Tokyo Top 10

The top 10 things to see and do in Tokyo, according to me. Some items in this list are a group of places that make sense to do or visit together, due to proximity. I’ve weighted the list heavily towards “central” Tokyo, and also included items that would give first-time visitors to Tokyo a general sense of the city.

(1) Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace Grounds

See: Tokyo Imperial Palace jogging map

(2) Tsukiji Market and Ginza

(3) Hibiya Park and Hibiya Hall

Hibiya Park is Japan’s first Western-style park. It’s not very large, but often has fun events on the weekend and is a welcome respite from the city, and is easily accessible to the Yurakucho and Ginza neighborhoods.

(4) Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park; Harajuku and Omotesando

  • Meiji shrine: a wooded and tranquil escape from the city, but very convenient
  • Yoyogi park: always active and vibrant
  • Harajuku: not a place you need to so too often, but worth visiting once

And Cat street: meandering pedestrian street with shopping and people-watching…

(5) Shibuya crossing and surrounding area

  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Hachiko: even if you’re not interested, you kind of have to see this sculpture, as it is a mere feet away from Shibuya crossing
  • Taro Okamoto’sMyth of Tomorrow” mural
  • Shibuya Center Gai センター街: the main pedestrian shopping street and heart of Shibuya
  • Love Hotel Hill: see this map of most/all of the hotels of “Love Hotel Hill” (map)
  • (now under construction) Shibuya Miyashita Park: elevated park including rock climbing and skateboarding)
  • Nonbei Yokocho (Drunkard’s Alley) 渋谷のんべい横丁: crowded area of tiny, old bars

(6) Yokohama Waterfront

Not in Tokyo, but nearby, and worth a visit. See: “I am waiting” for scenes from Yokohama’s waterfront

Old railroad bridge, lined with cherry trees, leading to the waterfront:

Former elevated train line, now a pedestrian path:

See also: How should I spend a day in Yokohama, Japan?

(7) Old Manseibashi Station 万世橋駅遺構

This former train station is now home to mAAche ecute, a mixed-used retail facility.

(8) 3331 Arts Chiyoda

Former school, now a wonderful space for art galleries and other creative activities. See: 3331 Arts Chiyoda アーツ千代田3331

(9) Yanaka

Although located in the heart heart of central Tokyo, Yanaka follows a slower pace. The neighborhood is set on a hill above the city, which made it a popular location for many temples. Major points of interest include Yanaka Cemetery, Yanaka Ginza shopping street, and Snake Street, a meandering shopping street that used to be a river. (See: I love Yanaka 谷中好きです!)

And the wonderful Yanaka Beer Hall 谷中ビアホール:

(10) Jiyugaoka and Todoroki Ravine

Jiyugaoka is a fun and laid-back neighborhood good for shopping, dining, and just going for a stroll. Nearby is the Todoroki Ravine, an almost magical stream that cuts fairly deep below the neighboring residential streets.

See: Todoroki Ravine Park map 等々力渓谷公園の地図

The “Tokyo Top 10” map:

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