We don’t usually repeat our travel destinations but Tokyo is an exception. Tokyo is one of our favorite cities if not our favorite city in the world. There are many great things to do in Tokyo so we narrowed down the best things to do if you only have 3 days in Tokyo.
Tsukiji Fish Market
If your body is on a different time zone, your first day in Tokyo might be the best day for an early morning visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Make sure to catch the tuna auction – only 120 people will be able to watch so you need to get there super early – most people recommend arriving around 3:00 am in the morning! After watching the tuna auction, make sure to enjoy some fresh sushi for breakfast.
Shibuya Crossing is huge famous pedestrian intersection. While you are Shibuya Station do not miss the statue of Hachiko. The statue is a popular meeting point for Tokyo residents and a good spot for people watching. The statue was erected in honor of Hachiko, who was a loyal dog that faithfully came to fetch his owner at the train station each day (even after his owner passed away).
Sensōji Temple (or Asakusa Kannon Temple)
Visit the famous Sensōji (or Asakusa Kannon Temple) in Asakusa. Although the temple and surrounding area is very busy and packed with tourists, it is still a Tokyo must see.
The walk to Sensōji, Nakamise Dori, is lined with small shops selling various souvenirs. This is a good spot to knock out your souvenir shopping.
Meiji Shrine/Omotesando/ Yoyogi Park/Harajuku
If you enjoy window shopping take a walk on Omotesando which is a broad, tree-lined street that houses various top designer boutiques. As Omotesando comes to an end you will reach Yoyogi Park, a great spot for people watching. The best day for people watching is Sunday so you might want to do this on Day 1 or Day 3 if you are in Tokyo on a Sunday.
Also nearby is the famous Harajuku neighborhood. The main action is at Takeshita Dori, which is a short pedestrian walkway. Here you will see shops selling clothes for teens, and lots of Japanese youth and girls wearing Harajuku style.
Make sure to also visit the Meiji Shrine which is located right next to the Harajuku station.
Now that you have seen the major sites in Tokyo you can do some of the unique things Tokyo is known for.
See a Sumo Grand Tournament or Visit a Sumo Stable
Sumo is Japan’s national sport. Attending a sumo grand tournament is a fun and cultural experience we would recommend to anyone visiting Japan during the tournament.
The sumo tournament runs in Tokyo for 15 days at a time during January, May and September (exact dates vary each year). If you visit Tokyo outside of these dates, consider visiting a sumo stable to watch the wrestlers (rikishi) practice.
(If you are interested in attending a sumo match, check out our Tips for Watching Sumo in Japan for the schedule, advice on finding tickets, choosing seats and other information that we think is helpful.)
Go to a themed café or restaurant
Tokyo is full of some interesting cafes from maid cafes, robot cafes to various animal cafes (cat cafes, dog cafes, owl cafes and bunny cafes). Read about our visit to a bunny café here.