Leisure activities in Tokyo

leisure in Tokyo
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Updated 2024-03-29 05:50

What to do in Tokyo when it rains? Where to go for a walk? What are the nice activities to do during the week or on weekends? Here is an overview of Tokyo's leisure activities.

Indoor activities in Tokyo

Museums and art galleries

Tokyo has many museums, one of the most famous being the Tokyo National Museum. Located in Ueno Park, it is the oldest museum in Japan.

The Nezu Museum gathers the private collection of Kaichiro Nezu. The businessman made his fortune in the industrial sector in the middle of the 19th century. A few steps away from Omotesando, the museum also has a garden.

For nature lovers and those who appreciate the work of the renowned Hayao Miyazaki, the Ghibli Museum offers a journey to the heart of the famous studio. The museum is located a few steps away from the beautiful Inokashira Garden.

Make way for contemporary art with the MOMAT and the MOT. MOMAT is the National Museum of Modern Art, and the MOT is the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The National Innovation Science Museum (Miraikan) plunges visitors into tomorrow's world. Located on the equally modern artificial island of Odaiba, Miraikan is a visual, sensory, and tactile experience.

Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science, in Ueno Park, features the history of mankind.

Good to know:

Museums in Tokyo offer student rates and free access to permanent collections for people under 18 and over 70 at certain times of the year. Please check with the appropriate museum for more information.

Shopping malls

  • Ikebukuro 

Ikebukuro is one of Tokyo's busiest districts, alongside Shinjuku and Shibuya. Sunshine City is here, housing famous shops such as the Pokémon Center and Disney Store. BicCamera, a well-known electronics retailer, has five impressive stores in Ikebukuro, showcasing the district's solid consumer base.

In addition to popular fashion centers like PARCO and LUMINE, there are other department stores operated by railway companies, such as the Seibu Department Store and the Tobu Department Store. In the underground shopping areas, you'll find what you need, whether you're looking for clothes, trendy brands, or souvenirs. The well-liked Don Quijote and plenty of drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi offer a diverse range of products.

  • Shinjuku 

Another commercial zone, yet another mood. In South Shinjuku, you can head to the train station. From there, you can go on a fun adventure around the luxury stores, make-up and fashion areas, chic cafes, cake tasting, etc.

Shinjuku station's East Exit offers a wide range of shopping options, from trendy stores like H&M and Forever 21 to tech malls like BIC Camera. You can also find major department stores like Lumine and Marui here. 

South Exit Shinjuku has spacious streets and malls, with a variety of dining options and big department stores like Lumine, Takashima, and Flags. 

West Exit Shinjuku features department stores, electronic shops, business apartments, and government buildings, including the impressive Mylord Shinjuku.

  • Shibuya

Shibuya is a well-known shopping and entertainment area in Tokyo. Shibuya 109 is a 10-story fashion mall with trendy clothes, accessories, makeup, and shoes. It's a must-see building in Shibuya and a popular spot for tourists. Shibuya Parco offers a mix of entertainment and shopping, including the Mugiwara ONE PIECE shop and My Melody Café. Tokyu Hands is an 8-story building with DIY materials and craft supplies. The Disney Store in Shibuya Koen-doori features merchandise from popular Disney characters.

Game centers

Usually crowded during the week and on weekends, game centers are a favorite place to relax for young people and adults. You can find them everywhere. Whether you are looking for fighting games, DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), skill games, horror, music, racing simulators, or VR (virtual reality), they are the place to be! 


Karaoke is one of the most popular leisure activities for all generations in Tokyo. From discounter Uta Hiroba to the trendy Karaoke Kan, Big Echo or Pasela Resorts, there is a multitude of karaoke bars and clubs around town to have fun in. People go there alone, with friends, or as a couple, at any time of the day or night, to sing and have fun with their favorite tunes.

Outdoor activities in Tokyo

Parks and gardens

The parks and gardens of Tokyo are green bubbles in the middle of the hyper-urbanized city, and they are genuine moments of relaxation. People gather for the hanami (flower viewing) in spring to enjoy the sakura, the Japanese cherry blossoms. Hanami is a centuries-old tradition and social activity in Tokyo. People picnic under the cherry trees, meet people, and chat. It is a moment of sharing and conviviality. 

In autumn, it is the kôyô (red leaf). You can contemplate the tree leaves as they take on beautiful red colors. The Momiji (Japanese maple leaves) are particularly appreciated.

Rikugien Garden

Located in Honkomagome, Rikugien Garden is a traditional park in the style of Edo Gardens. During the koyo (Japanese autumn), it features a special night exhibition with light effects that highlight the trees and their red hues.

Rikugien Garden is large, and it will take approximately an hour to explore all the walking paths leisurely. The paths go through forests and open lawns and lead to various teahouses that are open to everyone. Fukiage Chaya teahouse by the pond's northwest side is a lovely spot to enjoy some tea.


Only a few steps away from the fashionable districts of Harajuku and Omotesando, the Meiji-Jingu Imperial Garden is one of the most famous green parks in Tokyo. The imperial garden is a vast park divided into several areas, namely one bordered by very tall trees, creating a forest-like atmosphere. Another one, more open, includes a lake, a spacious lawn, and a museum. The great Meiji-Jingu shrine is located in the heart of the imperial garden.


Not far from Meiji-Jingu, lies Yoyogi Park, which offers a completely different setting. Here, the atmosphere is family-friendly, with a first area dedicated to fun activities like dance shows, festivals, and more. The park is divided into several zones, the first of which is ideal for a picnic. Further on, a fountain surrounded by a vast garden welcomes the residents for a new relaxing break.

There are many gardens beside the imperial Shinjuku Gyoen, the Kôrakuen Garden, the great Ueno Park, and the gardens of the Imperial Palace. Overall, the parks and gardens of Tokyo are a good way to enjoy the Japanese capital from a different perspective.

Festivals in Tokyo

In Tokyo, matsuri ("festivals") are known to mark the seasons. In spring, the Japanese celebrate the sakura season, and in summer, culture, music, food, dance, etc., are celebrated. The number of matsuri simply increases, and they are a good opportunity to have fun. Among these festivals, let's mention the very beautiful Tanabata, the "festival of stars". It is held on July 7th and pays tribute to the impossible love of Vega and Altair, who can only see each other only once a year (the seventh day of the seventh month).

Other activities in Tokyo

Tokyo offers many other activities for children and adults. Zoos, aquariums, amusement parks, and batting centers are among the numerous indoor and outdoor activities available all year round.

Useful links:


Tokyo National Museum 

MOMAT; National Museum of Modern Art


Ghibli Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum (currently closed for renovation)

Karaoke (links in Japanese)

Uta Hiroba

Karaoke kan

Big Echo

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