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How to Spend 3 Days in Tokyo | An Itinerary

Are you traveling to Tokyo soon? Is it just for a short trip? Here are some ideas for spending 3 days in Tokyo. This is the ultimate getaway. 

3 Days in Tokyo
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If you’re heading to Tokyo soon and unfortunately won’t be staying too long, here are some tips on spending 3 days in Tokyo. People always ask me, “how long should I stay in Tokyo?” I usually answer “at least a week.” 

Tokyo is the most layered city I’ve ever been to, but unfortunately, sometimes 3 days in Tokyo is all you can do. So in that case, here are some tips! 

General Tips for a short trip to tokyo

If you’re anything like me, when you travel, you like to relax on your getaway. Tokyo can easily present itself as a problem. The city has a lot to offer, and if you’re not careful, you can spread yourself too thin. 

It’s essential to prioritize what most interests you and then reduce your time to just those places. If you are interested in electronics, then perhaps time in Akihabara will be fitting. If you’re interested in the fashion scene, then more time in Harajuku and Omotesando would be a good bet. 

I highly recommend my book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook. It’s written from the approach of a specific neighborhood guide, breaking down nearly 30 of Tokyo’s top neighborhoods. This book will transform your trip. 

The 411 on Narita vs Haneda Airport?? Read more

Day 1 in Tokyo | Exploring The Shibuya Ward

Day one in Tokyo should be fun and relaxed. You’ll start with the Shibuya District. The Harajuku neighborhood and nearby Omotesando is located inside Shibuya Ward, as are all the places I recommend below.

For 3 days in Tokyo, I recommend starting here first and then ending up in Shibuya at night. Shibuya is where you can experience a top nightlife scene, bar hop, and see the brightest lights in Tokyo. Of course, you should switch up the days to your personal preferences and order of your choosing.

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Visit the Meiji Shrine

The Meiji Shrine is one of the most beautiful places in Tokyo, surrounded by forest. It’s located right near Harajuku as well so just take the train to Meiji-Jinju Mae, hop off and wander the shrine for a couple hours. 

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Shop Omotesando + Aoyama

If you only have 3 days in Tokyo and you love fashion, Omotesando & Aoyama is essentially Tokyo’s Champs Champs Elysees, and I much prefer Tokyo’s version. 

Omotesando & Aoyama are very different neighborhoods but are adjacent to Harajuku, so it’s a leisurely stroll over in this direction.

3 days in tokyo
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Daikanyama is a hip neighborhood with its own interesting vibe and charm. It’s also a part of Shibuya Ward and should not be missed. You can easily take the train there after Harajuku and spend an hour or two exploring the cool shops. 

3 days in tokyo
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Shibuya at Night

I recommend finishing the night off by taking the train to Shibuya Station for dinner, drinks, and nightlife and taking in views of the famous Shibuya Crossing. See my article on  Tokyo Nightlife | Epic Things to Do for ideas. 

Day 2 in Tokyo | Exploring Asakusa + Akiba

3 days in tokyo
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Senso-ji Temple

This is one of Tokyo’s hottest spots and for good reason. It’s a magical spot, but you should be mindful of the time of day you go because it can get super crowded. I recommend going in the morning. 

Walk around the temple and then explore the Hanayashiki Amusement Park nearby – the oldest in Japan. It’s small but also an interesting spot for photographs. 

3 days in tokyo
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Ryogoku Sumo Neighborhood

Not far, right across the Sumida is Ryogoku, Tokyo’s Sumo neighborhood. Catch a match or simply walk around to get a glimpse of “Old Tokyo.” 

You’ll of course need to check the schedule for times and seasons. 

Things to do in Akihabara
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Akiba or Electric Town should most definitely be on the list of everyone in Tokyo, especially if you’re into electronics. Go to the Yodobashi Camera and explore the hub of Tokyo’s Otaku culture. See my article on Things to Do in Akihabara. 

Day 3 in Tokyo | Shinjuku or Roppongi

The districts that I’m recommending here can be selected as one or the other, or both. One day should include exploring Shinjuku & then Roppongi, depending on your preferences. I’ll go into the differences more down below.

Both districts, however, are excellent nightlife spots and for that reason, you might want to hit up Shinjuku or Roppongi on Day 2 after Akihabara and the third on day 3.

READ  Best of Travel 2014
tokyo nightlife
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Shinjuku is pretty large, and Shinjuku Station is not only the busiest train station in Tokyo but also in the world. 

Shinjuku is famous for the Golden Gai (Tokyo’s maze of local bars), The Lost in Translation Hotel (Park Hyatt Tokyo) and of course Kabukicho with its Robot Restaurant. This makes Shinjuku an excellent spot for nightlife. 

You can also make your way up to The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a free view with clear views of Mt. Fuji and then stop off at Shinjuku Gyoen for a hanami in the park. Book The Robot Restaurant Here

tokyo nightlife roppongi
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Roppongi is a fascinating place. It has some of Tokyo’s finest museums and architecture but it’s also a hub of nightlife as well. 

If you are only able to catch one view in Tokyo, I recommend the Mori Tower. It’s not free, but it’s the best. And if you can go around sunset, even better. 

Then stop off at The Kill Bill Restaurant, Gonpachi, for drinks and izakaya. 

If you’re heading to Tokyo, I highly recommend my book The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook. It’s filled with tons of insights on a range of activities that only an experienced local can possibly know about. You’ll unlock nearly 30 of Tokyo’s best neighborhoods and districts in over 400 pages, designed to leave you knowing this city. Learn more. 

The book Also includes

  • Where to Find the Best Views of Tokyo
  • Awesome Free Views of the City
  • A Photographer's Guide to Tokyo
  • Where to Find the Coolest Bookstores & Libraries
  • Places Frozen in Time | Tokyo Time & Place to Experience Old Japan
  • Architecture You Don't Want to Miss
  • Fascinating Tours of Politics & History
  • Don't Leave Japan Without Doing These Things
  • The Coolest Capsule Hotels
  • Gluten Free Tips & Advice
  • Eating Vegan & Vegetarian in Tokyo
  • Hundreds of Top Food Recommendations
  • Tours to Consider
  • (Kissaten) Craft Coffee Must Try Places
  • Where to Buy Excellent Used Camera Gear
  • The Best Gardens in the City
  • Clubs & Live Music Venues
  • Record Shopping Hot Spots
  • Museums & Must-See Galleries
  • Only in Japan Things to Do
  • 40 Brilliant Souvenir Ideas
  • Amusement Parks & Fun For Kids
  • Where to Find the Best Afternoon Tea
  • The Best Japanese Tea Ceremony Spots
  • Etiquette Essentials
  • Exploring Spirituality
  • A Vintage Shopping Guide to Harajuku
  • And so much more.............


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