Tokyo is a buzzing city with no end of things to do, restaurants to try, and neighborhoods to explore, it is practically impossible to be bored in a city this big, which, on the other hand, can make it overwhelming to choose what to do with your limited days in this metropolis, and this is where our list of 50+ unique things to do in Tokyo comes to save the day.
If you have already been to all the top places to visit during your first time in Tokyo, and are running out of ideas on how to fill in the gaps in your itinerary here is my list of 50+ unique things to do in Tokyo that I compiled over six months of living here. Enjoy!
50+ Unique Things To Do In Tokyo:
1) Make it to Shinjuku before 8 pm to witness the famous Godzilla roar and throw smoke on the hour throughout the day on top of the Hotel Gracery—if you visit the hotel cafe you can see the Godzilla up close.
2) Get lost in the aisles of one of the biggest and most beautiful bookshops in Tokyo, the Tsutasaya Bookstore in Daikanyama—they have a pretty good selection of English books too!
3) Visit the Monocle shop in Tokyo, and browse their beautiful coffee table books as well as their design-focused curated travel guides, they also sell Japan-only products in collaboration with local businesses… I may or may not be traveling with a whole coffee table book in my luggage at the moment.
4) Sip a cocktail or a glass of wine with a direct view of the iconic Tokyo Tower at The Lobby bar in Roppongi—definitely one of the best bars in Tokyo for enjoying a drink with a view.
5) Feel a sense of childlike wonder, walking through a room full of twinkling LED lights that dance to the music at the immersive world of Team Labs Planets Tokyo, and yes, it is actually worth the hype!
6) Enjoy dinner at an upscale restaurant directly under the train tracks at Hibiya Okuroji.
7) Do as the cool Tokyo kids do and go thrift shopping in the up-and-coming Shimokitazawa neighborhood.
8) Escape the buzz of Shibuya and head down to Naka-Meguro for a peaceful walk along the river, lined with cute cafes and boutique shops.
9) Get yourself a practical souvenir at the Kinto Store in Naka-Meguro, a chic and minimalistic Japanese homeware brand—I have and love their coffee tumblers.
10) When in Japan you have to give matcha a try, I didn’t really like it before coming to Japan but Matcha Tokyo is the place that turned me into a matcha lover, my favorite one is their best-selling iced matcha latte.
11) Put your Willy Wonka hat on and create your own Kit Kat flavor at the Kit Kat Chocolatery in Shibuya.
12) Enjoy decadent soufflé Japanese pancakes for brunch at Flipper’s Shibuya, or any other location really, they are so so good!
13) On a good weather day head over to Daiba to catch sunset at the beach, overlooking the skyline of Tokyo—theres a little beach shack where you can grab a snack or a cold drink.
14) Get one of the best bird’s eye views of Tokyo from the fairly new Shibuya Sky—make sure to book in advance to get that sunset slot.
15) Shop the highest standard of Japanese towels, Imabari towels, renowned for their fluffiness and water absorbency—they need to sink under 30 seconds when placed on water to be considered Imabari quality. If you don’t have the space to buy the full-size ones, get some small hand towels, the locals have one on them at all times.
16) Browse the four floors and different sections of the Starbucks Roastery in Naka-Meguro.
17) Explore a tiny restaurant, or bar, in the quaint Shibuya Yokocho, a small alley full of surprises like the snug and eclectic Piano Bar.
18) Get a Kawai Sanrio Pasmo card at your arrival airport, this practical souvenir will allow you to use most ways of public transportation in Tokyo, and you get to keep it at the end of your trip as a cute souvenir.
19) Sip coffee while watching the metro go by right outside the window at the cozy Onibus coffee shop in Nakameguro.
20) Escape the noise of the city without going too far, by visiting the lush Yoyogi Park— Gonpachi restaurant across the street from the park’s entrance sells handrolled sushi to go, perfect for a picnic.
21) Try the softest most delicious strawberry Daifuku in the city at Taiyaki Kanda Daruma, a small dessert shop by Shimbashi station— I loved their daifuku so much, I was there at least once a week.
22) Go coffee shop hopping in Koto; Tokyo’s neighborhood with the highest density of specialty coffee shops, also known by me as heaven! To see some other great spots in the city check out a coffee lover’s guide to the best Tokyo coffee shops.
23) Walk through a thousand Torii gates in the heart of Tokyo, literally, just search Thousand Toriis on Google Maps.
24) Experience the super popular Ichiran ramen experience, one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo, a restaurant that is meant to be almost interaction-free, the food is placed in front of you through a small window, and served without speaking to anyone, and the best thing is that most of their locations are open 24 hours!
25) Get a rainbow-colored cotton candy bigger than a small child in the trendy Harajuku Street, and try to finish it, unlike me.
26) Visit the four-story tall New Balance store in Harajuku to shop their limited edition Harajuku T-shirts and their Japan-only products.
27) Join the energetic crowds at the home stadium of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows baseball team, and look out for the tiny umbrella dance if someone hits a home run.
