Your ultimate guide to Tokyo

Explore the best of Tokyo and Japanese culture

How to go out safely in Tokyo, plus social distancing rules explained
Things to do

How to go out safely in Tokyo, plus social distancing rules explained

Everything you need to know about protecting yourself now that social restrictions have eased and Tokyo has begun to reopen

Museums in Tokyo: reopening dates and new safety measures
Things to do

Museums in Tokyo: reopening dates and new safety measures

Museums and art galleries in the city are getting ready to resume business during stage one of Tokyo’s reopening plan

This Japanese café is enforcing social distancing with adorable soft toys
News

This Japanese café is enforcing social distancing with adorable soft toys

With Japan’s state of emergency now lifted, stores and restaurants in Tokyo have already started to reopen, while implementing social distancing rules to keep customers and staff safe, of course. If you thought Tokyo’s Social Distancing Cafe had a set-up that looked a bit too serious, Gibbontei might just be the place for you. Photo: Izu Shaboten Zoo This café inside Shizuoka’s Izu Shaboten Zoo does social distancing differently, adding in plushie versions of the zoo’s beloved critters. Instead of a room full of deliberately empty seats, the café is crowded with capybara and red panda plushies – they take up almost half of the seats, ensuring customers can keep their distance without the usual awkwardness. It’s like you’re having lunch with your softest, cutest friends. Photo: Izu Shaboten Zoo Don’t be afraid to cuddle them, either. The plushies, tables and chairs are all disinfected after each customer leaves. Plus, you’ll find hand sanitiser at the entrance, so drop in for a visit and make some new furry friends.   Most popular on Time Out Try some of Japan’s best ramen restaurants in your home city How to wear a face mask without fogging up your glasses Tour the Ghibli Museum from your home Take a virtual ride on Japan's most famous roller coasters Calm down with an online Zazen meditation class

Japan plans to fully reopen the economy as early as August
News

Japan plans to fully reopen the economy as early as August

Japan will restart the economy with sports, concerts and eventually travel

Tokyo begins stage one of reopening following the state of emergency
News

Tokyo begins stage one of reopening following the state of emergency

Japan’s capital is reopening its museums and libraries, and restaurants can now serve until 10pm

Latest news

Japan’s new Go to Travel subsidy will help pay for your domestic vacation
News

Japan’s new Go to Travel subsidy will help pay for your domestic vacation

The Japan Tourism Agency has confirmed that the campaign is only for domestic tourism

Japan is planning to launch fireworks simultaneously in all 47 prefectures this summer
News

Japan is planning to launch fireworks simultaneously in all 47 prefectures this summer

The exact date and time for the 'Cheer Up! Hanabi' nationwide fireworks display are still a secret

These are all the countries and regions affected by Japan’s entry ban
News

These are all the countries and regions affected by Japan’s entry ban

Border restrictions will likely be in place until the end of June to limit the spread of coronavirus

Airlines in Japan are implementing new safety rules for coronavirus-era air travel
News

Airlines in Japan are implementing new safety rules for coronavirus-era air travel

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines are increasing safety measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus

More news

Make the most of your Time In

Masterchef Australia winner Adam Liaw shows us how to make Afuri-style yuzu shio ramen
News

Masterchef Australia winner Adam Liaw shows us how to make Afuri-style yuzu shio ramen

The celebrity chef has a Japanese noodle series on YouTube called Ramen School

The only museum in the world dedicated to Keith Haring is in Japan
News

The only museum in the world dedicated to Keith Haring is in Japan

You can now view the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection online for free

This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online
News

This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online

Feeling stressed or anxious? Calm your mind with this introduction to Zazen meditation

You can now ride Japan’s most famous roller coasters online
News

You can now ride Japan’s most famous roller coasters online

Scream to go faster

Visit the top museums in Tokyo and across Japan with these virtual tours
News

Visit the top museums in Tokyo and across Japan with these virtual tours

See sand sculptures, Japanese art and more museum exhibitions from your home for free

Nintendo offers free game backgrounds for your Zoom video calls
News

Nintendo offers free game backgrounds for your Zoom video calls

Download free backgrounds from Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Zelda, Kirby and more

More things to do at home

What to watch next

The best documentaries about Japanese food
Film

The best documentaries about Japanese food

Learn about the history, flavours and techniques of Japanese cooking with Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Niki Nakayama, Jiro Ono and more

Best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix
Film

Best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix

More titles added!

