Tokyo is a massive and exciting city that offers a unique blend of futurism and tradition, from the neon-packed Shinjuku to the lush and peaceful Yoyogi Park, to the traditional Asakusa, there is just so much land to cover. Luckily I was able to spend six months exploring every nook of this city, which allowed me to put together this 5-day Tokyo itinerary, perfect for anyone visiting Tokyo for the first time.
Packed with extra tips and great food and coffee recommendations in the areas that you will be visiting, this 5-day Tokyo itinerary should have you covered to have the ultimate Tokyo experience, but feel free to use it as a general draft of what a day could look like in Tokyo and add ideas and your own interests to each day.
While living in Tokyo I had friends and family visiting towards the end of our six-month stay, which gave me enough time to get to know the city, the neighborhoods, and the distances well enough to be able to help them plan out their days and make the most out of their long-awaited trip to Tokyo.
This itinerary has been tried, tested, and tweaked to become the best version it can be, so without further ado, here is my 5-day Tokyo itinerary:
- Special tip when planning any itinerary: PIN your destinations in Google Maps beforehand so you can always see them as you move through the city. I particularly love to do this with coffee shops before I arrive in any city, so as soon as I step into the city I already know where to find good coffee.
Save this itinerary for later!
5-Day Tokyo Itinerary For The Ultimate Tokyo Experience
Day 1 Shibuya and Harajuku: Tokyo essentials
If you are wondering what to do for the first day in Tokyo, I think it’s a good idea to kickstart the trip with the quintessential Tokyo sights, the bustling Shibuya and the trendy Harajuku.
Shibuya classics: Hachiko Statue and Shibuya crossing
Begin by finding the famous Hachiko Statue at Shibuya station—if you know who Hachiko is, if not, you can skip this first step—and then proceed to the famous Shibuya Crossing, the largest pedestrian crossing in the world, and a quintessential experience when exploring Tokyo.
- TIP: For a cool view of Shibuya Crossing you can go into the Starbucks inside the Shibuya Tsutaya bookshop and take a seat by the window on the second floor facing the crossing, you can also get a higher view from the Shibuya Station bridge, and from the 11th floor in the Shibuya Scramble shopping center.
Coffee at Blue Bottle Shibuya and breakfast at Flippers
Then make your way to Blue Bottle Shibuya for the perfect latte while we wait for our breakfast spot to open at 10:30 a.m. just around the corner.
Make sure to arrive a little bit before opening time at Flippers Shibuya to be the first in line to order their heavenly Japanese souffle pancakes, my favorites are the ones topped with strawberry and whipped cream—so good!
- TIP: Watch out for opening hours, a lot of things open late in Japan, with most coffee shops opening between 10-11 a.m. Blue Bottle Shibuya is a rare gem that opens at 8 a.m.
90s nostalgia at Pokemon and Nintendo Center
The next stop in our Shibuya itinerary is the popular Pokémon and Nintendo Center located inside Shibuya Parco Shopping Center.
Even if you’re not into it right now, if you are reading this, there’s a high chance that you grew up with both Pokemon and Nintendo in your life, and honestly, the nostalgia when stepping into the shops is real!
City escape: Lush Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine in the forest
Let’s escape the crowds and the buzz of Shibuya by visiting the lush Yoyogi Park, one of Tokyo’s largest city parks—and my favorite park in the city—featuring ponds, wide lawns, and a beautiful cherry blossom garden that comes alive every spring.
Yoyogi is a good place to take a quick break if you need it, if not, then keep moving towards Meiji Jingu, an impressive Shinto shrine located at the end of a peaceful walk through a gorgeous forest. A must-visit spot for anyone planning their 5-day Tokyo itinerary!
Lunch at Ichiran Ramen: Japan’s most popular ramen chain
For lunch, we are visiting one of Japan’s most treasured ramen spots, Ichiran ramen in Harajuku, a popular chain known for its flavorful pork-based broth, thin noodles, and delicious spicy sauce—and particularly popular with us since many of their locations remain open 24/7, which is extremely rare in Japan!
- TIP: Add the soft-boiled egg when ordering on the machine.
Explore Harajuku, walk Takeshita Street, and shop on Cat Street
After fueling up on ramen you are ready to explore the vibrant Harajuku, a neighborhood known for its young vibe, with streets such as Takeshita Street where the Japanese teens gather to shop and hang out—I personally think Takeshita St. is a bit overrated, but we are already here so might as well.
Once you are done admiring the eclectic outfits of Takeshita and the mismatched thrift stores make sure to make your way to Cat Street, my favorite street in the area, lined with popular retail shops, specialty coffee shops, and offering a much more relaxed vibe than the busy Takeshita.
