Sumida River Sky Tree night walk1/5
Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaTokyo Skytree
Tokyo Station night walk2/5
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Odaiba Rainbow Bridge night walk3/5
Photo: Keisuke TanigawaRainbow Bridge
Asakusa Sensoji night walk4/5
Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaSensoji Temple
Ginza Louis Vuitton night walk5/5
Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaGinza

4 most scenic night walks in Tokyo

Avoid the crowds with an evening stroll to see Tokyo Skytree, Nakameguro, the Rainbow Bridge and more when they’re all lit up

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Let’s face it, Tokyo looks its best at night. It’s impossible to think of the city without seeing the glitzy high-rises of Ginza, the changing colours of Tokyo Skytree or Shibuya’s neon lights. Better still, if you stroll along a river or head down to Tokyo Bay, you get a double dose of the city’s skyline with all the glittering lights reflected on the water.

Exploring the city at night has other advantages, too. Provided you stay away from major nightlife districts, you won’t have to deal with all the crowds you normally see during the day, even at major landmarks.

These are some of the most scenic routes to take around Tokyo at night. They’re generally well lit and surprisingly quiet – just be sure to keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss the last train home.

Note: due to Covid-19 safety rules, most restaurants, bars and other businesses are currently closing at 8pm, but you can still enjoy a quiet stroll through the city at night.

RECOMMENDED: Escape the hustle and bustle at Tokyo’s least crowded places

After sunset

Nakameguro Night Walk
Nakameguro Night Walk
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Nakameguro

Time: about 30 minutes for a round trip from the station

Crowds: not busy, but do note the heavier foot traffic during cherry blossom season

Lights: streets along the Meguro River are all well lit with lamp posts

The streets that line the Meguro River in and around Nakameguro Station are a great place for an evening stroll, especially after dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area. Start your walk from the station (East Exit 1) and head west along the river bank, where you’ll pass many shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.

About 10 or 15 minutes in, you’ll pass by the iconic red Nakano Bridge and the stunning Starbucks Reserve Roastery, both of which are landmarks in the neighbourhood. Cross the bridge to head back east, or you could continue further up the river into the Ikejiri-Ohashi neighbourhood, which often sees less foot traffic than the Nakameguro area. The walk is particularly stunning during spring when the river is flanked with cherry blossoms, but the streets can get a bit crowded then.

Tokyo Station night walk
Tokyo Station night walk
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Tokyo Station to Hibiya Okuroji via Ginza

Time: about 45 minutes one way

Crowds: pretty quiet along the streets, but parts of Ginza and Hibiya Okuroji can be a bit busy earlier in the night

Lights: well lit with street lights and storefront displays 

The walk from Tokyo Station through Ginza to Hibiya Okuroji is one steeped in history, luxury and, by night, glittering lights. Take the Marunouchi exit from Tokyo Station for a look at the building’s magnificent red brick façade. Head to the sixth-floor rooftop of the nearby Kitte department store (it’s open until 8pm every night) for a panoramic view with great trainspotting and photo opportunities. 

From Kitte, a short walk will take you to Maronie-dori, a charming street where luxury stores abound. Look out for the Toyo-Ito-designed head office of Mikimoto, with its pale pink walls and cutouts. You’ll arrive at Ginza's main Chuo-dori street by way of the famous intersection with Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Cartier and Chanel on each corner. Ginza’s elegant skyscrapers line up along each side of the street, creating a luminescent corridor. 

After you pass Matsuya Ginza on Chuo-dori, take a left for a quick detour to the Kabukiza Theatre, first built in 1889 and redesigned by Kengo Kuma in 2013. Return to Chuo-dori, then turn right along Kojunsha-dori until you hit Hibiya Okuroji, a stretch of around 30 stores nestled in 100-year-old brick archways. With everything from cocktail bars to tempura restaurants, it’s the perfect place to stop for a drink or a snack after your walk.

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Tokyo Station night walk
Tokyo Station night walk
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Sumida to Asakusa

Time: about 45 minutes one way

Crowds: very quiet until you get close to Sensoji Temple and Azumabashi Bridge

Lights: well lit with street lights all along the route

The brightly lit arch of Sumida’s Shirahigebashi Bridge marks the starting point for this riverside walk. The vast Sumida River will be your main companion most of the way, save for a few joggers and cyclists here and there. 

Follow the curve of the water, keeping the Tokyo Skytree in sight, and soon you’ll come to the X-shaped Sakura Bridge. It’s aptly named – in spring, this side of the river is lined with cherry blossoms that are much less crowded, but no less beautiful. Cross the bridge for a better view of Skytree and look down the river towards the bright lights of your destination: Asakusa.

Continue beside the water and when you reach the next bridge, turn away from it and head down the main road towards the rear of Sensoji Temple. The temple grounds are open to the public and brilliantly lit at night, so walk through and turn left after the Hozomon Gate to get back to the river. Once you reach the Azumabashi Bridge, you’ll have a picture-perfect view of the Asahi Beer headquarters with the Skytree beside. Best of all, you’re now right outside Asakusa Station, so it’s easy to jump on a train home.

Odaiba Rainbow Bridge night walk
Odaiba Rainbow Bridge night walk
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Odaiba to Tsukiji

Time: about 2 hours one way

Crowds: busiest near the Decks Tokyo Beach shopping centre

Lights: the entire route is well lit and mostly along main roads

This is a route for those really looking to explore the city at night. Starting on the Shibaura side of the Rainbow Bridge, walk over the water to Odaiba. On the way, you’ll get a good look at the Tokyo skyline including Tokyo Tower, plus the colourful Odaiba Ferris wheel. When you’ve reached the other side, head along the waterfront past Odaiba-kaihinkoen Station – don’t forget to look back to catch the Rainbow Bridge in all its glory. In spring, keep an eye out for the cherry blossoms by the bay, too.

Once over the Nozomi Bridge, head towards the Ariake Urban Sports Park, one of several Olympic venues you’ll pass along the route. Follow the train line over the Ariake Kitabashi Bridge and you’ll find yourself beside the famous Toyosu Fish Market – it’s closed in the evenings, but can still be a hive of activity as sellers prepare for tomorrow’s tuna auction.

Continue over Toyosu Ohashi Bridge, where you’ll be treated to more views of Tokyo’s skyline and the colourful Harumi Bridge beside you. Keep going straight to reach Kachidoki, but before crossing the Tsukiji Bridge, turn right and walk beside the water to the Kachidoki Bridge. This road will take you back to the mainland and past the old Tsukiji Market, but before you head home, remember to turn right at Shin-Ohashi-dori to see the bright lights of Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple (lit until 9pm every night). 

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