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Tourism In Tokyo Statistics 2024: The Ultimate Tour Guide

Ajitsa A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa A.

Last updated : Apr 15, 202425 min read

General

Tokyo Tour Guide

 

If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo, and it feels as hectic as solo navigating Shibuya crossing (the busiest intersection in the world), we feel you. The world’s largest metropolis (37 million people, and counting) is a complex symphony. At one end, ancient shrines stand proudly amidst neon-lit skyscrapers, and on the other, traditional tea ceremonies peacefully coexist with the vibrant chaos of Harajuku fashion. It’s a lot. 

 

Which is why you need a literary compass to guide you through the greatest, and grandest, of all megacities. From hidden botanical gardens, and where to find them, to historic sites, dos and don’ts, and when to contact a Tokyo tour guide, we’re breaking down the Big Mikan. Ready?  Iki mashoo (let’s go)! 

 

The Big Mikan: Tokyo By The Numbers 

Tokyo

 

Tokyo is a city dominated by numbers. With a population of 14 million within the city center, and the world’s biggest city, Tokyo’s rise from a small fishing village known as Edo, into the second-wealthiest city in the world is as monumental as its tourism numbers. So, how many tourists visit Tokyo in a year? In 2019, a whopping 15.1 million tourists made their way to the grand city, and though this number drastically fell to 2.52 million tourist in 2020, and less than 200,000 in 2021 as Japan shut its borders, things are looking up. 

 

What is tourism like in Tokyo today? By October 2022, as COVID eased up, and Japan slowly opened to international travel, 3.8 million tourists trickled into the capital city. In 2023, these numbers boomed again, with Japan drawing in 19.8 million tourists by October. 

 

Tokyo Love: Who Visits Tokyo The Most? 

So we know Tokyo is a major tourist hot-spot, but who visits Tokyo the most? Drumroll please/ The United States, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Singapore all clocked into the Top 5 in 2022. Need some numbers? Here you go! 

  1. USA - The United States brought in 903,810 visitors in 2022. 
  2. South Korea - Japan’s neighbor contributed 658,600 visitors in the same year of 2022. 
  3. China - Another (slightly) nearby neighbor, China, drew in 454,710 visitors in 2022. 
  4. Taiwan - In fourth place, Taiwan brought in 344,240 visitors 
  5. Singapore - Rounding out the top five is Singapore with 333,410 visitors in 2022. 

Looking to learn more about Japan’s numbers? Check out our Tourism In Japan Statistics 2023.

 

Why We Love Tokyo: The City’s Grand Culture, Scenery & Culinary Greatness

Okay, so the Big Mikan (Big apple) is a major tourist hub, but is Tokyo tourist friendly? Yes! In fact, Tokyo was the 4th most attractive city destination in 2023, out of 100 cities, according to Euromonitor. Tokyo’s sustainability, economic strength, safety and tourist attractions make it one of the most sought after locations, so let’s take a look at what culture, scenery & cuisine you’ll encounter on your Tokyo adventure. 

 

The Cultural Epicenter: Tokyo’s Unique Experiences 

No culture has permeated the world quite like Japan’s, and Tokyo is the center of this diverse and unique nation’s cultural expressions. I myself am a little obsessed with anime (if you’re not, just watch the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen, and thank me later!). Here are some experiences to add to your Tokyo itinerary. 

 

Unique Cultural Experiences In Tokyo

 

  • Anime & Manga culture: Enter the Anime! Japanese storytelling manifests with dramatic impact through anime (animated television/films) and manga (comics/graphic novels). From series running longer than two decades, and Academy Award-winning films (Miyazaki’s Spirited Away) to entire streets dedicated to otaku (fan) culture, anime and manga are ever-evolving vessels of art. I won’t argue about subbed v.s dubbed, because we all know what the right answer is (subbed, always!). 
  • Where To Experience This: Akihabara, The Ghibli Museum, The Suginami Animation Museum, Pokémon Center Tokyo, Fujiko·F·Fujio Museum.

Special note: Most of these museums only speak in Japanese, so going with a Tokyo private guide is essential. 

