Tokyo Tourist Traps | Tips For Travel In Japan

Here is a Japan travel guide on some of the tourist traps in Tokyo and some places you could avoid in Tokyo. I hope the tips and advice gives you a heads up before travelling to Japan and makes your trip a smoother one! :)

Places mentioned in order:

Option: Instead of paying to go up the tower, enjoy Tokyo Tower from the surroundings
- Shiba Park (Shiba koen)
- Zozoji Temple

or go up other places for free views of Tokyo
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (in Shinjuku)
- Carette Shiodome
- Bunkyo Civic Center
- Carrot Tower (in Sangenjaya)

Option: Check out the back streets, hidden paths and traditional places
- Brahms Path
- Harajuku Street (Back streets with vintage shops, second hand shops, hipster hangouts etc)
- Tokyu Plaza Rooftop
- Meiji Shrine
- Yoyogi Park

Option: Look at sky tree from other view points and take a short 15 minute stroll to Asakusa
- Solamachi 30th Floor
- Asakusa

Option: Instead of paying the high table charge, check out local Japanese yokocho (back alleys filled with tiny bars and restaurants)
- Shibuya Nombei Yokocho
- Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
- Ebisu Yokocho
- Sangenjaya Chitai Yokocho
- Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai

Phewwww... that was a lot to write haha, if you read up to here - you are the BEST!! Leave me a comment with your favourite emoji!

See you guys soon in my next videoooooo!!

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Author Mary John ( ago)
Thanks for the video. I plan to visit Tokyo in April, so the tips are definitely helpful

Author Traveling With Charles ( ago)
When i went to tokyo two years ago. I went up the tokyo tower, Tokyo Skytree and metropolitan building. I also went to meji shrine and akiharbara.

Author Dylan A ( ago)
Super useful video! Thank you guys :D You are awesome! <3

Author Tokyo Warfare ( ago)
Hey, just came back from Japan, when whent to the Caretta tower, pretty awesome lift experience, we did also have dinner at one of the restaurants. 5200Yien for 2 ppl. The one that offers northern japanese food has decent prices and has tables with views. Other restaurants do have quite more higher end mood and prices. If you can pay 4 them still a great choice!. Tokyo tower was brutally crowded when we passed trough so we decided not to lost time in there. (18:00).

Author evilnatt wittwer ( ago)
1:43 ....wait..what's up with zojo-ji, is that Nazi land or something? and runkji too...shit

Author crystal ( ago)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, I recommend that for the view! It's nice, no crowds, free, and amazing view :)

Author David Santiago ( ago)
Tokyo tower and sky tree but across from the sky tree I found the Asahi Beer Hall building which has a rooftop bar that overlooks the river, Asakusa and you can see the sky tree.

Author twizzler ( ago)
great tips but its Tokyo! you should expect crowds everywhere. lol

Author GenJotsu ( ago)
10:41 This lady is complaining that a lot of Japanese in Japan don't speak English, and thank gawd they can still understand what "she needs". Fuqing entitled much.

Author Maulita Aristya Firmantari ( ago)
thanksssss, you help me a lot 😍😍

Author Arj B ( ago)
How do you know when there's a vegan at the party? ....They will let you know ... 10:50

Author are there any other bliss than yaoi ( ago)
please tell me which one's better disneyland or disney sea? our family can't really afford to waste going on both but we want to have the better experience (fyi I have a 1.5yr old niece)

Author Frank Guo ( ago)
Great job. We need more videos like this.

Author Spring Day ( ago)
Let us bless this woman for waiting in Sky Tree's line, god I swear that must've been painful.

Author Brigitty Mejia ( ago)
The vegan lady was so helpful! whats the name of the app please ?

Author Asiacheetah ( ago)
Wow a lot of views already. I've been to most of the tourist traps (just not the small bar streets in Tokyo). Also been to some of the alternative areas mentioned. Definitely going to have to check out the roof top lounge in Harajuku next time. Definitely agree that Sky Tree wasn't really worth the wait and price. I didn't mind the price of Tokyo Tower and the sky walk (where you step on clear platform) was pretty cool.

I would add that some of the themed restaurants are overpriced and not worth it. I heard Maid Café aren't that great, but heard the Robot Café is good (except insanely expensive). I went to Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku and thought that was cute and the food not bad (really pretty looking). There's also a show with it. Also went to Alcatraz ER theme café and that wasn't worth it. Another item I recommend are the animal cafes. I've been to several owl cafes, a bunny café, cat café, and a hedgehog café. Definitely recommend the Hedgehog café (it's in Rippongi). I recommend Owl Village café in Harajuku (not the one of the busy main street but the one facing the Harajuku station.

