4 Days In Tokyo Itinerary And Best Things To Do In Tokyo

Table of content

Japan is by far my favourite country to visit in Asia. I visited Tokyo and Osaka during my first trip to Japan and I LOVE both of the cities so much!

Japan is an amazing country to visit because of its rich culture, super nice food, great sights and history. I have had the privilege of visiting Japan’s capital, Tokyo, and ever since that experience, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to visit again.

Tokyo, a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, offers an unforgettable experience for travellers seeking a diverse range of attractions. From ancient temples to futuristic skyscrapers, serene gardens to bustling markets, Tokyo has it all.

In this detailed 4-day itinerary, I’ll guide you through the must-see places, cultural landmarks, and hidden gems that make Tokyo an unparalleled destination.

Tokyo Itinerary : Day 1

Meiji Jingu Shrine

First day of the Tokyo trip, depends on your flight or train arrival time. The best time to arrive is always in the morning so that you have a whole day to continue explore.

When I was travelling in Tokyo, I took a flight from Osaka and arrive at noon. After checking in our hotel, we quickly go for lunch and our next destination.

First stop of my Tokyo trip was Meiji Jingu Shrine. Only a short distance away from Harajuku station is where this Shinto temple is located .

Meiji Jingu Shrine is not merely a shrine. It covers a massive area, and within it lies a charming, serene forest that encircles the sacred path leading to the main Meiji Shrine. The calm and peaceful atmosphere in this woodland are so enchanting that, for a while, we forgot we were in the heart of Tokyo, one of the world’s largest and busiest cities.

Tokyo itinerary : Sake wine barrel in Meiji Shrine
The sake barrel deco on the way to Meiji Jingu Shrine
Wish hangs in Meiji Shrine
Make a wish at Meiji Shrine

Take a walk in the forest while heading to the shrine. You can make a wish at the shrine by writing down your wish on the wooden card and hang it on the wish board. 

After a long walk in the day, we treated ourselves to the cafes in the city and people-watch while sipping coffee.

Shinjuku

Afterward, I ventured to Shinjuku, a district known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling streets, providing a captivating contrast to the peaceful haven we had just experienced.

Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s most iconic and bustling districts, renowned for its electrifying energy, diverse entertainment options, and striking contrast to the serene Meiji Shrine forest in Harajuku.

If you travel to Shinjuku via train, you will first arrive at Shinjuku station, which is known as the world’s busiest train station, serves as a transportation nexus connecting millions of commuters daily. 

One of the highlights in Shinjuku that I think you should not miss is the Golden Gai. Golden Gai is a network of narrow alleyways packed with tiny, eclectic bars and eateries. Each establishment has its own unique character, and it’s a fantastic place to experience Tokyo’s intimate and nostalgic side.

Tokyo Itinerary : Day 2

The second day of the Tokyo trip mainly explore the city.

Tsukiji Market

In the morning of the second day, I visited Tsukiji Fish Market with a train ride away.

The Tsukiji market once housed the inner market, primarily dedicated to wholesale activities, which has since relocated to a new site in Toyosu. However, the outer market remains and continues to thrive, occupying an entire city block and encompassing both retail and wholesale businesses, including a variety of restaurants nestled within its narrow lanes

The seafood was exceptionally fresh at the sushi restaurant we ate at for lunch in Tsukiji Fish Market. I had a great breakfast here trying out different types of fresh seafood and sushi.

Seafood in Tsukiji Market
Fresh seafood for sale in Tsukiji Market

Ginza

After brunch, I went off to Ginza district.

Ginza district is a shopping paradise that houses luxury boutiques, department stores, and flagship brands. It’s a place where tradition meets modernity, and it has a rich history dating back to the Edo period.

The Wako Building, with its iconic clock tower, is a symbol of Ginza’s elegance and sophistication. This historic building houses the Wako department store, known for its exquisite watches and jewellery. The clock tower itself has become a landmark and a popular meeting point for visitors.

I spent about 2 hours in Ginza walking and shopping a little. If you love to shop for the latest trendy items, spare about 3 to 4 hours to fully indulge in the shopping spree!

Shibuya

After that, head to the busy city Shibuya!

Shibuya is a bustling district renowned for its vibrant nightlife.

You will come across the Shibuya Crossing, where pedestrians flood the streets from all directions, creates an iconic urban spectacle.

Another popular landmark I like in Shibuya is the Hachikō Memorial Statue. The statue is a memorial for the famously loyal Akita dog who waited at Shibuya station every day for his master, even after his death. Visitors line up to take a photo with the statue.

After that, you can start exploring the array of entertainment options, from bars and clubs to themed cafes and live music venues.

Shibuya crossing
Shibuya Crossing

Tokyo Itinerary : Day 3

Day Trip To Hakone

We took a day trip to Hakone to see the legendary Mt. Fuji!

