo Disney is also great, Disney Sea is a unique experience and we highly recommend checking it out first if you’re short on time. 

Buy Tokyo Disney 1-Day Passport here

Ghibli Museum

If you love classic Ghibli films such as Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro, you’d definitely want to check out the Ghibli museum in Mitaka. There are various exhibitions centered around each classic movie and you can tell that each part of the interior design has been carefully thought out, just like the films. Photography is not allowed inside and tickets are quite hard to come by so make sure to secure them months before your visit!

Buy Ghibli Museum tickets here.

teamLab Borderless Exhibition

MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM EPSON teamLab Borderless

The teamLab Borderless exhibition in Odaiba is one of the most popular art exhibitions in Japan. The teamLab group of artists are known for creating visually aesthetic artwork that seem to extend beyond the walls and defy any concept of space. This exhibition is highly recommended for anyone visiting Tokyo.

Buy teamlab Borderless tickets here

Sunshine Sky Circus

The top floor of Sunshine City started off as an observation deck, but has evolved into so much more. There is now a VR theme park, planetarium, and various other interactive displays. There are also restaurants, smaller amusement parks, and many anime themed shops on the bottom floors of Sunshine City and this place is highly recommended for families and anime-lovers!

Buy Sunshine Sky Circus and Observatory tickets here.

Tokyo Dome City

LaQua(Tokyo Dome City )

Tokyo Dome City is a city within a city. Not just an amusement park, the area also has a hotel, sports stadium, restaurants, shopping mall, spa, and an event hall. Start your day off at the amusement park, explore the shopping mall area throughout the day, and finish it off by relaxing at the spa. 

Buy Tokyo Dome City Attractions and Space Museum tickets here

Unique Experiences

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji is home to one of the world’s most famous fish auctions and is one of the most distinct experiences in Tokyo. Here, you can try fresh seafood, experience the fish market culture, and buy authentic Japanese ingredients for souvenirs. To get the full experience, take a tour with a local guide that’s familiar with the Tsukiji culture and history.

Reserve a Tsukiji Fish Market Food Tour here.

Oedo Onsen

Oedo Onsen Monogatari

For a complete onsen (hot spring) experience, head over to Tokyo’s most famous Oedo Onsen Monogatari. Located in Odaiba, Oedo Onsen has various types of baths including open air, steam, and foot. After washing up, you can change into a Yugata and enter the mix-gender amusement area, decorated as a mini Edo town, where you can eat, relax, and participate in various Japanese activities. 

Buy Oedo Onsen Monogatari tickets here

Watch the Sumo Morning Practice

Sumo tournaments are hard to come by and can be really expensive. A better way to experience the 2000 year old Japanese sport is to watch their practice in the morning. In Tokyo, there are several sumo practice spots where sumo wrestlers practice in the morning. Once you’re at the sumo dojo, they have several rules in place so it doesn’t disturb the athletes’ training. 

Watching the sumo practice itself is free, but if you’d like re-arrangements for practice schedule changes or would like assistance with the language barrier, there are several tours available that can arrange everything for you.

Book a Sumo Practice tour now

Drink at an Izakaya

One of the best ways to experience the local culture in Tokyo is to step inside an izakaya. It’s the gathering spot for many people from college kids to full-time salarymen. An izakaya is the halfway point between a restaurant and a bar where drinks are served with small dishes meant to complement the alcohol. There are many different izakaya ranging from chains like Torikizoku and Kuranokuniya to hidden local spots, some even without a name! 

Purchase a Local Bar Hopping tour here

Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant can either feel like a unique experience or a tourist trap. Inside, there are stadium-style seats in a dark room. Once the show starts, robot floats and exotic costumes parade through the stadium with neon lights and dances. The show lasts about 90 minutes and whether you walk away satisfied or weirded out, you’re definitely in for a surprise!

Buy Robot Restaurant tickets here

Maid Cafe

If you’re open to new experiences, check out a maid cafe. These are themed cafes where the “maid” staff treat the customers as if they are princes and princesses. You can order cute menu items and there are traditions set for when you call for the maid. The maids also perform shows and you’re given a souvenir to take back home. 

Purchase the Maid Cafe Experience here

Kawaii Monster Cafe

The Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku is another unique cafe experience. The whole interior is decorated with colorful yet spooky creatures and the staff are dressed up in exotic costumes. There are different zones of seating and the food also comes in a colorful yet spooky theme.

Michelin Star Restaurants

For the foodie travelers who want to taste the best, check out some of the Michelin Star restaurants in Tokyo. Tokyo has a full list of Michelin Star restaurants and they range anywhere from a small ramen shop to high-end luxury restaurants.

Gardens & Nature

Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Shinjuku Gyoen Park is one of the biggest parks in Tokyo. The park is divided into three different types of garden and also has a greenhouse. This is also one of the most popular spots to see the cherry blossom and you can see many locals and travelers gather around to take pictures and enjoy a picnic.

Ueno Park

Ueno Park is another popular park in Tokyo, located right next to Ueno station. Ueno is one of the first Western style parks in Tokyo and was built in 1873. The park has a pond, where you can ride boats, and there are various art museums within the park as well. 

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine is one of the biggest shrines in Tokyo. What’s cool about this shrine is that there are Japanese weddings held often and you can watch the traditional ceremonies happen from a distance. Despite being in the urban area of Harajuku, the entrance to Meiji Shrine is surrounded by tall trees, and can be a nice, calm place to take a breather from your busy travels.  

Mt. Takao

If you really want to immerse yourself in nature while in Tokyo, Mt. Takao is the perfect place. Mt. Takao is located at the western end of the Chuo line and is a relatively small mountain. It takes about 1-2 hours to hike to the top but there’s also a cable car that you can take halfway. At the foot of the mountain, there’s a nice, relaxing onsen which we recommend stepping into after your hike. 

Hamarikyu Garden

Jardines Hama Rikyu

The Hamarikyu Garden is a great place to catch a breather in the middle of the day. Hamarikyu Garden is located in the Tokyo bay and is surrounded by a seawater moat. The garden was designed in a traditional Japanese style and you can see that every small detail has been thought out, as it used to be a private garden for the shogunate. The scenery of a peaceful garden with skyscrapers in the background makes this garden quite unique.

Main Districts of Tokyo


Shinjuku is the world’s busiest station. There are over 12 train lines that are used by over 3.5 million people per day. You can also find all kinds of shopping malls from low to high end. Shinjuku is home to the famous Golden Gai, the Tokyo Metropolitan building, and the notorious Kabukicho district. 


Shibuya is the city that never sleeps. There are lots of entertainments here from karaoke to clubs and bars. It’s also the home to Japan’s Time Square, the Shibuya Crossing, and the famous Hachiko statue. Shibuya is continuously growing with more and more skyscrapers appearing in the skyline every year and will soon be the corporate hub of Tokyo.


Harajuku is the station just before Shibuya and it’s the fashion central of Tokyo. It’s most famous for Takeshita Street, filled with lots of colorful fashion and street food. The main street that runs parallel to Takeshita is Omotesando, where it’s lined up with all the high-end fashion. 


Akihabara is famously known as the electronics, anime, and manga town. You can find all of Japan’s biggest electronics retailers competing to give you the lowest price and there are also rare figurines and anime goods that you can only find in Akihabara. Other than shopping, you can find lots of arcades and themed cafes. 


Asakusa is the city of Tokyo’s past. You can see lots of older style buildings and restaurants serving Japanese style. In the streets, you can see people riding the Jinrikisha, a man powered cart used as a cheap form of transportation in the late 19th century. Asakusa is also home to the famous Sensoji Temple and the Tokyo Skytree. 


If Asakusa is the city of Tokyo’s past, Odaiba is the city of Tokyo’s future. Odaiba is a big shopping and entertainment district built on man-made land. It’s easily recognizable by the Gundam statue and the Statue of Liberty replica. It’s also home to the popular teamLab Borderless exhibition and the Oedo Onsen Monogatari.


The Marunouchi area is bordered by three big stations: Tokyo station, Otemachi station, and Yurakucho station. This is known as the business area and it’s filled with skyscrapers. You can find lots of good quality restaurants and izakaya around the station. This area is also a main transportation hub with Otemachi station serving the metro lines and Tokyo station serving the JR lines, along with the Shinkansen


Ginza is Tokyo’s luxury district. The area is packed with brand name shops and high end dining. There is also a thriving nightlife in Ginza and you can also find some of the most exquisite lounges and nightclubs. Regardless of whether you’re into the luxury life or not, window-shopping is always free!


Kagurazaka preserves the elegance of traditional Japan. The sloped street between Iidabashi and Kagurazaka station is lined up with lots of unique restaurants and izakaya and you don’t see too many chain restaurants here. The area used to be famous for being the geisha district during the Edo period and is now home to a considerable French community. If you branch off into the side streets, you can find traditional walkways and restaurants mixed in with some French restaurants as well. 

Trendy Areas


Daikanyama is a small, decorative neighborhood near Shibuya. There are various high-end individual brand shops everywhere, each standing with their own unique architecture. In the heart of Daikanyama is the Daikanyama T-site, one of the most popular book stores in Japan. Daikanyama is also known to have some of the best brunch spots in Tokyo, as well has lots of hip cafes and craft beer breweries. 


