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Tokyo Itinerary for 5 Days: What to Do and See in 5 Days (2022-2023 edition)

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, counts 39 million inhabitants.  That makes it the world’s most populous metropolis.

Exploring Tokyo you will find yourself wandering from wide boulevards lined by skyscrapers and screaming billboards to narrow and cozy pedestrian streets. 

Tokyo has so many faces and its many districts are so surprisingly different that you may ask yourself what to do in Tokyo in 5 days?

That’s why we compiled this Tokyo itinerary for 5 days that will show you all the highlights and main attractions of this fantastic city. So definitely keep reading this Tokyo blog.

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Tokyo Essentials 

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Cherry blossom
Don’t miss the cherry blossoms during your Tokyo itinerary.

5 days in Tokyo

Here you will find a complete Tokyo itinerary for 5 days.

Tokyo is such a big city that you best discover it one district at a time. 

It may be tempting to rush to the different highlights on your first days but even with the fantastic train and metro connections, you will still lose a lot of valuable time.

For this reason, we have arranged the days around different neighborhoods so you shouldn’t spend too much time getting from one sight to the next.  Shinjuku and Shibuya were our absolute favorites and that’s why we include those two in our first two days.

You don’t need to stick to our itinerary.  Feel free to rearrange the days as you prefer.  If you cannot spend the full 5 days in Tokyo you can also mix and match sights from different days. Just try to combine sights from the same region. If you have 4 days in Tokyo, take a look at our Tokyo 4 day itinerary.

Read on to discover which places you absolutely need to visit in Tokyo.

Day 1: Shinjuku

If you already had an image in your mind about Tokyo, chances are that Shinjuku looks exactly like it. 

Shinjuku is in a certain way a mini version of Tokyo where you can get a glimpse of the crazy nightlife, the lush gardens, the extensive and punctual public transport, and the huge crowds that seem to be on the move day and night.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen is a superb zen garden of 58 hectares in the middle of Tokyo.  The garden is worth a visit year-round but the presence of more than one thousand cherry trees of over a dozen varieties make this park a must-visit in the Sakura season. 

This is one of the few parks in Tokyo that charges an entrance fee.

Many people prefer other parks over Shinjuku Gyoen for this reason, making this one of the more quieter parks.  The peacefulness you can find here is also why we found this garden the best place to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Info icon
Location: Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku Entrance) Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan.
Event icon
Opening hours: Daily 9 am – 4.30 pm (last entry 4 pm)
Closed on Monday (except cherry blossom season)
200 yen
Cherry Blossoms Shinjuku Gyoen

How to get there

Shinjuku-gyoenmae subway station is about 5 minutes away from the Shinjuku entrance.  Shinjuku Gyoen garden is also within walking distance of the large central Shinjuku station where both JR lines, as well as the metro (Tokyo Metro and Toei lines), stop.

Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo
Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo

Piss Alley (Omoide Yokocho) 

The next stop in our Tokyo itinerary takes us to Piss Alley.

Piss Alley consists of 2 narrow alleys next to the Shinjuku train station. 

In other countries, these narrow and dark alleys would be a place to avoid and the smell of urine would be wafting from the alleys as you pass them. 

Your hair would stand on end just thinking you had to walk through them.

Not so in Tokyo. Locals frequent the small eateries in Piss Alley for a quick bite and over the years they have become popular with tourists as well.  

As you stroll through these alleyways, you can taste the charm of this city.

Stroll through piss alley and imagine yourself in a Japanese Mafia movie

These narrow and charming passageways are in stark contrast with the skyscrapers and the neon lights that are just around the corner and are so typical of this city.

On your way to Kabukicho make sure to take a detour through Piss Alley and if you are hungry you can indulge in Yakatori in one of the many tiny restaurants that are here.

How to get there

Piss Alley is really close to the West Exit of Shinjuku train station.  The two alleys run parallel to the tracks.  You will see the entrance on your right if you face the Shinjuku Dai-Guard train bridge.   Shinjuku station is served by several JR lines and both Tokyo Metro and Toei lines.

