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 a day trip to one of the great trips available from Tokyo) to give you some guidance. I really hope I can go back sometime soon to explore more!

shibuya crossing, 6 day tokyo itinerary

6 Days in Tokyo Map

6 day tokyo itinerary map

Tokyo Day 1: Pink
Tokyo Day 2: Yellow
Tokyo Day 3: Teal
Tokyo Day 4: Green
Tokyo Day 5: Dark Blue
Tokyo Day 6: Light Blue
Click here to view the map in Google Maps.

Day 1 – Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku

During our six days in Tokyo, we stayed in the Shinjuku district and Central Tokyo. Personally, I’d recommend staying in Shinjuku. 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 I recommend staying in Shinjuku is that it’s quite local to most things that are included in this 6 day Tokyo itinerary and it’s easy to navigate to other parts of Tokyo using the metro/trains. On top of that, Shinjuku is filled with exciting bars and restaurants that you can visit in the evening after a long day of exploring. 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. More information about where to stay in Tokyo can be found at the end of this blog post.

Shibuya

On our first day in Tokyo, we got onto the metro heading towards Shibuya Station. From Shinjuku, it only takes a few minutes. Shibuya is the perfect place to start your Tokyo adventure because you immediately dive into the busy city life. It feels like Tokyo straight away – exactly like how you’d expect Tokyo to feel like. Shibuya is mainly known to be Tokyo’s business centre. And of course, the world-famous Shibuya Crossing! Tons of amazing things to explore…

Shibuya Crossing
The lively Shibuya district in the heart of Tokyo

Hachiko Statue

Right outside Shibuya Station, you can find stop numbero uno (or ichi if we’re going full-on Japanese): the Hachiko Statue. You might have seen the movie or heard of the story about this famous dog. If not, here’s a little background information:

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. Many people take pictures with the statue, including us 😉

shibuya hachiko statue, 6 days in Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing

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.

TIP: 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)

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 (Many smaller 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 -mainly fashion items)
    Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11 AM – 9 PM
    Sun 11 AM – 8:30 PM
  • MUJI (Wide variety of items)
    Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9 PM
  • Disney Store
    Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Tokyu Hands (Crafts and DIY items)
    Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 AM – 9 PM
shibuya tokyo

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) – and 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. If you have enough time after your shopping spree, I’d recommend walking. It’s a great way to see more of the city and enjoy the sights rather than looking at the metro walls. It also gives you a chance to grab some lunch at a 7-Eleven or Family Mart.

TIP: 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!

harajuku station tokyo japan 6 day itinerary
Outside of Harajuku Station

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 these areas, 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.

Harajuku Takeshita Street Tokyo
The busy Takeshita Street in Harajuku

If time allows it, wander around Ura-Harajuku. You’d be surprised how many amazing hidden gems you can find in the backstreets of Harajuku. Takeshita and Omotesando are great fun and are the main streets everybody recommends, but there are some lovely shops to discover in the streets surrounding the two main ones.

Omotesando Avenue Tokyo Harajuku
Photo by Daryan Shamkhali

Enjoy 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 come with countless 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!)

Crepes in Harajuku Tokyo Japan
Hmmmm… Tasty Harajuku crepes!

Try Purikura

Another thing on the Harajuku-bucket-list is Purikura. Purikura is quite 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. 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! It’s a nice little keepsake to take home with you for only 400-500 yen.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9 AM – 11 PM

purikura harajuku, what to do in tokyo japan
Trying out Purikura like the local teenagers

Shinjuku at night

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). You can save so much money by avoiding the main streets where they know tourists will look for a quick bite to eat. Yay for yummy food and supporting local family-owned businesses!

Drinks & Pachinko

End your evening by trying out some more SEGA arcades and pachinko! The arcades are filled with fun games to play and prizes to win. Do make sure to check out more than one floor though. We made the mistakes of only checking out the bottom floor for the first few days in Tokyo and got bored of all the crane machines. The real fun sits on the floors up – where you can play rhythm games and other fun arcade games!