  • Japanese (Sado) Tea Ceremony: You don’t need a time machine to Tokyo’s Edo era to experience the beloved, peaceful and delicate tea ceremonies that have become synonymous with Japanese culture. From the methodical, yet calming pouring techniques, to the tasty wagashi snacks and ambient atmosphere, it’s the ultimate form of relaxation. Want to take things to the next level? You can wear a traditional Japanese kimono as you sip some green tea. 
  • Where To Experience This: Shinjuku (Maikoya), Ginza (Chazen Te Ceremony). 

Special note: Remember to follow the etiquette that comes with Japanese tea ceremonies, which are explained before the ceremony starts. 

  • Shrine Sightings & Temple Tours: Tokyo has no shortage of historical shrines that tell the story of the nation’s relationship with spirituality. From the elaborate shrines housing Shinto traditions, to the Buddhist temples inviting visitors from across the world, exploring this delicate, yet insightful element of Japanese culture is the perfect place to start your Tokyo journey. 
  • Where To Experience This: Sensoji Temple, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tennoji Temple, Toshogu Shrine, Tomioka Hachiman Shrine.

Special note: Temples and shrines have specific etiquette that not only preserves the spiritual significance of each location, but preserve the physical structures. Talk to a local guide about keeping these customs whenever you visit. 

 

Soaking Up The Scenery: Tokyo’s Urban Skylines & Botanical Beauty

Now that you’ve soaked in the cultural kaleidoscope that is Tokyo, let’s take on the stunning scenery. Tokyo might be the world’s largest city, but that doesn’t mean it's lacking in scenic greenery & modern structures. These are the best views the city has to offer. 

 

A Highlight Of Tokyo

 

Evergreen Gardens

  • Hamarikyu Garden 
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden 
  • Kiyosumi Garden 
  • Tonogayato Garden 

Stunning Steel Structures 

 

Food Lovers Unite: Tokyo’s Culinary Roots Revealed 

We all know how culturally relevant sushi has become globally, but Tokyo is the center of the nation, so be prepared to taste the delicacies that make Japanese cuisine so prolific, whether you’re at a Michelin star restaurant, or a barely noticeable ramen joint. Add these savory & sweet treats to your food discovery.

 

Tokyo

 

  • Sushi: You can't talk about Tokyo’s cuisine without mentioning sushi. Available in an endless variety, from five-star deconstructions, to affordable and still just as tasty, Sushi’s impact on the culinary scene is fully celebrated in Tokyo. 
  • Harajuku Crêpes: Whimsical and colorful delights from Tokyo's trendsetting district. Thin, delectable crêpes adorned with a kaleidoscope of fillings – from rich chocolates and fresh fruits to fluffy whipped cream – creating a carnival of sweetness on the streets.
  • Wagyu: The epitome of beef indulgence, Wagyu is a seductive dance of marbled perfection. Each melt-in-your-mouth slice promises a buttery texture and unparalleled flavor, making it a carnivorous journey into the heart of Japanese culinary excellence.
  • Tonkatsu: Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside – Tonkatsu is a deep-fried symphony of pork cutlets. The golden, breaded exterior gives way to succulent meat, and when dipped in tangy tonkatsu sauce, it becomes a satisfying balance of savory and sweet.
  • Anago: Anago is the refined cousin of Unagi. Delicate sea eel, grilled to perfection, unveils a subtle sweetness and buttery texture. Its understated elegance captures the essence of Japanese seafood at its finest.
  • Tsukemen: A tantalizing twist on traditional ramen, Tsukemen invites you to dip noodles into a rich, concentrated broth. Bursting with umami, this dish delivers a sensory adventure, as you savor each separate element before uniting them in a harmonious slurp.
  • Tokyo Buns: Soft, pillowy clouds enveloping a symphony of flavors – Tokyo Buns are a street food sensation. Stuffed with succulent fillings like braised pork belly or teriyaki chicken, these buns offer a portable taste of Tokyo's vibrant culinary scene.