Piss alley in Tokyo
Piss Alley near the West Gate of Shinjuku station houses many small eateries and bars.


Kabukicho is Tokyo’s most popular nightlife district. 

According to statistics, this is the most unsafe neighborhood in Tokyo, but we never felt unsafe.

This might be the most unsafe district in Tokyo but compared to similar nightlife districts in other countries around the world Kabukicho is much more entertaining than it is dangerous.

I would advise being alert but don’t let this dodgy reputation, that mainly lives with the locals, stop you from discovering this crazy side of Japan’s capital.

We were regularly approached by touts (remarkably all blacks) who proposed to arrange a fantastic night for us.

Fortunately, they didn’t insist, and with a polite “no, thanks” we could easily move on and enjoy these lively streets.

Besides pubs and restaurants, Kabukicho also houses the red light district. For us, Europeans, this was nothing like we are used to seeing in, for example, Amsterdam. In Tokyo, there are no girls that try to lure you in from their windows.

Here, everything is neatly hidden away, but the pictures outside clearly show what you can expect inside.

The facade of the Robot Restaurant
The blatant facade of the Robot Restaurant in Kabukicho
The Robot Restaurant

Unfortunately, the Robot restaurant is still closed and it is uncertain if it will ever reopen. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Strolling through Kabukicho you will also pass the famous Robot Restaurant. You cannot miss it. Even in the abundance of neon commercials that you find in this neighborhood the Robot restaurant still manages to stand out.

This already gives you an idea of what to expect inside.  No expense has been spared to overwhelm you with large robots and impressive lasers in a dazzling show.

We heard from visitors that already have seen the show several times that it is regularly updated.

It is touristy because inside you barely find Japanese. The food is not good (it would be better to take restaurant out of the name) and it’s expensive. The show is however so completely over the top that you will remember it for a long time.

You better buy your tickets online in advance because they are much cheaper online.  Tickets are sold at the venue for (converted to USD) $100.

More information and tickets:
Robot Restaurant

or read our full guide about the Robot Restaurant.

How to get there

Continuing your journey from Piss alley you cross the Shinjuku Dai-Guard train bridge and go straight along Yasukuni Dori street.   The Kabukicho district consists of the first streets on the left side of the street.

Golden Gai

Just a little passed Kabukicho is Golden Gai, a nightlife district with narrow streets where it seems like time has stood still. 

This is the only place in Japan where you can witness a nightlife district that has been preserved exactly like it was post-war. 

The streets are lined with small charming pubs, most can hardly fit 10 customers, and for this reason, many only accept their regular clientele.

A few are open to foreigners and those can be recognized by the English menus outside.

How to get there

As you walk towards the East (keeping Yasukuni Dori on your right) you will automatically arrive at Golden Gai.  This district is bordered by Kabukicho on the West and the Hanazono Shrine on the East.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a landmark building in Shinjuku.  Both towers of this building house an observation platform on the 45th floor, at a height of 202 meters.  

There are several observation platforms in Tokyo and one can argue about which one has the best views of Tokyo’s impressive skyline but one thing is for sure, the Metropolitan Government Building is the cheapest because it can be visited for free.

On a clear day, you will be able to spot famous landmarks such as Mt. Fuji, the Tokyo Tower, and the Tokyo Skytree.  At night the views over the city are just as spectacular.

Info icon
Location: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001.
Event icon
Opening hours: Daily 9.30 am – 11 pm  
Closed: December 29 to December 31 and January 2-3
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Japan

How to get there

It’s easy to reach the Metropolitan Government Building with the metro or the train.

The Tochomae stop of the Oedo Subway Line (Toei) is located directly underneath the building.

From Tokyo’s central Shinjuku station, it is a 10-minute walk to the Metropolitan Government Building. Shinjuku station is served by several JR lines and both Tokyo Metro and Toei lines. To get to the building take the West exit of the station.

