Your ultimate guide to Tokyo

Tokyo’s best restaurants, films, gigs, clubs, things to do and places to see

Best heritage museums in Tokyo
Museums

Best heritage museums in Tokyo

Tokyo's history museums are a good portal into the city's glorious past: walk into heritage buildings and discover how life was like back in the Edo period

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo

Whether you fancy a classic drink or the kind of creative concoction you’d only ever find in Tokyo, these cocktail bars are the best in the city

88 things to do in Tokyo
Things to do

88 things to do in Tokyo

Discover the city with our ultimate checklist of the best things to do and things to see in Tokyo, from museums and tours to restaurants and bars

Tokyo illuminations 2018-19
Things to do

Tokyo illuminations 2018-19

When the weather gets cold, the city sparkles with a million lights

Débris
Nightlife

Débris

Débris in Daikanyama puts on a wide range of events, from club nights to art exhibitions and film screenings

Top events in Tokyo right now

Mt Takao Maple Festival
Things to do

Mt Takao Maple Festival

Various happenings will be taking place around Mount Takao in November, including kokeshi doll demonstrations and sales of masuzake, the curious boxed beverage (on weekends and holidays). The main attraction is of course the autumn foliage, with the maple trees around the area turning fiery red and yellow. Primary event locations include the Takao Forest Center at the foot of the mountain, Kiyotaki Station and the Ju-Itchome tea house on the hillside. Check out the official website for further details, and consider heading over by train – finding parking here can be a nightmare.

Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque
Art

Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque

Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is widely known for his dramatic, highly charged paintings featuring Christian history and allegorical subjects. His unique style showcases a masterful handling of movement, colour and sensuality, and it has come to define the 17th century Baroque period in European art. You can get an up close look at his famous pieces at this exhibition, which brings together one of the largest displays of his works. There’s a particular focus on his relationship with Italy, where he lived intermittently for about eight years. And to add context, you’ll also find a selection of works by Italian artists of the same era.

TOKYOGRAPHIE
Art

TOKYOGRAPHIE

KYOTOGRAPHIE is a highly-acclaimed international photography festival held annually in Kyoto and for the first time, it’s organising an offshoot event in Tokyo. For this special Tokyo edition, the most popular works from KYOTOGRAPHIE 2018 (the sixth year of the festival) will be exhibited in Tokyo.  Expect sensational works by the late Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase who’s widely known for images depicting his domestic married life; celebrated French graphic designer-photographer Jean-Paul Goude; and contemporary Chinese photographer Liu Colin, who incorporates camouflage tricks into his arresting visuals. Catch the exhibitions at multiple locations, such as Fuji Film Square, Chanel Nexus Hall, and the Institut français du Japon.

World's first official Harry Potter café opens Friday
Restaurants

World's first official Harry Potter café opens Friday

Test out your wizarding skills at this limited-time Wizarding World Café, coming to both Tokyo and Fukuoka this month. There aren't many details available on the magical café just yet, but expect the decor and food menu to be inspired by the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter franchise, plus a showing of unreleased movie clips and photos. Word has it that there will be three distinct themed areas and the café will look like a set in Paris as the French city is a key location in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film. Don't worry if you're not a wizard; we are sure muggles are welcome here. This is the world's first official Harry Potter café and it's opening just in time for the release of the latest flick, 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'. Last we checked, the café is already booking out fast – so make your reservations here as soon as possible. 

Hotel Chinzanso Autumn Garden Lightup
Things to do

Hotel Chinzanso Autumn Garden Lightup

The opulent Hotel Chinzanso in Mejiro opens up its gorgeously decorated garden during the autumn leaves season, lighting up the lush grounds at night to produce one of the city's most beautiful foliage shows. Head over a little bit later in the evening if you want to escape the crowds – the garden stays open until 10pm.

Yebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination
Things to do

Yebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination

An annual wintertime display at Yebisu Garden Place, this one incorporates a Baccarat chandelier that's 5m tall and 3m wide – making it one of the largest chandeliers in the world – and decorated with 250 lights, 230 of which symbolise the number of years from the company’s establishment to the construction of the chandelier in 1994. In total – including lesser displays in areas such as the Entrance Pavilion, Clock Plaza, Promenade, Center Plaza and Glass Square – the venue makes use of almost 100,000 lights. The festivities are kicked off with a lighting ceremony on November 3.