Shinjuku is also home to many pachinko parlours. 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 pachinko parlour and give it a go. Even just walking in and being overwhelmed by the sound of thousands of pachinko balls being won is an experience on its own 😉

crane machine tokyo arcade

Day 2 – Ikebukuro and Meiji Shrine

On day two of this 6 day Tokyo itinerary, we are going to explore 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.

Ikebukuro

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! Supermarkets like 7Eleven, Lawsons and Family Mart are a great way to save money while in Tokyo and not compromise on taste.

ikebukuro tokyo 6 day itinerary

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 you experienced in Shibuya. 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

Visit Japan’s biggest Pokemon Centre

One of the main reasons we spent the morning in Ikebukuro is the Pokemon Mega Store. This is the biggest Pokemon Centre in Japan! 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! Make sure to walk to the back of the Pokemon Centre to find a wall filled with all the Pokemon in the franchise.

Another fun thing to try when at the Pokemon Centre is to play Ga-Olé. It is an arcade game that can be found at every Pokemon Centre and in a few arcades across Japan. In the game, you battle and catch Pokemon – just like the regular Pokemon games. But if you do catch one, you get a physical cartridge with that exact Pokemon printed on it. You can then use that same cartridge to battle other Pokemon in the game. We had a lot of fun playing it!

pokemon centre tokyo

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. Ordering is super easy. You pick the amount of rice you’d like, the level of spice (personally, I couldn’t go past level 1) and add toppings. During our time in Japan, we must have had CoCo Curry at least five times. Back in the UK, we even went to the franchise in London to relive the experience. It’s just so good!

CoCo Curry Ichibanya Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11 AM – 10 PM

Meiji Shrine

For the afternoon, we headed back to Harajuku station. You might have seen the iconic torii gate entrance of the Meiji Shrine on the day before when visiting Harajuku. But today, it’s time to actually visit the famous shrine. From Harajuku Station, walking to the entrance only takes a couple of minutes.

meiji shrine tokyo
The entrance of 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!

meiji shrine tokyo
meiji shrine tokyo japan

The shrine is open to visitors from dawn till dusk – make sure to 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.

Meiji Shrine sake barrels

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, write down a wish or prayer and hang it with the others. The profits are used to maintain the shrine and its gardens.

ema plaques meiji shrine tokyo
Ema prayer plaques at Meiji Shrine Tokyo

Dinner and Karaoke 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.

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 a really, really fun experience! You book a room for you and your travel company, order some drinks and snacks and sing your heart out. We were very lucky to have met up with a few friends that speak fluent Japanese, which made booking a karaoke room much easier 😉

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 (also known as Electric Town). This part of Tokyo is the complete opposite of Asakusa. It’s filled with skyscrapers selling the latest tech and electronics.

Asakusa

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. If you haven’t had your breakfast yet, this is a great place to quickly grab something to eat.

senso-ji shrine, asakusa tokyo 6 day itinerary
Traditional Japanese shops on our way to Sensoji Shrine

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 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…). The earlier you go, the quieter 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

sensoji temple tokyo itinerary japan
sensoji temple

Predict the future with O-mikuji

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….). Here is how it works: 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. (Looking back now, I think the curse has followed me nonetheless!).

O-mikuji in sensoji temple tokyo japan
Bad fortunes are tied at special posts in the temple, to leave the bad luck behind.

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.

tokyo sensoji

Akihabara

In the afternoon, we head to Akihabara. We grabbed some lunch in Asakusa before heading back to the metro. There are a few restaurants near the metro station that you can pick from.

Akihabara is also known as Electric Town in Tokyo. In this district, you can find everything electronic, anime and video game-related. 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!