Tokyo by night seen from the Metropolitan Government Building
Tokyo by night seen from the Metropolitan Government Building, the impressive city stretches out as far as you can see

Day 2: Shibuya

Shibuya crossing

We start the day at Shibuya crossing.  This is the world’s busiest intersection.  Take the metro to Shibuya station and follow the arrows for the Hachiko exit.  This exit leads directly to the intersection.

Everywhere around are neon advertisements and giant talking video screens. 

The mass of pedestrians that cross the intersection each time the light turns green has made this intersection famous and it is often featured in movies.

The best views on the crossing are from above.  To get a bird’s eye view you could consider getting a coffee at the Starbucks located above the Tsutaya bookshop. Thanks to its location it’s now the world’s busiest Starbucks and pretty crowded at all times.

Read Also:

Discover all the things Tokyo is famous for.

Tokyo Shibuya, not to me missed on a Tokyo itinerary
Shibuya crossing

Because it’s the world’s busiest Starbucks, they don’t allow people in just to take pictures,  you have to buy drinks if you want to get a bird’s eye view.

The crazy vibe of the intersection draws attention away from Tokyo’s most famous dog, Hachiko.

The statue of Hachiko stands at the exit of the train station where, each day, he loyally waited for his master to return home. 

Every day the dog came to the station to meet his master and he continued to do so for 9 years after his master had died, until his own death.

A bit of a sad story that was made into a movie, Hachiko, a dog’s tale.

How to get there

Shibuya station is right underneath this crossing.  Take the Hachiko exit.


From Shibuya, we make our way to Omotesando. Omotesando is a shopping street where you will find stores from Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. 

Not surprisingly it mainly attracts a high-heeled clientele. 

Walking down Omotesando street towards Yoyogi park you can do some (window) shopping.

The designer pieces in the shop windows may draw your attention but don’t forget to look up once in a while.  The unique architectural designs of some of the buildings ensure that just walking alone this tree-lined avenue is a treat. Some of the eye-catching buildings include the ones of Dior, Boss, Tod’s, Prada and Dior.

Further down the street is Tokyu Plaza, a small shopping plaza with a spectacular entrance, completely covered with mirrors.

Do you want to take a break? The rooftop garden on the 6th floor is a nice place to relax for a while.

How to get there

You can either take the Ginza or Hanzomon line for one stop to Omote-Sando station.

By foot, it would take you 15 minutes along Aoyama Dori.

Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
Meiji Shrine

Yoyogi Park

Omotesando street leads right to the Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi park. The park is a 170-acre oasis of green and consists of approximately 100,000 evergreen trees. 

The entrance of the Shrine is marked with a huge 12-meter-high wooden Torii gate.  The Shrine buildings themselves are located well inside the forest and have an air of tranquility. 

Both the shrine and the park are very tranquil locations that you wouldn’t expect in such a lively metropolis. We spent quite some time in the park and did a great amount of people-watching.

You might be lucky enough to spot a traditional Shinto wedding as this Shrine is a popular wedding venue.

How to get there

Omotesando leads straight to Yoyogi park.

To get here by train you would take the Yamanote line to Harajuku station.

The nearest metro stop is Meiji-jingumae served by the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines.


Harajuku is the center of Japanese youth culture.  Teens flock to this district for their shopping needs but clearly, they avoid Omotesando street. 

Instead, they frequent the smaller side streets like Cat street, Meiji street & Takeshita-Dori.  Takeshita-Dori is the most popular street among tourists.

This has attracted tourist-oriented shops and cool and hipster brands have moved out to cat street. 

Nevertheless, these 3 streets, and in general the entire neighborhoods left and right of Omotesando is well worth a visit.

Over the weekends the streets can get crowded with shoppers but other times of the week it doesn’t feel at all like you’re walking in a metropolis, rather like a small hip city.

Harajuku is also the place to be to try sweet crepes. It’s one of the Tokyo desserts you absolutely must try while you are there. 

How to get there

Omotesando street more or less splits the Harajuku district in half.

To get here by train you would take the Yamanote line to Harajuku station.

