Five days in Tokyo allows for an awesome experience of the city and time for a daytrip out of the city. My five-day Tokyo itinerary is the best way to make use of five days in this incredible city.
Tokyo 5-Day Itinerary Summary
- Five days gives you a great look at the city and time for a daytrip outside the city.
- Base yourself somewhere central to save time.
- On Day 1, visit modern Tokyo on the west side.
- On Day 2, visit traditional Tokyo on the east side.
- On Day 3, take a day trip outside of Tokyo to Nikko, Kamakura or Mt Fuji.
- On Day 4, visit the Imperial Palace Area and Shinjuku.
- On Day 5, visit places like Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro.
Tokyo 5-Day Itinerary Full Itinerary
Day 1: Modern Tokyo/West Side
- 8:30am: Travel to Harajuku.
- 9:00am: Arrive in Harajuku. Visit Meiji-jingu Shrine, Omotesando, and Nezu Museum.
- 11:00am: Travel to Shibuya.
- 11:15am: Explore Shibuya.
- 1:00pm: Eat a late lunch in Shibuya. See the Shibuya district page Places to Eat section.
- 2.30pm: Travel to Roppongi.
- 3:00pm: Explore Roppongi.
- 6:00pm: Eat dinner in Roppongi. See the Roppongi district Places to Eat section.
- 8:00pm: Go out in Roppongi. See the Roppongi district Nightlife section for some recommendations.
Day 2: Traditional Tokyo/East Side
- 9:00am: Travel to Asakusa and visit Senso-ji Temple.
- 10:30am: Travel to Ueno.
- 11:00am: Explore the museums and park in Ueno.
- 1:00pm: Travel to Tokyo Station. Eat lunch in or around Tokyo Station. See the Tokyo Station Area Places to Eat section.
- 2:00: Visit the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum or the Bridgestone Museum of Art.
- 3:30pm: Return to your hotel for a nap and a shower.
- 6:00pm: Eat dinner in Shinjuku, Ginza, Marunouchi or someplace close to your hotel.
- 8:00pm: Go out for a drink in a place like Roppongi, Shinjuku or Shibuya. See the relevant district pages for recommendations.
Day 3: Day Trip Outside of Tokyo
- Take a break from the big city by heading to one of the interesting places in the countryside around Tokyo. The best places for a day trip outside of Tokyo are Nikko, with its wonderful shrines and temples, Kamakura, with a Great Buddha statue and fine Zen temples, and Mt Fuji (you don't have to climb it – you can take a bus to the base or partway up the mountain to enjoy the views). See my Best Day Trips Out of Tokyo page for details.
Day 4: Imperial Palace Area and Shinjuku
- 9:00am: Visit the Imperial Palace East Garden.
- 11:00am: Walk north through Kitanomaru-koen Park and then visit Yasukuni-jinja Shrine. Do not miss the controversial and interesting Yushukan Museum at the shrine. For details on this area, see the Tokyo Imperial Palace Area page.
- Noon: Take the Shinjuku Line subway west to Shinjuku. Eat lunch somewhere in Shinjuku. See the Shinjuku page for some suggested places to eat. You might want to hold off on eating lunch until 1:00pm to avoid the lunch rush.
- 1:00pm: Go up to the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices to see the view of the city (and maybe even Mt Fuji) from the observation decks. Then, walk over to the East Side and check out the bustling shopping and entertainment district around the station. See the Shinjuku page for details on this area.
- 4:00pm: Return to your hotel for a rest and shower.
- 6:00pm: Eat dinner in the district of your choosing. Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Roppongi all have lots of great restaurants to choose from.
- 8:00pm: After dinner, head to Roppongi for a stroll and a drink or two.
Day 5: A Closer Look and Some Shopping
- On this day, you should relax and take it easy a bit, especially if you're flying home tomorrow or even tonight. I'd suggest checking out one of the more residential and local areas and doing a bit of shopping for gifts and souvenirs to take home. And, of course, if you particularly liked one of the areas you've already visited, go back for a deeper look. Since this day should be kept free form and easy, the itinerary described here is just a possible course.
- 9:00am: Head to Ebisu or Daikanyama and have a leisurely coffee or brunch. Do a bit of shopping.
- 11:00: Take the train to Meguro and take a stroll in the Institute for Nature Study and then go next door and visit the superb Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.
- 1:00pm: Eat lunch in Meguro or jump on the train and eat in Shibuya or Shinjuku.
- 2.30pm: Do some last-minute shopping in Shibuya, Shinjuku or back in Ginza.
- 4:30pm: Take a rest at your hotel.
- 6:00pm: Go out for a splurge dinner in Roppongi.
- 8:00pm: Have a drink in Roppongi if you don't have an early start in the morning.
Hints, Comments and Variations
- Because Tokyo is so big and spread out, I suggest staying in a convenient area to save time and energy. My top picks for places to stay are Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza or the Tokyo Station area. For more on where to say, check out my Where to Stay in Tokyo page.
- On Day 2, another good option for the afternoon is the Edo-Tokyo Museum. It's easy to reach from Asakusa, Ueno or Tokyo Station.
- On Day 4, if it's very hot or you don't feel like walking much, cut out the Imperial Palace Area and head over to the Edo-Tokyo Museum (if you haven't already visited it).
- Try not to plan too much or pack too much into your time in Tokyo. Keep in mind that Tokyo is a huge and somewhat confusing city. And you'll probably be jetlagged. Less is almost always more!
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get essential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)