Shimokitazawa is one of the most popular places for the younger crowd. The streets are decorated with murals and the area is known for having lots of thrift and vintage shops. You can also find home decor stores, live houses, and trendy cafes in this area as well. 


At Kichijoji, you can get the local experience of one of the most popular residential areas in Tokyo. Kichijoji was named the most desired place to live in Kanto for several consecutive years and it’s not hard to see why. Kichijoji is quite separated from central Tokyo, yet very well connected, having easy transportation to Shibuya and Shinjuku. Right next to the station is Inokashira Park, where you can fully experience nature in the middle of the city. There are also a considerable amount of stylish cafes, thrift shops, and local izakaya. 


Things to do in Kagurazaka

If you want to experience real, traditional Japan, then we recommend that you take a visit to Kagurazaka. Located just outside of the Imperial Palace, Kagurazaka used to be the geisha district in the Taisho Period in the early 20th century. While maintaining the traditional Japanese vibes, Kagurazaka has also developed a French community, with various French restaurants and supermarkets as well. Unlike most parts of Tokyo, Kagurazaka still maintains its traditional appearance, similar to that of places like Kyoto.

Where is Kagurazaka?

Kagurazaka is located in the central area of Tokyo, near Tokyo Dome and stretches out between Iidabashi Station and Kagurazaka station.

To get to Kagurazaka from Shinjuku Station, you can take the Chuo line down to Iidabashi Station. From Tokyo Station, you can walk to Otemachi Station and take the Tozai line to Kagurazaka Station. 

Things to do

Spend the Whole Day at Tokyo Dome City

Tokyo Dome City LaQua

Tokyo Dome is a venue for many huge sporting events and right outside of the stadium is Tokyo Dome City. Here, there’s all kinds of things from an amusement park to hotels, many restaurants, a space museum, a hot spring, and so much more. You can easily spend a whole day within Tokyo Dome City and it’s kid-friendly as well!

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-5800-9999

Take a Stroll Through Kagurazaka Street

The main street of Kagurazaka runs from Iidabashi Station all the way down to Kagurazaka Station. We recommend starting from Kagurazaka station and walking all the way down to Iidabashi Station and take a look at all the shops in between. You can also take a detour around the narrow, stone-paved back alleys where you’ll find shops and restaurants in surprisingly narrow spaces. 

Address: 神楽坂 Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825 Japan

Morning Walk in Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

JP-13 Bunkyo-ward Koishikawa-Korakuen-garden

Koishikawa Korauen Garden was built in the 17th century and it’s one of the best gardens to visit in Tokyo. Located right behind Tokyo Dome, this garden feels like the hidden nature getaway in the middle of a busy city.

This garden is also one of the best places to go for sakura or fall foliage season so make sure to add that to your bucket list!

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan

Cost: 300 yen

Phone Number: +81 3-3811-3015

Akagi Shrine

When you exit Kagurazaka Station, you may notice a bright red shrine gate when you come up exit 1. Akagi shrine is small compared to other famous shrines like Meiji, but it’s one of the cleanest, most modern shrines around. The whole shrine was redesigned in 2010 with a modern look and the whole place gives off an upscale atmosphere, which is quite uncommon for a shrine!

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 1-10 Akagi Motomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0817, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3260-5071

Tokyo Daijingu Shrine

Shrine, Tokyo Daijingu - Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan - DSC04748

If you come to Kagurazaka, it’s worth visiting one of Tokyo’s 5 major shrines. The Tokyo Daijingu Shrine is close to the main Kagurazaka street and many people come to this shrine because it’s the shrine for marriage, love, and relationships (which is a big part of many people’s lives!).

Hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm

Address: 2 Chome-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0071, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3262-3566

Zenkokuji Temple

When walking through Kagurazaka street, it’s hard to notice the big building with the red gate. Zenkokuji Temple is one of the most popular temples in the area and was built to worship one of the 7 lucky gods. There are two tiger statues guarding the front and it’s also a good place to bring your kids and pray to the luck gods!

Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒162-0825 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kagurazaka, 5 Chome−36

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3269-0641

Yayoi Kusama Museum

Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Louisiana Museum, Denmark

Yayoi Kusama is a world famous Japanese artist. Yayoi had a rough childhood and had hallucinations since she was little, which became the inspiration for her work. Her museum showcases some of her best work, including the famous polka dot designs. There’s no same day admission and you’re required to buy the tickets ahead of time. Here’s a link to the museum’s website.

Hours: 11:00am – 5:30pm

Address: 107 Bentencho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0851, Japan

Cost: 1100 yen

Phone Number: 

Museum of Science at Tokyo University of Science

If you’re looking for something free, you can check out the Science Museum at Tokyo University of Science. There’s various exhibitions that displays a lot of the technologies used during Japan’s industrial age. It’s a good place for a rainy travel day or somewhere to take your kids!

Hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Closed Sundays, Mondays

Address: Japan, 〒162-0825 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kagurazaka, 1丁目3

Cost: Free

The Hidden Alleyways of Kagurazaka

Kagurazaka Streetscape - 43

Kagurazaka is known for its stone paved back alleys from the Edo Period. While walking on the main street, turn into one of the back alleys and you’ll find lots of hidden restaurants and izakaya rooted in these areas. In the daytime, these back alleys make for a great photo shoot location as well!

Bring Home Some Traditional Japanese Souvenirs

If you want traditional, authentic Japanese souvenirs, then Kagurazaka is the best place to buy it. Here are some great places to shop at in Kagurazaka.

Gallery & Cafe Mikado

Local ceramics shop.

Hours: 11:30am – 6:00pm

Address: 2F 6 Chome-34, Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3235-3222

La Kagu

Hipster household goods shop.

Hours: 11:00am – 8:30pm

Address: 67 Yaraicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0805, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-5946-8241

Noren Kagurazaka

Traditional Japanese items store.

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒162-0825 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kagurazaka, 1 Chome, 12番地

Phone Number: +81 3-5579-2975

Ramla Shopping Mall

Shopping mall for everything else.

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒162-0823 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, 新宿区Kaguragashi, 1−1 セントラルプラザ

Phone Number: +81 3-3235-0181

Geisha Performance Dinner

Maiko In Gion Kyoto Geisha District (135266873)

Kagurazaka is one of the few places left in Tokyo where you can meet an actual geisha. You can make reservations for a dinner geisha performance where a top level geisha performs on stage. This is an awesome way to experience the luxury lifestyle of Edo Japan.

Male Geisha Taikomochi Show

Many people are aware of female geisha, but did you know that there are male geisha as well? They’re called Taikomochi and they’re similar to a joker during the Medieval Times (not the one in batman). Similar to their female counterpart, the Taikomochi also sings and dances on stage, but with a more energetic twist.

Relax at Atami-Yu

Atamiyu is quite different from other hot springs in Tokyo in many ways. When it first opened in 1954, it used to be a bathing ground for geisha and still uses its firewood boiler. Inside, there’s a huge mural of Mt Fuji which definitely creates a relaxing experience!

Hours: 3:00pm – 1:00am, closed Saturdays

Address: 3 Chome-6 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Cost: 470 yen

Phone Number: +81 3-3260-1053

Kagurazaka Events

Kagurazaka Summer Festival

There are not too many events in Kagurazaka, but the Kagurazaka Summer Festival has always been the biggest.

The festival is to celebrate Obon, a Japanese holiday, and lasts for about a week in late July. During the summer festival, decorations are put up on the main Kagurazaka street and there are parades of various traditional Japanese dances. There are also lots of food stalls selling festival foods near the Zenkokuji Temple area. Best of all, it’s absolutely free, so we recommend checking it out if you’re in the area!

Places to Eat

Canal Cafe

Canal Cafe - Tokyo, Japan - DSC04913

Italian food an desserts right in the middle of the river. 

Hours: 11:30am – 11:00pm

Address: 1-9 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3260-8068

Kagurazaka Sushi Academy

Sushi buffet run and managed by a sushi chef training school. 

Hours: Weekdays 11:30am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, 

            Weekends 11:30am – 10:00pm,

             closed Wednesdays

Address: 3 Chome-6-3 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Phone Number: +81 50-5266-0379

Oreryu Shio Ramen Kagurazaka

Small chain ramen shop

Hours: 10:00am – 6:00am

Address: 2 Chome-11 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3266-1050

Kagurazaka Saryo Honten

Japanese set menu and desserts

Hours: 11:30am – 11:00pm

Address: 5 Chome-9 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0825, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3266-0880


Soba shop

Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 8:30pm, closed Monday, Sunday

Address: Japan, 〒162-0825 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kagurazaka, 3 Chome−6 神楽坂館1階

Phone Number: +81 3-3269-3233

Kagurazaka Kado

Very traditional Japanese restaurant. 