The nearest metro stop is Meiji-jingumae served by the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines.

Day 3: Akihabara


Akihabara, nicknamed “Electric City“, is Tokyo’s go-to place for all your electronics.  Hundreds of electronics stores are dotted across the district. 

You can buy everything from computers, mobile phones, and home appliances to those comfy heated toilet seats that I absolutely fell in love with during our trip. You can also find cheap second-hand goods that come with no guarantee at all.

Don’t just buy everything. Because of the voltage difference, not all electronics will work in your home country.  Luckily several shops offer a selection of international models and even better, offer tax-free shopping to foreign tourists.

Even if you’re not looking for the newest smartphone or computer it is still fun to browse around the shops. 

You will be amazed by the wide selection of gadgets that is for sale.  I’m pretty sure some of these will be new to you.  Yodobashi is the nearest store to Akihabara station. 

It is their biggest store and a good start to your discovery of Japan’s electric city.

Akihabara, also called Electric City, in Tokyo
Visiting Akihabara was one of the highlights of our 5 days in Tokyo.

Over the years many anime and manga stores have popped up in this region to the extent that Akihabara is now recognized as the center of Japan’s anime culture. 

The arrival of the shops caused an influx of maid cafés as well. 

It’s a fun, although expensive, place to have a drink.  In exchange for the hefty price, you will be served by waitresses that dress up as French maids or anime characters.

For the best, or should I say least awkward, maid café experience you should pick one where the waitresses speak English like the @home café.

But you don’t even need to visit such a café to see the maids as many of them are standing at the street corners to attract customers.

The manga stores are, just like the electronics stores, fun to snoop around.  The stores are stuffed with comic books, video games, posters, DVDs, and action figures. Even to such an extent that you can hardly move around. 

That was at least our experience in the Mandarake store which specializes in second-hand and rare manga-related goods.

How to get there

 Take the JR train to Akihabara station.

This station is also served by the Hibiya metro line.

A view on the Imperial Palace in Tokyo
The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Imperial Palace

Depending on how much time you have spent snooping around the anime and electronics stores you may want to hop on the JR Yamanote train and head 2 stops south to Tokyo Station. 

Upon exiting the station you can’t but notice the Manhattan-like modern skyscrapers that are just northwest of the station.   

Just behind these office buildings is the Imperial Palace

The Palace is located in a lovely green area.

The hike around the park grants you nice views on the moats, bridges and massive stone walls that used to protect the Edo castle that was located here until 1888 when the current palace was completed.

Watching the Sakura on the Imperial Palace Grounds in Tokyo
Watching the Sakura on the Imperial Palace Grounds

The East Gardens of the palace are open to the public all year round.  There are some cherry trees, a wide-open lawn, and some remains of the former fortifications that were needed to protect the castle.

A small section of the park has been transformed into a nice Japanese-style garden.

The inner grounds are only open to the public during the Sakura season, on December 23rd and select other occasions.

Those dates can be found on the website of the Imperial Household agency.  

The rest of the year they can be visited with a guided tour. 

Daily two tours are conducted in both Japanese and English.  You can register online for these tours.

How to get there

 Take the JR train to Tokyo station.

This station is also served by the Marunouchi metro line.

Day 4: Asakusa

Asakusa is located northeast of central Tokyo.  For centuries up until world war 2, it used to be the prime entertainment district of Tokyo.

 It was severely bombed and completely rebuilt afterward but it has never regained the same popularity it used to have. 

The Sensoji temple is very famous among tourists, and thanks to the completion of the Tokyo Skytree in 2012, the nearby entertainment district is again gaining in popularity.

Sensoji temple Asakusa Tokyo
Sensoji temple in Asakusa, Tokyo

Sensoji temple

The Sensoji temple is Tokyo’s most colorful and probably also the most crowded temple. It was completed in 645 and that makes it also the oldest temple of the capital. 

Most visitors approach the temple through the Nakamise shopping street.  The street is lined with shops that sell traditional souvenirs and snacks. 

