Visit Tokyo! This Easy-to-share Map by Proxi Will Guide You
Japan re-opened its borders earlier this month after being under strict quarantine measures since early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Whether you’ve had plans in the works to visit Tokyo for ages or are at a complete loss on where to begin experiencing the rich and unique Japanese culture, we’ve got you covered.
Our Account Coordinator, Nicole, has had the opportunity to study abroad, work in and visit Tokyo multiple times! Check out her recs for must-try eats, hidden gems, and overly touristy destinations you’re better off skipping.
This one is for all the travel junkies itching to visit Tokyo!
Visit the unusual 2D Cafe in Shin Okubo (Korea Town). You’ll feel like you’re part of a drawing but in the best way! It’s the perfect place for a photo opp!
When you arrive at the front gate of Takeshita street, avoid the narrow cramped shopping avenue. Instead, make a left and walk for 5 minutes till you see Afuri. The tonkotsu ramen with chashu (Japanese braised pork belly) will leave your mouth watering for more! They occasionally offer a vegan option.
A hemp-focused organic cafe in Kanagawa prefecture. Fresh seafood from the small beach town is paired with vegan tartar sauce - you get the best of both worlds. If you struggle to eliminate animals from your diet, this alternative could be for you. The unusual pairing offers a unique alternative to eating more sustainably.
This cafe in nestled between two popular districts, Shibuya and Harajuku, and offers cute photo-worthy desserts. Their thick fluffy pancakes are their signature!
Plant-based diets have yet to reach the same level of popularity in Japan as they have in the US, but a visit to Mr. Farmer will have you thinking otherwise. The vegan cafe puts an unexpected twist on popular American and Hawaiian dishes. Try the loco moco. If you’ve ever had a beef and egg loco moco in Hawaii, this vegan take will pleasantly surprise you!
Another great ramen spot! Oreryu offers large bowls of shio (salt) ramen. The perfect comfort food! The big booths create an atmosphere that is inviting and social yet cozy at the same time.
You’ll be surprised to find a wide array of Indian restaurants throughout Tokyo. This little hole in the wall may not look like much but they’ve got the best mango lassi and amazing curry too of course!
Pomme’s specializes in omelet rice or omurice, a sweet and savory Japanese omelet stuffed with rice. The best part about omurice is it’s quite simple - egg, rice, and ketchup. Another popular take on the dish is curry omurice!
Sunday Brunch. It’s exactly what it sounds like! This cafe offers cute desserts and Instagramable drinks in a light and airy atmosphere. Sunday Brunch is tucked away in the popular second-hand shopping district, Shimokitazawa, and offers a great reprieve from a busy shopping day!
The vegan eatery sits steps away from a scenic view of Tokyo Skytree. Indulge in vegan burgers, rice bowls, curries and more!
Daiso is a Japanese dollar store chain in Japan and the USA. Daiso in Harajuku (just past the entrance of Takeshita street) is the largest location in Tokyo. Find everything from housewares, snacks, storage containers, kitchenware, and random trinkets you’ll convince yourself you absolutely need.
Visit this convenient chain department store in Japan for everything from daily essentials like groceries to more niche finds like watches. Don Quijote is the largest discount chain store in Japan!
Although Loft specializes in household goods, you’ll find a wide selection of stationery, a souvenir that foreigners often seek out when visiting Japan. If you’re looking for quality yet cute pens, pencils, etc., this is the store for you!
For the minimalist at heart. If the bright colorful kawaii culture of Japan isn’t for you, you’ll love Muji. Find staples like clothing, stationary, bedding, and lots more.
If you’re planning to visit Sensoji temple, you’re in for a treat! Nakamise shopping street is a small shopping avenue / path leading up to the front entrance of the temple. Take a stroll down the shopping avenue and enjoy traditional souvenirs and sweets along the way.
If the name wasn’t obvious enough, New York Joe Exchange specializes in second-hand street-style clothing from the 90s. Although the chain store operates several locations throughout Japan, its location in Shimokitazawa, the famous second-hand shopping district, is by far the most popular. Be sure to check out their sale every first Sunday of the month, but hurry, all the good stuff goes fast!
The boutique is located in the backstreets of Harajuku and features cute one-of-a-kind pieces. Romantic Standard is the epitome of Japanese kawaii fashion!
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal elsewhere in Shimokitazawa. EVERY item in the store is priced at 700 yen (about $7-8 USD).
WeGo is a popular chain store brand, featuring Harajuku-style clothing. You’ll find three WeGo stores on Takeshita Street alone!
Although the club originated in New York, 1 Oak quickly became a sensation in Tokyo. Celebrities from the US like Rihanna and Post Malone often visit the club located in Roppongi Hills. Although their visits are typically low-profile, from time to time they’ll put on impromptu shows!
Harem is a popular nightclub in Shibuya, often featuring local Japanese hip-hop artists. Individuals who are 20 years old (no older, no younger) get free admission every Friday!
Neverland is the perfect place for a night out on a budget. The club is located in Shibuya within walking distance of other great nightlife like Harlem.
Nokogiriyama is a hike located just two hours southeast of Tokyo. It’s the perfect escape from bustling city life. If you’re not up for a full hike, you can ride a cable car up the mountain that’ll get you close to the top. It’s the perfect place to enjoy oceanside views in Japan!