28) Explore the convenient and high-quality foods sold at 7 eleven, my favorite things are the tuna mayonnaise onigiri, maple syrup pancakes, curry bread, banana crepe, and tonkatsu sandwich, and nine out of ten times any of these will be followed by a Pocari Sweat.
29) Any music lover should stop by the massive Tower Records store in Shibuya to browse vinyl, CDs, posters, and more.
30) If you plan in advance and have an international driver’s license ready, you can dive into Mario Kart world like never before, by renting a Go Kart and driving around the streets of Tokyo dressed as your favorite character—you can find this activity through Get Your Guide.
31) Find everything you ever needed, and everything you don’t need but want, at the enormous Grand Don Quijote in Shibuya.
32) One of the most unique things to do in Tokyo has to be visiting Buri Bar in Ebisu, a locally loved standing sake bar, where you can see a liquid sake turn into slush right before your eyes in a matter of seconds. Also, you can keep the sake glass cup as a souvenir, so choose wisely.
33) Treat your skin to a new skincare routine from the Japanese luxury skincare brand Shiseido at their main store in Ginza.
34) Browse the designer shops of Omotesando and admire the uniquely Japanese designer storefronts.
35) Try one of the many delicious Japanese desserts, like my favorite little cake; the Fukusaya Castella cake, a type of fluffy bread with a brown sugar base baked by the most skilled of bakers—they also come individually packaged which is perfect as a souvenir!
36) Play arcade games at one of the latest additions to Shinjuku, the neon-packed Kabukicho Tower.
37) Witness the famous 3-D cat that lives on a screen in Shinjuku, appearing every now and then between commercials.
38) Have the best brunch in Tokyo at Allpress Tonaromon, I was there at least once a week to have their avocado toast with a poached egg and salmon.
39) Admire all the incredibly kawaii ads, for everything and anything, if one thing Japan loves to do is make everything cute, even the warning signs on the metros have cute drawings on them to show you how dangerous it is to rush to the train.
40) Do the Shibuya Crossing with a twist, cross the street to the Starbucks, grab a drink, and sit at the bar overlooking the famous Shibuya crossing to see the crowds go by.
41) Skip the famous Cremia ice cream and instead go to the Miyashita shopping center to try the creamiest milk ice cream you will ever have at Miyashita Cafe.
42) Visit the tightly packed alleys of the popular Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku, as well as the historic bars of Golden Gai.
43) Feast on the juiciest tonkatsu at Horiichi, a cozy little restaurant hidden on a basement floor in Shimbashi that has earned the Michelin bib gourmand recognition for its quality, consistency, and affordability, plus the staff is super friendly.
44) Browse the Japanese phone case designs at the Casetify store in Parco, I particularly loved the animated onigiri ones.
45) Make sure to look around you as you explore Tokyo as there are little surprises everywhere you look, like tiny torii gates on the side of the sidewalk, beautifully designed manhole covers, and the cute, and sometimes borderline creepy, Tanuki statues outside businesses.
46) Shop at some of the local brands like Mizuno, Asics, and Montbell, even if you have them in North America and Europe you will definitely find some Japanese-exclusive products here.
47) Visit the Ukiyoe Museum in Shibuya to admire this uniquely Japanese art style. The museum changes expositions every couple of months so make sure to check the website to see what’s being shown at the time of your trip.
48) Gotta catch ’em all stuffed Pokemons at the famous Tokyo Pokemon Center!
49) Go furoshiki shopping! Furoshiki are cloths used traditionally to wrap presents and other things, if you visit the Koike shop in Asakusa, they have many kinds of furoshiki plus they have a youtube channel showing you how to use them.
50) Do as locals do and order a sushi lunch set at a local spot like the Standing Sushi bar in Shimbashi, even though the name of the place is in English, everytime I have been there is mostly locals eating— PS: their miso soup is one of my favorites.
51) Get a pretty spectacular bird eye view of the city by going up the Tokyo Tower, preferably on a good weather day…
52) Sip on some delicious and healthy green tea accompanied by a little sweet treat at an authentic Japanese confectionary shop.
53) Get all your outfit basics at the eleven-story tall Uniqlo shop in Ginza.
54) Visit this uniquely designed green tea shop, JuGetsuDo, that looks like a massive matcha whisk from the outside, but in the most aesthetically way possible.
55) Skip the long lines at the Tsujiki Outer Market and wander through the smaller streets of Tsujiki Fish Market to try some incredible seafood, like massive freshly chucked oysters.
56) Draw a fortune at Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and don’t you worry, if you get a bad fortune like me, you can just tie it to the post and leave the bad fortune behind.
57) Indulge in some delicious crab legs at UO Kosa, a local standing sushi bar in the middle of the buzzing Ameyoko Shopping Street.
58) Visit the real-size Gundam in Daiba, and make sure to stay for the light show in the evening that takes place every 30 minutes.
Hope you found this post on 50+ unique things to do in Tokyo useful to make the best out of your days exploring this exciting city. Can you think of any other unique things to do in Tokyo that we might be missing? Make sure to let us know so we can add them to our ongoing list.