Tokyo is both Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It’s also one of the world’s most modern cities in terms of its infrastructure and design, which is why people flock there from all over Japan and the world. With more than 13 million residents to entertain, there are many things to do in Tokyo. And with things heating up, people are looking to make the most of their Tokyo summers.
There is an endless array of fun activities that you can enjoy when vacationing in Tokyo or just living here, like going on thrilling rides at Disneyland, driving around go-karts, learning about Japanese culture and traditions, and a lot more. So here are our top things to do in Tokyo that you won’t want to miss in the summer!
The iconic Shibuya Crossing is a must-visit attraction in Tokyo. It’s on most visitors’ “things to do” itinerary. The crossing is dubbed the busiest in Japan and possibly the world. During busy times, up to 3000 people cross all at once in all directions. This also means it won’t be challenging to find by yourself when it’s insanely packed.
Try experiencing Shibuya Crossing from the 2nd-story window of the Starbucks on the North side. Alternatively, you can try it from the 47th floor of the Shibuya Scramble Square Building!
Other viewing stops are the surrounding buildings and shopping centers. Speaking of, there are also plenty of shops and restaurants in the area.
Plus, the rooftop of the newish MAG’s Park has a high elevation to give some of the best views and is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm.
Looking for some affordable places to eat after checking out the crossing? Check out these cheap eats hotspots in Shibuya!
Dress up as your favorite video game character, hop into a go-cart, and explore Tokyo on this one-of-a-kind guided tour of the city. There are few places in the world that embrace pop culture and subculture quite like Japan. In Tokyo, you can drive right into that culture and explore the city not on foot or by bus, but by go kart.
If you’re above 18 and have an international driver’s license, go for it! It’s such a unique experience for anyone visiting Japan. Most of the tours pass through Tokyo Tower, Roppongi, and Shibuya while pedestrians try to take pictures and videos of you. Talk about being a celebrity!
Visit the happiest place in the world— Disneyland Tokyo edition. There are several fun attractions unique to Tokyo Disneyland, like Dream Lights with a magical nighttime light parade, the interactive Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek, and the Western River Railroad to name a few.
If you’re debating between Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, then DisneySea is the clear winner. DisneySea is the only park of its kind in the world, with a nautical theme and seven ports inspired by real places and legends.
These include American Waterfront, Arabian Coast, Mediterranean Harbor (which resembles Italy), and the unique Mysterious Island, complete with an erupting volcano.
The digital art museums, TeamLab Borderless, and Planets, are two of the most Instagrammable things to do in Tokyo. Where else can you take a breathtaking photo of the forest of lamps where hundreds hang from the ceilings? Or maybe a whole forest of flowers is for you!
But these unusual interactive museums are well worth visiting even if you aren’t planning to take Instagrammable photos. Since it’s an immersive world where the artwork has no boundaries.
There is no map or ‘right way to go’ which makes it even more fun, you move freely from room to room in a three-dimensional 10,000 square-meter building, exploring and discovering. The only issue is that Borderless will close this year, and Planets will close next year. That being said, they will still have exhibitions, like their current partnership exhibition with the Galaxy Store!
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Make your way to the tall Shibuya Scramble Square building and climb to the 47th floor, to Shibuya Sky. The Shibuya sky features a 360-degree view of the entire Shibuya area from the open-air sky deck. You might even be able to spot Mt Fuji on a clear day.
Snap a photo from the ‘Sky Edge’, a corner where you can look down at the cityscape below without any obstruction.
You can easily spend a day at Tokyo’s largest park, Ueno. The spacious park, once the grounds of Kaneiji temple, is now abundant with sakura trees and houses Tokyo’s top museums. The Tokyo National Museum is the most famous art museum in the city, while the National Museum of Western Art and the underrated Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum are also located in the park.
A perfect picnic spot, visitors can spend an entire day exploring cultural treasures. Shitamachi Museum, among others. Spend an afternoon out of the heat museum hopping, and finish with a picnic surrounded by Ueno’s gorgeous foliage.
Many cities have iconic landmarks, and the Tokyo Skytree is one of the unique features of Tokyo. Considered the world’s tallest tower, you can get a view of Tokyo that’s completely on another level from other observation decks. Standing 634m-high (2,080ft), you can really get a sense of the scale of Tokyo.
Check out the boutiques on your way up to the observation decks, where you’ll get an unrivaled 360-degree view of the city. On clear days, you might even be able to see Mount Fuji. The top may even have themed exhibits, like a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure exhibit running at the time of writing this.
At the base of the tower, Skytree Town, also known as Solamachi, is where you’ll find many sleek shopping and dining options. A tip is to avoid going on weekends as it’s a very popular attraction and the lines can get quite long.
From the moment you enter the Robot Restaurant lounge to the time you depart, you’ll feel like you’re diving into the colors of neon that bounce off the mirrors. Japanese culture, in recent years, has become an eclectic mix of old traditions and futuristic trends. It’s one reason why a visit to this restaurant or any of Tokyo’s theme cafes is such an incredible experience.
Located in Shinjuku, the best way to explain the Robot Restaurant show is that it’s like doing acid in a real-life sci-fi movie. The sensory overload show features lasers, trance music, enormous robotic dinosaurs and samurai warriors, cosplay dancers and a lot more. Although it’s a restaurant, we don’t recommend purchasing the dining experience as the meals can be overpriced. Eat before or after at any of the incredible restaurants close by.
Tokyo itself doesn’t have a specific landmark like the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower to set it apart, but the Sensoji Temple is the next best thing. Sensoji is the oldest temple in Tokyo and is one of the highlights on any Tokyo bucket list.
Located in Asakusa, its buildings are large and impressive with lovely gardens with koi carp. You can enjoy plenty of traditional activities of a traditional Japanese temple such as washing your hands to purify yourself, using incense, getting your omikuji (fortune written on strips of paper), and see all the racks where people have tied all their bad fortunes that they want to leave behind.
Although it was constructed in the early 7th century AD and was considered important since then, it was only in the 1600s during the Edo period when it reached a status of absolute importance. It was mostly used as a way to protect the entrance into Edo, which was the name of Tokyo at the time.
Nowadays, it’s an enormous temple, and it’s one of Tokyo’s most beautiful buildings. It’s a place for spiritual healing, first and foremost, but it’s also a stunning temple and Tokyo tourist attraction. It’s open from 6am to 6pm and is free of charge to visit, so don’t miss out!
This large shrine is in Harajuku, located right next to the station and the main shopping area. The path features a big wall of Japanese sake (alcohol made from fermented rice) barrels donated by various breweries. The sake itself is used in religious ceremonies and festivals.
The main part of Meiji Jingu is the grounds, especially the forest, which is very peaceful and spacious, a perfect place to unwind. It’s such a contrast to the shops in Harajuku which tend to be loud, colorful, busy, and crazy. The calm nature makes it perfect for a summer walk.
Gyoen (park) is the perfect place for a summer picnic and to walk around. It’s got woods, open areas, water, and a Japanese garden area. Often described as “the Central Park of Tokyo”, the park is located in Tokyo’s busiest district, Shinjuku, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tokyo.
The park consists of three types of Japanese traditional landscape gardens with large ponds, lawns, stones, bridges, and more. The park is especially popular for cherry blossom viewing in spring and autumn leaves viewing in autumn.
Are you planning a trip to Tokyo? What part are you most looking forward to? We want to hear from you in the comments below!
Getting tons of tasty Japanese snacks doesn’t require a whole trip to Japan. Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat sends tasty Japanese snacks, sweets, drinks, candy, and noodles straight from Japan right to your door, so you can enjoy the flavors of Tokyo right at home!
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