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Tokyo – one of my favourite cities in the world. Six days in Tokyo is definitely not enough to see everything this amazing metropolis has to offer – but it’s a great start. To find out where to go, what to see and what’s worth your time, I’ve made this 6 day Tokyo itinerary (including one day to Disneyland or Disney Sea) to give you some guidance. I really hope I can go back sometime soon to explore more!
Check out our 2 week Japan Itinerary for more information about our entire trip and if you’re wondering how much money we spent, you can find it in the Japan Budget Post.
6 Days in Tokyo, Japan
Day 1 – Shibuya, Harajuku
During our six days in Tokyo, we stayed in the Shinjuku district. This lively part of Tokyo is known not only for being the commercial and entertainment centre of the city, but it’s also home to the busiest railroad station in the world: Shinjuku station. The reason we decided to stay in this district is that it’s quite local to many things we wanted to see during our trip, it’s easy to navigate to other parts of Tokyo using the metro/trains and Shinjuku is filled with exciting bars and restaurants we wanted to visit in the evening. The hotel we stayed in is called Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku and is located right next to the Higashi-Shinjuku station. This station is a LOT smaller compared to Shinjuku station, making it a lot easier to use.
9 AM | Get the metro to Shibuya
On our first day in Tokyo, we got onto the metro to Shibuya Station. From Shinjuku, it only takes a few minutes. Shibuya is the perfect place to start your Tokyo
10 AM | Explore Shibuya – Hachiko Statue and the Shibuya Crossing
Right outside Shibuya Station, you can find stop
Hachiko the dog came to meet his master every day at the station. Even after his master died, Hachiko never failed to show up. The statue is to commemorate his loyalty.
We then moved on to the famous Shibuya Crossing! This crossing is one of the most famous and busiest crossings on the planet. As soon as the traffic lights allow pedestrians to cross, a sea of people washes over the streets. It’s quite remarkable – especially walking it yourself.
Right across Shibuya Crossing, you can find Starbucks. After crossing, we got a drink and moved to the first floor of the coffee shop. From the first floor, you have a beautiful view over Shibuya Crossing. Perfect for some photos or a timelapse!
Starbucks Shibuya Crossing address: 21-6 Udagawacho B1F Q Front Bldg., Shibuya 150-0042
Starbucks Shibuya Crossing Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 6:30 AM – 4 AM (next day)
11 AM | Shopping in Shibuya
When we were still on your caffeine rush (and excitement of being in Tokyo), we moved over to some Shibuya shopping. There are tons of really cool shops to check out in Shibuya. You can find some of the bigger main shops here, like Zara, H&M and Adidas, but there are also some unique Japanese gems here! Some of our favourite shops are:
- Vanguard Village (pop culture and souvenirs)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 11 PM
- Shibuya 109 (filled with little boutiques)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9 PM
- MODI (fashion shops, restaurants, bookstores and karaoke bars)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11 AM – 9 PM
- MARUI (also known as OIOI – more awesome fashion shops to check out!)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11 AM – 9 PM, Sun 11 AM – 8:30 PM
- MUJI (a wide variety of things – from furniture and stationary to cosmetics)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9 PM
- Disney Store
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9:30 PM
- Tokyu Hands (filled with craft and DIY items)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9 PM
12:30 PM | Walk to Harajuku
Next on the list is Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Harajuku refers to the area in Tokyo near Harajuku station (right between Shinjuku and Shibuya) – it is mainly known for its vibrant fashion and pop culture. You can take the metro from Shibuya Station to Harajuku Station, but it’s only 10-15 minutes on foot. We loved walking among the locals and seeing more of the city, rather than spending more time in the metro. It also gives you a chance to grab some lunch at a 7-Eleven or Family Mart.
NOTE: Make sure to sit down somewhere to eat your lunch though – it’s frowned upon in Japanese culture to eat and walk at the same time!
1 PM | Shopping in Harajuku
Harajuku is filled with the cutest and most unique shops in Tokyo. It’s really fun to just have a wander around, checking out the shops on Takeshita Street and Omotesando Avenue. In the same area, there are tons of cute cafes and trendy restaurants to check out. It’s a great place to explore and get lost – you will find something worth taking home without a doubt.
3 PM | Have a Harajuku Crepe
One thing you should definitely try whilst in Harajuku is the Harajuku crepe. The crepes sold in Harajuku are quite well known, and with good reason. There are so many different fillings to choose from and they are very, very tasty. (Richard is leaning over, looking at the picture of the crepe asking if we can go back to Tokyo soon haha!)
