What to do in Tokyo in 2 days? We suggest an itinerary including some of the absolute top sights in Tokyo and tweak it with a few of our favourite spots – for 2 full days in Japan’s capital. Of course, you can easily stretch the Tokyo 2-day itinerary over several days.
You should check in advance what kind of day pass you want for public transport while in Tokyo. If you are also planning to travel around Japan, you might benefit from buying a Japan Rail Pass, which you can also use for 2 days in Tokyo, for example, on the JR Yamanote Line.
Order your Rail Pass and Pocket WiFi here: Japan Rail Pass or get Unlimited Pocket Wi-Fi Router Rental, Hotel Delivery
You might want to take a look at our Tokyo Travel Guide for practical things regarding transport, hotels, price level, recommendations etc.
If you have 3 full days in Tokyo, you can also read our 3-day itinerary for Tokyo.
First thing in the morning, you will take the train to Asakusa Kannon Temple, also known as Sensoji Temple. Your itinerary starts here with the probably most significant Buddhist temple in Tokyo – it is a must-see during your 2 days! Just outside the temple, you will find the lively Nakamise Street, with its multitude of little shops and stalls offering traditional Japanese souvenirs. If you are staying nearby, you might even consider returning in the evening. Seeing Sensoji Temple at night, when you have it almost all to yourself, is an equally breathtaking experience!
After the temple visit, don’t deprive yourself of a visit to the kitchenware shops in nearby Kappabashi Street. You might find a thing or two here to buy for use at home! It is a heaven of helpful kitchen utensils, Japanese knives, and plastic versions of the delicious dishes presented in the windows of many restaurants. It is all very tempting, and you will feel ready for ramen, soba or udon!
Hop on the Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station next to Yoyogi Park on the west side of the loop and get off there. Entering through the forest area towards Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), you will soon come to the massive Shinto torii gate leading to the shrine. Meiji Jingu is dedicated to the former Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and his wife, Empress Shoken, who introduced radical changes in Japanese society. With him came the end of the feudal era in Japan.
The shrine is a quiet and peaceful place, tucked away inside the green surrounding park, far from the busy atmosphere of other, busier parts of Tokyo. You can’t help but have the feeling that time has stood still for a few hundred years here.
You now head back towards Harajuku and the famous Takeshita Street. The atmosphere here in the lively street stands in stark contrast to the traditional setting at Meiji Jingu. In Takeshita Street, you will experience the young Tokyo with trendy shops and teenagers who are part of the popular Kawaii or pop culture and cosplaying fashion. It is an extraordinary place for people-watching!
Now, it is time to head for the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world at Shibuya Station! At this time of day, you are likely to see it at its busiest – during rush hour. Just outside Shibuya Station (taking the Hachiko exit), you will likely be quite overwhelmed by the crowds of Japanese on their way home from work. It is a fantastic experience to stand here and wait for the red light to change – with more and more people lining up around you. The crowd can get very dense! Just go with the flow as everyone heads into Shibuya Crossing! Somehow, miraculously, you will get through! Just above Shibuya Crossing, you will find Shibuya Sky – the relatively new outdoor observation deck with a 360° view of Tokyo!
Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the Hachiko dog statue outside Shibuya Station. Hachiko is arguably Tokyo’s most famous and faithful dog ever – it tirelessly waited every day outside the station for its master to return from work – even after his death!
Around Shibuya Station, there are many restaurant options – perhaps you want to try some tasty sushi or sashimi…
To complete your day, you can either go up to the Shibuya Sky observation deck – or back to Sensoji Temple to experience the view at night.
Close to Ueno Station, you will find one of Tokyo’s great parks, Ueno Park, home to some of the most prestigious museums and a beloved place to come to see and photograph the cherry blossoms in spring. It is the epitome of Tokyo, where modern culture and a diversity of people meet ancient traditions at the temples and shrines throughout the park. Ueno Park was the first public park in Japan, founded in 1876.
You will start the second morning of your 2 days in Tokyo (2-day itinerary) here. One of the best things you can allow yourself to do is sit by the large fountain and people-watch – a great way to soak up Tokyo culture here.
Best Things to Do in Tokyo – Itinerary 2 Days
Choose one of the great museums to get more insight into Japanese culture – for example Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. It offers six galleries of diverse art in the genres of painting, ceramics, calligraphy, and sculpture and showcases works by Japanese and foreign artists. Admission to the museum is free, but there may be an entrance fee for the exhibition. Note that the museum is closed every 1st and 3rd Monday.
Grab some lunch at the museum restaurant – or head to the nearby Ameyoko bazaar-style market (the old WWII black market, which at the time offered American products), located between Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station, which has a ton of food options.
It is now time to move on to a traditional part of Tokyo – the Yanaka district. From Ueno Park, you can walk through small local streets to the large Yanaka Cemetery. Stroll through the historic cemetery and look for the tomb of the last shogun of the Edo period.
If you are interested in history, perhaps one of the best things to do in Tokyo is to visit the nearby Yanaka Ginza, the quaint old shopping street in Yanaka district close to Nippori Station. The timeless Shitamachi atmosphere, a reminiscence of old Tokyo, mixes with the scents of the delicious food from the stalls along the street. Yanaka Ginza is a real gem!
You will now continue to the ultra-modern, high-tech Tokyo. From Nippori Station, the Yamanote Line conveniently takes you four stops down to Akihabara Station.
For the next few hours, you will now indulge in the popular anime and manga universe with a bustling atmosphere inside the huge stores with an almost endless selection of otaku objects and other gadgets. The Otaku Stores are unique, numerous, and overwhelming.
Your attention will probably also be caught by the cosplay culture in the streets here – and if you want to try it, you can visit one of the maid cafes like Pinafore, where the waitresses are dressed as maids, and the settings are cosplay-like.
After 2 full days of sightseeing in Tokyo, the last thing on your itinerary is to get a great view of Tokyo at night from Tokyo Tower. That will complete your second day. Before heading up there, check the updated opening hours and fees for Tokyo Tower here.
Are you going to stay in Tokyo for three days? Then you might find our 3-day Tokyo itinerary helpful: What to Do in Tokyo in 3 days – itinerary
Perhaps you are planning a 3-day round trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and Nara? You might want to read our guide Tokyo to Kyoto by Train: Ultimate 3-day Itinerary
See: How to Travel Light
Travel Insurance / Visa
Have you considered what you will do in the (unlikely) event of something unforeseen happening? Do you need a travel insurance? Check if you need a travel insurance and check if you need a visa for your trip and apply for it!
Best Things to Do in Tokyo – Itinerary 2 Days:
Travel In Culture