Author Richard Ji ( ago)
My respect to the old Vegan woman!

Author Claudia Migneco ( ago)
champion bar is where I spent my new years this past year! loved it so much. karaoke western style with lots of foreigners and a good local mix!

Author Rinny Chan ( ago)
I got lost in Takashita St. One time, then I found those really interesting hidden spots, I did not regret one bit finding those places that aren't noticeable to local tourist. :D I'll be back in Japan again next year april.

Author Kiki LU ( ago)
Found it weird that someone actually mentioned "not many Japanese people speak English"... it's like saying not many American people speak Japanese, which is completely normal isn't it?

Author bersh dj ( ago)
nice point of view and informative and fun !

Author Moo92 ( ago)
Thanks! Helpful video. Was just planning my itinerary to Japan

Author Robin Sarkar ( ago)
nice video so gorgeous

Author silvia andrea guzman ( ago)
I like this wonderful video of Japan is very fantastic

Author Lornetka Baranowski ( ago)
I will be in Japan next week...can't wait.🤗

Author Rubber Duck ( ago)

Author Owlabi ( ago)
2:16 AC/DC Rag x Coji Coji ^^ I have some of those

Author Katie Date ( ago)
I'm not sure if this would be the right comment thread to ask this or if it will work or not. I'm thinking about going to a small group tour to japan with only one family member tagging along next year around March/April as a lot of family friends recommended going around that time (I could go in November too if I can't get in).

A lot of travel agents recommended going for two weeks since I wanted to experience a bit of everything rather than just stay in the main cities and not learning anything at all. I feel very overwhelmed and anxious where to go or what to do to get the best experience. I collected a lot of tour brochures and I tried looking up a list of best places to go. However, they all differ from site-to-site.

I know about the limited English options outside of the very popular tourist areas and will buy a good quality phrasebook along with Genki I (although I was told Genki isn't self-learner friendly) so I can at least have the appropriate basic understanding that would be enough to navigate most conversations because I don't want to overwhelm the local bilingual tourist guide.

Author BNGAdventures ( ago)
Great Video! We stayed at the Richmond Hotel, which is right across the street from the Skytree. The view from the Hotel was better than going up the Skytree.You can see people going in and out of Solamachi. The reflection of the sun rising or setting also painted a wonderful view for us. We especially enjoyed Nana's Green Tea in Solamachi.

Author Dyson Johnson ( ago)
see $8 is not much to go up tokyo tower. I live in canada and to go up the CN tower cost $74

Author Rose ( ago)
I'm so disappointed in the Australians lmao, why do they need to speak English they're not an English speaking country????

Author Aero man ( ago)
Happy Cow was recommended by the lady which is a great app/site for vegetarians! I don't eat pork so this is a great app!

Author Aero man ( ago)
Great video and I like that you offered suggestions and visuals of where to go instead of the touristy overpriced places. I am planning a trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Uji area and maybe Sapporo. What month was this video shot? I am still deciding on when to visit Japan...I am def ruling out summer as I don't want to melt. ;)

Author wayne MARTIN ( ago)
Loved your video ;Thank you for sharing

Author Angela SN Dirige ( ago)
So helpful:)

Author Alastor Crow ( ago)
We went to Skytree and Tokyo Tower during the weekdays in November and there was pretty much no line. Had to wait maybe less than 5 minutes for the Skytree tickets. I was very surprised to see how busy it is during the tourist season. As for bars, I really enjoyed nonbei yokocho. We found a small 6 seater bar with very friendly locals. My Japanese is pretty terrible but enough to convey basic ideas and small stories or ask questions.

Looking forward to our visit next year and hopefully, by that time, my Japanese would have improved significantly.

Author Jarrelle Blackwell ( ago)
For clubbing in Japan I'd choose Osaka over Tokyo. Osaka's dancing scene is pretty big especially around Ame-Mura and Soemon-cho area

Author Holly Plyler ( ago)
I still wanna go to Tokyo tower. at least once.

Author YaPaNiMaYu DaYa ( ago)
Avoid Shinjuku(crazy robot cafe thing is there though) and all the Nigerians etc. etc. They want you to go to their bars so they can drug/scam you. Be weary and don't trust them even if they offer you "deals". Don't get all hung up in Tokyo go to Osaka and Kyoto btw.

