Pack your bags because we’re heading to Tokyo, Japan! Get ready for a memorable journey with this 5 days in Tokyo itinerary where we’ll explore the city’s cultural wonders, technological advancements, and delicious food.
From the colorful shopping and Anime hub that is Akihabara to the cultural richness of Ueno, this 5 day Tokyo itinerary takes you to quirky themed cafes and hidden gems like Ameyoko.
This Tokyo, Japan travel guide will help you plan the perfect 5 days in Tokyo and includes some of the best things to do to give you a taste of Japan’s capital.
Expect insights on navigating public transport, indulging in local food, and finding those off-the-beaten-path gems that make Tokyo truly special.
Let’s dive into an epic 5 days in Tokyo!
5 Days in Tokyo Summary
Before we dive into the nitty gritty this is a sneak peek into what to expect on this 5 days in Tokyo itinerary.
- Day 1: Arrive at Narita International Airport
- Day 2: Explore Shinjuku
- Day 3: Visit Shibuya and Harajuku
- Day 4: Visit Ueno Park and Museums
- Day 5: Explore Akihabara and Ameyoko
Both cities are worth exploring. Osaka is the best city in the country to explore Japan’s street food culture. While you’ll want to give yourself at least 3 days in Kyoto – the cultural capital of Japan. From both Osaka and Kyoto, it is an easy day trip to Nara, Japan, as well, where thousands of tame deer roam freely in the streets alongside locals and tourists.
Even better, why not travel to other countries near Japan such as South Korea or Taiwan that offer a well-rounded trip in Asia?
Anyway, let’s get into the details of your 5 days in Tokyo trip including the best attractions, where to eat, and how to get around.
Day 1: Arrive at Narita International Airport
On day 1 of your 5 day Tokyo itinerary, you’re touching down in Tokyo! Get ready for a warm Tokyo welcome as you step off the plane onto Japanese soil.
Depending on where you’re coming from you will arrive at Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport..
For those landing at Narita, getting to the city center is pretty straightforward.
Hop on the Narita Express Train and the Shinkansen train (included with the Japan Rail Pass – also known as the JR Pass), or opt for a limousine bus or private transfer. The trip will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Once there, navigate to your hotel via the subway or treat yourself to the convenience of a taxi.
If Haneda is your entry point, the Monorail (a sweet JR Pass perk), a laid-back limousine bus, or a quick taxi ride are your options. A major plus of arriving at Haneda is its close proximity to the city, taking only 30 minutes by taxi or around an hour by train
Once you’ve checked into your hotel, it’s time to unwind Japanese style.
Kick back, relax, and savor the local flavors of Japan at a nearby restaurant– perhaps paired with a refreshing Japanese brew.
If you’re a first time visitor to Japan, don’t over-schedule your first day. Use this day to adjust to the time change, familiarize yourself with your surroundings and for the family to overcome jet lag.
Day 2: Explore Shinjuku
Rise and shine, today is your first full day in Tokyo!
Start your day at the popular Shinjuku 3D Billboard featuring the adorable Calico Cat. located opposite the Shinjuku Station’s east exit. It’s the perfect Instagrammable moment to kick off day 2 in Tokyo.
Spend some time wandering through the shops in Shinjuku, whether you’re just a window shopper or on the hunt for some new pieces to add to your wardrobe.
Next, take a breath of fresh air at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a quiet escape from the heart of the bustling city. You can buy an audio guide to enhance your visit and learn more about the history and culture hidden in the garden.
When it approaches lunch, venture into the lively streets of Shin Okubo for a taste of some Korean street food. Don’t forget to explore the K-pop stores sprinkled along the way. A visit to this Koreatown gives you a good glimpse into Seoul and how it differs from Tokyo.
During the afternoon, feel the adrenaline rush as you take the streets in a street racer with a go-kart adventure through Shibuya or Shinjuku. It’s like a real-world Mario Kart experience! You’ll need an international driver’s license for this adventure.
Also, if visiting Tokyo with kids, this fun adventure is, unfortunately, not suitable for those under 18.
So, if traveling with children, spend your afternoon exploring the Odaiba District – home to the Rainbow Bridge, one of the world’s largest Ferris Wheels, and lots of fun kid-friendly attractions including Small World Tokyo Miniature Museum, the National Museum of Emerging Science, LegoLand Discovery Center.
As the sun sets, it’s time to experience Tokyo’s epic nightlife.
Begin your adventure in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, a maze of narrow alleys boasting tiny bars, cheap food stalls, and eateries. It’s the ideal starting point for a DIY bar crawl or food tour. Start your evening with a Japanese brew and a few appetizers.
Continue your journey to Omoide Yokocho, where you can enjoy a delicious bowl of ramen or yakitori from one of the charming, traditional eateries.
If you’re up for it, cap off your night in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s lively entertainment and nightlife district.