 

Food Tours: Notable Food Hot Spots 

  • The Ginza Corridor 
  • Under Yurakucho Station 
  • Shin-Okubo Korean Town
  • Tsukiji Market 

 

Where, When & How: Planning The Ultimate Tokyo Tour

Okay, so now that you know exactly why Tokyo is a top destination, it’s time to determine the when, where and how. From top destinations, to weather patterns, we’re going to break it all down. Sounds good? Let’s go!

 

 

Where To Go: Tokyo’s Districts From Akihabara To Tsukiji

So what is Tokyo known for? It's vibrant, lively, action packed and visually stunning districts! Each district seems to have a personality of its own, so be sure to add these to your Tokyo itinerary. 

 

Tokyo

 

  • Akihabara - Akihabara is the hub of electronics, anime, and otaku culture. It's a vibrant district known for its numerous electronics stores, anime shops, and themed cafés.

Things to do: Explore anime and manga stores, visit electronic gadget shops, experience themed cafés (maid cafés, for example), and immerse yourself in the otaku culture.

  • Harajuku - Harajuku is a trendy and fashionable district known for its unique street fashion, quirky boutiques, and youthful energy. Takeshita Street is a famous shopping street in Harajuku. 

Things to do: Shop for trendy and unique fashion, explore Takeshita Street, visit Meiji Shrine, and try out the diverse range of street food. 

  • Asakusa - Asakusa is home to the historic Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo's oldest temple. The area has a mix of traditional and modern elements, with Nakamise Shopping Street leading to the temple.

Things to do: Visit Senso-ji Temple, explore Nakamise Shopping Street, take a cruise on the Sumida River, and enjoy traditional Japanese street food.

  • Roppongi - Roppongi is a lively district known for its nightlife, upscale dining, and entertainment. It's also home to the Roppongi Hills complex, which houses art museums and observation decks. 

Things to do: Experience Roppongi's nightlife, visit Roppongi Hills for art and shopping, explore Mori Art Museum, and enjoy fine dining in the area.

  • Shinjuku - Shinjuku is a bustling business and entertainment district with towering skyscrapers, shopping centers, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Things to do: Visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, explore Kabukicho (Tokyo's red-light district), experience the Robot Restaurant, and enjoy panoramic views from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

  • Nakameguro - Nakameguro is a trendy and hip district known for its scenic cherry blossom-lined Meguro River, stylish boutiques, and cafés. 

Things to do: Stroll along the Meguro River during cherry blossom season, explore the unique boutiques and design shops, and enjoy a relaxing time at one of the many stylish cafés.

  • Ginza - Ginza is Tokyo's upscale shopping and dining district, featuring high-end fashion boutiques, department stores, and gourmet restaurants. 

Things to do: Shop for luxury goods in high-end stores, explore the Tsukiji Outer Market for fresh seafood, visit art galleries, and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants.

  • Kanda - Kanda is a historic district with a mix of old and new. It's known for its bookstores, electronics shops, and traditional atmosphere. 

Things to do: Explore Jimbocho, Tokyo's "Book Town," visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine, discover unique electronics shops, and enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of the area.

Travel Q&A: How many days in Tokyo is enough? The average traveler (32.7 %) spends 7 nights or more in Tokyo, which means there’s so much to do here! 

 

 

When To Go: Tokyo’s Shifting Seasons & Weather 

Touring Tokyo can be a breeze, but given the weather variations, you could encounter a few hiccups along the way. Let’s look at when your ideal travel time should be, depending on Tokyo’s 4 seasons. 

 

Tokyo

Spring: March to May 

Spring is Tokyo’s peak tourist season for a reason. Sakura! The nation’s beloved cherry blossoms are timed every year, and with temperatures around 14°C (57°F), you can enjoy the cherry blossoms, and Tokyo’s outdoor attractions with ease. Just beware of the crowds. 

 

What To Do 

Parks and gardens come alive, offering opportunities for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnics. So enjoy the cherry blossoms at Ueno Park, Sumida Park, or Chidorigafuchi. Alternatively, take advantage of the cool weather to visit historic temples and shrines, and partake in traditional tea ceremonies.