Author Lawyer Traveler ( ago)
Excelent video thank you for the advice

Author Bosch Voyage ( ago)
Love the observatory options! Thank you!

Author L T ( ago)

Author basicrandomerteen ! ( ago)
where i live it costs $25 to get in to a bar/club

Author TBZK ( ago)
I went to Tokyo at the end of November and there was nooooo one at Skytree haha

Author Mikhailmitch ( ago)
Looking forward to visit and experience Japan! Nice video 😊

Author gaijinhito ( ago)
One place I felt was overrated was the Imperial Palace tour. You sign up on the imperial household agency website, and it is free, but they just show you a few buildings on the outside. It would be more interesting if you could go inside some of the places.

The Palace's East Garden is also free, rarely crowded, and kind of nice to just wander around or have a picnic.

Author kayteeflick ( ago)
I am going to Tokyo in two weeks! All of your videos have been very helpful!

Author Mark Bukata ( ago)
I am a handicapped person. In your opinion can a person in a wheelchair travel to locations you have shown?

Author Meekle58 ( ago)
Bar Champion in Golden Gai is really great. 500 yen drinks isn't all that bad and the no cover charge is always a winner. Just got to make sure you've always got a drink in your hand, otherwise you're outta there

Author TULF-Rich ( ago)
sky tree is great, go on sunday ay the last visitor hours. plus is not worth playing extra money for a higher view ;)

Author Yash Keni ( ago)
I really wanna visit Japan someday

Author Kitty Cutie ( ago)
It's so sad that tourists are ruining Takeshita dori, I'm still going to visit anyway since I wear various Harajuku fashions, but I promise to only buy clothes from businesses that have a legitimate love for our fashions and aren't there to just scam tourists.

Author sayhai ( ago)
At 10:14, what happened to that pole??

Author Hoang Nguyen Tran ( ago)
where are you from ? you are not look like Japanese girl

Author robert stanley ( ago)
10:28 he must be from the BAY AREA! 🙌🏼 YEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Author Pont Neuf ( ago)
Thanks! You just ruined my itinerary......nah just kidding.😬

Author Juan Miguel Mercado ( ago)
Skytree in my opinion wasn't a worthy investment. Lines were too long and once your were at the top, the view didnt justify the fee and waiting time

Author Tanisha Sharma ( ago)
I always wanted to visit Japan but I'm a vegan.
Advice from that vegan lady was so helpful! yay!

Author Mung ( ago)
lol the Aussie lady that was surprised alot of people don't speak English in Japan..... :-)

Author Windom Morris ( ago)
If you're watching this in Vegan Ayyy

Author Jacco H ( ago)
How to find out if someone is vegan: They will tell you within 15 seconds into a conversation 10:54

Author jungyew ( ago)
Thanks for the valuable tips.  My wife and I have been watching your vids in preparation for our honeymoon.

Author Koharu Gosia ( ago)
Great video, I wish it was available before I went to Japan last year.

Author eclipseNF ( ago)
That's not New Zealand bro

Author TeamRabbit Alec ( ago)
You can enjoy nature at the same time (as camera pans across a dead looking tree).

Author Tanuki ( ago)
First time in Japan I was afraid by this bar in Golden Gai 7:42 the owner looks like a witch

Author Hyeon Kim ( ago)
Thank you for this video is perfect for me!

Author Undefined Genderguy ( ago)
The metropolitain building had literally no line, and the view was great.

Author tobytomic ( ago)
Thank youuuuuuu <3

Author Doreen Green ( ago)
I expected Tokyo to have higher towers than that for some reason. Not that i'm saying its a bad thing.. Just.. i dunno..

Author Harry Lin ( ago)
I had a good experience about Tokyo. I would say the subway system is definitely worth checking out. Also, if you are a Pokemon fan, you HAVE to visit the Pokemon Center! It's like heaven!

Author Harry Lin ( ago)
Great! Just great!

Author Katrina Tizon ( ago)
I love how informative this video is! I've been to harajuku st. But the stuff there are quite expensive for second hand stuff. I still prefer the goods in takeshita. LOL

Author Tree Trunks ( ago)
This was amazing! There's no way in hell I'd go to the top of the sky tree though.

Author cSharpIndonesia ( ago)
are you a local, by any chance? :)

Author Rob J ( ago)
Most of this seems common sense for a somewhat experienced traveler, but thanks for pointing out a few alternatives, often within walking distance.
Personally I don't get the fascination with tall buildings and views. Have been dragged along to many over the years, including some iconic ones such as the Eiffel, Acropolis and Statue of Liberty. It's just not worth the hassle. One big city panorama after another, and nothing is particularly memorable. It's often more striking to see the tall building at a distance, as you suggest. The one exception is if you actually know the city very well, because then you start adding content and experiences to the birds-eye view.

