Tokyo travel guide

Tokyo is a heady mix of old-meets-new, with eclectic neighbourhoods and adventure as far as the eye can see. To experience traditional Japan, you have temples, sumo tournaments and the wonderful season of the cherry blossoms just for starters. Modern Japan is everywhere too, with some of the world’s best contemporary art and architecture to feast your eyes on. Speaking of feasts, the food scene in Tokyo is out of this world, with 5-star dining just as likely to be found at unassuming hole-in-the-wall restaurants as the fancier establishments in town. If you’re planning to visit, check out our Tokyo travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this always-on city. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have top suggestions for things to do, when to travel, where to stay, getting around Tokyo and more.

Where to stay

Not sure where to stay in Tokyo? Try to base yourself somewhere that is not only interesting but also well-served by trains. It can also be useful to have a convenience store nearby, as here you can withdraw money and also buy cheap yet delicious lunches.  Tokyo is huge and best described as a collection of mini-cities. Some of these areas, while only minutes from each other, have completely different atmospheres. It’s important to establish which one will best suit your interests when comparing your hotel options.

Things to do

From witnessing the tuna auctions of the Tsukiji Fish Market and shopping in Harajuku, to visiting the temple of Senso-ji and slurping down ramen in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, you won’t run out of things to do in Tokyo. Enjoy everything the city itself has to offer. Then make a day of seeing iconic Mt Fuji at Hakone and bathe in the onsen on the island of Odaiba.

Travel tips

The following Tokyo travel tips will help you feel prepared for your holiday in Japan. Tokyo is a destination with differences that are equally as exciting as they are daunting. Using a unique currency and speaking a different language, as well as having a particular set of implicit customs, Japan is a country very different to those in the Western world.  Get a flu vaccination before you leave and keep the following Tokyo travel advice in mind – you’ll step off the plane feeling at ease and ready for all the city has to offer.

Getting Around

While Japan’s capital is huge, it’s easy to get around, with Tokyo transport one of the best public transport systems in the world. ...

Where to eat

Integral to Tokyo food and drink is depth of flavour, impeccable presentation, and attention to detail. Whether it’s shabu-shabu (hotpot dish) or sukiyaki (slices of beef cooked in broth), the finest of ingredients will be selected for you.  Eat noodles at a stand-and-eat restaurant, buy bento from a convenience store, or peruse the city’s depachika (department store food floors) for a variety of cheap, delicious food. In Tokyo, you’re never far away from a great place to eat.


Experience Tokyo shopping by exploring the city’s abundance of high-end boutiques, electronics shops, and chain stores.  The best place to see outlandish Tokyo fashion is in Harajuku, where you’ll also find toyshops, kawaii boutiques, coffee shops, and rare designer clothes.  Buy crafts in traditional Asakusa and Ueno, or shop ‘til you drop in the department stores of Ginza, Tokyo’s original shopping district. In the city, you’ll also find hyaku-en shops where everything costs 100 yen and flea markets where you can purchase a second-hand kimono.

Best time to travel

Weather in Tokyo is varied, with the city lying in a humid, subtropical climate zone. Annual rainfall averages nearly 1,530mm with the region experiencing humid, wet summers and dry winters. Japan’s capital has four seasons: mild springs, mild autumns, hot summers, and cold winters. The average temperature in Tokyo is 16°C. The best time to visit Tokyo is spring. It’s the most popular of all Tokyo seasons, with weather mild and trees blossoming. Spring is the season in which you’ll get to see the cherry blossoms and experience many great celebrations with locals.


Escape the crowds and noise of the city by spending some time in one of the many beautiful Tokyo parks and gardens. Do a spot of yoga, explore one of the quiet Buddhist temples, and stroll around immaculately raked Japanese gardens and mysterious Shinto shrines.  Visit Inokashira-koen in western Tokyo for beautiful trees, row boats, and swan-shaped pedal boats. Then head to the nearby shops for grilled chicken skewers, or pack a picnic and travel to Kasai Rinkai Park for birdlife, an aquarium, and some relaxation.