Tokyo can be overwhelming if you let it get away from you. A stay in the world’s largest city requires solid planning and a general sense of how to get around. So, how do you plan out two days in Japan’s capital? No fear, our guide on how what to do in Tokyo has your back. So rest up, there’s a lot to see.
9:00 a.m. Chiyoda metro line to the Imperial Palace
After a quick breakfast at Roppongi Hotel S, walk a few blocks to Nogizaka metro station and hop on the train toward Toride. Get off at Otemachi station and walk about a mile to the Imperial Palace. Take a tour of the Imperial Palace grounds and start your trip off with some time in one of the country’s most important historical locations.
1:00 p.m. Tempura lunch
Just a few blocks from the Imperial Palace, Tempura Tenmasa is a casual sit-down place that offers a diverse menu of tempura options. Tempura prawns and vegetables is a great way to recharge from the morning tour and kick off the Japanese cuisine adventure. For those of you yet to try tempura, it’s generally seafood (mainly prawns) and vegetables fried in sesame oil and dipped in soy sauce.
2:30 p.m. Afternoon and evening in Ginza
For those looking to explore the streets, Ginza is about a two-mile walk from the Imperial Palace. The Ginza District is a maze of shopping and neon lights and is one of the most bustling sections of the city. If the combination of shopping and people watching isn’t enough, the neon lights show that comes on as the sun goes down and the architecture are both incredible. As for historical significance, the district is where the five principal highways of ancient Japan came together. Ginza has a longstanding tradition as a center for Japanese commerce.
6:00 p.m. Dinner at Umegaoka Sushi no Midori Sohonten
Odds are you’ve been waiting for your first bite of sushi since your plane touched down. Sushi Midori is one of the best sushi spots in the city. But show up early, because it’s a hot spot and they don’t take reservations.
7:30 p.m. Neon walk
The shoppers are clearing out and the neon lights are coming on. Set aside some time to take it all in.
8:30 Head back to the hotel to prepare for the night
Take the metro back to the hotel and take some time to change and put your feet up.
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10:30 p.m. Party at V2 Tokyo
Located on the top floor of the Roa Building, V2 is surrounded by floor to ceiling glass windows that give guests a panoramic view of the city below. A good mix of music and an international crowd make for an exciting combo.
10:30 a.m. Metro to the Tokyo National Museum
Take the metro north and get off at the Uguisudani station. From samurai swords and armor to kimonos to ancient artifacts and artwork, the museum is the best place in Japan to soak up knowledge about the country’s history. Wandering the museum’s halls can easily take up three or four hours.
2:00 p.m. Ramen lunch
Fine dining in Tokyo is excellent, but it would be a mistake to miss out on the hole-in-the-wall Ramen experience. At some places, you pay at a vending machine and then fill the bowl with your choice of ingredients. These places are all over so finding one close to the museum shouldn’t be much of a challenge.
3:30 p.m. Sensoji Temple
After some lunch and a little relaxation, a mile walk east will take you to the Sensoji Temple, the oldest religious site in the city. The original shrine was almost completely destroyed in WWII and so the structure itself is relatively new, but visitors have traveled to the same location to pay their respects to Asakusa Kannon, the Buddhist god of mercy and happiness since 645 AD.
6:00 p.m. Sunset and dinner at the Tokyo Skytree
A quick walk across the Sumida River (use the Kototoi Bridge) will get you to the Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest structures in the world. Head up to the observation deck to catch the sunset. After the sun sets, grab a table at Musashi 634, the tower’s white tablecloth restaurant with panoramic views of the city. It’s expensive, but customers agree that the menu and the views make it more than worth it.
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8:30 p.m. Finish up at Bar High Five
Take the metro back down to Ginza and spend the last of your 48 hours at Bar High Five, one of the city’s (and the world’s) most famous bars. The bar offers no menu. Just tell the bartender what you’re up for and they’ll make you a personalized drink.
If Roppongi isn’t where you want to stay, or Hotel S isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then feel free to search all accommodations in Tokyo for the place that fits you and your plans just right.