Dinner at Gyakatsu Motomura and drinks at Piano Bar in Shibuya
After all that wandering around, and hopefully shopping—I find it impossible to be in this area of the city and come home empty-handed—it’s time for dinner, and because it’s the first night in Tokyo I think it deserves something special.
So I would recommend Gyakatsu Motomura, a highly esteemed deep-fried beef cutlet restaurant with incredible reviews, and even more incredible dishes—we loved this place!
To finish off the day, take a short walk to Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho, a small alley hidden in plain sight, with a handful of tiny restaurants and snug bars, like Piano Bar, a unique and funky bar that fits only about 8-10 people.
Summary of Day One in a 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary:
- Hachiko Statue and Shibuya Crossing
- Breakfast at Flippers Shibuya and Coffee at Blue Bottle
- Pokemon and Nintendo Center
- Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine
- Lunch at Ichiran Ramen
- Harajuku, Takeshita Street, and Cat Street
- Dinner at Gyakatsu Motomura and drinks at Piano Bar Shibuya
Day 2 Asakusa: Tokyo’s Historic Neighborhood
On the second day of our 5-day Tokyo itinerary, we are visiting the historic heart of Tokyo, Asakusa, a neighborhood known for retaining some of that old Tokyo vibe as well as being home to some of the most important cultural landmarks in the city.
Cheap, efficient, and tasty breakfast at 7 eleven
One of the best ways to be efficient while traveling in Japan is to have breakfast at 7-Eleven—they are open early, they are everywhere, they are cheap, and they are actually delicious!
So to make the most of our day in Asakusa, I would recommend picking up some breakfast at 7-Eleven, either close to your hotel, or stopping by the one across the street from Kaminarimon Gate, where you can eat something quick before starting a day of exploring.
Stop by the imposing Kaminarimon Gate
We are starting our day at one of the most famous landmarks in Asakusa, the imposing Kaminarimon Gate, a massive red gate that holds a 3.9m tall floating lantern marking the entrance to Senso-ji Temple.
Shop and eat your way around Nakamise Shopping Street
Straight after walking through Kaminarimon Gate, you will find yourself at the bustling Nakamise Shopping Street, which is packed with delicious street food stands, traditional artisan shops, and quality souvenir shops.
This is a great place to try different kinds of Japanese treats, such as my favorite Mitarashi Dango, as well as a great location to buy high-quality souvenirs, like Japanese towels, hand-painted fans, hand-made woodblock prints, and more.
Visit Senso-ji Temple: Tokyo’s most iconic temple
At the end of Nakamise Street, you will arrive at the historic Senso-ji Temple, one of the top places to visit during your first time in Tokyo, the oldest Buddhist temple in the city, and one of the most important ones.
Before reaching the temple stairs don’t forget to get your Omikuji, a written fortune, introduce your 100 yen in the money slot, shake the metal box full of sticks, pick a stick out of the metal box, and then find the drawer that hides your fortune based on the number of the stick you got.
Lunch at Hoppy Street: A cluster of laid-back restaurants
After admiring Senso-Ji Temple and exploring the rest of the temple grounds, make your way out of the gates and wander through the streets of the old-school neighborhood packed with small eateries.
Hoppy Street is particularly known for its concentration of casual dining spots, but there are many hidden gems all around the neighborhood, if you are hungry, you could stop by the amazingly rated Tsune Sushi restaurant, the juicy Tonkatsu Oribe, or the casual Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku.
Walk through Ueno Park and/or visit a museum
Once you are good and set with Asakusa, get on a train, or walk if you feel like it, and make your way to Ueno Park, a popular city park featuring a sake barrel wall at the entrance, a lake, wide pedestrian paths, and several museums, such as Tokyo National Museum.
Here you could just enjoy a walk in the park or find a bench to rest on if your feet are asking for it, or since we are already here, you could also pay a visit to one of the many museums in the area.
Wander through the lively and versatile Ameyoko Shopping Street
If you are starting to feel snacky then make your way to Ameyoko Shopping Street, an off-the-beaten-path street I found by coincidence.
Ameyoko Shopping Street is like a massive outdoor market, you can find everything here, from shoes to leather goods to a fish market, where you can enjoy incredibly fresh oysters and juicy crab legs at standing sushi bars, like Uo Kosa, or have a drink at a standing Japanese whiskey bar, like Sanko Liquor Store—the options here are endless.
Explore the famous Akihabara district
It might be getting late in the day but luckily the buzzing shopping district of Akihabara is open until late.
