Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has so much to offer its visitors. You can enjoy some of the best nightlife, unique dining experiences, and creative museums.
While there’s a good chance you’ve seen pictures of Shibuya Crossing — it’s pretty iconic, there are so many other fun things to do in Tokyo!
If this is your first time going to Japan, also check out my tips for traveling to Japan, the best time to travel to Japan — super helpful info! I’d also recommend taking a look at my ultimate Tokyo travel guide and my Japan travel guide to give you the lay of the land.
Here are the top things to do in Tokyo (that aren’t Shibuya Crossing)!
Visit the Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant puts on a show like no other.
While you can pay extra for a meal, the real attraction to the Robot Restaurant in Toyoko is the cabaret-style show that the place offers, which includes dancing, singing, robots, and so many other things that you will only find in Japan.
Make sure to take your time getting to your seat and have your camera ready for all the Instagram-worthy pictures. For more information about my visit here, check out visiting the Robot Restaurant in Toyko.
Go Bar Hopping in Golden Gai
If you are looking for things to do in Tokyo at night, check out Golden Gai. This area has hundreds of little bars jam-packed in six tiny alleys.
You will feel like you stepped back in time to the 1950s as you walk around the area.
Most bars open later at night and do not serve food, so make sure you grab a bite to eat before heading there.
To learn more about bar hopping in Golden Gai, check out my Guide to Tokyo’s Golden Gai, and for a bit more check out my Tokyo itinerary.
Explore the Harajuku District
Another must-see, Harajuku is the perfect spot for people watching and taking in modern, young Japanese culture.
Get your nails done at Jill & Lovers and wander around Takeshita Street. Step into one of the many vintage shops or have a seat at one of the restaurants or cafes.
Meiji-jingu, one of the most famous shrines in Japan, and Yoyogi Park, the largest park in Tokyo, are both in the neighborhood.
The Akihabara district is a great place to explore in Tokyo for electronic and manga fans.
Not only does the area have some of the most popular electronic stores, but it is also an amusement ground for manga fans. Visitors can find figurines, stuffed animals, books, and cosplay outfits dealing with anime and video games in this district.
One favorite thing to do in Tokyo is to visit Ghibli Museum. This museum showcases the anime of Studio Ghibli.
The director Hayao Miyazaki is known as the Walt Disney of Japan.
Visitors can learn about the process of making animation and admire the work of Miyazaki.
The museum has many rooms and exhibits that include short films, inspirational rooms, interactive rooms, and even a room with the larger-than-life Cat Bus from “My Neighbor Totoro.”
The ultimate Japanese dining experience
If you are a foodie and looking for things to do in Tokyo during lunch or dinner time, try finding a place that serves a kaiseki meal.
Kaiseki is a dining experience that includes a traditional multi-course tasting meal of seasonal (and beautiful) ingredients.
The meal can include everything from an appetizer, a second course, seasonal sashimi, soup, grilled fish, a rice dish, pickled vegetables, grilled vegetables, and fruit or cake.
Ramen Vending Machine
You can’t go to Japan without trying the ramen!
There are many different Ramen shops around the city — you’ll have to sample a few and report back on your favorite. But the coolest part in my opinion?
Many ramen shops have vending machines, but not vending machines in the American sense…
These machines allow you to customize dishes! In the end, instead of food coming out a ticket is dispersed. The ticket can then be brought to the kitchen where the food will be prepared.
You can also check out local foods to try in Japan that go over some other dishes you don’t want to miss while in Japan.
Visit Memory Lane
Memory Lane, or Omoide Yokocho, is a small alleyway that is lined with restaurants and food stalls.
It was once known as Piss Alley from its post-WW2 roots when toilet facilities were non-existent. Don’t worry — it’s just a name nowadays and is much cleaner.
Today, visitors can eat at one of the small restaurants that may only seat a half dozen patrons.
Go on a Food Tour
When visiting Japan, one must try the food, and what better way to try all of what Japan has to offer than on a Tokyo food tour.
Visitors can join Bar Hopping Tours in Shinjuku, Walking Food Tours in Shibuya, or even a Tsukiji Fish Market Visit with Sushi Making Experience.
Bonus: Cosplay Go-Karting
Do you like cosplay and go-karting? Why not do both! One of the most unique things to do in Tokyo is Cosplay Go-Karting.
Dress up as your favorite character and hit the streets of Tokyo in a go-kart. Tours can be an hour or two hours long and take you on the actual streets of Tokyo and past some main attractions.
Have you ever been to Tokyo? What are your suggestions for top things to do in Tokyo? I’d love to know in the comments below!