Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Tokyo?

Should you spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Tokyo?

Many travelers spend at least 3 or as many as 7 days in Tokyo during their visit. After all, the iconic city has plenty to explore such as the famous sights and museums, the big city activities, and the restaurant scene.

Tokyo is the high tech, ultramodern capital city of Japan. It's filled with neon lights and high reaching skyscrapers, but there are also many hidden temples and historic neighborhoods tucked away. You can spend your days wandering through green parks and your nights singing karaoke in one of the many bars around town.

Do you have 3, 4, or 5 days to visit Tokyo? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.

Is 3 days enough time in Tokyo?

The popular city of Tokyo has many activities and attractions for visitors. So with three days, you'll probably feel rushed to see the main attractions. You really need more time to appreciate everything that the iconic city has to offer. Many visitors prefer to have at least 3 or as many as 7 days to fully enjoy the city. If you have three days or less, we still have some great ideas for what to do while you're in town.

How to spend 3 days in Tokyo

Tokyo is home to renowned museums and iconic landmarks, so dive into the city's famous attractions. The city's historical sites rank among the most awe-inspiring globally. This iconic city is filled with recognizable landmarks and world class museums including the Meiji Shrine, the Sensō-ji Temple, and the Tokyo Skytree.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Imperial Palace East Garden and Heritage of Edo Castle Tour ($30)
  • Private Tour - History, Art and Nature at the Imperial Palace ($89)
  • Samurai Sword Experience (Family Friendly) at SAMURAI MUSEUM ($58)

The delicious food of Tokyo is one of the main highlights of a trip to the region. Dining out is one of the highlights of a trip. Make sure you take the time to taste as much of it as possible during breakfast, lunch, and dinner at some of this city's best restaurants. And consider a food tour or cooking class. You can easily fit one into your schedule since many are just a few hours or half a day. With an astonishing number of Michelin star restaurants, this is one of the most interesting and impressive food destinations in the world. Not all restaurants are high end though. You'll find plenty of cheap eateries that offer their own rewarding culinary experience. Must try local dishes include okonomiyaki, ramen, and of course, sushi.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Classic Tsukiji Food Tour ($236)
  • No.1 Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class in Tokyo + Supermarket Tour ($120)
  • Ramen Tasting - Mini Bowl Ramen Tour ($114)

Tokyo is a very walkable city. With only a day in the city, you'll have no trouble exploring the local sights. Many neighborhoods are very easy to explore on foot, so it's fun to just wander without a plan, seeing where you end up.

Given that Tokyo is a large and popular city, give yourself a full day to uncover the diverse neighborhoods, captivating attractions, and engaging activities scattered throughout the area. Be sure to include visits to some of the city's premier landmarks and quintessential neighborhoods, too. This metropolis is known for its high tech energy juxtaposed with old world history.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Shibuya Cycling Cruise ($57)
  • Tokyo Bay Cruise Yakatabune with Dinner Japan Show & Free drinks ($92)
  • Dynamic Tokyo: Tokyo Tower, Tea Experience, Bay Cruise Day Tour ($91)

This city is very popular for nightlife. After the sun goes down, head out to one of the many popular venues around town. The professional urgency that you feel during the day morphs into a vibrant, laid back city at night. The neon lights turn on and locals head out to destress. There are karaoke bars, casual pubs, high energy nightclubs, and more. Popular areas for nightlife include Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Private Shinjuku Nightlife Walking Tour & Golden-Gai Bar Crawl ($84)
  • 3-Hour Tokyo Pub Crawl Weekly Welcome Guided Tour in Shibuya ($56)
  • Food & Drinks Bar Tour- Discover Unique Tokyo Nightlife ($45)

Public transit in Tokyo is easy and efficient. In just a few days, you should be able to get around the city quite easily. Trains, subways, and buses make up the complex transportation system and, while it may seem overwhelming at first, the system is actually very clean, efficient, and reliable.

Shopping in Tokyo is very popular, and it's easy to see why. Spend time exploring the many shops and boutiques to find the perfect gift, souvenir, or outfit. The city is known for its electronics, anime products, and trendy fashion brands. Many neighborhoods are also shopping districts with malls or markets throughout. Prices can be steep, but products are generally high quality. For some of the city's best shopping, head to Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Ginza.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Owakudani Ropeway, Pirate Ship plus Outlet shopping! ($52)
  • Best of Tokyo's Shopping & Food: Japanese Cultural Experience ($58)
  • Tokyo Local Fashion Designers Shopping Tour with a Stylist ($118)

Live music is very popular in Tokyo, so make sure you spend the evening exploring some of the more popular venues. The music scene features both national and international artists and the music style is as eclectic as the city itself. You'll find many underground venues, vintage record stores, and local bars that have each created their own niche.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Traditional Japanese Music ZAKURO SHOW in Tokyo ($39)
  • Japanese traditional music show created by Shamisen ($77)
  • A tour of record stores to encounter music from around the world ($36)

Is 4 days enough time in Tokyo?

Four days is generally not enough time to experience everything in Tokyo. A shorter schedule may leave you with a sense of urgency to wander through the museums, enjoy the city's energy, sample the delicious cuisine, and take advantage of the local nightlife. To genuinely appreciate the highlights, a more lengthy visit is typically recommended. Many tourists opt for at least 3 or as many as 7 days to immerse themselves fully in the charms of the area. After all, As a popular city, Tokyo offers a large number of activities and attractions for visitors. However, if you're working with limited time, we have some great ideas for making the most of your stay below.

Tokyo Fish Market Tokyo Fish Market

How to spend 4 days in Tokyo

With 4 days in Tokyo, you'll have a bit more time to enjoy everything that the city has to offer.

Don't miss the Sensō-ji Temple during your trip to Tokyo, as it's one of this destination's most well-known attractions. You should make sure to set aside enough time to see it.

Tokyo is known to be such a beautiful destination, so just exploring and taking it all in should be one of the top things to do on your list. It's colorful skyscrapers and historic temples make this a truly one-of-a-kind place to explore.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Imperial Palace East Garden and Heritage of Edo Castle Tour ($30)
  • Tokyo Customized Private Walking Tour With Local Guide ($68)
  • Nikko Full-Day Private Walking Tour with Government-Licensed Guide (Tokyo DEP.) ($211)

Is 5 days enough time in Tokyo?

Tokyo is a large city that is quite popular with tourists. Five days is just the right amount of time to see pretty much everything in Tokyo. Most visitors prefer to spend at least 3 or as many as 7 days here, and we have a few suggestions of things to do while you're visiting. Also, Tokyo is popular with families, couples, and students which enjoy visiting because the city offers activities specifically for them.

How to spend 5 days in Tokyo

If you have more than 5 days in Tokyo, you'll appreciate the added time for everything the city has to offer.

After you've explored most of Tokyo, take a day trip to one of the many beautiful destinations nearby.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo ($143)
  • Mount Fuji Day Trip with Yamanakako Hot Springs from Tokyo ($67)
  • Mt. Fuji and Hakone Day Trip From Tokyo with Bullet Train Option ($110)

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Tokyo, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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