Akihabara is a shopping district known for its electronic stores, such as the massive Yodobashi Multimedia, as well as for being the epicenter of all things manga, anime, and video games, with a wide range of stores selling figurines, merch, retro video games and more.
To finish off the day, I didn’t find anything around Akhihara that looks amazing for dinner so you could find something close to your hotel, or when in doubt, 7-Eleven is always a great idea!
Summary of Day Two in a 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary:
- 7-Eleven breakfast
- Kaminarimon Gate
- Nakamise Shopping Street
- Senso-ji Temple
- Hoppy Street
- Ueno Park and Tokyo National Museum
- Ameyoko Shopping Street
Day 3 Hie Shrine and Tokyo Tower, Shinjuku at night
On the third day of your 5-day Tokyo itinerary, you will be covering quite a bit of ground, by visiting the biggest display of Torii Gates in Tokyo, Thousand Toriis at Hie Shrine, the most iconic city landmark, Tokyo Tower, and one of the most emblematic areas of Tokyo, buzzing Shinjuku.
Breakfast at cozy Tokyo Little House
We are starting day three of our 5-day Tokyo itinerary at one of my favorite hidden gems, Tokyo Little House.
Tokyo Little House is an adorable historical cafe/accommodation in the heart of Akasaka, meticulously serving pour-over coffee and the thickest butter toast you will ever see, all in a super cozy environment, and conveniently located very close to our next stop.
Visit Hie Shrine and the eye-catching Thousand Torii gates
Just a few steps away from the cute breakfast spot you will find the entrance to the vibrant Thousand Toriis, the biggest concentration of Torii Gates in Tokyo, donated by businesses surrounding Hie Shrine, one of Tokyo’s most important Shinto shrines.
After climbing up the stairs of the Thousand Toriis, enjoying the sights, and taking a couple of photos, make sure to explore the Shrine’s grounds and the historic Shrine itself.
Walk to Roppongi Hills for the best chicken ramen in Tokyo
Make your way to Roppongi by walking through Akasaka’s main street following the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, lined with all types of cute local businesses, from bakeries to casual eateries to some of the tiniest coffee shops I have ever seen.
Once you arrive in Roppongi take your time to explore the area and look around the shops, and once you are ready for lunch make your way to Ginza Kagari in the basement of Roppongi Hills, one of the best ramens in Tokyo, which is the second branch to the unbelievably popular main branch in Ginza—tastes exactly the same, with none of the lines!
Coffee stop at Verve Coffee Roasters
If you are like me and are always ready for a second coffee, then head over to Verve’s Coffee Roasters’ gorgeous location in Roppongi, which is just a short walk away from lunch.
Verve Coffee Roasters in Roppongi became one of my favorite Tokyo coffee shops due to their consistently high quality, as well as their menu, they have unique and delicious drinks and tasty panini, and it’s a massive location with lots of natural light coming in, which makes it very inviting to stay and hang out for hours.
Visit the iconic Tokyo Tower, Prince Park, and Zozoji Temple
After getting all fueled up on coffee make your way to the iconic Tokyo Tower, the one that makes everyone stop for a second and think “…am I in Paris?”
Tokyo Tower is easily one of the most emblematic symbols of the city, and a visit to this landmark can go different ways, you could either go up the Tokyo Tower to get a view of the city from its terrace, or you can go to Prince Park to admire the structure as you take a rest on the lawn.
Whichever way you choose to experience Tokyo Tower, make sure to stop by Zozoji Temple nearby, an impressive Buddhist temple dating back to the 1600s.
Grab a drink with the best view at Lobby Bar
For an elite way of experiencing Tokyo Tower, head over to the Lobby Bar on the 31st floor of The Tokyo Edition Hotel in Tonaromon to grab a sunset drink with one of the best views of Tokyo Tower in the city!
Get the ultimate Tokyo experience by exploring bustling Shinjuku at night
To wrap up day three of the 5-day Tokyo itinerary on a high note, venture out to energetic Shinjuku—you will want to get on the metro for this one— to explore one of my all-time favorite spots to introduce to people visiting Tokyo for the first time.
Shinjuku at night is everything you would envision Tokyo to be; skyscrapers, bright lights, and streets buzzing with the energy of both locals and tourists, looking for a place to eat, drink, or party.
Some of the top places you want to visit while exploring bustling Shinjuku are Omoide Yokocho, a historic alleyway featuring tiny food stalls—a great place to grab some casual dinner— Golden Gai, similar to Omoide Yokocho but instead of food stalls it’s all about snug bars, Kabukicho Tower, fun new addition to the city featuring a lively food court and a neon-packed arcade, and don’t forget to spot Godzilla on top of the Shinjuku Toho building.