The world’s busiest pedestrian crosswalk! Be sure to capture a photo or video at the world-famous Shibuya Crossing. Just don't hold up the locals and create a traffic jam!
Shibuya Sky, a scenic open-air observatory located in Shibuya Scramble Square, offers incredible views overlooking Shibuya and beyond. On a good day, you can see Mt. Fuji! The unique lookout features a pointed ledge with glass railings. If taken properly, you can capture a photo that makes it look like you’re floating on air!
Visit Tokyo Skytree! Or go to a small garden just across Kitajukken River to view the tower from afar. It’s the perfect place to see the Skytree without having to go up. There is even a stand to place your phone for the perfect photo opp!
Enter Harajuku via Takeshita Street for the ultimate shopping experience. Be sure to take a photo by the famous gate at the front of the street.
During the holidays, Tokyo Midtown transforms from an ordinary city complex into a seemingly endless field of Christmas illuminations!
Don't go up Tokyo Tower! Visit Shiba park right in front of the tower instead for a killer photo-op and save yourself $30! It’s a great place to have a picnic and watch the sunset if the weather is good.
Temples & Shrines
Visit Enoshima Island for a beach-like getaway. There, you’ll find Enoshima Shrine, a popular destination, especially around the new year. The shrine offers free fortunes and omamori or lucky charms for purchase.
Kōtoku-in, located in Kamakura, is home to one of the largest Buddha statues in Japan. This particular Buddha is known as Kamakura Daibutsu, or, Great Buddha of Kamakura.
If you cannot make the journey to visit historic temples and shrines outside the city, head to Sensō-ji temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo! You’ll often find Japanese people visiting the temple in kimonos.
Museums & more
Create your own cup noodle, add your own ingredients and decorate your cup to remember your visit! The museum is located in Yokohama, which is an hour-long train ride from Tokyo but definitely worth the journey for a cup noodle souvenir.
Galaxy in Harajuku is more than a store. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and receive a Galaxy phone to navigate the “store.” Captivating displays and an interactive 4D experience come together for an experience that is something of a crossover between an interactive museum and a mini amusement park. Avid iPhone lovers will completely forget they’re trying to be won over and may even fall in love with the Samsung Galaxy along the way. The best part? Wait times to see displays are little to none. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?
The experience you’ll get visiting Shin-Okubo is not far off from visiting Seoul, South Korea. Soju, Korean BBQ, and K-pop, are all bountiful. You may even overhear people chatting in Korean. Even if you don’t have a strong interest in Korean food or pop culture, it’s a unique experience you won’t want to miss!
TeamLab is an art collective with displays and exhibitions worldwide. Although TeamLab Borderless is the museum you’ll often see flooding Instagram feeds, TeamLab Planets offers a much more immersive experience. TeamLab Borderless is ideal if visiting with young children, but they are both equally Instagramable-worthy!
If you’re a ragging Harry Potter fan, you’ll likely find yourself spending half the day at Harry Potter World in Disneysea. A must-visit for Disney fans!
Yes, that’s right, the Poop Museum. Japanese culture is pretty unique, to say the least. The museum touts unko or poop as the pinnacle of kawaii culture. Take photos with colorful poo, interact with unique displays, and more! It’s difficult to see the hype until you’ve experienced it yourself.
Izakaya: “stay-drink-place”, essentially the Japanese equivalent of an American bar & grill, only the people get 10x drunker.
A popular Izakaya chain in Japan featuring yakitori. Although the exact definition of yakitori can be translated to “grilled chicken” you’ll find a combination of Japanese wagyu and Korean BBQ to choose from. Cook it yourself and enjoy some Korean Soju or Japanese beer along with it!
Yoi is basically the Korean equivalent of a Japanese Izakaya. Swap out the sake for soju and enjoy Korean fried chicken, seafood pancakes, and more!
The best Izakaya for individuals on a plant-based diet. Izakayas typically offer an array of meat and seafood to snack on while drinking. At Kushikatsu, you’ll find meat, seafood, veggies and cheese balls fried on skewers in panko or Japanese breadcrumbs. Skewers are made to order individually and start as low as 100 yen, which is a little under $1 USD. What separates Kushikatsu from the rest of the crowd is a game called Chinchiron. Roll two dice and gamble to see what you’ll drink for the night. There’s nothing else like it!
Hachiko was a Japanese Akita dog, famous for his outstanding loyalty to his owner. Hachiko waited outside Shibuya station for his owner to return from work. Upon the owner’s passing, Hachiko returned daily to Shibuya Station, the place he used to greet his owner after he came home from work every day. Hachiko waited for nine years.
Although the story is touching, seeing the statue is an underwhelming experience, to say the least. Given that the statue is located right next to Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest crossroad, getting a good photo is almost impossible. However, if you plan to visit Shibuya and the crossing anyway, you might as well take a five-minute detour to visit Hachiko!
Connecting mainland Japan to the island of Odaiba, the Rainbow Bridge looks like any other during the day but serves as a spectacular photo-worthy landmark at nightfall.
Parks & Gardens
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. It offers a sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, which can be quite overwhelming if you’ve never lived in a large city. There is a small entrance fee but it’s well worth it!
Shop till you drop then visit Yoyogi Park! Located right next to Harajuku station, the park offers a reprieve and is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping. It’s a popular destination in the springtime for cherry blossom viewing.
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