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5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget

5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget

By DAN FORTEZA

Deciding what to do and what to see in Tokyo depends on how much time you have (and your budget as well.) If you only have 5 days in Tokyo (like me…) but surely don’t want to miss those must-see places in the megacity, this is for you. In this blog, I’ve put together the perfect 5-day Tokyo itinerary, specifically for budget travelers, which includes Tokyo’s top attractions.

Hi there! First of all, I am Daniel – a solo backpacker from the Philippines. If you don’t know my story yet, feel free to read this article where I talked about how I quit my job in order to travel. This article was also featured on TripZilla Philippines.

WHERE IS TOKYO?

Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It is a 3-hour flight away from Shanghai, 4 ½ hours away from Manila, and 12 hours away from Los Angeles.

Language: Japanese
Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)
Airport: NRT, HND
Preferred mode of transporation: Metro Train / Subway
Time Zone: GMT +9

HOW I GOT THERE:

Finding a cheap flight ticket to Tokyo, Japan from Southeast and East Asia is relatively easy (and cheap, too!) I booked mine coming from Manila, Philippines.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

HOW TO GET AROUND?

    • Subways and trains are the best way to get around Tokyo. But as I mentioned in my budget travel tips blog – “walk as much as you can!
    • A prepaid Suica card is the BEST way to pay for transport. You can buy a Suica card online at GoVoyagin.com for pickup at Narita or Haneda airport.
    • Buses aren’t recommended for short-term visitors.
    • Taxis are excellent but rather expensive.

TIP: Your navigation would be much easier if you are using Google Maps. In Japan, it is very reliable and accurate. If you’re looking for travel directions, it will give you all different options and how much it will cost for each option. You can either buy a sim card here or rent a pocket wifi here for pick-up at various airports across Japan.

WHERE DID I STAY?

I arrived at Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) at around 7:30 PM from a 4-hour flight from Manila. The first thing I looked for at the airport was the ATM to withdraw some Yen and then a sim card with internet to help me navigate the city.

    • Sim Card with internet – 3,300 JPY (30.22 USD)

Next, I bought a train ticket to Nippori station where my hostel is only a 5-minute walk.

    • Train ticket from Narita airport to Nippori – 1,030 JPY (9.43 USD)
  • Hotel Owl Tokyo Nippori: 4-night stay (click here to book)
    • Hostel room type: Bunk Bed in Mixed Dormitory Room
    • Hostel rate: 755 PHP (14.8 USD) per night
  • Hostel Waqwaq Tokyo Ueno Asakusa: 1-night stay (click here to book)
    • Hostel room type: Bunk Bed in Mixed Dormitory Room
    • Hostel rate:  652 PHP (12.8 USD) per night

You can book a room at any Tokyo hotel through Agoda or Booking.com. I usually book my room accommodations through booking.com. Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

If Tokyo hotel isn’t to your liking, try AirBnb. Airbnbs are immersed in neighborhoods, condos, and townhomes. There is a feeling you get when you stay in an Airbnb that makes you feel like you belong in that city or town. Since it is someone’s home, there is a certain amount of pride you feel while staying there. I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

If you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get up to 42 USD free travel credit by signing up via this link.

MY 5-DAY TOKYO ITINERARY

DAY 1:

1st Stop: Tokyo Skytree

Starting off at Tokyo Skytree! It is a great place to see the view of Tokyo from its observation deck. You can even see Mt. Fuji from miles on a clear day. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Tokyo. You can buy your ticket here in advance.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Tokyo Skytree viewed from Sumida Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tokyo Skytree station

2nd Stop: Sumida Park

I then walked towards Sumida Park and Kototoi bridge. Once you approach the bridge, you will find the park on both the left and right sides of the bridge and also both sides of the river. There is a good spot here to view the Tokyo Skytree across the river!

