Tokyo itinerary: 3 days in Japan’s capital

Tokyo itinerary 3 days - Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s a quick Tokyo itinerary for 3 days. To be honest, I’d recommend more than 3 days in Tokyo if you really want to explore Japan’s buzzing, bustling capital. But if you’re on a time limit, there’s plenty you can cram in. I’ve been visiting friends in Tokyo for several years now and feel like I know the city quite well – until I go back the next time and Tokyo’s madness takes over. Every time, I find more new things going on that I’d never discovered before.

I’ve discovered that you can’t ever get to grips with Tokyo and won’t scratch the surface in 3 days, 5 days or even 2 weeks. It’s a city to be loved but never fully understood and I’m fine with that. So I’ve written this 3-day itinerary, which doesn’t cover even a fraction of what there is to do but has a decent balance of exploring, culture, fun and food. It goes off the beaten track a bit but still includes plenty of the big hits. 

So settle down with a glass of sake and get planning your 3-day Tokyo itinerary…

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Japan 2 week itinerary options: for first-time visitors

2 weeks in Japan itinerary options | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here are some potential itineraries for 2 weeks in Japan. After a few trips there, I’ve become a self-confessed Japan geek and so now I’m always answering questions for friends planning their own Japan trips. So I thought it was about time I wrote something like this.

Your plans will of course depend on which airport you fly into: one of the Tokyo ones or Kansai (in Osaka Bay) or another. But these itineraries might be a starting point for you. They’ll give you a rough idea of where to start and how long you’ll want to spend in each place. Hint: there are very few places in Japan you won’t want to spend weeks in.

Anyway, onto the Japan itinerary options…

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How to plan a trip to Japan: everything you need to know for your first visit

One day in Kobe, Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

Planning your first trip to Japan involves lots of practical things like booking accommodation, sorting an itinerary and organising transport. But there are also lots of useful things about stuff like toilets, nudity and hairdryers that you need to know before you go too.

Just being in Japan is so, so different to anywhere else so it’s worth putting the time in with your planning to get the most of of your trip. Japan is a brilliant country that’s hard to do justice to. Bonkers, but brilliant. I’m willing to bore people with how much I love Japan at any opportunity (soz about that).

So here’s a huge brain dump of everything we tell people when they ask us about planning their first trip to Japan…

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5 train-themed things to do in Japan for railfans and train geeks

Five things to do in Japan for railfans | PACK THE SUITCASES

Japan’s trains are a cut above anywhere else in the world. No one in Japan has ever been reduced to tears by the words ‘rail replacement bus service.’ Because of this, they’ve become quite a cult thing to obsess over and Japan is an absolute goldmine of brilliant and hilarious train-based stuff. I knew I’d have to write up my top things to do in Japan for railfans, and I’ve not even scratched the surface yet.

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How to watch sumo in Tokyo, Japan

Watching sumo in Tokyo, Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

Watching sumo in Tokyo was not on our ‘must-do’ list of things for our first trip to Japan back in 2015. We didn’t really know anything about it and it seemed a bit weird and didn’t interest us. But we did it anyway and LOVED it. For our second trip, in January this year, we knew we wanted to go again. And after that, we seem to have become actual sumo fans. Who’d have thought it?

So we thought we’d share what it’s like going to watch it for the day and some useful things you need to know before you go.

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20 unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan

20 unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s my selection of 20 unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo is vast and ever-changing. It has been done to death on travel blogs and in guidebooks but you can never quite capture it. For that reason, I didn’t want to write down what we think you ‘shouldn’t miss’ or ‘must see’ places. But here are 20 things I really enjoyed on my last two visits that aren’t your generic big sights.

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