Author Moustache D. Luffy ( ago)
Great video - very informative! I was planning on visiting Tokyo Tower, but really the main reason I want to go is for the One Piece exhibit (fanboy over here). If it's free to get into that, I'll gladly save my money and check out one of the free views of Tokyo instead. ;)

Author Orange ( ago)
The music was so repetitive and annoying.

Author oooBASTIooo ( ago)
I would definitely recommend going to Odaiba, especially when it is warm. There is a nice view of the bay and of the Rainbow bridge and then there is the Gundam statue at Diver's mall or you could take a ride on the Ferris Wheel there. I really like to be there whenever I'm in Tokyo. Also, there is an October fest there every few months, so you can see Japanese dressed in Bavarian outfits dancing to German music. And they have the real beer! (though it is expensive). Afterwards you can take a boat taxi to asakusa, which I think is a great way to see the city and some are operated for normal transport and these aren't even expensive.

Not far from Mita/Tamachi is the temple where the 47 Ronin are buried, there is also a small museum that displays some of their properties, also some self-made armor. It is a nice place to visit and pretty much unknown to both locals and tourists so it is a great place to visit if you are into Edo period history.

Author BS Detective ( ago)
Avoid Fukushima

Author Anthony Servello ( ago)
I wouldn't go to Ganpachi, The Kill Bill Restaurant. It is an overpriced izakaya and the food isn't good. The only cool thing is when you walk in, it does feel like you stepped onto the set of Kill Bill.

Author penalcrack ( ago)
were accan fi gt soe prostitues in toyko f or cheap i on abudget

Author Tabithia Moore ( ago)
If an EXO concert is a tourist trap, I'll fall for it everytime

Author Marotinus Wong ( ago)
good job! keep it up!

Author NZ CAMPER ( ago)
sounds like a kiwi accent

Author Starving Rtist ( ago)
Thank you for the tips! Which camera did you use to film these footage?

Author P trick ( ago)
Goes to the REDline district. Sees a 6,7foot Japanese woman with broad shoulders...Admiral Ackbar It's a Trap!

Author Andrea Howard ( ago)
Where did u get your purse?

Author NiftyNiklz ( ago)
Thank god I skipped Sky Tree while in Tokyo; We went up Roppongi Mori tower (sp?). It was amazing; especially because they had the Sailor Moon exhibit up there at the time, and cafe.

Author S. Andre Yoder Harris ( ago)
thank you see you in July Tokyo

Author hynkie ( ago)
What were some of these people expecting from the Skytree? I thought it was fantastic. It gives you a really good perspective of how big that city is and how many millions of people are going about their lives down below. All the offices, apartments, cars... I found it to be very moving and humbling to look down and barely be able to make out the people below and to know that minutes before that I was just another tiny dot walking down the street. There are so many people in that city alone. It was quite thought-provoking. Is it a bit expensive for what it is? Yes of course but I still believe it is worth it.
Note that I can see how going during a crowded time could really take away from the experience. I went at the perfect time- right as the sun was just above the horizon and right as it set. There wasn't much of a crowd and I was able to see the city both in daylight and at night. It was a bit foggy but it was still a wonderful sight and I recommend it to anyone visiting Tokyo. If you go on a day with no fog you'll get even a better view than I did.

Author hulkydulk ( ago)

Author Caroline Scher ( ago)
A big tourist trap that I went to was Gonpachi, the restaurant from the movie Kill Bill. It was very overpriced and I saw the most foreigners there than anywhere else in Tokyo.

Author leylafashion ( ago)
I only went to Takeshita dori for shopping right when the shops open ;) otherwise Laforet is a good alternative. I love Tokyu rooftop. Mostly I just avoid touristy spots in weekends.. during weekdays you can enjoy it all much more. never had to wait for sky tree to enter..
Disney sea is also one of my favorite places, so I guess it all is very personal ;)

Author Louiseceil Akira ( ago)
I don't need any tourist spots....I just want to see the sakura tree in its full bloom in springtime

Author timtimzi ni ( ago)
If I'm traveling to Japan, would I need to know a decent amount of Japanese? I'm from the US traveling to Korea and hopefully stopping by Japan alone.

Author Lichtgestalt Kruemel ( ago)
Be at the sky tree right at opening times = no lines. ;)

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