Watch these world-famous theatre shows for free online
Theatre

Watch these world-famous theatre shows for free online

Enjoy the world's best musicals, ballet, traditional Japanese theatre and more from your living room

10 best Studio Ghibli films
Film

10 best Studio Ghibli films

Studio Ghibli, the animation powerhouse behind classics like ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ and ‘Spirited Away’, turns 35 this year. Although it’s practically synonymous with director Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has a lot more to offer than just Miyazaki flicks. In fact, with three and a half decades of stellar anime films, the Ghibli catalogue is pretty daunting for newcomers. And with every Ghibli film now available for streaming on Netflix (except in Japan and the US), there’s never been a better time to settle in for a movie night. So whether you’re just starting your Ghibli journey or coming back for more, these are – in no particular order – our top ten favourite Studio Ghibli films. RECOMMENDED: What we know so far about the upcoming Ghibli theme park Text by Matt Schley and George Art Baker

Coronavirus updates

How to wear a face mask without fogging up your glasses
News

How to wear a face mask without fogging up your glasses

Use these simple tricks to keep your lenses clear while wearing a face mask

Uniqlo will sell reusable Airism face masks this summer
News

Uniqlo will sell reusable Airism face masks this summer

The fast fashion retailer will be releasing face masks made from its fast-drying Airism material

Live updates: the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan right now
Things to do

Live updates: the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan right now

Keep calm and read this: the latest news and updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan

Tokyo government announces reopening plan post-state of emergency
News

Tokyo government announces reopening plan post-state of emergency

When the state of emergency expires, Tokyo plans to allow 50-person events and restaurants to open till later

This NHK experiment reveals how easily coronavirus can spread in public
News

This NHK experiment reveals how easily coronavirus can spread in public

Japan’s national broadcaster demonstrates the rapid spread of coronavirus in a restaurant without proper precautions

Foreign residents can get the Japanese government's ¥100,000 coronavirus stimulus
News

Foreign residents can get the Japanese government's ¥100,000 coronavirus stimulus

Here's everything to know, including how to apply and when you can expect the money

Tokyo delivery guide

These vegan restaurants in Tokyo are offering takeout
News

These vegan restaurants in Tokyo are offering takeout

From burgers to izakaya classics and baked goods, these vegan restaurants are now offering their meatless menu for takeaway

Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo are now doing takeout
Restaurants

Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo are now doing takeout

Looking to treat yourself? Get a gourmet meal to go from some of Tokyo's top-rated restaurants

These Japanese breweries and bars are now delivering craft beer
Bars and pubs

These Japanese breweries and bars are now delivering craft beer

Everything they brew, they brew it for you

Iconic Tokyo dishes that are available for takeaway
Restaurants

Iconic Tokyo dishes that are available for takeaway

Wagyu sandwiches, takoyaki, sliders and more

Get our mags and maps for free

Download our Tokyo guide maps for free
Things to do

Download our Tokyo guide maps for free

Discover the best things to do in and around Tokyo, from Shibuya and Ikebukuro to Otsuka and Arakawa

Spring 2020 issue out now
Things to do

Spring 2020 issue out now

The best of springtime in Tokyo, the city’s most scenic waterways, food streets, Japanese gardens, restaurants for solo diners, Kanagawa islands, and more