4 PM | Try Purikura
Another thing on the Harajuku-bucket-list is Purikura! Purikura is very popular among Japanese teenagers, and a fun must-try while visiting this district. It’s kinda like a photo booth, but you can edit your photos afterwards. Edit them specifically to look more kawaii (or cute… in Japanese…). Make your eyes bigger, add tons of sparkles and get a printed copy when you’re done.
We did this in a Purikura parlour on Takeshita Street named Purikura Nora. It had many different booths to choose from and seemed to be quite popular among the locals!
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9 AM – 11 PM
8 PM | Walk back to Shinjuku for dinner
After our afternoon strolling through Harajuku and picking up the necessary new outfit pieces and souvenirs, it’s time to slowly head back to Shinjuku. Because we really enjoy exploring the smaller, less touristy streets, we decided to walk back to Shinjuku rather than to take the metro. It only took 10-15 minutes.
On your way back to Shinjuku, try to find a nice place for dinner. There are so many restaurants in Shinjuku, but I’d highly recommend finding a family owned restaurant in one of the backstreets. We sat down somewhere and had some of the best ramen I’ve ever had, for at little as ¥300 (£2.05 / $2.68). Yay for yummy food and supporting local family-owned businesses!
Day 2 – Ikebukuro and Meiji Shrine
On day two of this 6 day Tokyo itinerary, we decided to explore the Ikebukuro in the morning and head back towards Harajuku in the afternoon to visit Meiji Shrine. Ikebukuro is another one of Tokyo’s main city centres and is filled with shops and restaurants. It is also home to the Sunshine City Shopping centre, in which the Pokemon Mega Store is located. The Meiji Shrine, located next to Harajuku, is one of Japan’s most popular shrines to visit. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, the shrine stands beautifully and peacefully in the busy heart of Tokyo.
9 AM | Head towards Ikebukuro on the metro
As we planned to spend the morning in Ikebukuro, we took the metro there in the morning. Right next to the hotel in Shinjuku, a Family Mart can be found. We picked up a couple of bits there every morning as breakfast – much cheaper than having breakfast in your hotel and supermarket food is surprisingly tasty in Japan!
9:30 AM | Explore Ikebukuro
Once we got to Ikebukuro station, we started exploring! This upcoming part of Tokyo is also known as Sunshine City. Shopping and entertainment are at heart and it really gives you that Tokyo-vibe again. Some shops you should definitely check out when in Ikebukuro:
- Bic Camera Ikebukuro (Electronics and tech)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 10 PM
- Loft (Cool household items and stationary)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM – 9 PM, Sun 10 AM – 8 PM
- Sun Drug (Japanese drugstore and cosmetics)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 10:45 PM
- Sunshine City Shopping Centre (Shopping centre filled with cool shops and restaurants)
Opening hours: Shops open Mon-Sun 10 AM – 8 PM, restaurants are open Mon-Sun 11 AM – 10 PM
11 AM | Visit Japan’s biggest Pokemon Centre
One of the main reasons we spent the morning in Ikebukuro is the Pokemon Mega Store. This is Japan’s biggest Pokemon Centre! Once we arrived at Sunshine City shopping mall, we made our way to the second floor. This is where the Pokemon Mega Store is located. An absolute must-see for every fan of the gaming franchise!
1 PM | Grab lunch at CoCo Curry Ichibanya
Inside the Sunshine City shopping mall, you can find one of my favourite restaurant chains in Japan: CoCo Curry Ichibanya. You can find this restaurant all across Japan and they do the best Japanese curries.
CoCo Curry Ichibanya Sunshine City Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11 AM – 10 PM
2 PM | Head to Harajuku Station
For the afternoon, we headed back to Harajuku station. You might have seen the iconic torii gate entrance of the Meiji Shrine on Day 1 when you visited Harajuku. But today, it’s time to actually visit the famous shrine. From Harajuku Station, the entrance is only a couple of minutes away on foot.
2:30 PM | Visit Meiji Shrine
One of Tokyo’s most iconic shrines is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. It was completed in 1920, eight years after his passing. After entering through the beautiful torii gate, you can enjoy a very serene walk through a beautiful forest which is made out of more than 100,000 trees. You almost forget you’re in one of the world’s busiest metropolitan cities!
