There are so many things to see and do in Tokyo that it's hard to narrow down what to do if you only have a couple of days to spend in this iconic city. We grew up in Japan and still visit on a regular basis, so these are our recommendations from a tourist and local's perspective.
9:00 AM Grab Breakfast To-Go at a Convenience Store
Japanese convenience stores are the best and you can pretty much find them everywhere. It's nothing like the run-down convenient stores in the United States with bland food. Japanese convenience stores are clean and offer lots of great food from pastries to sandwiches to bento boxes and more. We almost prefer eating at a convenience store sometimes rather than eating out at a restaurant. It saves you tons of money and it's good food.
9:30AM Shibuya Crossing
This is the one thing we do every time we visit Japan. It's just so mesmerizing to watch hundreds of people cross the famous Shibuya Crossing at once. Another classic thing to do in Shibuya is to take a picture with the legendary Hachiko statue right in front of the JR train station.
1:00PM Harajuku - Takeshita Street
Harajuku is well known for the quirky and crazy fashion on it's famous street, Takeshita Dori. There are lots of cute and interesting clothing shops and cafes. It's also popular for it's delicious crepes.
2:30PM Harajuku - Meiji Shrine
Behind the Harajuku station is a pathway to Meiji Shrine, which is a beautiful site to see. It's a peaceful area, but busy with ceremonies and events. You might even catch a traditional Japanese wedding while you're there.
7:00PM Robot Restaurant
Robot Restaurant may seem like a tourist trap for some because it's mainly foreigners that see this show, but it's a show like none other. It's the most trippy, crazy and awesome show I have ever experienced. You can pre-order food and get bento boxes, but I heard the food is average.
Still awake? Then you can stop by Karaoke Kan in Shinjuku and end the night by singing some classic songs in your own private room with disco lights.
3:30AM Tsukiji Market Tuna Auction
If you are still jet lagged, this will be the perfect time to wake up early and line up for the famous tuna auction held at Tsukiji Market. The hard part about this is that you're not guaranteed a spot, so you have to line up early for the 5:30 AM auction. Many people advise to line up at 3:30 AM.
8:00 AM Tsukiji Market
If you want to skip the tuna auction, you can still visit the Tsukiji Market at normal hours and try some fresh seafood at the restaurants. Just make sure to stay clear of the workers in the area. They are not too fond of tourists.
10:00 AM Mori Art Museum
We don't usually go to museums in Japan, but this was a fantastic world-class contemporary art museum we really enjoyed. Located on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, you can also get a great view of Tokyo on the observation deck.
Akihabara is a popular city well-known for its electronic shops and anime subculture. If you love Japanese anime and manga, this city is your mecca. Get some good deals at the electronic stores, shop for anime goods or stop by a maid cafe.
5:00PM Kawasaki Warehouse
Kawaski Warehouse is the coolest arcade center in the world. Japan has always been known for their awesome arcade centers, but they outdid themselves with this place located in Kawasaki called Anata no Warehouse meaning “Your Warehouse”. The inside is designed to look like the run-down streets of Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. Even if you're not a gamer, you'll be amazed with their creation.
7:00PM Dinner at Izakaya
There are tons of izakayas (Japanese gastropubs with tapas and drinks) in Japan and one of our favorites is Kamadoka.
Before you leave Japan, make sure to stop by a Daiso store, where everything is priced at 100 yen (~$1), with great souvenirs and Japanese merchandise. Harajuku has a huge 3-story Daiso store that will have everything you need. If you have a little more extra time and leaving from Narita airport, stop by the Narita Temple, which is only one train stop away from the airport.
Let us know your favorite Tokyo experience in the comments below!