Hakone is about a 1hour 30 minutes train ride from Tokyo. We bought the Hakone Day Pass in advance and that pass gave us accessibility to the public transport to Hakone and also within Hakone. We took the Tozan train through to Gora and the train is also built to climb to steep mountain slopes.

Hakone Free Pass
Hakone Free Pass!
Lake Ashi in Hakone National Park
Cloudy Weather at Lake Ashi Hakone

However, when we were in Hakone, the weather was cloudy and windy, so it was pretty hard to get a nice view of Mt. Fuji. It is advised to check the weather before planning a day trip to Hakone to avoid disappointment.  

Some major points in Hakone like Hakone Shrine, Lake Ashi, Hot Springs and cable car are good spots to view Mt. Fuji.

Although the weather was not great for viewing Mt.Fuji, we had a pleasant time in Hakone exploring the town.We were absolutely enveloped in the calm in this wonderful village, which contrasts sharply with the other areas in Tokyo, which are constantly bustling.

Torii gate in Hakone Shrine
The instagrammable spot : Hakone Shrine

Tokyo Itinerary : Day 4

Sensoji Temple, Asakusa

Here comes the last day and the highlight of our trip in Tokyo! 

I visited Sensoji Temple in Asakusa on my last day in Tokyo. To make my experience in Tokyo more memorable, I ended my trip by wearing a Kimono to tour Sensoji temple!

Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo. The temple is very popular and crowded with local and tourists. When you reach Sensoji temple, you will notice a iconic symbol of the temple which is the large red lantern hanging at the entrance gate of the temple.

Outside of the temple, there are shops and stalls selling cute souvenir and snacks. Hence, the entrance gate is most crowded, both with people taking photos with the iconic lantern “Kaminarimon” and people shopping for souvenir.

For many of us, a trip to Japan without experiencing the traditional Kimono is incomplete. So we booked a Kimono rental in advance and headed to choose our Kimono and get our hair done by the rental shop too!

Wearing Kimono in Sensoji Temple
Wearing Kimono in Sensoji Temple
Wearing Kimono in Japan
Wearing Kimono in Sensoji Temple is one of the most unique experiences.

The shop that we rent Kimono from is only a few blocks away from the famous Sensoji Temple. Sensoji Temple is popular for its entrance gate called Kaminarimon which stands out through its large red lantern. I am sure you have seen countless times of this lantern from the internet. It is like the icon of Japan.

The temple is so famous amongst locals and tourists not only because of the temple itself but also there is this oldest shopping street in Japan, called Nakamise Dori which is located beyond Kaminarimon and leads to the temple’s main hall. The shopping street has vendors selling traditional Japanese handcrafts and snacks.

After a few hours in the Kimono, we returned to the rental shop and waved goodbye to Japan.

Sensoji Temple at Asakusa
Sensoji Temple at Asakusa is a famous spot to visit.

Overall the trip was awesome ! One thing I regret is not being able to see Mount Fuji during this trip, but I will surely return!

So that sums up my first 4 days in Tokyo itinerary. Tokyo is a great place with rich culture, amazing food, fun attractions and great people! If you plan to visit Tokyo , 4 days is actually enough to explore the main attractions and still able to wander around the streets in Tokyo.  I believe this 4 days in Tokyo itinerary is great for a first timer too.

How many Days Is Enough For Tokyo?

Tokyo has a lot to offer. From sightseeing to food tour and temple visits, there are so many things to do and see in Tokyo. If it’s your first time to Tokyo, and you want to do sightseeing and food hunt, then spare at least four full days to tour Tokyo. The minimal amount of time required to visit Japan is three days, while a more in-depth journey should last roughly one week.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Tokyo?

Ultimately, there’s no single “best” time to visit Tokyo as it offers something unique in every season. Consider your preferences and priorities when planning your trip to Japan’s vibrant capital.

If you want to visit during Cherry Blossom season, visit between March to May would be perfect. Parks like Ueno and Shinjuku Gyoen are adorned with beautiful pink flowers, creating a picturesque landscape.

Summer will fall on June to August. The weather will be hot and humid compare to the other months of the year. However, during this time, summer festivals like Tanabata (Star Festival) and firework displays are a highlight.

If you like to visit during the Autumn foliage season, come during September to November. Although I personally prefer to visit Osaka during Autumn, however, parks like Nikko and Mount Takao also display beautiful fall foliage.

During winter season from December to February, temperature is the lowest but rarely falling to freezing. The city is beautifully illuminated during the holiday season, with impressive light displays in areas like Roppongi and Shinjuku. 

Tokyo, with its harmonious blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative, has left an indelible mark on your heart. It’s a city that invites you to return, to delve deeper into its countless facets and discover new layers of its captivating allure.

I hope this 4-day Tokyo itinerary helps you in planning your exciting trip to the bustling city! 

If Tokyo is part of your trip to Japan, I suggest you can explore Osaka too!