The shrine is open to visitors from dawn till dusk – make sure to double check what time they close when you want to visit. We had to rush our visit a little because we arrived a bit later than planned! Especially during the darker months (October-March), the shrine closes a bit earlier.
At arrival at the main building of the Meiji Shrine, you might see tons of wooden plaques hung close together. These are called Ema plaques and are part of a special Shinto activity. You can buy one for ¥500 (£3.40 / $4.46), write down a wish or prayer and hang it with the others. They use the money to maintain the shrine and its gardens.
6 PM | Grab dinner in Harajuku
Once the Meiji Shrine closes, you can head back to Harajuku and grab some dinner. There are some great sushi and ramen places in Harajuku that are worth checking out. If you wanna avoid the pricy, more touristy places, it’s better to have a look in some of the quieter backstreets.
8 PM | Karaoke in Harajuku
If you still have enough energy, Karaoke is the perfect way to end day two of this Tokyo itinerary. In the Harajuku area, there are many karaoke bars to choose from and it’s really – really fun! You book a room for you and your travel company, order some drinks and snacks and sing your heart out.
Day 3 – Asakusa and Akihabara
We start the third day of this six day itinerary with diving into the more traditional side of Tokyo. The Asakusa district lays in the north-east side of central Tokyo and is home to Sensoji Temple. In the afternoon, we amplified Tokyo’s mixture of the old and the new, by visiting Akihabara (Electric Town). This part of Tokyo is the complete opposite of Asakusa. It’s filled with skyscrapers selling the latest tech and electronics.
9 AM | Head to Asakusa station
In the morning, we made our way to Asakusa to visit Sensoji Temple. From Asakusa station, you can easily walk to Sensoji Temple within 10-15 minutes. There are some little shops and eateries on the way to the shrine, so if you haven’t had your breakfast yet, this is a great place to quickly grab something to eat.
10 AM | Visit Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple (also known as Asakusa Kannon) is the oldest Buddhist temple in the whole of Tokyo. It dates back to the year 645. Legend says that the temple has been build for the goddess of mercy, Kannon.
More than 30 million people visit the temple every year – so expect it to be a little busy. The whole area is gorgeous and you can spend hours walking around, enjoying the sights. Smaller temples and places to pray are spread out across the map. Because the temple is popular by both tourists and locals, it’s recommended to not go on a weekend day (like we did…) and the earlier you go, the less crowded it will be.
Opening hours: The temple grounds are open 24/7, whereas the main hall is open from 6 AM till 5 PM (from 6:30 AM in October to March). The temple is open every day of the year.
Entree fee: It’s free to visit Sensoji Temple
One thing we tried was O-mikuji (おみくじ). It’s a form of Japanese fortune telling. You can get any kind of fortune from very fortunate to a great curse (you can already guess how lucky I got….) You pay ¥100 and shake the wooden box filled with sticks. After shaking, you remove one of the sticks. This stick has a number written on it. You then match the number with the drawers and take our your fortune.
If you (like me) got a bad fortune, you can follow the tradition of tying it to one of the poles provided or a tree. The idea behind it is that the bad luck will stick to the poles or the tree instead of the person who drew it. Fingers crossed that actually worked!
After visiting the temple, you can walk through Nakamise Street. This 200 meter long shopping street is located right outside Sensoji Temple. It’s the perfect place to find some souvenirs and snacks.
1 PM | Head to Akihabara
In the afternoon, we headed to Akihabara. We grabbed some lunch in Asakusa before heading back to the metro. Akihabara is also known as Electric Town in Tokyo. In the tall buildings located in this district, you can find everything electronic, anime and video games. It’s turned into heaven for Japan’s diehard fans of manga, anime and other pop culture references – and man, it’s such a cool place to explore!
NOTE: If possible, try to visit Akihabara on a Sunday. They close down the street for cars, which allows you to walk across the entire street and… you know… take some pictures for the gram 😉
Akihabara was one of my favourite places in Tokyo – it’s basically video-game, electronics, and anime heaven. Even though I’m not big on anime, I love a good video game and the whole experience reminded me a lot of all the games I played and shows I watched as a kid. Akihabara has everything: game shops, electronic shops, anime figures and manga shops. It is so so so fun to have a shop around. There are endless lists of things I could recommend in Akihabara, but here are a few things you should definitely check out:
- Retro game shopping in Retro Game Camp (and other retro game shops – find the full retro game shopping guide here)
- Play in one of the many arcades
- Visit a Maid Cafe
- Shop in Yodobashi (basically a mall that sells EVERYTHING!)
