Discover Tokyo: 1 Day Itinerary in Tokyo

Tokyo Tower - panoramic view Itinerary in Tokyo

Most travellers planning their trip to Tokyo feel somewhat overwhelmed by the oh-so-many great options the metropole has to offer. Being one of the largest cities in the world, we can totally understand you are not exactly sure where to begin planning. There are numerous exciting things to do and see in Tokyo, you can easily spend a month without getting bored. But fret not, we have got you covered with our suggested 1-day itinerary in Tokyo that covers a wide range of must-visit places.

5.30am – An early start at Toyosu Market

Start your day early with a local experience: the famous tuna auction. This location of this auction used to be at Tsukiji Market, but moved to Toyosu in October 2018. The tuna auction in Toyosu Market starts at 5.30am and is finished around 6.30am. You can watch the tuna auction from the observation deck located on the second floor of the Fisheries Wholesale Market Building. After the auction, you can also have breakfast here. Sushi and sashimi rice bowls are very popular and delicious here, but there are places for ramen, Japanese curry, and more too. All the restaurants and cafes open at 5am. 

Frozen Tuna Toyosu market

Tip: if you want to join a free special tuna auction tour, you can apply for tickets.
Read more about how to apply for these free tickets.

8am – City views from great heights at Tokyo Skytree

Access to Tokyo Skytree from Toyosu Market

  1. Take Yurikakome line from Shijo station to Shinbashi station (¥390, 30 min).
  2. From Shinbashi station take the Asakusa line to Oshiage station (¥220, 16 min).

Tokyo Skytree, one of the Tokyo’s most popular landmarks, was built in 2012 and is the tallest building in Japan (634m). Its observatory offers magnificent views of the Tokyo cityscape, and even Mt. Fuji on a clear day. You can all the other places in Tokyo mentioned in this itinerary from the observatory, so you can enjoy places that you are going to visit today from different perspective. Tokyo Skytree observatory is open from 8am. You can avoid the crowds if you visit here early morning. 

Tokyo Sky Tree panoramic view

Tokyo Skytree
8am – 10pm (last admission 9pm)
Combi ticket from ¥3,100
Tembo Galleria from ¥1,000
Tembo Deck from ¥2,100

11am – Cultural experiences in Asakusa

Access from Tokyo Skytree to Asakusa

Walk for about 20 minutes (approximately 1.5km).

Located in the center of Tokyo, you can experience both traditional and modern Japanese cultures in this district. The main attraction is Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo built in 7th century. The Nakamisa Dori marks the way from the first front gate Kaminarimon – with its’ iconic big red lantern – to the temple its’ main hall. In this street you can find numerous small stores, snack venders, and restaurants. Most of the shops along Nakamise Dori open between 9-10 am, but some of them open at 11.30am. Enjoy some snacks like manjū (Japanese cakes filled with red bean paste), or have lunch in one of many restaurants. Please note that eating and drinking is not allowed on Nakamise Dori itself.

asakusa

2pm – Discover Tokyo’s prestigious business district around Tokyo Station

Access from Asakusa to Tokyo station

  1. Take Tokyo Metro Ginza line to Kanda station (¥170, 10 min).
  2. Take JR Yamanote line to Tokyo station (¥140, 3 min).

Stop by one of the city’s main transport hubs for many trains including the bullet trains. The Tokyo station’s red-brick façade on the Marunouchi side dates back to 1914 and was renovated in 2012. Marunouchi district, where Tokyo station is located, is one of the most prestigious business districts in Tokyo. Luxury shops, restaurants and cafes can be found along Marunouchi Naka Dori Avenue. Also, you can see Imperial Palace if you walk along Hibiya Dori Avenue. Unfortunately you cannot see the palace itself, because it is surrounded by walls, water and greenery. What you can see is the beautiful Japanese Imperial east garden. How about taking a short break and enjoy the beautiful nature in central Tokyo?

We recommend you make your way to Nijubashimae station on Hibiya Dori Avenue, a 15 minute walk from Tokyo station. From this station it is very convenient to go to Harajuku and Meiji Jingu shrine, the next locations on the list!

