14 Best Things to do in Tokyo on a Holiday

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Best Things to do in Tokyo (Japan)

I recently spent 12 fun packed days in Tokyo, here is my list of the very best things to do on a Tokyo holiday, I hope you enjoy my selection:

  • Eat at Sushi Daiwa For Some Great Sushi

Sushi Daiwa & Sushi Dai is almost a place of pilgrimage for sushi lovers, every day there are long waiting for lines to get in to both establishmnets if you can try both do it but if you can only go to one I’m recommending Daiwa, because both restaurants are pretty similar but Sushi Daiwa has more seats so the line to get in to the restaurant goes faster, this may not seem like a big deal but when you consider the wait to get in Sushi Dai is at least 2hours at any time of day, it can be a bit much.

sushi daiwa

some more info about Sushi Daiwa here, but all you need to know is it opens at 5.30 am and closes at 3:30pm, there is always a queue and it costs about 3200yen for a set menu, also the fish is great!

hosomaki sushi at sushi daiwa

and this is the address:  5-2-1 Tsukiji | Tsukiji Fish Market Bldg. No.6Chūō, Tokyo.

 otoro nigiri sushi at Daiwa restaurant Tokyotuna tartare gunkanmaki
  • Mario Kart Racing Tokyo

Basically, you get in Mario fancy dress and then race around the streets of Tokyo, I don’t think you can do anything more fun than this in Tokyo… sadly I didn’t go to this activity because my girlfriend doesn’t have a driving license, so she couldn’t participate.

I did happen to see the Mario go-karts racing through the city and it looked like an amazing experience!

gokarting tokyo mario

  • Yurikamome Train at Sunset

This was an amazing experience, the Yurikamome line train has no driver so you can go to the very front of the train and get an amazing view of the city as the train winds through Tokyo above ground passing through skyscrapers and over rivers.

Also if you take the train back to the same station you got on the experience will only cost you 189yen  which is super cheap.

tokyo-sun-set

  • Eat Fluffiest Pancakes – Gram Cafe

These were the lightest fluffiest amazing pancakes I have ever had! They only sell 60 pancakes per day and you have to line up 1 hour before to get tickets, they cook them at 11:00, 15:00 and 18:00 (20 pancakes in every session), you can find Gram Cafe in Harajuku, if your in Tokyo you must give this Japanese style “hot cakes” a try.

fluffiest pancakes ever

  •  Eat at 24-hour Sushizanmai at a Crazy Time Like 4 am

I found sushizanmai because it was conveniently just across the street from the hotel I stayed in, I think these are all over  Tokyo since I saw a few on my vacation, anyway, they are open 24 hours a day! I had sushi for breakfast twice and had sushi after a night out at about 4 am, the sushi is very good quality and at a very reasonably priced, plus you can go anytime you want, since its open 24 hours a day!

here is some of what I eat there:

sushi at sushizanmai

  • Experience Shibuya Crossing!

One of the most hectic and people packed crossings in the world, what makes it especially crazy is japans crossing system where you can walk in diagonals as well as normal crosswalks.

  • Try the Best coffee at Turret Cafe

I gave this random coffee place a try because it was on top position of trip advisor out of 7000 restaurants nearby, inside it only has 6 seats, if you want to stay you have to order a drink, it’s a tiny place the espresso machine and water cleaning system takes up most of the establishment.

I ordered a latte coffee and it was epic! I highly recommend this place, which is odd because I’m recommending a cafe, but that’s just how good it was!

  • Eat Yakitori at Omoide Yokocho Otherwise Known as “Piss Alley”

A real insight into old Tokyo, Omoide Yokocho has not changed in what seems like forever, it’s just north of Shinjuku station the old little district is surrounded by modern skyscrapers and is filled with exclusively tiny yakitori restaurants and ramen shops, and when I say tiny I mean it restaurants there can only take 6-7 people in total, they are super small establishments.