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Sumida Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • Nearest train station: Asakusa station

3rd Stop: Sensoji Temple

Beautiful temple with traditional small shops and long street towards it. It does get very crowded so be sure to visit early in the morning. Great shops nearby to buy some souvenirs. I bought some Japan-designed keychains here.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Sensoji Temple | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Asakusa station

4th Stop: Shibuya Crossing

The only place I’ve come across where 7 crossroads come together and the lights all turn red at the same time.Thousands of pedestrians then all cross at the same time. Just amazing! My Japanese friend took me to the nearby Starbucks, 2nd floor, where you can actually see those people crossing in action! Watch the video I took below.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Shibuya station

5th Stop: Tokyo Tower

It looks just like the Eiffel Tower, and is located near Shiba Park. I went here with my friend during night and though I didn’t go up to see the great view from the very top, it was definitely a fantastic evening with all such amazing sights. You can buy your ticket here in advance.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Tokyo Tower with Hayato-san | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Onarimon station

DAY 2:

6th Stop: Tokyo Station

You know that Tokyo metro is massive, right? And the heart of it… is this station. Tokyo station is a broad, imposing brick building in the Marunouchi business district just east of the Imperial Palace. Tokyo Station serves numerous lines, most notably as the terminal station for several shinkansen bullet train lines. The design of Tokyo Station is said to be based on that of Amsterdam Central Station in The Netherlands.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Tokyo Metro Station | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • Nearest train station: Tokyo Station

7th Stop: Imperial Palace

If you look at the map of Japan, you will see in the middle section there is a huge area with the park green coloring – that is the Imperial Palace Grounds. The entire area is huge.  This is just a few short walks from the Tokyo Station’s red brick area.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Some parts of Imperial Palace | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tokyo Station

8th Stop: Takeshita Street

This destination is great to visit colorful shopping centers and to buy souvenirs as well. I bought some kitkat chocolates here as my pasalubong. This is truly a must-visit place if you are in Tokyo. The street is VERY crowded though, you could barely walk.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Crowded street of Takeshita | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1.5 hour
    • Nearest train station: Harajuku station

9th Stop: Meiji Shrine

The Shrine itself is beautiful, and the surroundings truly make this a special place. Walking from the bustle of Tokyo into this peaceful oasis is stunning. Definitely one of the top places to visit in Tokyo.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Meiji Shrine | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Harajuku station; Meiji-jingumae Harujuku station

10th Stop: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

The tallest building in Shinjuku, TMG offers sweeping views of Tokyo all the way to Mt. Fuji on a clear day – from the 45th-floor observatory.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
View of Tokyo with Mt. Fuji from the 45th floor of TMG building | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tochomae station

DAY 3:

11th Stop: Odaiba Seaside Park

Actually, you can spend a day here as there are many great attractions. It was also fun watch some local entertainers / jugglers in the area. If you’ve never been to New York but desperately wanted to have a selfie with the Statue of Liberty – you are welcome here in Odaiba!

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Odaiba seaside park with Tokyo's Statue of Liberty | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Daiba station

12th Stop: Gundam Statue

One of the reasons that make me want to go to Japan is because of this Gundam statue. This huge 60-ft Gundam statue was constructed in 2017, replacing an older previous statue. What is new about this one is that it can switch between two modes, Unicorn and Destroyer. This transformation happens four times a day at 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM, and 5 PM. This is located near the Diver City mall in Odaiba.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
The Gundam Statue | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • Nearest train station: Daiba station

13th: Ueno PARK & Gardens

Before going back to my hostel, I stopped by at Ueno station (one station away from Nippori where my hostel is located) to see the Ueno Park. Though it was late February, I was fortunate to see Cherry blossoms in this park!

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Ueno Park with unexpected Cherry blossoms | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1.5 hour
    • Nearest train station: Ueno station

14th: TORII GATES aT NEZU SHRINE

Adjacent to Ueno Park, this beautiful shrine is a hidden gem in Tokyo. You’ll find the tunnel of Torii gates which are picture-perfect – especially if you arrive early in the morning. Better if you come here early so you’ll get more picturesque photos!