Hours: Weekdays 4:00pm – 10:30pm,

             Weekends 2:00pm – 10:30pm,

             Closed Mondays

Address: 1-32 Akagi Motomachi, 新宿区 Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0817, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3268-2410

Where to Stay Near Kagurazaka

Kagurazaka is a great place to stay in Tokyo and there are lots of affordable options near Iidabashi station. It’s also very convenient being positioned in the middle and having transportation options to many popular places in Tokyo. If you plan on exploring Tokyo from Kagurazaka station, we highly recommend getting a Metro Pass since many of these lines operate here. 

Budget Option:

Mid-Range Option:


Things to do in Shibuya

The Times Square of Japan. 

Home to the famous Shibuya Crossing, countless skyscrapers, and a vibrant night life, Shibuya is one of the busiest places in Tokyo and the city that never sleeps. It’s known as the center of pop culture in Japan and there’s an endless selection of entertainment, restaurant, and izakaya. During the day, there’s also lots to see including unique shops and cultural sites. We hope that this guide can show you the best that Shibuya has to offer. 

Things to do

Experience the Shibuya Crossing

Locals tend to try to avoid the Shibuya Crossing, but to everybody else, it’s quite a sight. On a busy night, up to 2,500 people cross the intersection at once and it’s considered one of the busiest crossings in the world. 

After you experience it first-hand, take a step back and watch the crossing from a distance to see it’s real magic. These are some recommended places to get a good view of the crossing:

  • Starbucks in the Tsutaya building
  • L’occitane cafe
  • Mag’s Park in Magnet
  • Roof of Shibuya Scramble Square

Address: 2 Chome-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan

Take a Picture with Hachiko

The Hachiko statue was built in memory of a truly loyal dog named Hachiko. 

Hachiko was a dog who had a special bond with it’s owner. The dog was very loyal and always showed up to Shibuya station in the afternoon to greet his owner after work. Unfortunately, it’s owner died while at work in 1925, but the dog continued to come back to Shibuya station at the same time, every single day. Hachiko kept this up for 10 years past his owner’s death, and only stopped because Hachiko had passed away as well. In honor of the dog’s loyalty, its body was cremated and was placed next to his owner’s ashes.

Address: 1 Chome-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan

Konno Hachimangu Shrine


Rs1421 / CC BY-SA

If you’re curious about the history of the Shibuya area, then you should definitely check out Konno Hachimangu Shrine. This 900 year old shrine is the site of the Shibuya family, the family from which Shibuya was named after. Despite being in one of the busiest places in Japan, it’s one of the less popular shrines in Tokyo, so it may be a quieter experience than shrines like Asakusa. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 3 Chome-5-12 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: 03-3407-1811

Check out Tower Records

Tower Records Shibuya

Another interesting thing to do in Shibuya is to check out the flagship store of the famous Tower Records in Shibuya. Out of all the 85+ stores they have across Japan, the one in Shibuya is the biggest, and there are 8 stories filled with various genres of music from the latest hits to old school classics. This is also one of the few places in Tokyo where they still sell CDs and vinyls which may interest some collectors. There’s also a cafe inside with a nice atmosphere where you can grab a light snack!

Hours: 10:00am – 11:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-22-14 Jinnan, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0041, Japan

Phone Number: 03-3496-3661

Shop at 6 Floors of Muji Store

Over the last few years, Muji has gotten popular outside of Japan, and if you’re a fan as well, then you need to check out the 6 story Muji store in Shibuya! Muji is known for its simple yet high quality products and this Muji store has all kinds of selections and even a cafe!

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho, 21−1 モヴィーダ館B1~5F Parking Building, B1F 渋谷西武

Phone Number: 03-3770-1636

Visit the Very First Tokyu Hands Store

DeepSkyBlue / CC BY-SA

Tokyu Hands is a department store in Japan and it’s also one of the best place to go to for DIY materials. The store in Shibuya is the first Tokyu Hands store ever and may be worth checking out to get a unique Japanese souvenir!

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 12-18 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

Phone Number: 03-5489-5111

Splurge at Mega Don Quijote

The biggest Don Quijote in Japan is located in Shibuya and it is HUGE. The Mega Don Quijote is a massive 7 story building that’s open for 24 hours and has everything from souvenirs to imports and shampoos to today’s lunch. Best of all, it’s tax free for tourists so take advantage while you’re here!

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 28-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 154-0042, Japan

Phone Number: 03-5428-4086

Take in Some Art at the Parco Building

Towards the end of 2019, the new Parco Building opened up in Shibuya and this place is almost like an art museum. There are various manga inspired figures and artwork displayed throughout the building. There’s also a Pokemon store, free rooftop garden access, and is home to Japan’s first official Nintendo store.

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-8377, Japan

Phone Number: 03-3464-5111

Shibuya Scramble Square

2019 Shibuya Scramble Square 1
Kakidai / CC BY-SA

The Shibuya Scramble Square opened towards the end of 2019 and became the tallest skyscraper in Shibuya. This 47 story skyscraper has to offer various traditional and western restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls, and the tallest view of Shibuya with the rooftop observation deck.

Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 2 Chome-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Phone Number: 03-4221-4280

Shibuya Stream

Once you’re done exploring rooftops, you can come to the southern end of Shibuya and take a stroll through Shibuya Stream. On the inside, there’s office buildings, shopping malls, and restaurants, similar to the Shibuya Scramble Square building. On the outside, there’s an LED lit stairs and a river bank with aesthetic illuminations running along it which is the perfect spot to take your date after a nice dinner!

Hours: Weekdays 11:00am – 1:00am, 

             Saturdays 11:00am – 10:00pm,

              Sundays 11:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 3 Chome-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Phone Number: +81 570-050-428

The Shibuya Night Life

Nonbei Yokocho

Nonbei Yokocho is Shibuya’s version of Golden Gai. Right next to the Shibuya crossing, there’s two alleyways with old architecture houses that are packed with bars and izakaya that can seat up to 5-6 people at a time.

Address: 1 Chome-25 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Center Gai

Shibuya Center Gai

Right across the Shibuya crossing is the entrance to Center Gai. During the day, this area is filled with tourists looking through various shops. At night, this place becomes the gathering place for Tokyo’s youth. From Center Gai, you can have easy access to bars, clubs, or any other way to spend the night.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 12-3 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

Phone Number: 03-3461-3314

Party at the Club Central of Tokyo

If you’re into clubbing then Shibuya is your place. With over 15 different clubs, ranging from EDM to Hip Hop, Shibuya is the center hub for all kinds of night life. Here are some clubs and their websites for more info. 

Stay Out ALL Night

If you miss the last train, no worries because you’re in Shibuya! There’s lots of places that run 24 hours or at least until the morning train. There’s 24 hour karaoke, ping pong, bowling, billiards, and so much more. If you’re feeling a bit exhausted, you can go relax at a manga/internet cafe nearby and if you’re feeling hungry, McDonalds, Ichiran, and many other chains are open 24 hours as well. 


  • Karaoke
  • Ping pong
  • Bowling
  • Billiard
  • Darts

Place to Rest

  • Internet/Manga cafe
  • Cheap Love Hotels


  • McDonalds
  • Ichiran
  • Matsuya

Restaurants to Try

There are millions of restaurants in Shibuya and with the construction of new buildings, the numbers are only increasing. While we think that there are no bad choices in any restaurant in Shibuya, here are some unique places we’ve discovered that we recommend trying out. 

  • Sushi Uobei/Genki Sushi: Bullet train sushi restaurant
  • Wired Cafe: Awesome cafe in a book store
  • Streamer: Japanese coffee chain.
  • Sincere Shibuya: Michelin star French restaurant
  • Kobe Beef Teppanyaki: Luxury wagyu beef restaurant
  • Afuri ramen: Healthy ramen with yuzu
  • Pizza Slice: Authentic NY Pizza


Shibuya is one of the best places to stay in Japan when it comes to convenience. Not only is everything open til late at night, Shibuya also connects to various places with 10 different lines running through this one station. Here’s are some places that you can easily access from Shibuya:

  • Shimokitazawa
  • Yokohama
  • Kichijoji
  • Kawasaki
  • Kawagoe





  • Shibuya Stream Excel – Luxury style hotel at a moderate price
  • Hotel Koe – Minimal yet luxury hotel with a restaurant, store, and occasional events. 
  • Trunk Hotel – Hotel with stylish interior and modern architecture.


Tokyo Full Guide

Tokyo is a city like no other. 

It’s incredibly massive and there’s so much to explore from cultural experiences to endless night life. The city has a unique balance between modern technology, city-vibes, and cultural traditions. It’s no wonder why Tokyo is one of the most popular destinations in the world!

If it’s going to be your first time in Tokyo, we want to help.

We’ve been living in this urban metropolis for over 3 years and while there’s still a lot we don’t know, we are excited to be able to guide you and show you what this city has to offer!

Best Time to go

The “best” time for planning a trip to Tokyo may depend on what you’re looking for. 

The most popular season to travel to Tokyo is during the sakura and fall foliage season in March, April, October, and November. Big national holidays like New Years, Golden Week(early May), and Obon(mid August) are also popular travel times. During the popular season, air ticket prices peak out and Tokyo can get insanely crowded. 

Any months and dates besides the ones mentioned above are considered to be the off-season and aren’t as busy in comparison (but Tokyo is always crowded). For those that would rather go for the lower cost plane tickets and don’t mind missing out on the nicer seasons, the off-season would be the best time to plan your trip. 