TIP: 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 electric town tokyo japan
akihabara electric town

Shopping and playing games in Akihabara

Akihabara turned into 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 vibes reminded me 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. Even if you’re not planning on spending any money, it’s really fun to look at all the crazy stuff they sell. 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 – for a full list, check out my full retro game shopping guide)
  • 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! A perfect place to find some affordable and weird souvenirs for friends and family.
akihabara retro games
akihabara in tokyo japan

Dinner in Akihabara

Akihabara lights up at night – so it’s worth staying around until the evening. Some of the main restaurants in this part of Tokyo can get quite expensive, so we ended up grabbing some cheap ramen near the train station. Akihabara also has a few crepe shops, and they’re just as tasty as the ones in Harajuku! We then spent some more time playing arcade games, a great way to end the day.

Day 4 – Ginza and Koto City

On the fourth day in Tokyo, we travelled down to Ginza and Koto City. 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 plan on visiting the Teamlab Planets art exhibition and the Gundam Base.

Ginza

Ginza is another famous shopping and entertainment hub in Tokyo. It’s on the expensive side, hosting upmarket brands and restaurants. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to wander around and (window)shop. Ginza is quite upmarket and it’s not the cheapest place to shop. One square meter of land is worth over 10 million Japanese yen, making Ginza the most expensive part of Tokyo! Here are a few things to do and check out while in Ginza:

  • Visit the Alice in Labyrinth restaurant. Japan is known for its themed restaurants and cafes, which can be found all across Tokyo. This one, in particular, is very popular because of its amazing interior and dishes that are inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
  • Shop until you drop in Chuo-dori, the most exclusive shopping paradise in Tokyo.
  • Watch a play in Kabukiza. There are daily shows where you can enjoy the traditional Japanese theatre.
  • Escape the busy shopping street and relax in the Hamarikyu Gardens.
ginza tokyo
Photo by Yu Kato

Koto City

After having spent our morning in Ginza, we head over to Koto City. Its name translates to “River East” and it’s as well known as districts like Shinjuku, Shibuya or Ginza. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a place on your itinerary though 😉

Visit Teamlab Planets/Borderless

Teamlab Planets or Teamlab Borderless is an art exhibition where you are part of the art – sounds pretty cool right? You move through water, climb a waterfall, get lost in an infinity room and bounce off massive bouncy balls.

Teamlab Planets and Borderless will be welcoming visitors until Fall 2020. Make sure to buy tickets before you go. If you’re unsure about which one to visit, check out this article. We chose Teamlab Planets and it was an amazing experience!

teamlab planets, 6 day tokyo itinerary
teamlab planets infinity room
teamlab planets tokyo japan

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.

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 made it more than worth it.

TIP: 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!

gundam base tokyo
Inside the Gundam Base, Tokyo

Hello Kitty Store

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.

hello kitty shop, what to do in tokyo
Lots of cute shops, like the official Hello Kitty store!

Day 5 – Shinjuku, Minato and Roppongi

Shinjuku

Gyoen National Park

Robot Cafe

Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, please check out Kris and Sylvia’s guide for it here.

Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane)

Metropolitan Government Building

Minato

Visit Zojoji Temple

Because there’s no station near Tokyo Tower, I’d recommend heading to Hamamatsuchō Station and walk from there. 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.

Zojoji Temple, what to do in tokyo, 6 day itinerary
Zojoji Temple, located close to Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

Afterwards, head towards Tokyo Tower. This iconic piece of Tokyo stands 333 meters tall, making it the second tallest structure of Japan. The Tokyo Skytree takes the top spot on that list 😉 The Tokyo Tower was inspired by the Eifel Tower, but is 13 meters taller.

You can visit the main deck at 150 meters for a fee. This can be reached with an elevator or the stairs – both are paid. You can go even higher to the top deck at 250 meters. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji from there! It is, quite expensive though (in my opinion). You can find up-do-date ticket prices here. Plus, you can get a better view from the Tokyo Skytree.