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Torri Gates at Nezu Shrine | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • Nearest train station: Ueno station

DAY 4:

I grabbed a strolling map pamphlet (for Nippori area) at my hostel lounge. I really didn’t expect to see much in my hostel area at first but by following the recommended places in the pamphlet – there is a lot to see!

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Nippori-Yanaka strolling map | Dantravels.org
Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
My Do-It-Yourself strolling map at Google App | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): whole day
    • Nearest train station: Nippori station

15th Stop: Hongyogi Temple

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Hongyogi Temple | Dantravels.org

16th Stop: Kyooji Temple

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Kyooji Temple | Dantravels.org

17th Stop: Fujimi-Zaka Slope

Here, people can often be seen stopping to gaze to the West — something not so surprising atop a street named Fujimizaka, which means “Mount Fuji Viewing Slope.”

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Fujimi-Zaka Slope | Dantravels.org

18th Stop: Jokoji Temple

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Jokoji Temple | Dantravels.org

19th Stop: Suwa-Jinja Shrine

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Suwa-Jinja Shrine | Dantravels.org

20th Stop: Nishi NipPori Park

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Nishi NipPori Park | Dantravels.org

21st Stop: SEINJI TEMPLE

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Seinji Temple | Dantravels.org

22nd Stop: Shushoin Temple

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Shushoin Temple | Dantravels.org

DAY 5:

At around 6:oo in the morning, I took two train lines (Yamanote & Keihintohoku) from Nippori to Yokohama city! Transit took me almost an hour to arrive at Yokohama.

23rd Stop: Minato Mirai 21 (YOKOHAMA)

Yokohama, unlike Tokyo, has a pronounced city center – Minato Mirai 21. “Minato Mirai” means “harbor of the future”. So if you are already here, consider the future has already come. This is a wonderful seaside urban area that was redeveloped in the 1980’s. It was a former shipyard but now the space has been converted to an amazing area that has magnificent hotels, convention center, 600 plus shops, and restaurants. It also has a great amusement park with a giant ferris wheel.

I definitely enjoyed a two-hour stroll on this seaside.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Minato Mirai | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 4 hours
    • Nearest train station: Yokohama station + Minatomirai station

24th Stop: Chinatown (Yokohama)

Apparently, it’s one of the largest (and cleanest!) Chinatowns in the world. It is a fun and vibrant place that is full of life and color. A huge variety of shops and eateries selling delicious food at every step of the way.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Chinatown in Yokohama | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Motomachi Chukagai  station

25th Stop: AKIHABARA DISTRICT

Now back in Tokyo, Akihabara district is where every electronic gadget imaginable can be found in the stores of this hi-tech, neon-lit neighborhood. The Sony Plaza is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the district. Regardless if you are a Manga fan or not, this place is unique to Japan and is part of the Japanese culture.

Dan Travels 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: Best Places To See In Tokyo, Japan On A Budget
Akihabara district | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Akihabara station

What do you think of this 5-day TOKYO itinerary?

BOOKING ESSENTIALS

  • Hotel / Hostel
    • Booking.com. I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com. Thus, I recommend you guys trying it as well for your Tokyo Itinerary.  Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

    • Airbnb. Try Airbnb in finding comfy and cozy rooms for your Tokyo itinerary! I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

Have you tried Airbnb? Sign up with my link and you will get up to 42 USD (2,200 Php) off your first stay. Click this link to get that discount.

  • Flights
    • KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

  •  Tokyo Package tours
    • Viator. Viator is the world’s leading resource for researching, finding and booking the best travel experiences worldwide.

Click here to find the best Viator deals in Tokyo!

  • Travel Insurance
    • World Nomads. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Japanese mountains or wandering the streets of Tokyo, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world. Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following: Medical Costs – hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations; Property Loss – luggage and their contents; Travel Issues – accommodation and transportation expenses. Thus, I highly recommend you guys getting a travel insurance. I bought one from the World Nomads (available in 130+ countries) where most travelers get their travel insurances.

Go to this link to get to your World Nomads travel insurance.

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