How Long Should I Spend in Tokyo?

Most people say that 5 is the recommended number of days to spend in Tokyo, but there’s no specific number that we can recommend to everyone. 

If you’re planning on traveling around the whole country with the Japan Rail Pass, then we recommend staying anywhere around 2-4 days in Tokyo, which gives you enough time to see most of the major spots of Tokyo and go off to explore the rest of Japan. 

If you’re planning on seeing only the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, then 5-7 days can be enough to see and enjoy more of Tokyo.

However, Tokyo is massive and if you really want to get to know the city well, it takes much longer than a week. If you find that Tokyo was a great experience after your trip, we recommend coming back and trying different stuff and more local experiences!

How to Get to Tokyo

There are two main airports in Tokyo: Narita and Haneda

You can fly into either one to get to Tokyo, but Haneda is slightly closer to the city so unless there’s a big incentive to fly into Narita, we recommend aiming for Haneda. 

To get to Tokyo from Narita, you can take the Skyliner Express or if you have the Japan Rail Pass, you can ride on the Narita Express without paying extra. From Haneda, you can get to Tokyo by taking either the Keihin Tohoku Line or the Tokyo Monorail.

Another popular way of traveling Japan is to fly into Osaka and then make your way to Tokyo. To get to Tokyo from Osaka, you can either take the Shinkansen or the highway bus. 

Transportation in Tokyo

Trains and subways are the main form of transportation in Tokyo. 

Riding the train can often get confusing since there are different companies operating different lines and each require a different train ticket. what?

To make your Tokyo travels much simpler, we highly recommend downloading Google Maps and getting a Suica Card

Google Maps is extremely useful in Japan and can easily help you find the best route to take. In our opinion, it’s even better than the local app, Navitime.

The Suica Card is the universal transportation card of Japan and can save you a lot of time and confusion. When buying individual tickets for every line, you have to know your destination beforehand and operate a ticket dispenser every time you use a different line. With the Suica Card, you just charge a certain amount and can use the automatic ticket gate to quickly make it in time for the next train. 

Tip for iPhone users: If you own an iPhone, connecting the Suica with Apple Pay can be extremely useful. By doing so, you can charge your Suica Card straight from your bank account instead of exchanging money and using cash. The Suica isn’t limited to trains and can also be used for payment in lots of restaurants and convenience stores. 


Quick Facts About Trains in Tokyo

  • First train starts around 4:00am – 5:00am
  • Last train leaves around 12:00am – 1:00am
  • Peak train hours are 8:00am – 10:00am in the morning and 6:00pm-8:00pm after work. 
  • Trains are crowded going into the city in the morning and out of the city at night. (Most people live outside of Tokyo and work in Tokyo).

Recommended: Get a Metro Pass

Tokyo subway map.PNG
Public Domain, Link

If you’re exploring Tokyo for a couple days, we highly recommend getting the Metro Pass.

The Metro Pass allows unlimited transportation with the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines, which make up most of the transportation in the central parts of Tokyo.

Even if you have decided to purchase the Japan Rail Pass, the Metro Pass can be a great add-on and a much more cost-effective deal within Tokyo. 

If you’re thinking of getting the Japan Rail Pass, we have a guide about that in this post.


Best Area to Stay in Tokyo

For 90% of people traveling to Tokyo, we would recommend accommodation near Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku Station is a very convenient location and by basing yourself here, you can have an extremely easy time getting around. 

We say this because there’s so many benefits of staying in Shinjuku compared to staying in other parts of Tokyo.

  • Shinjuku has 12 different lines and over 200 exits from the station. Shinjuku is a HUGE transportation hub and you can easily get to any other part of Tokyo from here.
  • If you plan on making day trips from Tokyo, then staying in Shinjuku is a must. There’s direct trains to famous spots like Hakone and Yokohama, direct trains to neighboring prefectures, and is home to Tokyo’s biggest bus terminal that provide bus transportation to just about anywhere such as Kusatsu, Fuji 5 Lakes, and much more. 
  • Lastly, Shinjuku is an area that can be enjoyed by anyone. They have various shopping centers, late night izakaya, and restaurants with just about anything. 

For the other 10% of travelers that plan on using the Shinkansen to travel around Japan, we recommend staying near Tokyo Station. By staying close to this station, it lets you take the early Shinkansen and you can have more time to explore other cities.

If you have the Japan Rail Pass, it can be even more beneficial to stay in Tokyo Station and use the Shinkansen to make day trips out to further places. Here are some potential day trip destinations with the JR Pass.

  • Osaka
  • Kanazawa
  • Sendai
  • Nagano
  • Nagoya

One of the main reasons why we recommend Shinjuku before Tokyo is because of the neighborhood. Tokyo Station tends to cater more for the upscale tourists and businessmen while Shinjuku is more universal and has something for everyone. If you want to enjoy more of the nicer atmosphere, we recommend staying at Tokyo Station!

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Where to Stay Near Shinjuku Station

Budget Hostels

  • Imano Tokyo Hostel – Affordable hostel with wifi, cafe/bar, and both dorm and private room choices. 
  • Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku – Library themed hostel with capsule-like beds hidden in the bookshelves with a cafe and library. 

Budget Hotels

Mid Range Hotels

  • Hotel Gracery Shinjuku – Western style hotel located in the heart of Kabukicho, behind the famous Godzilla Statue.
  • Shinjuku Granbell Hotel – Hotel with clean interior design and a rooftop bar. Located a couple minutes from Seibu Shinjuku Station. 

Luxury Hotels

  • Keio Plaza Hotel – 4 star hotel with various amenities such as an outdoor pool, shopping arcade, and a gym. Located next to the famous Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. 
  • Park Hyatt Hotel – 5 star hotel with a clear view of Mt Fuji and an indoor pool. Famous for being the film location for the movie Lost in Translation.

Capsule Hotels


Where to Stay Near Tokyo Station

Capsule Hotels


Budget Hotels

Mid-Range Hotels

Luxury Hotels

  • Marunouchi Hotel – 4 star hotel by the Marunouchi group, located less than a minute from Tokyo Station. Offers a gym, bar, and restaurant with various dining options.
  • The Tokyo Station Hotel – The station itself is also a hotel. It’s a 5-star hotel that comes with upscale rooms, spa, cafe, and restaurant.


  • Hoshinoya Tokyo – Luxurious Ryokan experience, one of the few in the area. Modern design mixed with Traditional Japanese style rooms. 

What to Pack

Seasonal Clothes

Tokyo has 4 seasons and it’s appropriate to bring the right clothes. 

As commonly known, you’d need warm clothes in the winter and thin clothes in the summer. Spring tends to be colder than autumn so you may want to bring a warm jacket in spring and a light jacket in autumn. 

Here’s a rough table of how the seasons are each month. 

Month Season Month Season
January Winter July Summer
February Winter August Summer
March Winter/Spring September Summer/Fall
April Spring October Fall
May Spring/Summer November Fall
June Summer December Winter

Small Compact Umbrella

Tokyo tends to have random but light rainfalls and having a small umbrella around can help. If you happen to be coming during the summer during a typhoon, you may want to invest in a bigger and stronger umbrella, but for all other cases, a small portable one can get you through during your travels. 

Google Translate and Google Maps

Two of the most essential apps that we recommend you have on your phone are Google Translate and Google Maps. These are apps that I still use today, even after living in Japan for several years. 

Google Translate has many functions that can help you through various situations. First, it can help translate your English expressions into Japanese. Next, it has the speech recognition which can help translate you understand what the locals are saying. The most useful function would be the  image recognition where you can take a picture of Japanese text and it can translate for you. This can be really great for reading the menu at restaurants, where the kanji tends to be difficult. 

Google Maps is another extremely useful app in Japan. If you input your destination, it shows you the best routes, a number of other options, and a timetable for when the trains come. The only thing Google Maps is not great at is finding your exact location and which direction you’re facing, especially when using it inside a building. 


There is wifi usually in cafes, hotels, and convenience stores, but it may be a good idea to have your own data plan if possible. Although it’s free, most wifi hotspots in Tokyo require you to sign up and going through this process just to use the wifi every time can get a bit tedious. Plus, having your own data can allow you to navigate with Google Maps and look up places on the go. 

If your data plan doesn’t offer international data, you can purchase a pocket wifi or SIM card that you can pick up at the airport.

Buy Pocket Wifi here

Buy SIM card here


Tokyo has made progression with cashless payment, but there are lots of places where you will still need cash. For example, most mom and pop stores and restaurants with the ticket dispenser require cash. Lots of other traditional places require cash as well. 

If you forgot to bring cash, there are lots of places to withdraw cash. Cash can be withdrawn at any Japan Post ATM and Seven Eleven ATMs, which can be found almost anywhere in Tokyo. 


If you’re traveling to Tokyo during the summer, it’s probably a good idea to bring your own deodorant. Japanese deodorant is made for Japanese people and may not work at all for some people.

Electric Adapter

Japanese outlets have the same shape as the ones in the US. If you’re coming from the US, you won’t be able to connect your three-prong outlets. If you’re coming from outside of the US, you may need to bring an electrical adapter.

