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What to Do in Tokyo: 10 Experiences to Have

Driving Go-Karts in Tokyo Dressed as Mario and Luigi 


Japan is a cultural experience like no other and has been of our favorite countries. Tokyo, the most populated city of Japan by far, is a must visit at least once in your lifetime. There are so many unique things to do and experience in Tokyo so I've put together this list of 10 experiences you must have when you visit! For other Japan inspiration, check out our hashtag #LevitateJapan

Xo, Alicia

1. MariCar

Arguably the coolest tour we have ever done, we drove around the streets of Tokyo for 3 hours in a go-kart dressed as Mario and Luigi with Maricar. Side-by-side with the normal traffic of Tokyo, we were happy we opted for the longer tour as it gave us enough time to get comfortable driving on the street (opposite side of the road than the USA) and enjoy the ride. This is such a unique experience to Japan and it was so much fun! We have a video coming soon of the experience so keep an eye out for that! TIP: It's a requirement of the company to have an International Driver's License so be sure to get yours before going to Tokyo. We got ours at AAA and the whole process took 30 minutes. This is something you can't miss!


Alicia Mara dressed as Mario Go-Kart Experience Tokyo Leo Chan dressed as Luigi Go-Kart Experience Tokyo
Alicia Mara dressed as Mario Go-Kart Experience Tokyo
Leo Chan dressed as Luigi Go-Kart Experience Tokyo Alicia Mara dressed as Mario Go-Kart Experience Tokyo

2. Shibuya

Find a cafe (like the Starbucks) on the second floor or higher to watch the crossing and really appreciate how cool Shibuya is. This is one of the most iconic spots in Japan so be sure to take it in and people watch. Tip to get a photograph here: Stand across the street from who will be taking your photo. Anticipate the street crossing signal to change, run to the middle of the crossing to beat the crowd and then walk for a shot.


Leo Chan at Shibuya Crossing Tokyo, Japan Shibuya Crossing Tokyo, Japan
Leo Chan at Shibuya Crossing Tokyo, Japan


3. Interesting Cafes

Japan is known as the birthplace of the cat cafe, which you know I am a huge fan of. However, on this trip, we heard about the Hedgehog Cafe and decided to do something different. We had a 30/40 minute wait though we were in line before Harry's Hedgechog Cafe opened. Nearby Harajuku, they allow for a 30-minute slot. The hedgehogs are adorable, but also fiercely nocturnal. They curled up into a little ball and napped as soon as we held them and we felt bad for disturbing their sleep. Would I do it again? Probably not. Next time I will admire them from afar and pet cats instead!

We also came across a very fun cafe that serves rainbow coffee! Color me impressed (excuse the pun).  Roar Coffeehouse & Roastery was also the best cup of coffee we had on the trip.


Alicia Mara at Hedgehog Cafe in Tokyo Leo Chan at Hedgehog Cafe in Tokyo
Hedgehog Cafe in Tokyo
Rainbow Latte in Tokyo Rainbow Latte in Tokyo

4. Harajuku

Harajuku is a must see and in Tokyo and really exciting experience. Known for its fashion scene, the streets are packed with quirky vintage shops as well as some small bars and cafes. If you're looking to get some funny cat apparel, this is the place!

One of the most fun Instagram shots we got here was with Totti Candy Factory's larger than life rainbow cotton candy. It's bigger than your head and instantly makes you feel like a large kid.

For a mind-bending shot, be sure to check out the mirrored escalator entrance to the Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku shopping complex.

Alicia Mara Harajuku Cotton Candy Harajuku Cotton Candy
Unique Photo Spot in Tokyo


6. Hotel Room with a View

We were very lucky to stay at the beautiful Shangri-La Tokyo on our trip to Tokyo and had a beautiful view of the city. Our room had floor to ceiling windows, perfect for admiring the skyline day and night. It was convenient to take city shots from the comfort of our hotel and watch the city go from day to night. You can see our full write up about the Shangri-La Tokyo here.


Alicia Mara at the Horizon Club at Shangri-La Tokyo  Horizon Club at Shangri-La Tokyo
Leo Chan room view at Shangri-La Tokyo
Leo Chan room view at Shangri-La Tokyo Room view at Shangri-La Tokyo

8. Shinjuku

Another busy area of Tokyo, there are plenty of shops and places to eat here. Here you can find the alleyway called Omoide Yokocho. It's a cool place to take beautiful photographs and to stop by for drinks or light bites. It's a bit expensive and in the summer can be quite hot and cramped, but definitely worth checking out! We met up with a friend here for drinks and Yakitori and had a great time.

Leo Chan in Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
Leo Chan in Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
Shinjuku Buildings

9. Senso-ji

This was definitely another highlight of the trip. Senso-ji is an ancient Buddhist template and one of Tokyo's most colorful. It's arguably Tokyo's most famous temple and for good reason. Not only is the temple beautiful to take in, but there is also a large shopping street called Nakamise between the outer and inner gate. Wander around here to find many unique souvenirs and delicious snacks.

Nakamise Shopping Street at Senso-ji
Senso-ji Temple Alicia Mara at Senso-ji Temple
Leo Chan at Senso-ji Temple Leo Chan at Senso-ji Temple


10. Wander in Gardens

Even though we were in Tokyo at the end of February we were lucky to find some Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. We spent an afternoon wandering around and taking it all in.

We also visited Meiji Gardens and came across the Meiji Shrine and an epic beer wall!


Leo Chan with Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Garden Tokyo Leo Chan with Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Garden Tokyo
Leo Chan with Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Garden Tokyo
Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Garden Tokyo Alicia Mara with Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Garden Tokyo
Alicia Mara at Meiji Garden Beer Wall Tokyo Leo Chan at Meiji Garden Beer Wall Tokyo
Meiji Garden Beer Wall Tokyo
Leo Chan at Meiji Shrine Wall Tokyo

(okay, one more!)

11. Eat (A LOT)

There are endless food options to eat in Japan and you should try as many as you can! Eating in Japan is an experience unique to itself! With my gluten allergy, eating in Japan can be a bit tough, but I found a few great gluten-free options. Make sure to screenshot this card and bring it with you! As a bonus, I found gluten-free ramen at Soranoiro Nippon and Afuri Ebisu.


Hope you enjoyed this guide! Let us know what you think in the comments! Please let us know what you think and want to see more of. Is there a country you really want to see next? Let us know!

2 comments

  1. I have honestly never read such overwhelmingly good content like this. I agree with your points and your ideas. This info is really great. Its really enjoyable and stunning photos you shared.

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  2. Cat cafe is a very cool place! I would definitely visit him. I sooo love cats. I have three cats at home! But I spend a lot of time looking after them. I buy for them a bunch of toys, care products and stuff. The best food for cats I buy on this link. They are always happy and well fed. I hope to go to Tokie and be sure to visit this place. Good luck to all!

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