 

Summer: June To August 

Tokyo gets hot during the summer, with august pulling in averages around 26°C (79°F) with chances that things will get much hotter (29°C -84°F). It also brings heavy rains and humidity. If you’re a fan of heat, this is the time for you to travel, and beat the Spring crowds. 

 

What To Do 

Attend summer festivals (filled with fantastic fireworks) like the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. Explore indoor attractions like museums and shopping districts. Enjoy refreshing treats like kakigori (shaved ice) and soft serve, gold leaf ice cream along several food markets.

 

Annual Weather Chart For Tokyo

 

Autumn: September To November 

If you’re fortunate enough to time your Tokyo visit during Autumn, be prepared for calm and mild temperatures of 23°C (73°F) and vibrant foliage. The city transforms into a tapestry of red, orange, and yellow hues. It’s generally the best weather Tokyo has to offer, right next to Springtime. 

 

What To Do 

Autumn is peak scenery season. It’s time to witness the autumn leaves at parks like Shinjuku Gyoen and Rikugien Gardens. Explore historic districts like Asakusa and take scenic boat rides along Tokyo's waterways.

 

Winter: December To January 

Don’t get discouraged by the icy temperatures of 8°C (46°F) scare you off, because if you’re looking for a fresh and crowd-free experience, Tokyo during the winter s your ideal travel time! Also, snowfall is rare. 

 

What To Do 

Tokyo’s ideal winters means you can enjoy festive illuminations in Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills. Want to get warm and toasty? Visit traditional hot springs (onsen) in nearby Hakone or indulge in Japan’s winter sports scene in the surrounding mountains 

 

Tokyo

 

How To Get Around: Navigating Tokyo’s Next Level Transport

When it comes t public transportation, no city beats Tokyo. With a metro line that services more daily customers than the New York subway system, and ease of access, getting around Tokyo is not a matter of if, but how. 

 

Travel Note: Though Tokyo is well-connected with major Japanese cities & prefectures, navigating the connected transport system can be overwhelming. We suggest organizing your transport with a local Tokyo private guide to save time/avoid confusion. 

 

Top Transportation Methods In Tokyo

 

  • Tokyo Metro: The Tokyo Metro is a vast subway network that covers the entire city and its suburbs. It is one of the fastest ways to navigate Tokyo. Lines like The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line is one of the oldest and most important subway lines, connecting Asakusa and Shibuya, and passing through major districts like Ginza.
  • JR East (Japan Railways): JR East operates the majority of the overground train services in Tokyo. The Yamanote Line is a circular route that connects many key districts in central Tokyo. Lines like the JR Yamanote Line is a crucial loop line that stops at major stations such as Tokyo, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno.
  • Tokyo Bus Network: Tokyo's extensive bus network serves areas not covered by trains and subways. Buses are a convenient way to reach specific neighborhoods and attractions. The Toei Bus and Tokyo Metropolitan Bus systems operate various routes across the city. For instance, the Toei Bus Toden Arakawa Line runs from Waseda to Minowabashi.
  • Tokyo Taxis: Taxis are readily available throughout Tokyo and provide a comfortable and convenient mode of transportation, especially for those traveling in groups or with luggage. With that said, they aren’t set to your travel schedule. If you’re looking for private, exclusive travel that follows your itinerary, our Tokyo private car services maximize your time in the city with knowledgeable guidance and luxury access to fast transportation. 

 

When You Land: What To Carry & Essential Purchases For The City 

Okay, now that you know where, when and how, it’s time to figure out what. As in, what should you carry to ensure your Tokyo experience runs smoothly? Let’s open up that suitcase, shall we? 

 

What To Carry On a Tokyo Trip

 

Before You Travel: What To Carry 

  • Travel Adapters and Converters: Tokyo uses a different electrical outlet system, so bring a travel adapter and, if needed, a voltage converter to ensure your electronic devices can be charged without any issues. If you forget, you can buy this at the airport when you land. 
  • Portable Battery Charger: With all the sightseeing and photography, your devices may run out of battery quickly. A portable battery charger ensures that your smartphone or camera stays powered throughout the day.
  • Comfortable Shoes/Socks for Walking: Tokyo is a city that involves a lot of walking, whether exploring neighborhoods, visiting temples, or navigating through busy train stations. Pack comfortable and supportive shoes/socks to keep your feet happy during your adventures. Carry socks! You’ll be taking your shoes off a lot. 