3pm – Meiji Jingu shrine and Yoyogi Park

Access from Marunouchi district to Meiji Jingu shrine

Take the Chiyoda line from Nijubashimae station to Meiji-jingumae station (¥200,14 min).

This Shinto shrine is dedicated to emperor and empress Meiji and was completed in 1920. At the entrance of the shrine ground stands a huge Torii gate. Once you enter the shrine ground you will forget you are in the center of one of the busiest cities in the world. The gravel path that leads you to the main building of the shrine is surrounded by a total of 170,000 trees donated from all over Japan, creating quiet and sacred atmosphere. If you are lucky, you may be able to see a bride and a groom dressed in Japanese wedding kimono, walking in front of the shrine. Meiji Jingu shrine is the most-visited shrine in Japan for hatsumode, more than 3 million people visit the shrine during the first few days of the new year. The gates of the shrine open at sunrise and close between 4pm in December and 6.30pm in June.

Meiji Shrine

Yoyogi Park is located just across the street from Meiji Jingu shrine. It is one of the city’s largest parks with ponds, fountains, lawns and trees, which make this park a great place for outdoor activities and picknicks. You can stroll through this park and continue your way to the world famous Shibuya crossing. 

6pm – People watching in Shibuya

Access from Meiji Jingu shrine / Yoyogi Park to Shibuya station

  • Walk through Yoyogi Park and continue south for about 10 minutes.
  • Take JR Yamanote line from Harajuku station (¥140, 2 min).
Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya is the famous entertainment district in central Tokyo, known worldwide for its pedestrian scramble crossing. This crossing, where at peak time 2,500 people cross the street in one go, is surrounded by neon signs and large commercial screens. It has also been featured in many movies such as The Fast and the Furious and Resident Evil. The crossing is also famous for the Hachiko statue, prominently located in front of the station. It is one of the most famous meeting places in Japan. Hachiko was the name of a loyal dog who waited for his master at Shibuya station every day for many years, even after its’ master had passed away. This is a true story from early 1920s.

Hachinko Statue Shibuya

Shibuya is also a great place to go for dinner, here you can find Japanese local food as well as all sorts of international food. And if you are up for it, there are plenty of karaoke places too.

9pm – The stunning night views in Roppongi Hills 

Access from Shibuya station to Roppongi Hills

Take Toei Bus RH01 bound for Roppongi Hills (¥210, 15 min).

One of the most impressive things in Tokyo is its night scenery. The observatory in Roppongi Hills Mori Tower offers one of the most beautiful night views of Tokyo. Especially the sight of Tokyo Tower, one of the most famous and popular landmarks of Tokyo, is amazing. You can also see the Rainbow Bridge, the ferris wheel in Odaiba, Tokyo Skytree, and skyscrapers in Shinjuku. If the weather permits, we recommend you to go up to the Rooftop Sky Deck where you can enjoy the Tokyo’s night view out in the open air.  

Tokyo City View
10am – 11pm 
Observatory access ¥1,800 (including entrance to the Mori Art Museum)
Sky Deck access additional ¥500

Tokyo by night

Roppongi is also known for its’ nightlife. Roppongi and Shinjuku area are good for drinking and night activities. You can go to Shinjuku for some local Izakaya, a Japanese style bar where you can have delicious Japanese foods and drinks. If you want to go dancing in the club or go to fancy bars, we would recommend you to go to Roppongi.

What do you think about this 1 day itinerary in Tokyo? You can experience both traditional and modern sides of the city as well as beautiful nature and scenery. This may seem like a lot to do in one day. If you have several days in Tokyo, we suggest to spread this itinerary over two or three days! When you are interested in learning more about the history, culture and fun facts of Tokyo, consider joining a guided tour. We offer many different tours and can also customise your trip to enjoy both modern cityscape and nature in Tokyo in one day.

Japan Wonder Travel Tokyo Private Tour

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Happy travelling!

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