Winter 2020 issue
Things to do

Winter 2020 issue

Tokyo on a budget, with free things to do and cheap eats under ¥1,000

Autumn 2019 issue
Things to do

Autumn 2019 issue

Drinking in Tokyo, from Japanese craft beer, wine and gin to coffee and tea

Learn something new

10 things you didn't know were invented in Japan
News

10 things you didn't know were invented in Japan

From pop culture icons like the emoji to technology staple like flash memory, Japan has changed the world profoundly

How to make a DIY no-sew face mask from t-shirts, socks and paper towels
News

How to make a DIY no-sew face mask from t-shirts, socks and paper towels

Follow these videos to make a simple non-medical face mask – no sewing required

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan
News

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan

Did you know 'viking' means buffet in Japan?

Online courses about Japan you can attend for free
Things to do

Online courses about Japan you can attend for free

These English-language university-level courses cover everything from Japanese literature and history to architecture and business. Best of all, they’re free

The best podcasts to learn about Japan
Things to do

The best podcasts to learn about Japan

Discover Japanese daily life, food, history, sake and even ghost stories through these engaging podcasts

Learn Japanese for free online
Things to do

Learn Japanese for free online

These online resources will help you learn and brush up your Japanese language skills at no cost

Virtual tours of Tokyo and Japan

Take a virtual tour of Japan's most spectacular tulip garden
News

Take a virtual tour of Japan's most spectacular tulip garden

Explore Hitachi Seaside Park's virtual tour and see 260,000 tulips in bloom right now

Travel through Japan with these VR videos: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and more
News

Travel through Japan with these VR videos: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and more

See Japan from the comfort of your couch

Watch now: These 360-degree cherry blossom VR videos are incredibly soothing
News

Watch now: These 360-degree cherry blossom VR videos are incredibly soothing

You can now see the flowers all year round

Zoos in Japan are live-streaming their polar bears, white tiger and whale shark
News

Zoos in Japan are live-streaming their polar bears, white tiger and whale shark

For your daily dose of cuteness

Find more travel ideas

More stories about Tokyo and Japan

Tokyo Q&A: Who are the people on Japanese yen banknotes?
Things to do

Tokyo Q&A: Who are the people on Japanese yen banknotes?

Who's printed on the ¥1,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 Japanese yen notes – and how they will change in 2024

Tokyo has two 'hospitals' for treating soft toys
News

Tokyo has two 'hospitals' for treating soft toys

Plushies get the full treatment at these adorable clinics, from a warm bath to a face lift and hair treatment

Japan has a new amabie mascot and it's here to ward off plagues
News

Japan has a new amabie mascot and it's here to ward off plagues

The mermaid-like mythical creature, believed to cure illness, appeared in mascot form at a school in Kagoshima

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan
News

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan

Avoid getting lost in translation by learning these commonly used Japanified terms with different meanings...

What you need to know before getting a Japan-inspired tattoo
News

What you need to know before getting a Japan-inspired tattoo

Rule No. 5: never rely on Google Translate

The best books set in Japan
Things to do

The best books set in Japan

Explore postwar Nagasaki, go on road trip with a cat, and meet Japanese mythological creatures in these five books that take place in Japan

Keep the kids entertained

Hanshin Railways offers Osaka and Kobe colouring pages and art tutorials
News

Hanshin Railways offers Osaka and Kobe colouring pages and art tutorials

Learn how to colour trains and landmarks in Osaka and Kobe with these tutorials from Hanshin Railways

This Studio Ghibli co-founder is showing us how to draw Totoro
News

This Studio Ghibli co-founder is showing us how to draw Totoro

Get an anime art lesson from Studio Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki

Doraemon offers free online games and manga to encourage fans to stay home
News

Doraemon offers free online games and manga to encourage fans to stay home

The new Stay Home Project by Doraemon features free online games, wallpapers, manga and colouring pages

Our favourite Japanese children’s books in English
Things to do

Our favourite Japanese children’s books in English

Give bedtime a Tokyo twist with these popular kids’ books from Japan

Tokyo events calendar