Its a must see when visiting Tokyo, I wish I had more pictures but I was too busy enjoying the food to take video or pics…

yokitori in omoide yokocho

  • Run Around Tsukiji Fish Market, The Largest Fish Market in The World

tsukiji marketThe Tsukiji Fish Market is a mesmerizing maze, you can easily get lost in it! They only let you in after 10:00 am, at that point you have to be quick because the market opens much earlier at 5:00 am, basically they let tourist in at 10:00 am because they are done and shutting down, so like I said you have to be fast and explore it quickly as all the stands are closing quickly, but if you move fast there are some amazing sights to see in this truly massive fish market, just a quick example when I was dashing through the market I saw this awesome sight of japanese workers breaking down frozen tuna, video here.

cutting frozen tuna in tsukiji market

 

One thing I found strange was in Tsukiji market they have lots of staff dedicated to telling the tourists not to take pictures, not sure why because what I saw there was amazing and was begging to be photographed, so there was no way they were going to stop me from snapping loads of pics for you guys! And because I didn’t listen to them you get to enjoy interesting shots like this, some frozen tuna on the dirty floor at Tsukiji market.

 

frozen tuna on the floor at tsukiji market

  • Try Some Michelin Star Sushi

Tokyo is one of the food meccas of the world, it boasts of over 160,000 restaurants and Tokyo on its own has 304 Michelin stars if you compare that to (NewYork + London +Paris) who combined have 312 stars you start to get why the food in Tokyo is so exceptional. When you go to Tokyo you cant leave without at least having tried some of the best food they have to offer, go to a Michelin star restaurant.

  • Hedge Hog Cafe or Cat Cafe

In Tokyo there are many animal cafes (hedgehog, cat, penguin, owl…etc), I visited both a hedgehog cafe and a cat cafe, they are nice, it’s a fun activity to de-stress and pet a cute animal, the only thing I find a bit misleading is the word “cafe” it’s not really they all just have drink vending machines that serve up the worst coffee or tea, it is such a shame that these cafes dont have the proper coffee shop experiance with a real barista and expresso machine, if the coffee was good they would destroy Starbucks.

hedge hog cafe tokyo

  • Rent Electric Bicycles, and cycle through Tokyo

Renting an electric bicycle is probably the best thing you can do to really move through a city like Tokyo and get to see much more than you usually would. I highly recommend this activity!

  • Buy Matcha Green Tea, Much Cheaper in Tokyo

If you don’t enjoy drinking Matcha green tea ignore this one, but if you do then get out there and buy some Matcha in Tokyo! It’s so cheap and the quality is far superior, in Spain the cheapest matcha I can find is 16€ and honestly, it’s not the best quality, in Tsukiji market Tokyo, I found some for 3.5€ and it is awesome! then there were also a few more for a bit more about 8€ and they were Epic Matcha’s, some of the best I ever enjoyed 🙂

japanese matcha from tokyo

  • Buy Apple Products in Tokyo They Can be 30% Cheaper in The Apple Store JP

Because of the currency exchange and lower tax rates buying Apple products in Japan can save you money, in fact as a European buying an Apple product cost 30% less in Japan, I bought some Apple Airpods for my self there at 16800 yen which is about 126€ in comparison the same Airpods in an Apple store located in Europe, I would normally pay 179€ so by purchasing the Airpods on my holiday in a Japanese Apple store I saved 53€ on the exact same product.

I took advantage of this further I also bought an iPhone for a family member and that saved them 285€!

If you live in Europe and you need a new MacBook Pro or something similar, with the money you would save buying it in a Japanese Apple store you could pay for your return flight to Japan! So if you need a new laptop and what a holiday going to Japan might be a great option for you, just a thought.

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions of what to visit while on holiday in Tokyo, please share this page if you found the info useful, thanks!

Quick list:

  1. Sushi Daiwa
  2. Mario Go-karting Tokyo
  3. Yurikamome train at sunset
  4. Eat Fluffiest Pancakes Gram Cafe
  5. Eat at 24-hour Sushizanmai at a crazy time like 4am
  6. Experience Shibuya crossing!
  7. Try the Best coffee at Turret Cafe
  8. Eat yakitori at Omoide Yokocho otherwise known as “Piss Alley”
  9. Run around Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest fish market in the world
  10. Try some Michelin star sushi
  11. Hedge Hog Cafe or Cat Cafe
  12. Rent Electric Bicycles, and cycle through Tokyo
  13. Buy Matcha Green Tea, much cheaper in Tokyo
  14. Buy Apple products they can be 30% cheaper

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