You can take a ramen making class or catch a show. Whether you’re drawn to karaoke joints, themed bars and restaurants, arcades, or captivating performances, Kabukicho has it all.
I highly recommend checking out Kabukicho Tower, a new entertainment hall with arcade games, bars, restaurants and even a virtual DJ!
Day 3: Dive into Shibuya and Harajuku
Next up, set your sights on the lively districts of Shibuya and Harajuku.
Start your day at the iconic Shibuya Crossing, a sight featured in many movies and now your chance to be part of the action. Known as the busiest crosswalk in the world, navigate the famous Shibuya scramble crossing amid a sea of people, to get your first taste of Shibuya’s energy.
Make sure to book your tickets at least a day in advance as they sell out fast and whilst it is on the pricier side, the views of Tokyo are worth every yen!
For lunch, head to Ichiran Ramen, known for its individual booths and signature tonkatsu broth. And be prepared to wait in line for 10-15 minutes, this place is very popular and for good reason!
After lunch, you can either walk or hop on the Yamanote Line to head to Takeshita Street in Harajuku, the epicenter of fashion and trends. Known as the “Teen Holy Land” in Japan, adults and children alike will love all the shops selling Kawaii products and cute desserts.
Wander through the unique boutiques, people watch and don’t miss out on the heavenly crepes offered by the street vendors.
Coffee enthusiasts, make a pit stop at Cafe Reissue for an Instagram-worthy experience. Sip on 3D latte art that is almost too cute to consume. This is a great time to take a “Crazy Cute Harajuku Food Tour”.
As the day turns into night, consider delving into Shibuya’s nightlife scene. With countless bars, clubs, and late-night dining options to choose from, Shibuya at night is a whole new experience.
Whether you’re into intimate restaurants, bars, bustling entertainment venues, or late-night eats, Shibuya has it all.
As an alternative, head to Tokyo Tower for sweeping views of the city at night.
Day 4: Visit Ueno Park and Museums
Day 4 of this 5 day Tokyo travel itinerary promises a fantastic blend of nature, culture, and immersive experiences.
Kickstart your day with a walk through Ueno Park in the heart of the city. If you’re visiting in spring, the cherry blossoms that Japan is famous for will be in full bloom. Cherry blossom season in Japan typically peaks in late March or early April.
Explore the numerous temples and shrines tucked away within the park, with the iconic Benten-do Temple on the island in Shinobazu Pond being an absolute must-see.
Whether you’re in the mood for tempura, ramen, or a bento box, Ueno has a plethora of small restaurants and street vendors to satisfy your Japanese food cravings.
Next, delve into Japan’s rich cultural heritage at the Tokyo National Museum, located within the expanse of Ueno Park. The museum houses a range of art, artifacts, and historical items, offering a glimpse into Japan’s history.
You can also head to the famous Senso-ji Temple in the nearby Asakusa district. Senso-ji is home to a five-story pagoda, as well as a bustling market just inside the temple’s outer gates.
Tonight, prepare for an unforgettable experience at TeamLab Planets, an immersive digital art installation that pushes the boundaries of creativity and technology.
Book your evening spot in advance for a mind-blowing sensory journey that seamlessly combines the digital realm with artistic brilliance.
Keep in mind that TeamLab Planets is a unique experience that comes with a price tag and it’s also not the easiest to get to from the city center.
Plan your journey accordingly, as it involves navigating multiple subway lines. Or if you have the funds you can hop in a taxi for a 20-30-minute ride to the museum.
Day 5: Explore Akihabara and Ameyoko
On your final day on your 5 days in Tokyo itinerary, take to the streets of Akihabara and the bustling market scene of Ameyoko. It’s the perfect way to wrap up your Tokyo travels with a fusion of tech wonders, anime culture, and traditional markets.
Jumpstart your day with a quick and convenient ride on the Yamanote Line to Akihabara Station, also known as Electric Town.
Here, you’ll dive into a realm where technology, anime, and pop culture collide. Stroll through the lively streets to explore the captivating world of electronic stores, manga shops, and anime merchandise.
Anime is just one of the reasons you’ll love visiting Japan with kids. Even if you’re not an anime aficionado, the vibrant culture of Akihabara is an experience in itself.
For a unique bite to eat, explore one of Akihabara’s quirky-themed cafes. From maid cafes to Gundam-themed restaurants to owl cafes, there’s a quirky spot that can add a touch of whimsy to your morning.
After soaking in the tech wonders of Akihabara, decide whether to hop back on the Yamanote Line or take a leisurely 1-2 km walk to Ameyoko. This bustling market street offers everything from fresh seafood and street food to clothing, shoes, and electronics.
It’s the ideal place to snag those last-minute souvenirs, grab some lunch and savor the vibrant market atmosphere of Japan.
As an alternative, you could head in the opposite direction to see the famous Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Tsukiji Outer Market.