To the left of the temple is an impressive five-storied pagoda and to the right is a much more recent shrine.

You can climb the stairs to the roof in the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center for a good view on the Nakamise street with the temple and the pagoda majestically in the background.

The center is almost exactly opposite the impressive Kaminarimon or Thunder gate that marks the entrance of the shopping street. 

This gate is decorated with a huge paper lantern weighing 670 kilograms and 4 colorful statues of Buddhist gods.

How to get there

Take the Ginza or Asakusa metro line to Asakusa station.  It’s a short 2-minute walk from the station to the entrance gate of the Nakamise shopping street.

Denboin garden

The Denboin garden is the private garden of the temple’s abbot.  For 2 months every year, usually March and April, everybody gets to enjoy this magnificent and serene place.

Be sure to pay this garden a visit if you’re here during this period.

It is a place where you can take a rest and escape from the crowds in the temple.  

A visit to a small art exhibition of sculptures and ema paintings is included in the entrance fee for the garden.

Info icon
Location: Denboin Garden 2-3-1 Asakusa Asakusa, Taito.
Event icon
Opening hours: March to April (exact dates vary every year) Daily 10 am – 4 pm
300 yen
Denboin Garden - senso-ji denbointeien

How to get there

Halfway Nakamise Shopping street you will cross a pedestrian street that borders the temple’s grounds on the South. Following this street Eastwards (take a left turn facing the temple) will lead you to the entrance of the Denboin garden.  The entrance is the gate on your right just before the side street on your right.

Tokyo Skytree

It’s easy to get to Tokyo Skytree from Asakusa.  It’s only a 20-minute walk but you could also opt for the Tobu Isesaki Line that directly connects the Skytree with Asakusa station. 

The line is operated by Tobu so your Japan Railways pass is not accepted.

The complete rebuilt area is called Tokyo Skytree Town and the tower is situated more or less in the middle of the town.  At the bottom of the tower is a large shopping and entertainment complex.

The complex features several terraces that offer a good view of the tower or you can have lunch or dinner in the restaurant on the top floor in the Sky Tree East Building.

The entrance of the tower is situated on the 4th floor of the shopping mall.  

The tower has two observation platforms, the first is situated at a height of 350 meters and contains a café and restaurant.

The second platform is an additional 100 meters higher. You can buy a ticket to visit only the first observation platform or both.

The lines are often very long so we recommend you to book skip the line tickets. These are currently cheaper when bought in advance than on-site.

Here you can find more info about the Tokyo sky tree skip the long queues ticket:
Tokyo Skytree

Info icon
Location: Tokyo Skytree 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045.
Event icon
Opening hours: Daily 8 am – 10 pm (last entry 9 pm)
Regular on-site: First observatory only; 2060 yen, both:  3090 yen
Skip the line on-site: First observatory only: 3000 yen, both: 4000 yen
Tokyo Skytree Japan

How to get there

The Tobu Isesaki Line directly connects the Skytree with Asakusa station.

Just as easy is the Asakusa Metro line that connects Asakusa station with Oshiage station (this station is right outside the shopping mall).

The entrance of Ueno Park
The entrance of Ueno Park

Ueno Park

To the west of the temple is Ueno Park, a large park surrounded by several museums and the Tokyo zoo.

The garden is a hotspot to see the cherry blossoms. Although we preferred the placid experience in Gyoen this park shows the true vibe that awakens the city as soon as the blossoms start to open in the trees.

Everywhere you saw people picnic with their friends and the fairly wide paths in the park were jam-packed.

The best spot to see the cherry blossoms is along the path that divides the Shinobazu lake.

How to get there

Ueno station is a major hub of JR and is also served by the Ginza and Hibiya metro lines.

Departing from Tokyo Skytree you take the Asakusa line to Asakusa station where you change for the Ginza line.

Mount Fuji, a popular day trip from Tokyo
Day trips to Mt. Fuji are very popular

Day 5: Day trips from Tokyo

Now that you have seen the major highlights of the capital city it is time to explore some of the other sights of Japan. 

