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Updated: April 2, 2018

The essentials for a day in Tokyo

Tokyo is a vast metropolis made up of charming districts, each with its own character. If it's your first visit, spend a day exploring these must-see spots. From the vibrant fish markets to the chic streets of Ginza and the historic downtown neighborhood of Asakusa, you'll get a great sense of the city.

General Tips

  • Buy a prepaid Suica or Pasmo train pass from any station for a smooth journey; you can top it up easily
  • Head to Tokyo Station's Marunouchi North Gate for help with train tickets, tourist information, currency exchange and baggage service
  • Dress for walking and travel light; even when using the convenient metro system, many stairs and transfers can involve a lot of walking

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus

1

Gateway to the markets

Tsukiji Station

A small station on the Hibiya metro line which goes south to Ginza and north to Ueno, this is an easy way to get to the famous fish markets. Take exit 1 or 2 for the most convenient access to the markets.

1 min

2

Visit Tokyo's kitchen

Tsukiji Outer Market

The outer market is for everyone, and offers far more than fish. Start your day with a fresh sushi breakfast and a little shopping.

3 mins

3

A taste of India in Tokyo

Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple

Away from the bustle of the markets, the area around Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple is much calmer, with a retro atmosphere. In the 1870s, this was the area for foreign nationals to live. The temple itself is an eccentric mix of Indian and Roman architecture, with a German pipe organ inside.

15 mins

4

Luxury shopping and strolling

Ginza Chuo Dori Street

The big names are all here, from Prada and Chanel to Uniqlo. Stop in at the new Ginza Six shopping mall for window shopping and people watching, or explore the back streets for traditional restaurants, small galleries and kimono shops, as you head towards Ginza Station.

2 mins
Detail

Take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

5

A beautiful symbol of Tokyo's past and future

Tokyo Station

Finally restored to its original 1914 design, the beautiful red brick building is a must-see in itself. Be sure to look up at the interior of the domes of the Marunouchi North and South gates, which are decorated with fine plaster reliefs.

10 mins

6

The discreet seat of power

Imperial Palace

From the main entrance to the Tokyo Station Hotel, you can follow the broad promenade to the palace gardens. Crossing Hibiya Street, you'll come to the grand moat and stone walls, spanned by stone and wooden bridges. While you can't visit the palace, you can tour the beautiful East Gardens, with remnants of the original castle.

20 mins
Detail

Take the JR Yamanote Line, and transfer to Tokyo Metro Ginza Line at Kanda Station

7

Tokyo's irrepressible downtown district

Asakusa Station

Just east of Ueno, Asakusa is home to Tokyo's oldest temple, surrounded by busy shopping streets. Aim for exit 1 or 3 to get close to the Kaminarimon Gate and Sensoji Temple.

8 mins

8

Tokyo's favorite pilgrimage

Sensoji Temple

Enter through Kaminarimon Gate, guarded by the fearsome gods of wind and thunder, and make your way down the lively Nakamise Shopping Street, full of snacks and souvenirs. The grand red Sensoji Temple and its towering pagoda are a must-visit for local and international visitors.

3 mins
Detail

Walk to Tobu Asakusa Station, and take the Tobu Skytree Line to Tokyo Skytree Station

9

Great heights, downtown

Tokyo Skytree

From Tokyo Skytree Station, you can go directly into the Solamachi shopping mall at the base of Tokyo Skytree. Get an express ticket exclusively for international visitors and zoom up to the observatory of this 634-meter high tower, for amazing views of this unforgettable city.

Visit Tokyo > Walks & Tours > Must-see places for First-time Visitors