Popular Things to do

Tokyo is a huge city and there are endless amounts of things to do here. Here are some places that you can check out grouped into different categories. 


  • Sensoji Temple
  • Meiji Shrine
  • Oedo Onsen
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace
  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • Akihabara 


  • Ueno Park
  • Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Yoyogi Park

Exhibitions and Amusement Parks

Awesome Views

  • Shinjuku Metropolitan Building
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Tokyo Tower

Food to Try

Tokyo doesn’t have its own regional specialty, but its a place where you can find lots of great restaurants and specialties from all over Japan. Here are some foods to try when visiting Tokyo.


Ramen is a classic when you come to Japan and you can find ramen literally everywhere in Tokyo. There’s all kinds of shops from famous chains like Ichiran or Ippudo to local mom and pop restaurants in each block. There’s also lots of affordable Michelin Star ramen restaurants in areas like Shinjuku and Otsuka and worth trying out!

Beef Bowl

Beef bowls are the popular cheap and fast food of Tokyo. There’s popular chains like Sukiya, Yoshinoya, and Matsuya and you often see these places fill up with businessmen during lunch or students after an event. If you don’t have any huge dinner plans, we recommend filling some of your meals with a beef bowl!

Stamina Bowl

A stamina bowl is an upgraded version of a beef bowl and its one of my personal favorites in Japan.. Stamina bowls are essentially pork fried with garlic and soy sauce, over a bowl of rice with a raw egg on top. It’s one of the more filling dishes that you can eat in Japan at an affordable price. 

Convenience Store Food

If you’re from outside of Asia, the convenience store foods might be something new. Convenience stores in Japan don’t limit to just chips and drinks like they do in America. They have a huge selection of full meals, school supplies, household goods, printing machines, and so much more. Shopping at a convenience store is fun and we recommend stopping by a nearby convenience store and eating in for a night!


If it’s your first time in Japan, you have to try sushi. If you mention sushi in America, people often think of rolls with lots of sauce and decoration on top, but in Japan, it’s simply raw fish on top of sushi rice. You can try the high-end omakase sushi bars, but even the cheap, conveyor belt (kaiten) sushi in Japan has decent quality.

Wagyu Steak

If you want to try some of the finer foods of Tokyo, we recommend trying the Wagyu steak. Wagyu is the high end Japanese beef which is made from cows that have an even balance of fat and muscle. When you eat wagyu, the meat is extremely soft and just melts in your mouth. 

Tokyo’s Different Districts

One of the best features of Tokyo is the different atmosphere of each neighborhood. Every area in Tokyo has a different vibe and there’s sure to be an area that matches yours. 

  • Shinjuku
  • Shibuya
  • Tokyo Station
  • Akihabara
  • Ikebukuro
  • Ebisu/Daikanyama
  • Kichijoji
  • Shimokitazawa

Day Trips from Tokyo

When traveling to Tokyo, day trips are half the experience. There are lots of stunning destinations close to Tokyo that are definitely worth visiting. We highly recommend adding a day trip or two into your travel itinerary as it can add a good balance to the urban settings of Tokyo!


Kamakura is one of the most simple day trips you can take from Tokyo. Kamakura is located in Kanazawa prefecture and it only takes an hour to get there by the Yokosuka line from Tokyo station. The area is famous for lots of small temples and shrines. It’s most easily recognizable by big buddha statue and is also a popular beach destination as well. 


If you want to have a proper ryokan and onsen experience in Tokyo, come out to Hakone. Japan is known to have small villages that have some of the best onsen and Hakone is one of the closest ones to Tokyo. While a day trip out to Hakone is still awesome, we recommend staying for one night at a ryokan, if possible, to get the full value out of this onsen village.

Get the Hakone and Mt Fuji Day Tour here


Yokohama feels like the suburbs with less hustle and bustle, but still keeping a lively atmosphere. Head over to Minato Mirai, where you can enjoy a nice stroll on the harbor front with a gorgeous view. Yokohama is also home to the largest Chinatown in Japan, Motomachi Chukagai. Here, you can enjoy some of the best Chinese food you can find in Japan, like steamed buns and dim sum. 

Fuji Five Lakes

Even without climbing Mt. Fuji, you can still appreciate the heart of Japan by coming up close and personal. More than just a viewpoint for Mt. Fuji, the Fuji Five Lake area makes for a perfect day trip from Tokyo, having an amusement park, stunning nature, and the nice peaceful atmosphere that exists only in the Japanese countryside. 

Purchase Mt Fuji Day Tour here


We hope that this guide was helpful to you and that you have an awesome time in Tokyo. There is so much to see and do in Tokyo and if you’re planning a trip to Japan, Tokyo is definitely one of the places to visit. 


Things to do in Harajuku

Harajuku is known to be the fashion central of Tokyo. On the main street is Omotesando Street, lined up with designer and upmarket brands while the parallel Takeshita Street is filled with unique colors, street art, and fashion. And then you have the back alley Cat Street with all the vintage goods. On top of being the home for various fashion trends, Harajuku is also a major tourist area and it’s one of the must-visit places for when traveling to Tokyo. 

Things to Do

Stroll Around the Unique Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street - Tokyo

When one mentions Harajuku, they usually have an image of Takeshita Street. Takeshita Street is the most famous side street of Harajuku and it’s filled with colorful shops, restaurants, and street vendors. This street is the birthplace of the Kawaii Harajuku Fashion and you can often see people dress in unique colorful styles.

Here, you can also find lots of street food, including crepes, handmade potato chips, rainbow cotton candies, and even rainbow grilled cheese!

Address: 1 Chome-17 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Cultural Events at Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi is one of Tokyo’s most active parks and it’s located right behind Harajuku Station. Yoyogi is very diverse and FULL of life, featuring a sports area, garden area, events area, and wide open lawns.

One of the highlights of Yoyogi park is the cultural festival that occur almost every weekend. Near the Yoyogi Park Outdoor Stage, you may often see food trucks lining up the main sidewalk with authentic food from various cultures, music bumping, and people dancing. Here, you can really feel the diversity that lives in Tokyo.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3469-6081

Visit Meiji Shrine


Right next to Yoyogi Park is the calm, serene entrance to the Meiji Shrine. The entrance path to the shrine is a cut path, shaded by tall trees and it’s the perfect place to be during Japan’s hot and humid summers.

Fun Fact: A lot of traditional Japanese weddings are held in Meiji Shrine, sometimes up to 15 a day! Tourists are not allowed to get close to the ceremony, but the wedding is still visible from a distance and you may be lucky enough to get a peek at one during your visit!

Hours: 5:00am – 6:00pm

Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3379-5511

Visit a Smaller Shrine: Togo Shrine

Togo Shrine is a small, quieter shrine lurking in the back streets of Harajuku. This shrine is dedicated to Heihachiro Togo, a greatly respected Japanese admiral who helped Japan win the Battle of the Japan Sea during the Russo-Japanese War. This shrine is smaller than Meiji and it features a koi pond and a Japanese garden.

Hours: 6:30am – 5:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-5-3 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3403-3591

Step into a Life-size Kaleidoscope

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku - Tokyo (17959762380)

At the entrance of Tokyu Plaza is a set of escalators with walls that look like a real life kaleidoscope. Inside, you’ll find various fashion shops and at the top floor is a rooftop garden terrace that’s accessible for anyone!

Protip: The bathroom inside can have an extremely long line sometimes! (even for the men’s!)

Hours: 11:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 4 Chome-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3497-0418

Shop at Omotesando

Omotesando is known as the upscale shopping district and it’s home to many brand names and high end shops. Despite that, there are many affordable places mixed in here and there as well many fairly priced restaurants.

We recommend checking out the Omotesando Hills building for its interesting interior design and the Oriental Bazaar for traditional Japanese products.

Omotesando Hills

Omotesando Hills

Hours: 11:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 4 Chome-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3497-0310

Oriental Bazaar

Oriental Bazaar - panoramio

Hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm

Address: 5 Chome-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3400-3933

Wander Off into Cat Street

If you’re not into the colorful aisles of Takeshita Street, then perhaps Cat Street might be for you. Cat Street is like the hipster back street of Harajuku. It’s lined up with trendy shops where you can find wears for street fashion and vintage clothing. The area is much quieter as well, contrasting Takeshita Street and Omotesando, so it’s a great place for a date, or even just a small walk.

Address: 5 Chome-10-10 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Shop for Less at Daiso

Takeshita Dori

If brand name isn’t your thing, then perhaps 100 yen ($1.00 USD) items are. A small walk from Harajuku is one of the most popular Daiso stores in Tokyo and there’s no questioning why: 4 floors FULL of 100 yen items! There’s an incredible variety of selections and you’d be really surprised at how many different kinds of items are sold at 100 yen.

Hours: 9:30am – 10:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−19−24 ビレッジ107

Phone Number: +81 3-5775-9641

Go to a Themed Cafe

Themed Cafes are a thing in Tokyo and there’s a good amount of them in Harajuku. Here are some themed cafes you can visit in Harajuku.