More upcoming events in Tokyo

Tokyo's best restaurants and cafés

Tokyo’s best oden restaurants
Restaurants

Tokyo’s best oden restaurants

Ten great places to enjoy one of Japan’s favourite comfort foods

Best cheap Michelin-star meals in Tokyo – updated
Restaurants

Best cheap Michelin-star meals in Tokyo – updated

Michelin-starred restaurants aren’t all expensive. Here’s where and how you can enjoy a top-rated meal for about ¥1,000 – or less

Best spicy ramen in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best spicy ramen in Tokyo

In the mood for a particularly punchy bowl of ramen? These spicy noodle soups will set your taste buds on fire (in a good way)

Best sushi in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best sushi in Tokyo

High-end and proper sushi joints, but not the obvious ones

Best kissaten coffee shops in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best kissaten coffee shops in Tokyo

Step back in time by revisiting these old-school, mom-and-pop coffee shops and tea rooms across the city

Best restaurants in Ginza
Restaurants

Best restaurants in Ginza

The most memorable meals in Tokyo's flashiest 'hood: sushi, ramen, tempura, premium beef, crab sashimi and more

See more great Tokyo restaurants

Tokyo's best bars and pubs

The best Tokyo bars with a view
Bars and pubs

The best Tokyo bars with a view

Get a taste of the high life at these fine establishments

The best Tokyo date bars
Bars and pubs

The best Tokyo date bars

From hotel hideouts to whisky temples – get your romance on at these superb Tokyo bars

Best casual bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best casual bars in Tokyo

There's more to Tokyo's bar scene than the serious, formal bars of Ginza. Talk, laugh and just be yourself at these lively and cool bars

Best gin bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best gin bars in Tokyo

The gin revival has hit Tokyo. Here are the best bars in the city for a gin-tastic evening

Find more great Tokyo bars

Tokyo facts and trivia

How to visit a temple or shrine like a Tokyoite
News

How to visit a temple or shrine like a Tokyoite

Shinto and Buddhism have generally coexisted happily in Japan for centuries but to the uninitiated it can be difficult to tell your shrines from your temples...

Tokyo Q&A: Why does Tokyo have no bins?
News

Tokyo Q&A: Why does Tokyo have no bins?

There isn’t one main reason why our fair city has so few places to dump your trash...

Tokyo Q&A: Why are there little white puppets hanging around windows in Tokyo?
Things to do

Tokyo Q&A: Why are there little white puppets hanging around windows in Tokyo?

They are known as ‘teru teru bozu’, which loosely translates to ‘shiny (bald) monk’, and are supposed to bring...

Onsen etiquette
Things to do

Onsen etiquette

There are all sorts of unspoken rules you need to abide by when bathing naked with strangers

Best restaurants by cuisine

Best tonkatsu in Tokyo – updated
Restaurants

Best tonkatsu in Tokyo – updated

These restaurants serve some of the best deep-fried pork cutlets in Tokyo

Best soba restaurants in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best soba restaurants in Tokyo

Whether you prefer hot or cold soba, we've rounded up the best restaurants where you can slurp on these tasty buckwheat noodles

Best yakitori restaurants in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best yakitori restaurants in Tokyo

Grilled chicken on skewers, or yakitori, is a quintessential Japanese soul food. And these restaurants serve up some of the city's best

Best udon in Tokyo
Restaurants

Best udon in Tokyo

Slurp noodles on the cheap at these top Kagawa-style sanuki udon restaurants

The best tempura in Tokyo: 15 bowls to try
Restaurants

The best tempura in Tokyo: 15 bowls to try

Where to find the deep-fried delights diners crave

Guide to Japanese desserts in Tokyo
Restaurants

Guide to Japanese desserts in Tokyo

Got a sweet tooth? You've come to the right city as Tokyo offers many decadent Japanese desserts including kakigori, wagashi and more

Getaway tips and ideas

Best things to do in Narita
Travel

Best things to do in Narita

There's more to Narita than just the airport: eat oversized sushi and unagi kabayaki, try on a kimono, and more

National parks and seaside retreats in Greater Tokyo
Things to do

National parks and seaside retreats in Greater Tokyo

Need a break from the city’s bustling streets? Take a day trip to Greater Tokyo's wild side

Cool and unique places to stay in Tokyo
Hotels

Cool and unique places to stay in Tokyo

Tired of the cookie-cutter hotel rooms? These one-of-a-kind accommodations in Tokyo will give you a reason to stay in

Your secret guide to Kyoto
Travel

Your secret guide to Kyoto

Discover of a whole new side of Japan's cultural capital

Find more travel ideas

More of Tokyo's best...