- Shop in Don Quijote. There are many of these shops all across Japan, but the one in Akihabara is LARGE! Perfect place to find some souvenirs for friends and family.
7 PM | Dinner and a snack
Akihabara lights up at night – so it’s worth staying around until the evening. We grabbed dinner at a ramen place near the station and headed back into the street to pick up a tasty crepe. After some more arcade games, we headed back to Shinjuku – back to bed!
Day 4 – Koto City: Teamlab Planets and the Gundam Base
On the fourth day in Tokyo, we travelled down to the Koto ward of Tokyo. It’s a little trip from Shinjuku, but because we’ve planned a full day on this side of the city, it’s more than worth it. On this day, we planned to visit the Teamlab Planets art exhibition and the Gundam Base.
9 AM | Take the metro to Shin-Toyosu station
As mentioned before, it’s a little trip from Shinjuku. It took us about 45 minutes to get there by metro and train. Keep this in mind when booking tickets for Teamlab Planets!
10 AM | Visit Teamlab Planets
Teamlab Planets is an art exhibition where you are part of the art – sounds pretty cool right? That’s because it really is! You move through water, climb a waterfall, get lost in an infinity room and bounce massive bouncy balls.
Teamlab Planets Tokyo will be welcoming visitors until Fall 2020. Make sure to buy tickets before you go.
12 PM | Get the metro to Daiba Station
Take your time to visit Teamlab Planets – they don’t rush you through it and you can take tons of photos. After visiting the beautiful art exhibition, make your way back to the metro and go to Daiba Station.
1 PM | Grab lunch
Start walking towards the Gundam Base and grab some lunch on the way there. The walk should only take about 15 minutes.
2 PM | Visit the Gundam Base
Next up: The Gundam Base! Gundam is an anime series that I was pretty unfamiliar with – Richard loved it as a kid, which is why we made sure to stop by! Even though I had never seen the show before, seeing the life-sized Gundam was pretty cool.
NOTE: Every hour, on the hour, the life-sized Gundam outside the shopping centre moves!
Inside the mall behind the massive robot, you can find the Gundam Base. Here you can pretty much any Gundam you want. Richard ended up buying four Gundams to put together after we arrived back home. It’s really cool to see how much creativity people put into these!
4 PM | Some more shopping in the mall
After visiting the Gundam Base, you can have a wander through the rest of the mall. There are some great shops located there – like the Hello Kitty Store and tons of cute fashion shops.
6 PM | Back to Shinjuku for dinner
After shopping, we headed back to Shinjuku for the night. Shinjuku remains one of my favourite places to explore at night – the bright lights make everything seem so much more interesting! Find a nice place for dinner and grab a drink in one of the cafes.
8 PM | Try out Pachinko and play in the arcades
End your evening by trying out some more SEGA arcades and pachinko! Pachinko is basically the Japanese form of gambling (oops), but instead of winning money, you win prices. I’m not suggesting you should go and gamble away your money, but it’s quite the experience to walk into a pachinco parlour and give it a go. Even if you only put in ¥500, it’s just another thing to tick off your list.
Day 5 – Tokyo Tower and Roppongi
9 AM | Head to Hamamatsuchō Station
Today we’re visiting Tokyo Tower and Roppongi. Because there’s no station near Tokyo Tower, I’d recommend heading to Hamamatsuchō Station and walk from there. There are some fun sights to see on the way.
10 AM | Visit Zojoji Temple
As I said, the walk to Tokyo Tower from Hamamatsuchō station has some pretty sights. My favourite has to be the Zojoji Temple. It feels so serene and peaceful at the temple and we really enjoyed feeling the calm after such a busy week in Japan’s busiest city.
11 AM | Tokyo Tower
We then headed to Tokyo Tower. It costs quite a bit of money to go all the way to the top, so we decided to skip that. But, you can still go quite far up and explore all the shops located inside. There is a massive One Piece shop inside, for those who like the anime 😉
1 PM | Lunch
Time for lunch! While walking towards Roppongi Area, you can stop somewhere for lunch. There are tons of eateries and cafes on the way, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that meets your needs.
