Tokyo is one of my favourite cities in the world, it has such an amazing mix of food, culture and quirkiness. I’ve been to Tokyo twice now and I still want to go back, here are my top 10 best things to do there!
#1 Tokyo Disneyland
I loved this Disneyland, I went by myself and had such a great time. It has a great light show and fireworks display at night. I chose to purchase the starlight passport which allowed me entry from 3 pm, it was a good option for me, as an adult, there are definitely not as many attractions that can be enjoyed, compared to a child.
The resort is split up into two parks- Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The Tokyo Disneyland park contains the rides such as Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. The Tokyo DisneySea park contains the rides such as Indiana Jones Adventure, Raging Spirits, Tower of Terror, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Prices: Tokyo Disneyland
1 – Day passport
Adult ¥8,200 ($76, €67, £60), Junior ¥6900 ($64, €56, £50), Child ¥4900 ($45, €40, £36)
Starlight Passport- For use from 3pm on weekends and holidays
Adult ¥6000 ($55, €49, £44), Junior ¥5100 ($47, €41, £37), Child ¥3600 ($33, €29, £26)
#2 Visit a pet café in Harajuku
I think the first time I heard about Harajuku was from the Gwen Stefani song. I was so happy to browse this eclectic part of Tokyo. It’s almost a sensory overload with all the sights, sounds and smells. But it’s definitely not to be missed.
All around the area you will find quirky clothing shops, pet cafés, and foods such as rainbow cheese toasties and gigantic candy floss. I went to the Harry Hedgehog café in Harajuku. It cost ¥1300 ($12, €10, £9) for entry and ¥1500 ($14, €12, £11) for food to feed the hedgehogs. The novelty of these types of cafés are nice but they’re definitely not for everyone.
Opening Hours: Daily: 12:00PM – 19:00PM
Closed on Tuesdays.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−13−21 原宿２号館 4F シャンゼール
#3 Team Lab Borderless
This was one of my favourite activities in Tokyo. This is a digital art museum filled with the most amazing light installations. There are lots of different styles of rooms within the museum but do expect to queue for some of the best and most photogenic rooms. You must purchase your tickets in advance and make sure to book far in advance as the first time I went to Tokyo, all the tickets were sold out. Tickets cost ¥3200 ($29, €26, £24).
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00AM- 19:00PM
Closed the 2nd and the 4th Tuesday of the month.
Address: Odaiba Palette Town 2F, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
#4 Try Japanese style soufflé pancakes
This was high up on my list of Japanese foods to try, after I tried them in Seoul. After a lot of research on different restaurants, I decided on a restaurant called Flipper’s. It is a chain and the restaurant has many locations in Tokyo. I tried the Shibuya location.
The pancakes were honestly some of the best pancakes of my life, so moist and fluffy. I ordered the pancakes with strawberries and it cost ¥1250 ($11, €10, £9). They also have other items on the menu such as eggs benny and fried eggs with bacon. They also have a great coffee and tea selection.
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00AM – 20:00PM
Address: 1 Chome-35-16 Ebisunishi, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0021, Japan
#5 Eat at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant
You’ve probably seen the concept of a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in the likes of YO! Sushi. But at Himawari Sushi in Shinjuku, it’s the real deal. Upon entering, you are seated around a small kitchen of talented sushi chefs who freshly prepare sushi, and then once they have finished it, they place it on the conveyor belt. You can then take your preferred sushi off the belt and tuck in!
The plates all have different colours and patterns, these signify different price points. With the lowest-priced plate starting at ¥150 ($1.30, €1.20, £1.10). Each time you take a plate and finish it, you stack it up. Then when it comes to the time to pay, they count up your plates. As far as I remember they only took cash, so that’s something to bear in mind.
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00AM – 22:00PM
Address: 1 Chome-15-3 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
#6 Drive around the city Mario Kart style
I personally didn’t do this, (since I don’t have my drivers license) but I saw people driving around and I thought it was so cool so I would love to try it out. This experience is a little on the pricey side as it costs ¥13000 ($121, €106, £95) but I’m sure the experience is worth it. The cool thing is that you are offered costumes to dress up in and you can live out your video game fantasies. More information can be found here.
#7 Get a coffee in Starbucks in Shibuya
I’m not usually the biggest fan of getting Starbucks, especially whilst on a trip abroad. But this Starbucks is an exception. Once you grab your coffee you can go upstairs and take a seat to look out onto the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. 1 million people cross this crossing per day. It’s memorizing to sit there and watch the people go by.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho, 21−6 ＱＦＲＯＮＴ 1F
Opening Hours: 6:30AM- 02:00AM
#8 Grab a drink at a rooftop bar in the Andaz
This place is definitely not on budget for a backpacker. This rooftop bar is in the 5 star hotel Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. The bar is pricey and they charge a fee to sit by the window. The views of Tokyo were great though.
They have a great cocktail menu mostly priced at ¥2000 ($18, €16, £15). I ordered a Moscow Mule and it was great. They also serve different bar snacks too. This is definitely a treat, but its not for every budget, expect to pay service charge on top of the prices of drinks.
Opening Hours: 17:00PM – 01:00AM
Address: Japan, 〒105-0001 Tokyo, Minato City, Toranomon, 1 Chome−23−4 虎ノ門ヒルズ
#9 Eat ramen at a single-eater ramen restaurant
You have to try proper ramen when you are in Japan. This place is known for catering specifically to solo diners and it’s called Ichiran Ramen. The restaurant is filled with single seats facing a hatch where you have a small barrier on either side of you for privacy, (perfect for post-covid travel). Expect to queue for this restaurant as it is extremely popular with locals.
The basic Tonakatsu Ramen costs just ¥890 ($8, €7, £6) but usually people order extra add-ons such as eggs or extra noodles. Upon entering the restaurant, you order on a vending machine and you pay for the meal with cash. You take a meal ticket and you then must wait to be seated. You are given another paper menu with a pencil to mark how you would like your ramen to be, adjusting the spice, garlic, or richness of the broth. Once seated, your hatch will open and you will be handed your beautiful bowl of rich ramen.
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day
Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−34−11 B1F・6F ピースビル
#10 Sing your favourite songs in a karaoke room
This is a must-try when in Japan also. Karaoke rooms are so popular and so fun. You can order drinks and food and they will be brought to the room. You pay per hour and the prices are dependent on the place. A popular chain of karaoke rooms is called Karaoke Kan, which was made famous from the scene in the movie Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson sing karaoke. In the Shibuya branch, the rooms used in this movie were rooms 601 or 602, which have a nice view out to the street.
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00AM- 06:00AM
Address: 30-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan