7 Must-Try Activities in Tokyo for the Ultimate Japanese Experience!

  • Ah, Tokyo – the capital of Japan. Whether it’s about exotic foods or groundbreaking discoveries, the city has continued to make news around the world, especially now that Tokyo is set to host the most awaited 2020 Olympics. If it’s your first time coming to Japan and you want to experience its culture, here are seven must-try activities all available in Tokyo!

    1. Relax in an onsen (Japanese hot spring)

    If you have come to Tokyo to relax, then soaking at one of its local hot springs is a must! You can go to Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari, an onsen theme park in Odaiba, which is widely accessible to guests staying in the city, or visit the mountains of Hakone (easily accessible from Tokyo) for a top-grade hot spring dip.

    Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari Website

    Hakone Portal Website

    2. Witness sumo at its finest

    You might not be a big fan of the sport, but the experience of watching professional sumo wrestlers is something you shouldn’t miss. Huge tournaments happen in Tokyo in January, May, and September, so if you’re in the city around these months, be sure to grab a ticket!

    3. Be a samurai for a day and guard a castle

    Yes! Wearing a noble samurai armor complete with a sheathed katana is no longer a dream in Odawara City, Kanagawa (easily accessible from Tokyo). For just 300 yen, you can already rent an outfit and roam the castle grounds!

    Odawara Castle Costume Experience Website *Automatic translation available

    4. Wear a kimono or yukata

    Tokyo is a highly modern city so you can’t expect to see lots of people roaming the streets wearing a kimono or yukata, even during summer. However, you can always head straight to Asakusa where you can also visit temples and shrines. While you’re at it, be sure to wear a kimono that suits the area’s ambiance!


    5. Join the crowd at Shibuya Crossing

    Tagged as the busiest crossing in the world, joining the crowd at this intersection can be an unforgettable experience. For a bird’s-eye view of the crossing, you can try viewing it from a nearby building, cafe, or shop.


    6. Watch a Kabuki performance

    If you’re a huge fan of music, arts, and dance, this traditional Japanese form of entertainment should be on top of your list. With several theaters in Tokyo offering Kabuki performances, you will have enough options to consider depending on your location. There are full shows that can run from noon to evening and shorter ones that solely focus on the introduction of Kabuki. Popular locations include Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza and the National Theatre of Japan (Kokuritsu Gekijo) in Chiyoda.

    Kabukiza Theatre Website

    National Theatre of Japan Website

    7. Join a Japanese tea ceremony

    Tea can be found anywhere in Japan, but nothing beats the experience of drinking a cup after witnessing the intricate art involved in preparing it. Places like Waraku-an gives you the chance to sit down with a Japanese staff as they prepare your tea, complete with an attractive kimono getup!

    Waraku-an Website

    Tokyo is home to a lot more experiences that can only be done in Japan, but you can start with the seven things we’ve listed above. Let us know which activity you want to try first and which ones you want to add to your list!

    Official Tokyo Travel Guide Website

    Would you like to stay in Tokyo? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

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