top of page

How To Spend Two Days in Tokyo (2 Day Itinerary)

With so many things to do, places to explore, and foods to eat, it’s hard to decide how to spend two days in Tokyo.

This itinerary gives you the best of Tokyo, all packed within two days. You’ll get a mix of urban attractions, traditional temples, different Japanese cuisines, and a glimpse into local life.

In this guide, I’ll recommend the ideal itinerary for how to spend two days in Tokyo. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes, get your camera ready, and enjoy!

Deciding where to stay in Tokyo? Check out this guide about the best neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo.

How should you spend two days in Tokyo?

Day 1: Harajuku, Meiji Jingu Shrine, and Shibuya

Morning

Start your morning near Harajuku in the Omotesando neighborhood to begin a full day of sightseeing. Over the course of the day, you’ll make your way west through Harajuku then south toward Shibuya.

First, enjoy breakfast at one of these options:

  1. Micasadeco & Cafe (fluffy pancakes – often has a line, so get here early)

  2. A Happy Pancake Omotesando (fluffy pancakes – often has a line, so get here early)

  3. Snow & Coffee Table (coffee shop)

  4. Island Vintage Coffee Omotesando (açai bowls, smoothies)

Fluffy pancakes at A Happy Pancake Omotesando

Breakfast at A Happy Pancake Omotesando


After breakfast, head west to the iconic Takeshita Street in Harajuku to absorb the full force of Japanese “kawaii” culture. This street is typically very crowded, so expect to make your way slowly past the many kawaii stores and restaurants. You’ll find all sorts of fun snacks along the street, like sugar-coated strawberries, sweet crepes, and fried potatoes on a stick.

Once you get your fill of the busyness of Takeshita Street, it’s time to make your way toward Meiji Jingu Shrine.

Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the largest Shinto shrines in Tokyo and feels like an escape from the energy of the city. The main entrance to the shrine is located on the west side of Harajuku station.

As an extra tip, there are many large stores in front of Harajuku Station, including a large UNIQLO and @cosme TOKYO (a major cosmetics retailer). Make a visit and pick up some souvenirs on the way!

Sake barrels at Meiji Jingu

Sake barrels on the grounds of Meiji Jingu Shrine


Meiji Jingu Shrine and blue skies

Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the largest Shinto Shrines in Tokyo.


To get to Meiji Jingu Shrine, you’ll walk under beautiful, tall trees as you get further away from the sounds of Tokyo. Part of the walkway is lined with sake barrels and wine barrels that were offered to the shrine (pictured above).

Take your time exploring this iconic shrine and the surrounding grounds.

Afternoon

For lunch, enjoy a picnic in the large Yoyogi park or head to a nearby restaurant in Harajuku:

  1. Convenience store (there are a few FamilyMart’s near Harajuku Station) – pick up lunch or some snacks to bring with you to Yoyogi park

  2. Oreryu Shio Ramen Jingu-mae (ramen)

  3. Onden Ippo (izakaya – Japanese-style pub food)

  4. Vegan Bistro Jangara (vegan versions of assorted Japanese cuisine)

If you go to Yoyogi park, head down to Shibuya via the “Yoyogi Park Zelkova Trees” walkway.

If you have lunch in Harajuku, head down to Shibuya via the famous pedestrian street, Cat St.

Check out these cafes below if you’re looking for a mid-afternoon break:

There are also a number of great shops in Shibuya to check out (several are on my 10 Places To Buy Unique Souvenirs In Tokyo list!):

  1. Shibuya Parco (department store focused on clothing)

  2. Shibuya Loft (department store that specializes in home decor, kitchenware, and stationary)

  3. ileava & co. Omotesando (handcrafted fine jewelry)

  4. Miyashita Park (shopping plaza with many stores)

  5. MEGA Don Quijote (massive store that has seemingly everything)

Evening

Shibuya has almost too many dinner options to choose from. No matter what type of food you are craving, Shibuya will have it.

