If you only have time for a weekend in Tokyo, you can still see some of the city’s best sights and nightlife. This guide will show you everything to do for a memorable trip to Tokyo.
Friday night starts your 72 hours in Tokyo. After checking into a hotel near the central business district, visit a local restaurant in the city for a delicious dinner. The city features a wide range of local and regional Japanese cuisine and international fare, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
After dinner, head out on the town to experience the nightlife and fascinating evening activities the city has to offer. As the night falls, the metropolis transforms into a city of bright lights, which can be seen from the many observation decks in the towers and skyscrapers throughout the city. You can even dine in the top floor restaurants at many observation venues. Another unique and stunning way to enjoy the city at night is with a helicopter ride over the city.
For a more conventional nightlife experience, Tokyo’s best night districts are Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku and Roppongi. Kabukicho, Japan’s largest red-light district, has an array of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and massage parlours. For a more upscale experience, Ginza has an array of high-end establishments and chic bars.
On Saturday morning, start your next 48 hours in Tokyo with a delicious breakfast or brunch at one of the local cafes or coffee shops before venturing out into the city. You can find a range of cuisine options for whatever breakfast you like, or try a traditional Japanese breakfast of steamed rice, miso soup and a protein like grilled fish.
After breakfast, you can visit some of Tokyo’s most iconic attractions, such as Meiji Jingu, a famed Shinto shrine with a tranquil garden, or the Imperial Palace, the Emperor’s residence with guided tours and gardens. The Tsukiji Market, a prominent fish market with an extensive selection, is another popular spot.
There are numerous parks to visit and gain a little insight into the culture and beauty of the city. Ueno Park has a large lake, a zoo and several museums, and Yoyogi Park boasts lawns, ponds and forested areas to explore. Yoyogi Park is near the Meiji Shrine as well.
Be sure to get a quick lunch in a local restaurant before returning to the hotel to prepare for your night out.
Saturday night is a great time for a themed restaurant. You can enjoy delicious dinners with unique surroundings, such as a prison-themed restaurant, dining within a gothic church, a ninja-themed eatery and a vampire-themed cafe.
After dinner, you can experience some of the museums and aquariums after dark, such as the Mori Museum, the Sumida Aquarium and Sunshine International Aquarium. Disneyland and DisneySea are also open late, so you can experience the delightful rides in the dark.
You could take an evening stroll on the streets of Tokyo to enjoy the views of the architecture at night, especially in the temple precincts of Asakusa and Sensoji. The waterfront area of Odaiba is the perfect spot to view and photograph the illuminated Rainbow Bridge.
On Sunday morning, you’ll have 24 hours left in Tokyo. After breakfast or brunch at a local restaurant, you can unwind from your night out at one of Tokyo’s hot spring establishments. These local spas offer baths, relaxation, dining and entertainment, as well as an array of natural hot springs.
After a little relaxation, visit the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and spend some time strolling along the pathways. You can see an array of colourful blooms, peaceful water features and stunning statuary that reflect that unique aesthetic of Japan.
If you enjoy shopping, Harajuku is a district with boutiques that contain quirky, interesting fashion, as well as an avant-garde art museum. The area is known for its colourful street art and cosplay shops, and you can enjoy desserts and bubble tea from carts along the street.
On Sunday night, you can combine dinner and sightseeing with a boat cruise along Tokyo Bay. The 2- to 3-hour tours offer excellent dining and stunning city views from the water, as well as a chance to socialize with your dining companions.
Tokyo has a wide range of cultural performances at concert halls and theatre venues. You can enjoy international and domestic concerts and art festivals. Tokyo also has game centres, cinema and karaoke venues throughout the city, many of which are located in the Akihabara district.
If you need to get some last-minute souvenir shopping in, many of the shops and malls in Tokyo close late. Large electronics shops stay open even later, giving you a chance to pick up some fun gadgets to take home with you.
A weekend trip is just the right amount of time to experience the unique culture in Tokyo and make some memories. If you’re planning a weekend trip to Tokyo, visit Expedia to explore Tokyo holidays and make the most of your vacation.