Updated 2016

Things to do in Tokyo

  • Get out of the city and head to Mount Fuji for a beautiful hike.
  • Remain completely anonymous, no matter your race, ethnicity, or height as you stroll through the crowded streets of one of the world’s most populous cities.
  • Just wander around or pull up a seat on a bench and people watch. Tokyo is a great place to observe a multitude of cultures blending together.
  • Do what the Japanese do – eat sushi, sing karaoke, take in a baseball game, and go see a Sumo match.
  • If you’re not digging the area you’re exploring, then get on the train and head to the next stop – it’s sure to be completely different than where you just were.
  • Instead of spending all that money to get a view of the city from the Tokyo Tower, head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku instead. The twin towers have viewing platforms that don’t cost anything.
  • You like to shop? What do you want to buy? Chances are you can find whatever your heart desires in Tokyo.

Read: Independent Travel Tips for Tokyo.

Why you should add Tokyo to your RTW travel list

  • Visit Tokyo for an attack on the senses
  • Your gateway to Japan
  • Neon, traffic, hi-tech, sushi – Think you can handle Tokyo?
  • Just wait until you see the shopping in Ginza
  • Where else in the world can you ride bullet trains, shop for kimonos, and watch sumo?

Read: The Magic of Tokyo.

Why you should not add Tokyo to your RTW travel list

  • The high prices will put a massive dent in your budget.
  • If you’re not a big city person, then Tokyo may not be the best place for you.


It is easy to be overwhelmed in Tokyo. Japan’s most populous city is also the world’s most populous metropolitan city. When you are riding in a crammed subway or crossing one of the main thoroughfares or trying to get out of the city for a weekend hike on Mt Fuji, you will feel like you are seeing every single one of the 35 million people who call the city and its surrounding region home.

Even with the sea of humanity and the blinking lights and the crazy shopping malls that go on forever you can find tranquility in Tokyo. You won’t be alone as you stroll through the Imperial Gift Garden or when you visit one of the many shrines in the city, but you will experience a slice of peacefulness that you otherwise won’t find in such a large, bustling, happening place.

Indeed, Tokyo is a great city to go to when you are feeling the need for anonymity. Unless you go out of your way to attract attention, you will blend right into the masses no matter your ethnicity, size or manner. Tokyo is also a great place to observe modern Japanese culture in all its glory. From teenagers dressing like American rap stars to grown men dressing in fetish diapers to hotel rooms that are rented by the hour, Tokyo is a collection of bizarre and amusing sights.

Like any large city, Tokyo offers no shortage of great restaurants and entertainment options. If you like to sing, you’ll have hundreds of karaoke places from which to choose. If you like sports, check out a Sumo tournament or go visit one of the local baseball or soccer stadiums. If you like dancing to bad techno music, you can do that too, although, really, you should get some help for your affliction.

Tokyo has a reputation for being very expensive and it can be. But if you are willing to eat cheap noodles, take public transportation and stay at inexpensive hostels, the city can be manageable.