20 Amazing Attractions to Visit in Tokyo
Updated: Nov 25
Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan is a fascinating city where the modern is effortlessly blended with the traditional. Here, every traveller can choose from an endless array of unforgettable experiences.
These are my top 20 choices.
They are listed below in the order in which I visited them on my most recent month-long trip to Japan (March and April 2023)
Senso-ji is Tokyo's Oldest Temple, built in 645 AD. Open daily from 6.30 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. It takes at least 1-2 hours to visit.
Ueno is Japan's Oldest Zoo, it opened in 1882. It's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is 600 Yen for adults. It takes around 3-4 hours to visit.
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. It is open daily (open at sunrise and closes at sunset). Admission is free. It takes 1-2 hours to visit.
4. Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo's largest parks and is adjacent to Meiji Jingu Shrine. The park itself has no closing time although some facilities will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. It takes 1-2 hours to visit.
5. Zojoji Temple
Zojoji is a Buddhist Temple of the Jodo Sect. It houses the Mausoleum of the Tokugawa family. Open all year round from 6 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Admission is free. It takes 1-2 hours to visit.
6. Hama-rikyu Gardens
Hama-rikyu Gardens - a beautiful landscape garden which once belonged to the Tokugawa Shoguns. Open from 9 am to 5 pm every day except from the 29th of December to the 1st of January. Admission is 300 Yen. It takes anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to visit.
7. Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens
The Imperial Palace Gardens are located on the former grounds of Edo Castle. Closed on Mondays, Fridays and from the 28th of December until the 3rd of January, and open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on any other weekday (with extended opening times during the summer months). Admission is free. It takes around 2 hours to visit.
8. Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum houses an incredible variety of Japanese art and artefacts. Open 9.30 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is 1000 Yen for adults. It takes around 3-4 hours to visit.
9. Sengakuji Temple
Sengaku-ji is a famous Buddhist temple of the Soto Zen school. Here you can find the graves of the 47 Ronin from the famous Ako Incident. Open daily from 7 am to 5 pm. Entry to the temple is free, while admission to the museum is 500 Yen. It takes 1-2 hours to visit.
10. Fukagawa Edo Museum
Fukagawa Edo showcases a life-sized replica of a Tokyo neighbourhood from the end of the Tokugawa era. It's open from 9.30 am to 5 pm most days. It's closed on the second and fourth Monday of the month and from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January. Admission is 400 Yen for adults. It takes around 45 minutes - 1h to visit.
11. Sumida Hokusai Museum
Sumida Hokusai is a museum dedicated to the work of Katsushika Hokusai, the famous painter and ukiyo-e artist who created 'The Great Wave of Kanagawa'. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm and closed Mondays and from the 29th of December to the 1st of January. Admission is 400 Yen for adults for the permanent exhibition with an extra fee for the special exhibitions. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to visit.
12. Ueno Royal Museum
Ueno Royal Museum showcases a variety of art exhibitions, focusing on up-and-coming artists. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with extended hours (until 7 pm) on Friday and Saturday, closed on the 31st of December and 1st of January. Admission fees vary, depending on the day of the week and type of exhibition, so please check their official website. It takes around 1 - 1.5 hours to visit.
13. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is Japan's first public art museum. It was opened in 1926. Open 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, closed on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Entry to the museum is free, but some exhibitions will have a fee. It takes 2-3 hours to visit.
14. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo's biggest and most popular parks. Open from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is 500 yen for adults, and free for children under 15. It takes 2-3 hours to visit.
15. Tobacco and Salt Museum
The Tobacco and Salt Museum offers copious amounts of information about the history of tobacco and salt, focusing on how things evolved in Japan. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Closed from the 28th of December to the 3rd of January. Admission is 100 Yen for adults and 50 Yen for children. It takes 2-3 hour to visit.
16. Sumo Museum
The Sumo Museum is quite small. The items on display - pictures, kesho-mawashi and woodblock prints - are changed every few months. Open Monday to Friday from 12.30 am to 4 pm. Closed on weekends and public holidays. Admission is free when there are no tournaments at the Kokugican which is attached to the museum. It takes around 30 minutes to visit.
17. Stationary Museum
The Stationary Museum displays a variety of objects such as calligraphy brushes, inkstones, inkbottles and typewriters. Open Monday to Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Closed on weekends and public holidays. Admission is free. It takes around 1 hour to visit.
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation has educational displays, some of them interactive. Open from 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Tuesdays and from the 28th of December to the 1st of January. Admission is 630 Yen for the permanent exhibitions and 940 Yen if you want to see one of the movies at the Dome Theatre. It takes 2-3 hours to visit.
The Unicorn Gundam is a life-sized statue in Odaiba. It transforms 4 times a day- at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm. It's located outside Diver City Mall. No admission ticket is needed.
20. Nezu Shrine, Azalea Festival
Nezu Shrine is famous for its Azalea Festival (Tsutsuji Matsuri) which takes place in April/May every year. Open 5 am to 6 pm daily. Admission is free for the shrine and 300 Yen for the Azalea Garden. It takes around 1 hour to visit the shrine, and a bit longer if you want to see the Azalea Festival as well.
Have you visited any of the above? If so, I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.
I hope life is treating you well.