If you want to avoid paying the fee, I’d still recommend going inside. You can explore the first few levels for free. There are shops and restaurants, including the One Piece Tower indoor amusement park and One Piece shop. Perfect for those who enjoy the anime!

tokyo tower, 6 day tokyo itinerary

Roppongi

Roppongi is another area of Tokyo that is filled with entertainment, bars, shops and is known for its amazing nightlife scene.

Roppongi Art Triangle

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower

Roppongi Nightlife

Day 6 – Day Trip From Tokyo

Even though you could easily spend a month in Tokyo and still find new places, taking a day trip from Tokyo is something I’d highly recommend. It’s a way to see more of the country and experience Japanese culture in a new way. Here are four options for day trips when spending 6 days in Tokyo.

Disney Sea Or Disneyland Tokyo

Make sure to buy tickets for Disney Sea or Disneyland Tokyo before you leave, this way you’ll be able to save some money. 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 2 weeks in Japan!

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!

Day trip to Hakone

Hakone shrine Japan

Day trip to Nikko

Nikko Japan itinerary
Photo by Adam Jang

Day trip to Mount Fuji

Day trip to Mount Fuji Japan

Tokyo Travel Tips

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.

We also stayed in Central Tokyo for a few nights. The hotel we stayed in is called Belken Hotel Tokyo. The location is perfect, only a short walk from Tokyo Central Station and the room was very affordable. The only downside was that the room was incredibly small. Most hotel rooms in Japan aren’t huge, but the hotel in Shinjuku was a lot bigger and more comfortable – which makes sense when looking at the price difference. If you want to travel on a budget, I’d recommend the Belken Hotel Tokyo. The beds were fine, and so was the bathroom. Plus, you probably won’t spend a lot of time in the hotel anyway.

How to get to Tokyo?

If you are flying to Tokyo, you most likely will arrive at either Narita Airport or Haneda Airport. If you have the choice, please go for Haneda. This airport is located much closer to Tokyo which makes getting to the city a lot easier.

How to get to Tokyo from Haneda airport?

Haneda Airport is located 15 kilometres from the city centre. To get to Tokyo, you can either take the train, bus or get a taxi. The cheapest and fastest way is by taking the train. Taxis might be a little faster but are a lot more expensive.

After arriving, I’d recommend buying a Suica card at the airport’s train station. This card is an electronic travel pass which can be topped up at any station in Japan. After buying it and putting some money on it, you are good to go! The best way to get to Tokyo is by taking the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa Station, then change to the Yamanote Line to Tokyo Central. This takes about 30 minutes in total. If you are staying in a different part of the city, please download the Hyperdia app for your best route. Alternatively, you can check out this article that explains how to get to Tokyo via different routes.

How to get to Tokyo from Narita airport?

If your flight arrives at Narita Airport, it’ll take a little longer to get to the city. This airport is located 60 kilometres away from Tokyo. Here are the two easiest ways to get to Tokyo from the airport:

  • Use the JR Narita Express to get from the airport to Tokyo Station. This journey will cost 3000 yen and takes one hour. This journey is covered by the JR Pass, in case you are planning to use it for your time in Japan. Otherwise, I’d recommend getting a Suica Card at the train station or buying a single ticket.
  • On a budget and not using the JR pass? You can use the JR Sobu Line to get to Tokyo too. This will cost 1340 yen and will take an hour and a half.
metro tokyo
Photo by Lex Sirikiat

How to get around Tokyo?

Tokyo is a large city and because this 6 day itinerary covers more than one district, you are going to use the public transport system available. It’s impossible to explore the city entirely on foot! Luckily, Tokyo has an amazing metro system that is very easy to use – even if you don’t speak Japanese! Here are a few tips to make travelling around Tokyo a bit easier:

  • Get a Suica card. This electronic travel pass allows you to scan in and out of any train station in Japan and automatically takes the correct fee. You can top them up at any train station. This way, you save a lot of time and hassle having to buy individual tickets. You also save money, as the card takes the exact fee from your card every time you tap out.
  • Download the HyperDia app or use their website. This English website allows you to put your current train station and your destination. It then shows you what platform your metro/train is, what time it leaves and how long it’ll take to get there.
Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto

Culture tips for Tokyo

food in japanese super markets

Tokyo Travel Essentials

Pocket Wifi

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.