Summary of Day Three in a 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary:
- Breakfast and coffee at Tokyo Little House
- Hie Shrine and Thousand Torii Gates
- Roppongi Hills and lunch at Ginza Kagari
- Coffee at Verve Coffee Roasters
- Tokyo Tower, Prince Park and Zojo-ji Temple
- Drinks with a view at Lobby Bar
- Shinjuku at night: Omoide Yokocho, Golden Gai, Kabukicho Tower and Godzilla
Day 4 TeamLab Planets, Tsukiji Fish Market, and Ginza
On the fourth day of our 5-day Tokyo itinerary, you will be visiting one of the most unique art exhibitions Tokyo has to offer, TeamLab Planets, as well as Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market for some incredibly fresh seafood, and spend a day wandering through the glamourous Ginza shopping district.
Become a kid again at TeamLab Planets
For your fourth day in Tokyo, you will want to start the day bright and early to visit the in-demand TeamLab Planets—booking your ticket in advance is a must, and if you can secure a morning slot, even better.
Team Lab Planets in Tokyo is a unique immersive art exhibition that has taken social media by storm, and rightfully so, the moment you step inside you understand why everyone raves about it, it is an experience like no other.
Morning coffee at Kunisuke Coffee
If you haven’t had your first coffee yet, you can grab one at Kunisuke Coffee, a cozy coffee shop covered in plants with a very welcoming atmosphere, serving great coffee and some small bites.
This cute Tokyo coffee shop is also very conveniently located a few steps away from the next stop in the itinerary.
Life-changing “brunch” at Tsukiji Fish Market
Our next stop in this busy 5-day Tokyo itinerary is the famous Tsukiji Fish Market.
Even though the big fish wholesale market has moved to Toyosu, the Tsukiji outer market is still a goldmine for foodies, packed with amazing street food stands and fresh seafood everywhere you look.
Definitely eat your way around the market and try some of the small dishes, but for a full meal, I would highly recommend leaving some space for Yaki Uo Ishiwaka for life-changing grilled tuna steaks, or Tsujiki Sushi Sei (New Branch) for unbelievably fresh sushi, and super friendly staff.
Afternoon of shopping at Ginza Shopping District
After eating your body weight in tuna sashimi it is time to walk it off in one of the best ways possible: shopping, in the nearby Ginza shopping district.
Even though Ginza is known as an upscale shopping district, it caters to all kinds of budgets. You can explore the iconic 11-story Uniqlo store, browse the beautiful Tsutaya bookshop, discover local fashion labels like Comme des Garçons, try Japanese skincare products from Shiseido, explore renowned high fashion houses, and more.
Stop by Taiyaki Kanda Daruma for the best dessert I had in Japan
For dinner, we are heading to Shimbashi, and on the way there you will walk past this small Japanese sweet shop called Taiyaki Daruma.
I could not live with myself if I didn’t tell you to stop here and treat yourself to a box of their delicious strawberry daifuku, a perfectly soft mochi filled with smooth white bean paste, topped with a whole strawberry, and one of my absolute favorite things I have eaten in all of Japan.
I tried several different strawberry daifuku during my nine months living in Japan and none of them came close to being as good as these ones, so just promise me you will try them!
Michelin Bib Gourmand dinner at Kurobota Tonkatsu Horiichi
While Ginza is known for its entertainment scene, with upscale bars, clubs, and famous restaurants, I would recommend heading over to the less shiny Shimbashi for a more unique dining experience at Kurobota Tonkatsu Horiichi, a hidden Michelin bib gourmand gem, tucked away in a basement floor of lively Shimbashi.
Kurobota Tonkatsu Horiichi serves carefully prepared high-quality juicy tonkatsu and provides the friendliest of service, I went there constantly—if possible try to book in advance, but is not necessary, and always double-check their opening schedule.
- TIP: I love this tonkatsu restaurant but their schedule is very specific so other options for dinner in the area include Nagomi Izakaya, Ichiran Ramen Shimbashi, Uogashi Standing Sushi Bar, or Tonkatsu Akaishi.
Summary of Day Four in a 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary:
- Team lab Planets
- Kunisuke Coffee
- Tsukiji Fish Market for Lunch
- Ginza Shopping District
- Taiyaki Kanda Daruma for life-changing daifuku
- Dinner at Kurobota Tonkatsu Horichi
Day 5 Nakameguro, Ebisu and Daikanayama
For the last day in our 5-day Tokyo itinerary, we are visiting the quaint Nakameguro neighborhood, exploring the up-scale Daikanayama, and having some unique drinks at the lively Ebisu.
