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The Ultimate Tokyo Itinerary Planning Guide (Zonal Map + Ideal Times)

Planning an itinerary is not easy. Often, you have to consider geographical distance, topological connectivity, and temporal factors at the same time. Add to that the complexity of a super dense Tokyo with over 500 train stations in its central region alone, and you have a bit of a nightmare.

In an attempt to make sense of things, we have created a map with zones of attractions. The zones represent groups of attractions you should consider planning to visit on the same day. The map also shows the direct train routes between the zones. In this article, you will also find summarized information of the main attractions in each zone.

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Area Best time of day Best time of year Description
Shinjuku Zone
Shinjukugyoen 0900-1630 spring, autumn huge park, picnics
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 0800-1845 all year panoramic view
Isetan depachika 1030-2000 all year food marketplace
Kabukicho night all year nightspot
Golden Gai night all year nightspot
Kabukicho. Source: Daniel Ramirez

 

Ikebukuro Zone
Sunshine City 1000-2000 all year huge mall, panoramic view, pokemon center, aquarium
Tokyu Hands 1000-2100 all year shopping
Takadanobaba evening all year Korea town
Chinzanso night May – June fireflies!
View from Sunshine City. Source: wikimedia

 

Shibuya Zone
Scramblewalk all day all year famous intersection
Hachiko all day all year famous dog statue
Harajuku, Takeshita-dori all day all year fashion, teen hangout
Omotesando / Aoyama all day all year classy shopping avenue
Meiji Shrine 0500 – 1800 all year shrine, traditional weddings!
Yoyogi Park daytime spring, autumn huge park, picnics
Traditional wedding observable by members of the public at Meiji Shrine.

 

Ebisu Zone
Daikanyama T-site 0700-0200 all year super bookstore with afterhours
Meguro River all day spring day and night sakura viewing along the river
Cherry blossoms lining the Meguro river. Source: wikimedia

 

Roppongi Zone
Roppongi crossing all day all year pubs, nightlife
Azabu-juban all day all year trendy neighbourhood
Roppongi Hills 0700-2100 all year shopping, view
Tokyo Midtown 1100-2100 all year shopping, illumination (X’mas)
Tokyo Tower 0900-2300 all year panoramic view
Gonpachi 1130-0330 all year the “kill bill” restaurant

 

View from the Tokyo Tower at sunset.

 

Tokyo Zone
Tsukiji Fish Market 0500-1400 (~0300 for auction queue) all year except holidays sushi, tuna auction
Imperial Palace East Gardens 0900-1630 all year except holidays, Mondays and Fridays garden
Ginza pedestrian paradise 1300-1700 sundays shopping with roads closed
Uniqlo / GU flagship stores 1100-2100 all year value-for-money shopping
Ginza corridor evening to wee hours all year pubs, nightlife
Early morning tuna auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market

 

Tokyo Dome City Zone
Koishikawa Botanical Gardens 0900-1630 spring cherry blossoms
Koishikawa Korakuen 0900-1700 spring, autumn seasonal colours
Bunkyo Civic Center 0900-2030 all year free panoramic view
La Qua 1100-2100 all year mall with roller coaster and spa complex
Tokyo Dome Theme Park 1100-2100 all year amusement park
Tokyo Dome varied all year baseball games, concerts, and events like the Furusato Matsuri
Kagurazaka evening all year food, geisha
All shades of autumn at the Koishikawa Korakuen.

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