I recommend making a reservation in advance for the starred (*) restaurants in my list below. Here are a few favorite dinner spots:

  1. *Shibuya Yokocho (outdoor/indoor food court with a selection of restaurants)

  2. Sushiro Shibuya Station Square (casual sushi restaurant)

  3. Shibuya Gyoza (casual spot for “gyoza” – Japanese potstickers)

  4. *Ryan (upscale soba restaurant)

  5. *35 steps bistro (izakaya – Japanese pub food)

  6. Ramen Tajima (ramen)

  7. *Kichiri Shibuya (izakaya – Japanese pub food; good for large groups)

After dinner, walk off your meal by passing through the famous Shibuya Crossing. Say hello to the adorable Hachikō Memorial Statue near the JR Line Shibuya Station entrance.

If you have the energy for a nightcap, check out these bars in Shibuya:

Head to Shibuya Station to leave for your hotel and get some rest!

Day 2: Senso-ji, the Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

Morning

Begin your morning with breakfast on the east side of Tokyo near Sensō-ji, one of the most famous and most photographed Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Try one of these breakfast spots:

  1. Coffee Shop CARIB (coffee shop)

  2. Royal Coffee Shop (coffee shop)

  3. Coffee Tengoku (coffee shop)

  4. Ichiran Asakusa (ramen)

  5. FUGLEN ASAKUSA (breakfast cafe)

After you’re fueled for the day, enter the Sensō-ji area through Kaminarimon Gate. You’ll find dozens of souvenir and snack stalls lining the entrance grounds to the main temple. You can easily spend an hour wandering through the shops, or walk straight in to see the temple.

Sensō-ji with a sakura tree

Exploring Sensō-ji


Sensō-ji is one of the most popular buddhist temples to visit in Tokyo, so get there early or on the weekdays if you can to avoid the crowds.

Afternoon

Once you’re done exploring Sensō-ji, take the train to the Imperial Palace (enter through Hirakawa Gate). Takebashi Station is the nearest station to the Hirakawa Gate entrance.

If you’re hungry for lunch, there are a few options near the Imperial Palace:

  1. PIGNETO (Italian with views of the palace grounds)

  2. Katsukichi Shin-Marunouchi Building (tonkatsu – deep fried pork cutlet)

  3. Ginza Sushiko (sushi)

If you have energy and time, you can walk southeast a few blocks into Ginza, the neighborhood in Tokyo famous for luxury shopping. This area has a very modern feel compared to the areas immediately around Sensō-ji and the Imperial Palace.

Evening

Before the sun sets, head south toward the iconic Tokyo Tower. This park is a popular spot to take pictures with Tokyo Tower in the background.

While it’s possible to go to the top of the tower, I recommend skipping that in favor of either wandering around the area or visiting the neighboring Zojo-ji, another major buddhist temple (note that the the temple closes at 5pm).

View of Tokyo Tower from Zojo-ji


Take the train or walk to the Roppongi neighborhood for dinner. I recommend making a reservation in advance for the starred (*) restaurants in my list below. Some restaurant suggestions:

  1. Tsuru Ton Tan (udon noodles, walk-ins only and there is often a line)

  2. Ippudo – Roppongi (ramen, walk-ins only and there is often a line)

  3. *Uoshin Nogizaka (izakaya – Japanese pub food)

  4. *莉々庵 (soba noodles)

  5. *Ostrea Oyster Bar & Restaurant (oyster bar)

Roppongi is famous for its nightlife, so wander around after dinner and pop in to one of the many bars lining the streets. Some ideas ranging from beerhalls to cocktail lounges:

You made it!

Congrats on making it through a busy two days in Tokyo! From the modern streets of Harajuku and Shibuya to the more traditional sights in eastern Tokyo, you’ve gotten a taste of the variety that Tokyo has to offer.

If you’re looking to extend your trip, check out my guide about How To Spend Five Days in Tokyo (5 Day Itinerary) or consider taking a day trip into the mountains to Okutama: Escape Tokyo For A Beautiful Day In Nature (Hiking, Sake Tasting, Shrines).

Related Posts:

留言


bottom of page