Breakfast and coffee at Streamer Coffee Company
For your fifth day in exciting Tokyo, you will want to make your way to the quaint Nakameguro neighborhood and start your morning at Streamer Coffee Company, a Tokyo-born specialty coffee shop serving flawlessly frothed lattes the size of your head and the perfect cheesy egg sandwich. The ultimate combination to start any day!
Visit the impressive four-story Starbucks Reserve Roastery
I will leave it up to you if you want to have breakfast at Streamer or if you want to save space to try one of the many delicious pastries at the next stop; the world-famous four-story Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Nakameguro.
Even if you are not big on the coffee, I will admit that the merch alone makes it worth a visit.
The massive complex also showcases the coffee roasting process, coffee testers are offered, and there is an inviting Italian bakery, a Teavana house, and lots of seating space to enjoy a treat, including a terrace on the fourth floor overlooking the river.
- TIP: Before moving on to our next stop you could consider visiting nearby Saigoyama Park, on a clear day you should be able to see Mount Fuji from the top of the park’s hill.
Walk along the Meguro River and visit the shops
Now it’s time to actually explore a bit more of the peaceful Nakameguro neighborhood and walk along the Meguro river, stopping at the local shops, like the minimalistic Japanese homeware brand Kinto.
Kinto is a great place to buy practical souvenirs since they sell minimalistic-looking homeware items, as well as travel-friendly articles, such as water bottles and coffee thermos, and most coffee shops in Japan that create their own branded coffee thermos tend to use Kinto ones, so you know they are loved by locals.
Uoichi for lunch: A casual local sushi spot
Slowly but surely make your way to Uoichi restaurant, one of my favorite sushi spots in Tokyo due to their consistently incredibly fresh and reasonably priced meals, the casual and local atmosphere, as well as their super friendly and welcoming staff.
Lunch hour at sushi places normally means set menus that include a wide variety of fish nigiri, but don’t you worry, if you don’t feel like having a whole sushi-tasting set as most places do, Uoichi also offers this heavenly tuna bowl set—it’s so good!
Post-lunch coffee stop at the cute Onibus Coffee
I feel like you know me by now, so you know it’s time for the second coffee—or maybe the third, if you had one at Starbucks—and luckily Onibus Coffee is just around the corner.
Onibus Coffee gained some online popularity for its picturesque location, where you can see the trains go by from their second-floor seating area, but most importantly than the view, Onibus really cares about their craft, and their coffee is always flawlessly prepared.
But I also like views, so grab your drink of choice and head over to the second floor to enjoy the trains go by before keeping the step count going.
Explore the stylish Daikanayama neighborhood
After a coffee break, it is time to explore another cool Tokyo neighborhood, the up-and-coming Dainkayama, which you can easily walk to or take the metro for one stop if your legs are giving up on you.
Daikanayama is a stylish little pocket of Tokyo packed with beautiful-looking boutiques, vintage shops, cafes, and more, and it’s a fun area to explore for the afternoon, with my favorite thing in the area being the massive Tsutaya Books Daikan-yama.
Unique sake and izakaya at the lively Ebisu
For a unique Tokyo experience, make your way to Buri Bar in the nocturnal Ebisu neighborhood, a hidden gem in plain sight and one of my favorite places in Tokyo—and definitely one of the best things to do in Tokyo for first-timers.
Buri Bar is a local hangout spot for office workers in the area, serving a wide variety of sakes, a delicious izakaya menu, and other bar snacks.
What makes this one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo is the presentation of the sake, which is stored at just the right temperature that after a few shakes and a strong tap of the waiter the sake turns to slushy right before your eyes, it’s super impressive!
- TIP: Order the chicken breast yakitori with wasabi *chefs kiss*
Summary of Day Five in a 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary:
- Breakfast at Streamer Coffee Company
- Four-story Starbucks Reserve Roastery
- Meguro River
- Uoichi sushi restaurant
- Onibus Coffee
- Daikanayama neighborhood
- Dinner and drinks in Ebisu
Having lived in Tokyo for six months I can confidently say that even after half a year in this city I feel like I barely scratched the surface, there is just so much to do, but we have to start somewhere, and I believe that this 5-day Tokyo itinerary is exactly that, it covers all the main sights, with recommendations for food and coffee in the areas you will be visiting—always a big priority for me.
So I truly hope this itinerary eases your mind about how to go about tackling such a massive city and allows you to make the absolute best of your trip to exciting Tokyo!
Have you been to Tokyo yet? If you are going soon, what are you most looking forward to?