Those looking for cultural highlights will love Nikko, one of the best Shrines in Japan. 

And then there’s of course also one of the most iconic sights of the country. The almost perfectly shaped Fuji Volcano is on nearly everybody’s list who comes to Japan for the first time.

Note though that clear sight is very rare in high season, your best chances are November to February.

Lastly, we included Tokyo Disney, an ideal day trip with children or for those who just want to enjoy a day of ultimate entertainment.


Most tourists are drawn to Nikko by the popular Toshogu Shrine. 

This Shrine started as a relatively plain mausoleum for Tokugawa Leyasu until its grandson enlarged it and transformed it into the richly decorated complex that it still is today.  

The Shrine gained its popularity because it is the only Shrine in Japan that is so extravagantly decorated.

Another reason to visit Nikko is the Nikko National Park, a huge forested mountainous park. 

The parks idyllic lakes, gorges, and waterfalls attract many hikers all year round but are particularly visited in late October to early November when it is a prime location to see the colorful autumn leaves.

How to get there

The JR Tohoku Shinkansen is the fastest option to reach Nikko.  The train departs at Tokyo station or Ueno station and takes you to Utsunomiya where you change to the JR Nikko line.  The journey takes about one hour and a half and is fully covered by the JR Pass.

A cheaper option is the limited express trains that leaves from Shinjuku station. 

These trains take two hours to reach Nikko, they are NOT fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass but are free to those who own a JR Tokyo Wide Pass or one of the JR East Passes.

The Shrine in Nikko
Nikko is where you find Japan’s most lavishly decorated Shrine

Mt. Fuji

Day trips from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji will probably take you to Lake Kawaguchiko, the largest of the five lakes of the Fuji Five lakes resort area. 

A hike along the Northern shore of the lake will grant you several splendid views of the lake with the volcano in the background. 

Several cherry trees that grow by the lakeside provide that extra bit of magic during the Sakura season.

After a day of hiking, you can relax in the many onsens located throughout the five lakes resort area or you can do a boat tour on one of the lakes.

How to get there

You could take a direct bus that leaves from Shinjuku station or Tokyo station.  The bus will take you in just under 2 hours to Lake Kawaguchiko.

If you want to go by train you first need to take the JR Chuo line to Otsuki where you need to change to the Fujikyu Line to Kawaguchiko. 

Holders of a JR Tokyo Wide Pass can use this pass for the entire journey but the segment from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko is NOT covered by the Japan Rail Pass.  The train journey will take approximately 2,5 hours.

If you are looking for an easy hassle-free way to visit Mount Fuji then an organized day trip might be something for you. 

Here is also an overview of private Mt Fuji tours.


Hakone, famous for its hot springs, is another popular day trip to see Mount Fuji.  Hakone is situated in a green environment and nearby Lake Ashi offers dramatic views of Mt. Fuji. 

Unlike lake Kawaguchiko the shores of Lake Ashi are largely undeveloped.

How to get there

You can find all info about how to get to Hakone in our Hakone day trip guide.

The Mediterranean Harbor in Tokyo DisneySea
The Mediterranean Harbor in Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo Disney

Tokyo Disney consists of two parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.  Disneyland is similar to other Disneyland parks around the world. 

DisneySea is the bigger of the two and has more attractions aimed at an adult audience.

DisneySea is built around a unique concept unseen in other Disney parks around the world.  The park was awarded the Thea award for the great decor of this park.

We loved our visit to Tokyo DisneySea.  The park has some really good attractions and the design is one of the best we have ever experienced in a theme park.   It was also fun to see how some Japanese completely dress up in the Disney magic. 

More information and tickets:

Tokyo Disneyland Tickets

Tokyo DisneySea Tickets

How to get there

Take the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino lines to Maihama Station.
This is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.  At Maihama station you can change to the Monorail that will take you to the entrance of Disneyland or DisneySea.