2 PM | Roppongi
Roppongi is another area of Tokyo that is filled with entertainment, bars, shops and an amazing nightlife scene. A perfect way to end your trip, in my opinion. We had booked tickets for a concert in Tokyo, which is why we ended up in Roppongi for the last evening.
Because we went to the concert, it didn’t leave us with too much time to explore the area. Hopefully, we can take some more time to do some shopping and find some good places to recommend to you!
We really wanted to visit the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, but weren’t able to fit it into our itinerary. If you’re looking for some more information about the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, please check out Kris and Sylvia’s guide for it here.
Day 6 – Tokyo Disneyland / Disney Sea
9 AM | Grab some food from Family Mart and head to Tokyo Disney Sea
On Day 6, we’re going to Tokyo Disney Sea! Tokyo has two Disney parks – Disneyland Tokyo and Disney Sea. As fans, we kinda struggled to choose which one to go to. In the end, we decided to get tickets for Disney Sea, because it’s the only “sea” version of Disneyland in the world. Make sure to buy tickets for Disney Sea or Disneyland Tokyo before you leave, this way you’ll be able to save some money.
Before going to the metro, we grabbed some food at the Family Mart near our hotel. I love Disney food, but man, it’s expensive. And because food in Japenese supermarkets has amazing quality, we got a bag filled with food goodies to take with us.
10 AM | Disney Sea
Just like any other Disney park, Disney Sea is filled with rides, shops and amazing decor. Our favourite rides were:
- Journey to the centre of the Earth
- Raging Spirits
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Skull
- Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage
Unfortunately, the day we visited Disney Sea was a rainy day. I can’t really complain, because it was the only rainy day we had during our entire Japan trip!
Make sure to keep an eye on when the shows and parades happen the day you’re visiting. You can find this in the daily schedule you receive when entering the park. Japan knows how to do their shows and the Fantasmic! end show was absolutely amazing – totally made up for all the rain!
Where to stay in Tokyo
Picking a hotel in Tokyo can seem a little daunting. The city is enormous, so where is the best place to stay? We stayed in Shinjuku, right next to one of the metro stations. Shinjuku is a very exciting part of Tokyo – tons to do and it has a great nightlife scene. Because the metro was literally right outside the door, we could easily go to other parts of Tokyo without any hassle. The hotel we stayed in is called Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku.
Tokyo Travel Essentials
When travelling to Japan for the first time, you might not know exactly what you need for this trip. That’s why I’ve made this little list with things you cannot miss while visiting Tokyo. Some of these you have to book/buy before your travels, some can be bought after arriving.
One of the best tips for Japan that I can give you is to get pocket wifi! This little device gives you access to the internet literally everywhere – it is an absolute lifesaver on a trip like this. We got ours from Japan Wireless (16 full days for just over £60).
Make sure to book your Japan Pocket Wifi before your trip. You can pick it up from the airport after arriving, and you drop it off at the airport again once you leave the country.
For those travelling from the UK, mainland Europe or North America, you will need an adaptor plug to charge any of your electronic devices. Iblockcube was kind enough to gift me one of their adaptor plugs and I have been loving it since. You can use this adapter wherever you go and use any type of plug (even comes with 4 USB hubs). I’d highly recommend getting one of these. Especially when travelling to Tokyo and you want to charge your camera, phone and pocket WiFi, you will need all the hubs you can get!
Suica Travel Card
Getting around Tokyo on public transport is a lot easier than I expected. All you need to do is get a Suica Card and you’re good to go. This card can be bought and topped up at any train station. Once bought, you tap in and out of stations when using the metro, train or tram. It automatically takes the correct amount of yen off. Super easy and it saves you so much time and money. If you’re
You can buy a Suica Card at the train station at the airport after arriving in Japan. Buying one is super easy and can be done at one of the ticket machines. There is an “English” button to guide you through the process without any hassle.
(Monzo) International Currency Card
Even though Japan is known to be a very cash-based society, having an international currency card is a must. Rather than a credit card, you can top up a currency card whenever you want to. If you lose it, you don’t have to worry about it being linked to your bank account. Monzo also uses the daily exchange rate when taking out yen or paying in shops – meaning you get the best currency rates wherever you are.
(Monzo is currently only available for UK residents. If you are not from the UK, check out Transferwise).
The Hyperdia app (or website) helps you plan your public transport trips. Simply fill in your current station and your destination – the app then tells you exactly what platform and what train/metro/tram to take. It was an absolute lifesaver!