Kawaii Monster Cafe

Harajuku Kawaii Monster Cafe

Cafe filled with colorful and crazy artwork. Almost like a twisted Alice in Wonderland adventure.

Hours: 11:30am – 4:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 4 Chome−31−10 YMスクエア 4F

Phone Number: +81 3-5413-6142

Hedgehog Cafe

Hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−13−21 原宿2号館 4F シャンゼール

Phone Number: +81 3-3404-1180

Shiba Dog Cafe

Address: 1 Chome-6-10 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Cat Cafe

Tom's Cat Cafe

Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−14−25 クロスアベニュー原宿 4F

Phone Number: +81 3-6447-2665

Snake Cafe

Hours: 11:00am – 8:00pm, closed Tuesday

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 6 Chome−5−6 サンポウ綜合ビル 8F

Phone Number: +81 3-6427-9912

Owl Cafe

Hours: 11:00am – 8:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−21−15 原宿ATMビル4F

Phone Number: +81 3-6455-5081

Relax at the Beautiful Nezu Museum

Nezu Museum M2 Floor 2018

A small distance from Omotesando Station is the Japanese and Asian art Nezu Museum. This place is a nice place to stop by and relax. The building is beautifully made with minimalist, Japanese architecture and there’s also a nice garden area in the museum as well. Even if you’re not a fan of art, this museum can help relax your soul.

Hours: Check Website

Address: 6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

Cost: 1100 yen, 1300 yen (special exhibition)

Phone Number: +81 3-3400-2536

Some Restaurants and Cafes to Try

Le Shiner

Rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow crepes, rainbow everything.

Address: 1 Chome-7-10 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Totti Candy Factory

Takeshita Street

Famous for their rainbow cotton candy.

Hours: Weekday 10:30am – 8:00pm

            Weekends 9:30am – 8:00pm

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−16−5 Ryuあぱるとまん 2F

Phone Number: +81 3-3403-7007

Cafe Ron Ron

 All you can eat kaiten sweets.

Hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm

Address: 6 Chome-7-15 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-5468-8290


Our go-to cafe in Harajuku

Hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm

Address: 3 Chome-5-2 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3478-6276

Good Town Doughnuts and Coffee

Best doughnuts in Tokyo

Hours: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Address: 6 Chome-12-6 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-5485-8827

Travel Japan

50 Places to See Sakura in the Tokyo Area (Google Maps List Inside!)

Sakura season is incredible in Tokyo. Despite being one of the largest cities in the world, Tokyo doesn’t lack when it comes to parks and natural places to see the sakura flowers. 

In Tokyo, the sakura flowers usually start to bloom around late March and enters full bloom about a week after. If you’ve never experienced the sakura in Tokyo before, we recommend checking out our sakura guide

We wanted to create a list of places where you can go to see the sakura in Tokyo. Whether you’re a photographer trying to get the best sakura shots or just someone that wants to appreciate the season, we hope that this list can become a convenient guide for you!

You can see the whole list on Google Maps here.

Tokyo 23 Wards

Higashi-Ayase Park (Adachi)

Higashi Ayase Park Central

Public park in Adachi Ward.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 3 Chome-4 Higashiayase, Adachi City, Tokyo 120-0004, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3605-0005

Toneri Park (Adachi)

One of the biggest public parks in Adachi Ward. Hanami is possible and Sakura Festival happens here.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1-1 Tonerikoen, Adachi City, Tokyo 121-0837, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3857-2308

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens (Bunkyo)

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

One of the biggest gardens in Tokyo

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan

Cost: 300 yen

Rikugien Gardens (Bunkyo)

Special hours for Sakura season. Famous for the weeping cherry tree, which is also illuminated at night.

Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Address: 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0021, Japan

Cost: 300 yen

Phone Number: +81 3-3941-2222

Chidorigafuchi Park (Chiyoda)

Chidorigafuchi in 2011 (1)

One of the most popular destinations for Sakura in Tokyo. Sakura Festivals occur and some trees are illuminated at night. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-2 Kōjimachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0082, Japan

Cost: Free

Hibiya Park (Chiyoda)

Located on the southern side of the Imperial Palace.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Hibiyakoen, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0012, Japan

Cost: Free

Imperial Palace East Gardens (Chiyoda)

Spring @ Imperial Palace East Garden

Sakura inside the Imperial Palace.

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm, closed Mondays, Fridays

Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan

Cost: Free

Sotobori Park (Chiyoda)

Small park on the outer moat of the Edo Castle.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 無番地 Gobancho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3341-1731

Hamarikyu Gardens (Chuo)

Hamarikyu Garden @ Dentsu Building @ Shiodome Sio-Site

Quiet and peaceful place to watch the Sakura trees.

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0046, Japan

Cost: 300 yen

Phone Number: +81 3-3541-0200

Tokyo Station, Sakura Street (Chuo)

The bloom of cherry blossoms of Yaesu Sakura Street

Small avenue lined up with sakura trees.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Japan, 〒103-0028 Tokyo, Chuo City, Yaesu, 1 Chome−6−3 小鉄ビル

Cost: Free

Kasai Rinkai Park (Edogawa)

Spacious spot with lots of other park activities nearby.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 6 Chome-2 Rinkaicho, 江戸川区 Tokyo 134-0086, Japan

Cost: Free

Ojima Komatsugawa Park (Edogawa)

Park by the Aarakawa river where the sakura festival also takes place.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Japan, 〒136-0072 Tokyo, 江東区Ojima, 9 Chome−8

Phone Number: +81 3-3636-9365

Ukita Park (Edogawa)

Local park in Edogawa Ward.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 3 Chome-9 Kitakasai, Edogawa City, Tokyo 134-0081, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3636-9365

Asukayama Park (Kita)

Asukayama Park, Kita, Tokyo

Big park in Kita Ward with museums, hanami, and sakura festival.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-1-3 Oji, Kita City, Tokyo 114-0002, Japan

Cost: Free

Fukagawa Sakura Festival (Koto)

Fukagawa Sakura Festival at Koto Kuritsu Rinkai Park

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 2 Chome-22-7 Eitai, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0034, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3647-9111

Meguro River (Meguro)

Hanami at Megurogawa River 2018

Sakura by the Meguro river with festivals and nighttime sakura as well. Arguably one of the most crowded Sakura spots in Tokyo.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Nakameguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-0000, Japan

Cost: Free

Aoyama Cemetery (Minato)


Home to Hachiko and his owner and one of the biggest and oldest cemeteries in Tokyo. Hanami is allowed in certain areas.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 2 Chome-32-2 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

Phone Number: +81 3-3401-3652

Odaiba Marine Park (Minato)

Enjoy the Sakura with the famous Rainbow Bridge in the background. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-4 Daiba, Minato City, Tokyo 135-0091, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-5500-2455

Roppongi Hills Mori Garden (Minato)

Traditional Japanese style garden in the middle of Tokyo Midtown. They have festivals and night illuminated sakura as well.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan

Cost: Free

Roppongi Sakura-zaka (Minato)

Sakurazaka te Roppongi 6-chōme met kersenbloesem, naar beneden gezien, -6 april 2016 a

Hill on the side street of Tokyo Midtown with Sakura trees lined up. The area is illuminated at night as well. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 6 Chome-12 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan

Cost: Free

Shiba Park (Minato)

Watch the sakura flowers from the base of Tokyo Tower.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 4 Chome-10-17 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3431-4359

Takanawa Park (Minato)

Park in the middle of the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. The park is accessible for everyone. 

Hours: 7:00am – 4:30pm

Address: 3 Chome-13-21 Takanawa, Minato City, Tokyo 108-0074, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3451-5487

Toshimaen Sakura Festival (Nerima)

Toshimaen main gate 2019-01-13 (2)

Sakura Festival at Toshimaen. You can rent out a tatami and reserve a spot for hanami. 

Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Address: 3 Chome-25-1 Koyama, Nerima City, Tokyo 176-0022, Japan

Cost: 1000 yen, 500 yen after 3pm

Phone Number: +81 3-3990-8800

Kinuta Park (Setagaya)

Wide, local park in Setagaya Ward.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1-1 Kinutakoen, Setagaya City, Tokyo 157-0075, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3700-0414

Komazawa Olympic Park (Setagaya)

Second stadium for the Tokyo Olympic in 1963 and famous for viewing the sakura.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1-1 Komazawakoen, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0013, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3421-6431

Yoyogi Park (Shibuya)

Yoyogi park sakura

Popular spot for hanami, sakura festival, and night sakura.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan

Cost: Free

Shinjuku Gyoen Park (Shinjuku)

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden - sakura 3

Popular yet peaceful place for hanami.

Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm, Closed Mondays

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan

Cost: 500 yen

Zenpukuji River Green Park (Suginami)

Local spot to watch the sakura by the river bank.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-30-27 Naritanishi, Suginami City, Tokyo 166-0016, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3313-4227

Sumida Park (Sumida)

Sumida Park

Great spot for hanami. You can view the flowers from a boat tour and it’s close to famous spots like Sensoji and Skytree.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome Mukojima, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0033, Japan

Cost: Free

Yanaka Cemetery (Taito)

Beautiful cemetery where lots of sakura trees are lined up.