Plug adaptor

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 travelling to other cities like Kyoto and Osaka, you might want to consider getting a Japan Rail Pass in order to save some money.

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.

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 available to those who are resident to the UK. If you reside in another part of the world, you can look at getting a Transferwise card instead.

Hyperdia App

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!

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28 Comments on 6 Day Tokyo Itinerary: The Tokyo Guide For First Time Visitors

  1. If I didn’t want to go to toyko before then I definitely do now! Everything looks amazing, and Im not going to lie the Pokémon mega store sounds like a dream in itself. Id literally end up buying everything x

    Kayleigh zara 🥀 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

    • Thank you Kayleigh, such a sweet comment! So glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Haha, I definitely had to keep an eye on my purse when going to the Pokemon store – so much cute plushies!!

  2. Japan is one of those places that is on my bucket list. I am fascinated by all the contrasts you can find in there – Tokyo is a perfect example. I have to admit crossing that road seems frightening! I always wonder when I think about visiting there whether it’s an overwhelming place. I loved reading this post and your pictures are amazing.

    • Thank you Madi! <3 Such a sweet comment 🙂 I really loved seeing the contrast in the city, from such old temples to the latest high-tech. Haha, I can see why you think it might be a bit scary - it's definitely super busy but when you cross it yourself, it doesn't feel as bad! I thought it felt really cool, actually ^^

  3. Never noticed how bright and rich in colour Tokyo is till I read your post and saw all your pics! Looks like you’ve had an adventure-filled week! Also the pic of you sitting on the street with all that life around you is dope!

    Akihabara is definitely a town I wanna visit as gaming was such a big deal in my childhood and it’d be nice to literally go to a place that’s heavily inspired. Since some of the biggest gaming consoles and PCs I played on were manufactured in Japan.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
    https://johnnystraventures.com

    • Thank you Johnny, what a lovely comment to read! I’m so happy I was able to bring that across through my photos 🙂

      Akihabara is THE place for you then, my friend! Such a cool part of Tokyo, especially if you like video games 🙂

  4. This is such a beautiful post, especially since Tokyo has been on my wishlist for the longest time and I am hoping to be there this Autumn. Your post will surely help me plan my days there. I love the pictures too

  5. Love how detailed this itinerary is. Japan has to be my number one place I want to travel right now! Thanks for the well-rounded post!

  6. I am travelling with four kids….and have googled so many things about what to do in one week stay in Tokyo. Your detailed account is very helpful and very detailed. I am better prepared. Thanks again.

  7. I really loved your detailed post about Tokyo.
    It was my daughter who provided me the link to it because I am really trying to convince my wife for a 7-day stay in that city.
    Since we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary next year in April, it might be the perfect timing to do so.
    We will surely need some more time to do the things you did and described so well.
    I cannot wait till the moment that the flight tickets come on sale!
    I think I will feel a kind of lost in this Tokyo world but I am sure I will be loving it.

    One thing though: what is the best way to get from the closest airport to the city?

    • Hey! Thank you so much for your comment, super glad to hear you enjoyed the post. I think Tokyo would be fabulous for a 7-day stay with your wife. There is so much to do and see, and it really makes you appreciate the culture in Japan.

      As for your question, I’d recommend flying to Haneda airport because it’s located close to the city. From Haneda, it’s really easy to take public transport (like the train or tram) and it takes you to the centre of Tokyo in about 30-40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from there (it’ll just be a bit more expensive) – Hope that helps! 🙂

  8. Hi. Very useful post. I’m planning on taking my two teenage kids to Tokyo soon. I’m sorry to ask the obvious question, but how much did the week there cost you, a rough ball-park figure, of course. Thanks.

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