Photo Credit: Jezael Melgoza
One Day In Tokyo: What To See And Do
According to a report from the World Economic Forum, Japan is the number one tourist destination in the world. And its capital city, Tokyo, is a big reason why. Tokyo is a tourist hotspot, seeing over 300 million domestic travelers in 2020 alone. And in a study by Statista, the number of tourists nearly doubled before COVID.
Things to see and do in Tokyo
The city is known for its anime and video game culture, delicious foods, and famous landmarks. The Meiji shrine, a.k.a. the Meiji Jingu shrine, in Shibuya city, is a notable attraction. The shrine pays homage to the late Emperor Meiji, Japan’s first modern emperor. There, tourists can take pictures of the sacred shrine before enjoying a stroll along its surrounding nature trails.
One of the most popular places in Tokyo is Takeshita street, a site where tourists can peruse its bright and colorful Harajuku shops. And the Rainbow Bridge is the perfect place to capture photos of the city lights that sparkle under the moonlight.
Of course, you can’t travel to Tokyo without trying some authentic Japanese cuisine. Robot Restaurant provides a unique dining experience where you can watch robots duke it out, girls in colorful outfits dance, and lasers shoot across the room.
For a more relaxed experience, Tamawarai is a nice place to try traditional soba noodle dishes with homemade noodles made from scratch.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy while in Tokyo. But since there’s so much to explore, covering it all with limited time can be challenging. Fortunately, the city offers many ways to see it all in a short time. From its famous public transportation to some guided tours, experiencing Tokyo city without much time is easily doable. Here are six places you have to visit in one day in Tokyo:
1. Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck is an observation deck where visitors can see a full 360-degree view of Tokyo city. From there, visitors can ride a glass tube to the galleria to see its summit on the 450th floor.
If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, the tower offers galleries and exhibits on its first floor. The official shop is on the fifth floor, where tourists can purchase souvenirs to take the experience home with them.
2. Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is an active volcano and the tallest mountain in Japan. Known as one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains,” it’s become a sacred landmark where locals visit to pray and meditate at the many temples and shrines surrounding it.
For adventurous travelers, Mount Fuji is also a popular place to climb. People from all over the world hike the majestic mountain to see the stunning views at its summit.
The best time to hike is on clear days during the official hiking season between July and September. In fact, this is the only time the mountain is open to hikers due to its dangerous weather, including rain, snow, and avalanches.
3. Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market, commonly known as Tsukiji Outer Market, is a bustling site filled with wholesale and retail stores selling seafood and produce. The site is also popular for its wide selection of restaurants that serve fresh sushi for breakfast or lunch. And if you’re coming from the Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station, it’s only a short ride away.
Shutoku Honten is one of the best places in the market to try fresh sushi. Try the Seasonal Omakase Sushi Nigiri to sample ten pieces of sushi featuring the freshest fish of the day. And Cafe de Naura is a quaint cafe where you can sip on hot and delicious teas and coffees to start your day.
4. Toyosu Market
Located on the island of Toyosu is the Toyosu Fish Market, a wholesale marketplace known for its famous tuna auctions. There, tourists can watch as some of the largest tunas worldwide are sold to the highest bidder, with some sold for millions of dollars. The tuna auction is so popular that you must apply to see it!
Apart from the auctions, Toyosu Market is home to a number of eateries where you can sample some tuna for yourself. And if you’re not a fan of tuna, plenty of other restaurants at the market serve traditional Japanese meals like ramen and soba noodle dishes.
5. Harajuku Station
The JR Harajuku Station is a popular railway station for tourists to catch a ride or experience a bit of Japanese culture. Its convenience store, NewDays, is a great place to purchase Harajuku-themed souvenirs for friends and family back home. And on its second floor is the Sarutahiko café, serving up hot and fresh lattes and other specialty beverages in authentic Harajuku style.
The station is the new and improved version of the former Harajuku Station, also called the Weathercock House, that was demolished in 2020. The historic building first opened in 1906 and served as the oldest wooden station in Tokyo.
6. Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park is a beautiful city park with an interesting history that dates back to the 1900s. Before it was a public park, it served as a residential site for members of the U.S. military. And in 1964, it was home to the famous Tokyo Olympics.
You can spend a late afternoon at the park after a full day exploring the city. It’s the perfect place to become one with nature as you sit on a bench under the cherry blossoms. You can also have a picnic near the ginkgo tree forest, one of the most popular attractions at the park. The best time to visit is when the ginkgo tree leaves turn a striking golden yellow color in the fall.