Hours: 8:30am – 5:15pm

Address: 7 Chome-5-24 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 3-3821-4456

Ueno Park (Taito)

Sakura at Ueno Park

Huge park in Tokyo with hanami, festivals, and night sakura.

Hours: 5am – 11pm

Address: Japan, 〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taito City, Uenokoen, 8−・ 池之端三丁目

Cost: Free

Outside Tokyo’s 23 wards

Tamagawa Central Park (Fussa)

Sakura viewing area by the Tama River.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Japan, 〒197-0005 Tokyo, Fussa, Kitadenen, 一丁目先

Phone Number: +81 42-530-4418

Mt Takao (Hachioji)

Trip to Mt.Takao

Sakura from the peak of Tokyo’s famous mountain.

Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0844, Japan

Cost: Free

Ryonan Park (Hachioji)

Local park in Hachioji.

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 1369, 長房町 Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0824, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 42-661-0042

Yomiuri Land (Inagi)


Amusement Park on the south western border of Tokyo, famous for the night illumination. 

Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725, Japan

Cost: 1800 yen, 1500 yen after 4pm

Phone Number: +81 44-966-1111

Koganei Park (Koganei)

Local hanami spot with festival.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-13-1 Sekinocho, Koganei, Tokyo 184-0001, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 42-385-5611

Inokashira Park (Musashino)

Inokashira Park Cherry blossoms

One of the most popular places for Hanami outside the 23 wards. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-18-31 Gotenyama, 武蔵野市 Tokyo 180-0005, Japan

Cost: Free

Showa Kinen Park (Tachigawa)

Huge park in Tachigawa with lots of sakura trees.

Hours: 9:30am – 4:30p

Address: 3173 Midoricho, 立川市 Tokyo 190-0014, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 42-528-1751

Outside of Tokyo

Takanedai Sakura Park (Funabashi, Chiba)

Local, peaceful park in Funabashi.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 3 Chome-2 Takanedai, Funabashi, Chiba 274-0065, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 47-436-2555

Sakura Square (Narashino, Chiba)

Small square near Disneyland, with lots of Sakura trees lined up, in the middle of a business and shopping district. 

Hours: 10:00am – 5:30pm, closed Mondays

Address: 1 Chome-5 Shibazono, Narashino, Chiba 275-0023, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 47-454-8739

Ebigawa River (Natsumi, Chiba)

Park next to the river with a small, local festival happening during the season.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 5 Chome-12-1 Natsumi, Chiba 273-0865, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 47-436-2473

Izumi Nature Park (Wakaba, Chiba)

泉自然公園 09

Local, nature park in Chiba.

Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Address: 108 Norocho, Wakaba Ward, Chiba, 265-0053, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 43-228-0080

Hasedera Temple (Kamakura, Kanagawa)


Sakura trees in the middle of a traditional Japanese temple scenery.

Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Address: 3 Chome-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 467-22-6300

Kotokuin Temple (Kamakura, Kanagawa)

Location of the famous giant Buddha statue in Kamakura.

Hours: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan

Cost: 300  yen

Phone Number: +81 467-22-0703

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (Kamakura, Kanagawa)

Hours: 5:00am – 8:30pm

Address: 2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-8588, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: 

Ikuta Ryokuchi Park (Kawasaki, Kanagawa)

One of the best place to watch the sakura in Kawasaki. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 7 Chome-1-4 Masugata, Tama Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-0032, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 44-933-2300

Minoyama Park (Chichibu, Saitama)

Watch the sakura from the mountains of Chichibu.

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Minano, Chichibu District, Saitama 369-1412, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 494-23-1511

Yono Park (Chuo, Saitama)

Yono Park Rose Garden

Third oldest park in Saitama where there is also a Rose Festival during the time of Sakura. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1-1468-2 Honmachinishi, Chuo Ward, Saitama, 338-0004, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 48-711-2290

Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi (Kumagaya, Saitama)

Sakura and Wild turnip / 桜と菜の花(さくらとなのはな)

Near the river bank with festival booths lined up parallel to the sakura trees. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 2 Chome Kawaracho, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0035, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 48-524-1111 

Omiya Park (Omiya, Saitama)

One of the most popular sakura spots in Saitama. The park has over 1200 sakura trees and a festival takes place as well. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: Japan, 〒330-0803 Saitama, Omiya Ward, Takahanacho, 4

Cost: Free

Phone Number: +81 48-641-6391

Comment below if you know any awesome spots for Sakura in Tokyo!


Things to do in Shinjuku

Shinjuku has it all. 

In the east, you have shopping centers, bars, and restaurants while on the west, you’ll find lots of government and office buildings. In the north is the famous Kabukicho, filled with endless night entertainment, while in the south is the bus terminal that connects Shinjuku to the rest of Japan. 

With over 3 million people using the station each day, Shinjuku is one of the biggest transportation hubs in Tokyo and definitely has something for everyone. 

In this article, we want to guide you around Shinjuku and show you the various things you can do there!

Getting to Shinjuku

From Narita Airport

  • Option 1: Take the Skyliner to Nippori Station. Then take the Yamanote line all the way to Shinjuku Station.
  • Option 2: Take the Narita Express Train all the way to Shinjuku Station.

From Haneda Airport

  • Option 1: Take the Haneda Airport Limousine Bus all the way to Shinjuku.
  • Option 2: Take the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station. Then take the Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station.

From Tokyo Station

  • Take the Chuo Line all the way to Shinjuku Station.

Things to do

Spend the Morning at Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Shinjuku Gyoen(Shinjuku Imperial Garden) - 新宿御苑 - panoramio (18)

(Carbonium /CC BY)

Shinjuku Gyoen Park is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in Tokyo. This 144 acre park was built on top of the land owned by a Feudal lord during the Edo Period and has various sections. 

There’s 3 different types of gardens, a botanical greenhouse, and various restaurants spread throughout the park. The park has an early closing time of 4:30pm so it’s perfect for visiting in the morning or afternoon.

The park’s scenery changes with each season, so if you’ve visited before, make sure to come again during another season to see the change of scenery!

Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm closed Mondays

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan

Cost: 500 yen

Phone Number: 03-3350-0151

Hanazono Shrine

The Hanazono Shrine is a Shinto shrine located near the busy streets of Shinjuku. Despite being located in one of Tokyo’s most urban districts, the Hanazono Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan, founded in the mid 17th century, before the Edo period. 

Throughout the year, there are multiple festivals held here, and when there’s no festival, you can go to the shrine to pray to the Japanese gods and purchase some good luck souvenirs!

Shrine Hours: 24 hours

Reception Desk Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Address: 5 Chome-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

Cost: Free

Phone Number: 03-3209-5265

Watch the View From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building

Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Building has a free observation deck, from where you can get a nice panoramic view of Tokyo. On a nice clear day, you can see several distinct landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Tokyo Dome, and even Mount Fuji. 

The Metropolitan Building has two symmetrical towers and the observation deck alternates between the two. It’s free to go up to the observation point and there are cafes and souvenir shops which help fund the government building.

The decks open at 9:30am and stay open until 10:30pm so we recommend going up to see a panoramic view of Tokyo during the sunset!

Hours: 9:30am – 10:30pm

Address: Japan, 〒163-8001 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishishinjuku, 2 Chome−8−1, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, 45階 第一本庁舎

Cost: Free

Phone Number: 03-5320-7890

Become a Ninja at the Ninja Trick House

Located just north of Kabukicho is the Ninja Trick House. Any fan of Naruto or any ninja related things would definitely love this interactive entertainment facility. 

In the Ninja Trick House, you can take a tour of the place and take part in ninja training involving swordplay and shuriken throwing. The whole experience lasts anywhere from 40-60 minutes and is kid friendly as well! 

Hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm, closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−28−13 第一和幸ビル

Cost: 1650yen per person, Free for ages 3 or younger

Phone Number: 03-6457-3337

Go Up Close and Personal with Godzilla


Located in the heart of Kabukicho is the Toho Cinema building with Godzilla peaking over one of the terrace. You may have heard about this famous Godzilla figure, but did you know that there’s a way to get up and close with the statue?

On the 8th floor of Hotel Gracery is Cafe Bonjour. The terrace of the cafe leads to the back of the mighty Godzilla figure and the cafe has a glass wall so the figure is viewable from inside as well. Don’t forget to take a memorable picture with Godzilla after your meal!

Hours: 6:30am – 9:00pm

Address: 1 Chome-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

Phone Number: 03-6833-1111

Window Shopping Around Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku has many department stores, each with their own distinct atmosphere. There’s so many that it’ll probably take longer than a day to go through them all. Casually walking around and window shopping as you go can be a great way to spend a nice afternoon or kill some time before your next plan. 

Buy Souvenirs at Don Quijote

Don Quijote Higashiguchi Honten

Right at the entrance to Kabukicho is a huge Don Quijiote selling all kinds of items from groceries to weird costumes. The Shibuya branch is the biggest one, but the Shinjuku one has a lot of interesting and unique choices for souvenirs. And the best part of it all? Tax-Free for tourists!

