Tick Tock Tokyo: Racing Against Time

What would you do in 48 hours?


If you had a ticket to Tokyo and exactly 48 hours to spend in the city, what would you do? You could wear a kimono, try some sushi, walk the crowded streets, check out quirky cafés, and do more in just two days. To help you race against time, let’s chalk out a 48-hour Tokyo itinerary for you. Your time starts now!


Tick: The First 24 Hours

Image via Flickr by tetedelart1855

Sushi and sakura are synonymous with Tokyo. You can get a better sense of the real city by visiting some of the top palaces, parks, shrines, and more.


Visit the Imperial Palace

This residential complex includes several buildings, such as a museum, a palace, the private residence of the imperial family, and administrative offices. Situated at the centre of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is a great place to begin your day. Walk around the Outer Garden, the East Garden, and Kitanomaru Park before taking the cooking class and walking tour.


Understand Japanese Culture

Image via Flickr by Ankur P

Visit the old Senso-ji Temple that dates back to 628. Take time to check out the Meiji Jingu Shrine, dedicated to the souls of Emperor and Empress Shoken. This is a Shinto shine and reflects Japan’s oldest religion.


Relax in a Park

Next, head toward the Ueno district, home to one of the most important parks in Tokyo. Ueno Park, opened in 1873, was once part of the famous Kan’ei-ji Temple grounds. Relax and refresh here.


Admire the Skyline From Tokyo Tower

Image via Flickr by Mustang Joe

If you are keen on viewing the skyline from the best vantage point in the city, then you must head to the 333-metre-high Tokyo Tower. Built in 1958 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower, it’s the second tallest structure in the country.


Shop Till You Drop in Shibuya

With endless shops and restaurants, Shibuya has a lot to offer. Start at the traffic signal and work your way up to the busiest hub. Keep walking to the Harajuku, Omotesando, and Yoyogi Park areas for some good photos. Wind up the evening with a food walk.


Tock: The Next 24 Hours             

Temples, shrines, and architecture are so divine. Let’s now add a unique twist to the next 24 hours.


Eat and Cook

Image via Flickr by Harald Groven

Tsukiji Fish Market dates back to the 16th century. This massive market sells well over 2,000 tonnes of seafood per day. Get a hands-on sushi experience by taking a morning tour around the market and honing your sushi skills.


Spend Time With Kittens

Cat lovers seeking fun feline adventures can chill out at a cat café over a cuppa. Spend some time with countless cats at the Calico Cat Café in Shinjuku or Neko Jalala in Chiyoda for some genuine love and care.


Indulge in a Sparky Spree

Tokyo is known for its technology and futuristic gadgets. Stay ahead of the curve by picking up the coolest gadgets. You’ll go berserk browsing the vast array of mobile phones, video game consoles, accessories, and cameras available. The best hub is Akihabara.


Go People-Watching

Go people-watching in Harajuku, the perfect spot for younger visitors. This is a great place to check out some trendy boutiques. Plan about two hours for this.


Go Pub-Hopping

End the night by checking out some pubs, like one of the 200 along the alleys of the Golden Gai. Have a drink at one and hop over to the next as you sip your way through the bars. Most have limited space for about 10 people on an average.


In this article, we didn’t even get to Mt. Fuji hikes, day trips, or hundreds of other things that you could do. What would you do with 48 hours in Tokyo?


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42 thoughts on “Tick Tock Tokyo: Racing Against Time

  1. I haven’t been to Japan yet. I am very keen on visiting this amazing country. You have provided a good list of things to do in 24v hours. I would love to do people-watching in Harajuku in my free time whenever I visit this country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Only 48 hours in Tokyo would be a tough call for me! But you did pack all the big attractions. I had been to Japan twice and both times it was over three weeks. I spent 10 days just in Tokyo and still found it less. There’s so much to explore in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been to Japan a couple times, but never made it to Tokyo! Next time we definitely want to visit the capital! Visiting the imperial palace sounds like a good idea. And the cat cafe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have given me some great ideas for things to do in Tokyo for when I visit it. I have wanted to go to Japan for a long time and I am hoping to go next year. When I was in South Korea, I saw so many cat cafes and would love to go to one as long as it was cat friendly. Tokyo tower is on my list of things to do too. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With only 48 hours, I’d be running around like mad trying to get as much into my itinerary as possible. I love your post and think it would be fun to visit the fish market. It’s such an amazing concept that I’ve seen highlighted in some travel shows, but haven’t actually seen in real life. And of course people watching would be awesome, but with only 48 hours, I’d have to people watch en-route to something else!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I only had 2 days in Tokyo, did more or less these things. But I didn’t have time to go the fish market! I would have loved to go there!! Anyway, 2 days in Tokyo is not enough, so I’ll have to go back! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a timely post. I have been planning to go to Tokyo late this year or early next year. This guide will definitely be of good use since I don’t plan on spending a lot of time there as it could get expensive!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I needed this list! I am planning a visit to Tokyo late this year or early next year. I don’t plan on spending a lot of time there because I know it’ll be expensive. I will bookmark this handy guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love dressing up so I would go for the male version of the kimono. The sites you’ve mentioned are all must see, I like how you put bar hopping at the end of the second day so you didn’t have a hangover whilst seeing the sites! I really want to visit Shibuya crossing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would love to visit Tokyo even if it was for only 48hrs, it is a dream bucketlist item. I would definitely go up that Tokyo Tower especially for those views. I could spend forever at the Tsukiji Fish Market as I am a huge fan of seafood.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First on our list would be one of the fun cafes with animals like the kitten ones! I have one kiddo who loves the quirky things you can find about Japan and would love to visit. It looks like it would be hard to spend such a short time there!


  12. What a fun post!! The title sucked me in and I didn’t quite understand that it was going to be a 48 hours guide until reading the intro paragraph which was actually pretty fun 🙂 Clever idea. I like that the itinerary has a mix of things to do (spend time with kittens?! whaaat?) and is anything but boring. Going to pin this for if I make it out there to visit. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Only 48 hours in Tokyo would be tough! You did a great job packing a lot in. For my second time to the city, I would revisit some favourite places – gluten-free restaurants and hang out in 2-chome:)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tokyo is still forever on my list of places to visit! I want to do all the things you’ve mentioned. My top choices would be the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace.

    Liked by 1 person

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