The Tsukiji Fish Market was once a place where you could watch a live fish auction, however, the auction has moved to the outskirts of the city, but you can still visit the outer market where vendors sell fresh-off-the-boat sushi and seafood.
As the day comes to a close, make your way back to Ueno for a farewell dinner. The area is home to a myriad of restaurants and eateries from authentic Japanese to international cuisine. Walk through the area until you find a spot you like to stop for dinner.
Or if you’re feeling weary from the whirlwind of the past few days, consider a cozy takeaway or a quick bite from a convenience store to savor in the comfort of your accommodation.
Whether you choose to dine in style or opt for a more relaxed evening, take a moment to reflect on the incredible 5 days in Tokyo you’ve just had!
Where To Stay In Tokyo
So where should your home base be for tackling this 5 days in Tokyo itinerary?
Look no further than the heart of Shinjuku. This neighborhood is a living testament to the city’s dynamic spirit, offering busy streets, plenty of restaurants and cafes, neon-lit nightlife, and a range of accommodations catering to every budget.
And here’s the beauty – the well-connected Shinjuku Station transforms exploration into a seamless journey, opening doors to Tokyo’s diverse wonders and beyond.
Budget: Unplan Shinjuku
For those mindful of their budget, Unplan Shinjuku is a savvy option in Tokyo.
Unplan has a clean, modern design with both shared and private rooms. There are also plenty of communal spaces so you can hang out with other travelers. Plus there is an onsite restaurant and shisha bar.
By staying at Unplan Shinjuku your Tokyo adventure just got more affordable, fun and stylish!
Luxury: Park Hyatt Hotel
For the ultimate luxury stay, there’s truly nothing that compares to Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Boasting iconic skyline views, impeccable service, and lavish amenities, this hotel exudes sophistication and relaxation in every detail.
A stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo is synonymous with stepping into a world of indulgence, making it my top recommendation for those in search of the crème de la crème in Shinjuku accommodations.
And let’s not forget about the rooftop bar, offering some of the most breathtaking views you’ll find in the city. So if you have the funds, elevate your Tokyo experience with the pinnacle of luxury at Park Hyatt Tokyo!
FAQs: 5 Days in Tokyo
Moving onto some commonly asked questions about spending 5 days in Tokyo.
Are 5 days enough for Tokyo?
Absolutely! While Tokyo is a big city with endless things to do, you can pack a whole lot into 5 days in Tokyo – or even 4 days if you are limited on time.
From the tech haven of Akihabara to the scenery of Ueno Park, each day brings new adventures. Just pace yourself (the city is pretty full on), embrace the local culture, and of course, eat loads of Japanese food!
Should I go to Osaka or Tokyo?
Ah, the classic Japan dilemma! Visiting Osaka or Tokyo.
Both cities offer distinct experiences. Tokyo is a dynamic city of fashion, dining and tech while Osaka charms with its street food and vibrant nightlife.
In the end, it really depends on your preferences. If you love the fast-paced city scene with loads of tech and diverse neighborhoods, Tokyo’s your go-to. If you’re a foodie seeking a more relaxed and authentic vibe, Osaka might be better for you.
Better yet, why not both? The Shinkansen (bullet train) can zip you between them in a few hours. Plus, the more time you spend in Japan, the more you will appreciate the country’s beautiful culture and all the unique Japanese habits and customs.
How do I get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji?
Ah, the majestic Mount Fuji!
If you’re wanting to visit the iconic view from Tokyo, you’ve got a few options. You can take a bus from Tokyo to the Fuji Five Lakes area, which takes around 2 hours.
Alternatively, hop on a train to Kawaguchiko Station. From there, buses can take you to various viewpoints. This is another two-hour journey, but the breathtaking sight of Fuji is well worth it!
CHECK OUT OUR HAKONE DAY TRIP ITINERARY THAT OFFERS BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF MOUNT FUJI
The Wrap-Up: 5 Days in Tokyo
And there you have it, the perfect 5 days in Tokyo!
From the anime of Akihabara to the fashion in Harajuku, we’ve covered it all in this 5 day itinerary. The ramen, the quirky cafes, the parks, the nightlife and the markets.
And thanks to the city’s excellent transport and connectivity, jam-packing your 5-day itinerary with attractions and various neighborhoods is a breeze.
Until next time, arigato and sayonara.
About the Author of this 5 days in Tokyo Itinerary: Olivia McDonald is the avid traveler and creator behind Defining Decade, a travel blog tailored for those navigating their 20s. As an Australian with a rich background in the travel industry, she brings her passion for exploration to life through Defining Decade. Having traveled to 18+ countries, primarily in Asia and Oceania, Olivia shares authentic stories and practical tips on her blog. Whether you work full-time, a digital nomad or an aspiring entrepreneur, Olivia will show you how to travel more in your 20’s.
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