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-16-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

Phone Number: 03-5291-9211

Museums to Visit

Samurai Museum

The Samurai Collection September 2018 1 (dōmaru tōsei gusoku and warabe tōsei gusoku armor)

Michael Barera / CC BY-SA

Located at the northern side of Kabukicho is the Samurai Museum. This place is a great stop for those that want to learn the history of Samurai and take pictures in real samurai outfits!

Hours: 10:30am – 9:00pm

Cost: Adults 1900yen, Children under 12 800yen, Children 3 and under free

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−25−6 1F・2F 永和ビル 6

Phone Number: 03-6457-6411

Tokyo Fire Museum

The Fire Museum is an exhibit displaying the history of fire fighters in Japan. They have various displays that show the evolution of vehicles and  equipment as well as major fires that broke out in Japan’s history. 

The Fire Museum is located at Yotsuya Sanchome Station and is a bit of a distance from Shinjuku, but it’s a free exhibition and may be worth a visit!

Hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm, closed Mondays

Cost: Free

Address: 3 Chome-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0004, Japan

Phone Number: 03-3353-9119

Night Time

Get Weirded Out at the Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant 2019b

江戸村のとくぞう / CC BY-SA

The Robot Restaurant in the streets of Kabukicho is a place that gets mixed reviews. The experience is so unique that some say they had a blast while others disagree. Once you go downstairs, you’ll see stadium-like seats where you can enjoy your meal while a parade of robots and exotic costumes bring you a hell of a show. You can check out their website and see if it’s right for you. 

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−7 新宿ロボットビル B2F

Phone Number: 03-3200-5500

Experience the Streets of Omoide Yokocho

Omoide Yokocho is a small alleyway on the northern side of Shinjuku Station and has over 20 different izakaya. The name directly translates to “Memory Lane” because the alleys resemble how the area was during the post World War 2 period. Back in the day, it was also known as “Piss Alley” because many drunk people would relieve themselves  on the streets of this alleyway. Rest assured, it doesn’t smell like piss anymore. 

Hours: 24 hours

Address: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Go Barhopping at Golden Gai

Golden Gai, Shinjuku

After warming up for the night at Omoide Yokocho, head over to Golden Gai to experience another throwback of Japan. Golden Gai is another old landmark of Tokyo that survived through World War 2, major earthquakes, and economic crisis. 

There’s over 200 tiny bars squeezed into this small area and barhopping in this small town of bars is incredibly fun, but not cheap. Most places have a cover charge of a couple 1000 yen and drinks in most bars are quite pricey as well.

Address: 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

Phone Number: 03-3209-6418

Finish your Day at the Mannekyu Onsen

After a long day of traveling and sightseeing, you can wind down Japanese style by soaking in a hot spring bath near the busy Shinjuku area. The bath costs less than 500 yen and comes with a towel. Hot springs in Japan usually don’t allow tattoos, but this bathhouse does and there is also wifi access. 

Address: 1 Chome-15-17 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0072, Japan

Hours: 3:00pm – 12:00am, closed Saturdays

Phone Number: 03-3200-4734

Restaurants to Try

There’s lots of restaurants in Shinjuku (too many to count!) but here are some places that we think are worth trying!

  • Momo Paradise – All you can eat sukiyaki and shabu shabu
  • Konjiki Hototogisu – Michelin star ramen restaurant
  • Kappo Nakajima – Cheap Michelin star restaurant
  • Shinpachi Shokudo – Set Japanese food
  • Bittersweets Buffet – All you can eat sweets

Where to Stay in Shinjuku

When choosing where to stay in Tokyo, Shinjuku is a solid choice. Not only is there a lot to do, it’s also super convenient and has easy access to a number of different places. Here’s are some places where you can easily access from Shinjuku:

  • Hakone
  • Kichijoji
  • Mt. Fuji
  • Yokohama
  • Shimo Kitazawa
  • Tokyo Tower

Budget Hostels

  • Imano Tokyo Hostel – Affordable hostel with wifi, cafe/bar, and both dorm and private room choices. 
  • Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku – Library themed hostel with capsule-like beds hidden in the bookshelves with a cafe and library. 

Budget Hotels

Mid Range Hotels

  • Hotel Gracery Shinjuku – Western style hotel located in the heart of Kabukicho, behind the famous Godzilla Statue.
  • Shinjuku Granbell Hotel – Hotel with clean interior design and a rooftop bar. Located a couple minutes from Seibu Shinjuku Station. 

Luxury Hotels

  • Keio Plaza Hotel – 4 star hotel with various amenities such as an outdoor pool, shopping arcade, and a gym. Located next to the famous Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. 
  • Park Hyatt Hotel – 5 star hotel with a clear view of Mt Fuji and an indoor pool. Famous for being the film location for the movie Lost in Translation.

Capsule Hotels



These are some of the many recommended or popular things to do in Shinjuku. We hope that our guide was helpful and that you have an awesome time when you come to Shinjuku!

What are you most excited about in Shinjuku? Let us know in the comments!


What it’s Like Living in the Most Desired Place in Tokyo

For 5 years in a row, Kichijoji has been named the most desired place to live in Kanto and I was blessed with the opportunity to start my life in Japan here.

Living in Kichijoji was pure coincidence. My first company in Japan has a contract with a sharehouse network and new hires from outside of Japan would initially be assigned to live in the sharehouse branch in Kichijoji.

Through that, I was able to live in Kichijoji and see what it was like in one of the best place to live in Tokyo.

About Kichijoji

Kichijoji is located on the western part of Tokyo prefecture, in Musashino city. It’s most famous for its hipster vibes, unique thrift shops, and the huge Inokashira Park. Kichijoji is quite famous and visited by many Japanese people, but it’s not a popula travel destination yet among foreigners. 

Here are some of the things I liked and didn’t like about living in Kichijoji. 

Things I Loved

Passing Through Inokashira Park Everyday

I lived on the south side of Kichijoji and Inokashira Park was located right in the middle of my path to the station. Waking up early is something I don’t usually look forward to, but passing through the park in the morning hours was a great feeling and I always felt refreshed for the day.

I was also lucky enough to experience the sakura season while I lived here. Sakura season only lasts for a little more than a week and during that time, I was commuting through one of Japan’s most famous park for watching the sakura in Tokyo.

Convenient Location

Even though Kichijoji is located outside of the 23 wards of Tokyo, it was still easy to get around. There are two main train lines, Chuo and Keio, that run from Kichijoji to Shinjuku and Shibuya, which are two huge stations that have easy access to other parts of Tokyo as well. 

Unique Shops and Thrift Shops

Kichijoji is known for its unique shops and hipster thrift shops. Even if I’m not the shopping type of person, it brought a nice atmosphere to the neighborhood and is kind of similar to the thrift shop area of Harajuku.

Never Overcrowded

If you go to other stations like Shinjuku, Harajuku, or Shibuya it can get REALLY crowded. Kichijoji does get crowded, especially on a saturday afternoon, but it’s never an overwhelming amount of people and you can still enjoy your time. 

There’s Something For Everyone

Many stations in Tokyo attract a certain crowd. Harajuku seems to be the spot for high school girls and Akihabara is the hub for anime lovers. Kichijoji on the other hand, seems to attract a variety. Inokashira Park attracts a lot of families and couples while the thrift shops and stores attract many people in their 20s and 30s. There are also unique bars that are frequented by many businessmen and local bars for the older folks. 

It was nice to live in an area with this kind of balance. 

Things I Didn’t Love

Long Walk to the Station

With the low salary that this company offered, there had to be a reason why they would assign us to live in such a desired area and I have figured it out. The sharehouse was 30 minutes away from the station.

This meant that every day that I work or decide to go out, I would walk at least one hour that day. No wonder people here are so skinny!

Incredibly Tiny Room

The other reason I was able to live in Kichijoji was because of the room size. I’ve heard that rooms were small in Tokyo, but this room was beyond what I had imagined.

Since it was a sharehouse, the bathroom, kitchen and living room was shared and each room came with a bed, table, and closet. If you open the door to this room and take 5 steps in, you’ll already be at the other side. The width of the room was also no more than 2 meters. 

All of this for 70,000 yen (~$650 USD). 

Nevertheless, I was okay with this room at the time. It was my first time in Tokyo and I was too filled with excitement to care about how small my living quarters were or how far the station was. Eventually, I decided to move out and found a place in the 23 ward with 4x the space, 7 minutes from the station and 25% cheaper. Not bad eh?

Peak Hour Trains

The worst part about living here had to be the train during rush hour. Similar to other big cities, most people live in the suburbs while working inside the city. This meant that everybody living in Kichijoji, and every other city past Kichijoji, took the Chuo Line into Tokyo.

Pat B [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

According to Live Japan, the Chuo line can congest up to 188% of the intended capacity. Being in this train, you can barely even lift your arm and this was the only way to commute to work. I still can’t understand how people can deal with this 5 times a week. 


In summary, I enjoyed living in Kichijoji the short time that I did. It’s definitely one of the best suburbs of Tokyo and has a unique atmosphere to it. You get a nice balance of people as well as a nice balance of city and nature. Even now, after moving out, I still enjoy spending some weekends coming back to the best place to live in Tokyo. 

Have you ever been to Kichijoji? Let us know in the comments!