Note that the Monorail is not included in the price of your entrance ticket and is only free for overnight guests to the park. You can also walk from the JR station to the entrance of the parks.  For Disneyland, this would be the best option as the entrance is really close by and only a 5-minute hike.  DisneySea would approximately be a 15-minute hike.

Private transfers are also available for those who are looking for a comfortable ride to and from Disneyland or DisneySea.

How to get from Haneda or Narita airport to Tokyo

There are 2 international airports in Tokyo, Haneda and Narita airport.

From Haneda airport

Haneda International Airport is located 14 kilometers south of Tokyo Station.

There are two options to reach central Tokyo from Haneda Airport by train.

These are the Keikyu Line and the Tokyo Monorail. Both require a transfer to the JR Yamanote Line to reach major stations in central Tokyo.

Since chances are that you will need to switch trains to reach your hotel you might prefer the comfort of a private or shared transfer to your hotel.

You can book your shared transfer here:
Shared transfer Haneda-Tokyo

or you can opt for a private transfer here:
Private transfer Haneda-Tokyo

Narita Airport

Narita is the smallest of the 2 airports but does serve as the international hub of both major Japanese airlines, Japan Airlines, and ANA.

It lies 60 km east of central Tokyo. Although it is located further from central Tokyo than Haneda it is actually better connected.

The JR Narita Express and the Keisei Skyliner are 2 excellent options but you could also opt for a bus or taxi.

JR Narita Express

The JR Narita Express, abbreviated as N’EX, is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

This makes N’EX your best option if you have a JR Pass.

To use this train with your Japan Rail Pass you need to exchange your voucher for the actual pass at the airport.
Once exchanged you will also need to reserve seats as N’EX is one of the few trains that only has reserved cars.

The Keisei Skyliner

The Keisei Skyliner is a good alternative to N’EX if you have no Japan Rail Pass.

The prices, the comfort, and the train schedule of both trains are comparable.

The main difference is that N’EX will take you to Tokyo station, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro & Yokohama.

The Keisei Skyliner heads to Nippori station and Keisei Ueno (close to Ueno station).
Both trains offer easy transfer to the JR Yamanote line, the main loop line in Tokyo.

As with Haneda, you can also book private or shared transfers from Narita to central Tokyo.

After a long flight, a direct transfer from the airport to your hotel will be a lot more comfortable.

You can book your shared transfer here:

Shared Transfer

Private Transfer

Shinjuku By Night
Shinjuku is one of the liveliest areas in Tokyo

How to get around in Tokyo

The easiest way to travel around Tokyo is by public transport.

Tokyo has a very extensive public transportation network.

The fact that it is operated by 11 different train companies that each sell their own tickets can make it a bit overwhelming at first.

Two different companies operate the metro network and here too you cannot use tickets from one company to transfer to trains of the other company.

Read also: In our full guide to Tokyo’s public transport we share a lot of information about the different transportation options in Tokyo. With this information, you will be able to choose the best ticket or pass for your visit.

If you don’t feel at ease using the subway, you can always jump on one of the hop-on-hop-off buses to see the highlights of Tokyo.

Where to stay in Tokyo 

Here we share the best place to stay in Tokyo based on our own experience.

When we decided where we wanted to stay in Tokyo during our 3 weeks in Japan, we looked at nightlife and restaurant options, the main tourist attractions and the proximity to main public transportation hubs. 

Most notably the JR Yamanote Line, the circular line that takes you to most tourist attractions.

This led us to the Shinjuku district in our personal opinion the best district to stay in Tokyo for first-timers as it offers many of Tokyo’s highlights,  has many shops and restaurants, and offers access to Shinjuku station and the JR Yamanote line. 

Staying in Shinjuku is also a great choice for side-trips as well as you’ve many direct connections from Shinjuku station

But other districts have their advantages as well.

That’s why we wrote a complete post about the best place to stay in Tokyo for tourists and first-timers.