88 things to do in Tokyo
Things to do

88 things to do in Tokyo

Discover the city with our ultimate checklist of the best things to do and things to see in Tokyo, from museums and tours to restaurants and bars

Everything you need to know about onsen and bathhouses in Tokyo
Health and beauty

Everything you need to know about onsen and bathhouses in Tokyo

Your complete guide to where and how to go hot-spring bathing in Tokyo

50 things to do in Harajuku
Things to do

50 things to do in Harajuku

Where to shop, eat and drink in Tokyo’s ‘kawaii’ capital

Best animal and pet cafés in Tokyo – updated
Restaurants

Best animal and pet cafés in Tokyo – updated

Because sometimes you just need a furry friend – or an animal you can watch

Best things to do with kids in Tokyo
Kids

Best things to do with kids in Tokyo

Top family-friendly events, festivals, restaurants, activities and fun things to do for children in the capital

Where to stay in Tokyo

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Though it shares a celebrity buzz with its sister hotel the Park Hyatt, the effortlessly sleek Grand is pleasingly low-key. Its location in the upmarket Roppongi Hills complex might not suit those who like their Tokyo served straight up, but by the same token it provides a restful retreat. And having high-end shops and restaurants, a 53-floor panorama and world-class art on your doorstep can be considered quite an amenity. As is the Nagomi spa (though there’s a charge for guests) which, in addition to the usual list of artful treatments, has a lap pool, steam and sauna and a luminous white jacuzzi. Though not flashy, the guest rooms are extremely comfortable and well thought out, with dimmable lights, Bose stereos and free high-speed internet, and a tub you could park your car in. A 10th anniversary renovation has added Oxford chairs, original washi paper artwork and Bluetooth connectivity to the amenities.

Check prices
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Focusing not just on Tokyo, but on the historic Nihonbashi area in which it sits, the Mandarin is the antidote to that feeling that luxury hotels are the same the world over. Many of the materials are sourced from local artisans. The lobby and rooms all hint at traditional Japanese motifs, from the torii shrine gates and washi paper lanterns to the woven fabrics that hang in place of paintings. The view from the rooms trumps most of its top-end rivals, with a mosaic of lights from the business district in the foreground, and Mt Fuji straight ahead.

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Hoshinoya Tokyo

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Just when it was starting to feel that Tokyo ryokans were on the verge of extinction, along came a major new player. Opened in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is one of the capital's very few luxury ryokans – and it's located in central Otemachi, just a short walk from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The 19-storey (including two underground floors) building houses tatami-floored suites, as well as a spa, Japanese restaurant and conference facilities, while offering the same standard of service that's earned awards for its sister resorts in places including Karuizawa and Kyoto. Given the lack of similar establishments in the city, it promises to present a serious challenge to Tokyo's glut of luxury hotels, though a night's stay sure doesn't come cheap here. Check out more photos and information on our blog.

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Andaz Tokyo

Andaz Tokyo

The Hyatt group’s lifestyle brand Andaz opened its frst Tokyo hotel on the top of the 52-storey Toranomon Hills complex in June 2014. The hotel houses 164 guestrooms, a partially open-air rooftop bar, and a whopping 50m2 guestroom, the largest of its kind in Tokyo. To allow guests to enjoy their own style of stay, the Andaz Hosts, who take on the traditional roles of doormen, receptionists and concierges, are there to assist in any way. To make you feel more at home, they don’t wear black uniforms or name tags and will engage with guests to provide the best recommendations and suggestions for exploring Tokyo like a local.

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See more Tokyo hotels

Hot new openings

Wadanoya
Restaurants

Wadanoya

Ebisu welcomes a new specialist sushi restaurant known for their ‘aged sushi’, which uses exclusive ingredients from Kyushu

Genghis Khan Yoichi Shinjuku
Restaurants

Genghis Khan Yoichi Shinjuku

Here you can sample fresh mutton imported from Australia

Boutary - French Bistro & Caviar Bar
Restaurants

Boutary - French Bistro & Caviar Bar

Sample some fine French cuisine with caviar imported from their main branch in Paris.

Banán
Restaurants

Banán

The soft serve is exclusively made from organic bananas, and doesn't see any hints of sugar or milk.

Satén - Japanese Tea
Restaurants

Satén - Japanese Tea

Specialising in green tea, Saten sources from independent tea farms in Saitama and Nagasaki prefectures

Mont Blanc Style
Restaurants

Mont Blanc Style

While the café's eponymous dessert is French in origin, Mont Blanc has become a classic Japanese confection

Tokyo area guides

Roppongi
Things to do

Roppongi

Where to eat, shop and play in ‘High Touch Town’

Shinjuku
Things to do

Shinjuku

From cult art to decadent ramen, it's our guide to Tokyo’s sprawling entertainment centre

Asakusa
Things to do

Asakusa

There's more to Asakusa than Sensoji and the Skytree

Shibuya
Things to do

Shibuya

The best places to eat, shop and play in Tokyo’s buzziest neighbourhood

See more Tokyo area guides