Read Also:

Luxury Hotel

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Hotel Park Hyatt Tokyo

The Park Hyatt was featured in the famous movie ‘Lost in Translation’.  If you fancy yourself sipping cocktails in the elegant rooftop bar you might as well treat yourself to a luxury stay in their posh rooms.  The hotel is located almost right next to the Tokyo Government building.  You might skip a visit to their observation platforms after you’ve enjoyed that cocktail at the bar.  The rooftop bar of the hotel is located higher than the observation platforms in the government building… So you will have a fantastic view of the city.

A perfect choice if you are looking for a 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Shinjuku.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices:


Premium Comfortabel Hotel

Hilton Tokyo

Hotel Hilton Tokyo

The Tokyo Hilton is situated about a 15-minutes walk to Shinjuku train station but the hotel offers a free shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes to the train station. The airport limousine bus has a stop at this hotel.  There’re multiple restaurants and supermarkets in this area. Last but not least, after a busy day exploring this vibrant city you can relax in the indoor pool or sauna.  

Highly recommended hotel if you are looking for a good hotel in the vicinity of public transport.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices:


Comfortable Hotel

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is right in the heart of the bustling Kabukicho district with plenty of restaurants and bars.  The rooms are rather small, as most hotel rooms in Tokyo are, but they’re very well-equipped.  The hotel offers an excellent breakfast.  The Shinjuku station is only about a 5-minute walk but still, the hotel offers a paying shuttle as an alternative.

This is the perfect place for you if you are looking for a centrally located hotel for good price value.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices:


Maybe this is not what you were looking for? Check out other hotels in Shinjuku with and Agoda :


Top attractions in Tokyo 

Here is an overview of the best attractions in Tokyo. 

These activities can be booked on GetYourGuide and Klook. 

GetYourGuide is a reliable platform where you can book thousands of tours anywhere in the world. 

Klook is a trustworthy travel company headquartered in Hong Kong that teams up with local operators to offer all kinds of travel experiences.

Both companies are very flexible and they offer free cancellation for most activities. That gives peace of mind because you never know whether you need to change your plans. 

We selected 3 excellent activities in Tokyo just for you.

Watch the Robot show at the Robot Restaurant 

Unfortunately, the Robot restaurant is still closed and it is uncertain if it will ever reopen. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The Robot Show is touristy, expensive and the food isn’t so great so you might wonder why you need to visit it.  Well, it’s something you can only experience in Japan.  The show is grotesque and completely over the top like one can only experience in Japan.

For this activity, we decided to partner up with Klook because they often have the cheapest tickets for the Robot Restaurant.

Read reviews and book:
Robot Restaurant Tickets

or read our full guide about the Robot Restaurant here.

Skip the lines at the Tokyo Skytree

The Tokyo Skytree is, with a height of 634 meters, the highest building in Japan. It’s also the highest free-standing tower in the world. The tower houses 2 observation platforms that offer a fantastic view of Tokyo. They are respectively at a height of 350 and 450 meters and are amongst the highest in Japan. Here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Tokyo. An absolute Tokyo must visit when you want to see Tokyo from above.

The lines are often very long so we recommend you to book skip the line tickets.

Read reviews and book:
Tokyo Skytree Tickets

If you are looking for a free alternative, you should head to the  Metropolitan Government Building. This building has 2 towers that each offer a viewing platform at a height of 202 meters. The northern tower stays open until 11 p.m. and ‘Tokyo By Night’ is really spectacular.

Make a day trip to Mount Fuji

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, a day tour to Mount Fuji might be a good idea. 

Since there are so many day tours it isn’t easy to choose. 


There’s a lot to see and experience in Tokyo. You will need at least 2 days just to cover the major highlights. 

 3 days in Tokyo give you a good amount of time to see the major sites and experience the city atmosphere.

When you have 4 days in Tokyo you have more time to discover the different Tokyo neighborhoods at ease.

Ideally, you have 5 days in Tokyo.  This will allow you to explore the most fascinating districts of the capital and do a side trip to see some more of Japan like Nikko, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, or Tokyo Disney Sea.

Other Japan travel tips

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