 

Once You Land: Essential Purchases 

  • Japan Rail Pass: For travel outside of Tokyo (can be purchased at the airport). For ease of travel, book one on the official JRail website
  • Pocket Wi-Fi/SIM Card: For portable access to the internet and communication (can be purchased at the airport) 
  • IC Card: For easy transportation throughout Tokyo’s Metro & bus systems (can be purchased at the airport, and reloaded at many ATMs and convenience stores)
  • Compact Umbrella: Whether you’ll use it to protect you from the sun, or the rain, a compact umbrella is a great tool when touring the city. There are several shops selling adorable umbrellas in Tokyo. It makes for a cute souvenir. 

 

Dos & Don'ts: Tokyo’s Everyday Etiquette To Remember

Like many other cities, Tokyo has its own unwritten social & cultural rule book. These social guidelines should help you navigate any part of the city.

 

Dos & Don

 

Eigo Wa Wakarimasu Ka? All About Language In Tokyo 

Despite being a diverse metropolis, Tokyo has an English proficiency index of 503, which is low to moderate, while Japan has a 10% English-speaking population, making it difficult to navigate if you’re not familiar with the language. To immerse yourself in the city’s deepest roots, and learn about hidden gems without the language barrier, a Tokyo private tour guide is the way to go. If you’d like to interact and make your stay easier, these common phrases should help you out. 

 

Japanese Phrases To Use In Tokyo

 

Staying Safe: The Tokyo Edition 

When it comes to safety, Tokyo is at the top of the list, with a crime index of 23.8 out of 100, making it one of the top ten safest cities in the world. The safety index for walking around at night is a high 73.4. You won't have to worry about robberies, scams or pickpocketing, though it is advisable that you remain cautious regardless. 

 

Conclusion

I can hear you now. You're saying “take me to Tokyo!”, and if you can picture yourself sampling the city’s greatest hits, you're in the right place. 

 

Traveling should be about fresh experiences, new memories, and relaxation, so what better way to ensure that than with a local, knowledgeable guide who will build an itinerary around you and your loved one's wishes. Ready to get started? Get in touch with a Tokyo tour guide and start planning your perfect trip! 

Tokyo Tour Guide - Yasuro C.

Yasuro C.

4.79 / 5
(63 reviews)
Japan

Hello, my name is Yasuro (Mr). I was born and brought up in Kansai, graduated from a univ in Kobe city, after moved into Kanto, 30 years in Tokyo, 2.5 years in Nagoya city, 7.5 years abroad (KL & S'pore) as a rep of a construction company and I got the National Guide Certificate in 2011. My hobbies are making Haiku poems, singing various songs (voice-training for 18 years), playing the folk-guitar, trekking in mountains like Takao and Okutama in the West of Tokyo, visiting museums like in Ueno Park and travelling around Japan to make Haiku poems. Thank you for your attention.                                                                                                                                 

Kanagawa Tour Guide - Kaneo U.

Kaneo U.

4.97 / 5
(40 reviews)
Japan

I’m so excited to have a chance to show you around my favorite spots in Kanagawa prefecture. I was born in Kanagawa. I spent my whole school life, including university, here in Kanagawa. I worked as a high school English teacher here for 40 years. I love Kanagawa so much. We have many interesting tourist spots, like Hakone, Kamakura, Enoshima and Yokohama. I got my tour guide license in English in 2009. I am still an English teacher. To give an interesting and impressive lesson to young high school students, I’ve learnt and gathered many kinds of information. I also have a license to teach social studies, so I have a wide range of knowledge about Japanese culture and history. I’m sure to provide you an interesting tour.                                                                                                                                 

Tokyo Tour Guide - Shusaku M.

Shusaku M.

5.00 / 5
(3 reviews)
Japan

My name is Shusaku. I was born and raised in Osaka, where I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the beautiful landscapes and rich culture of the region. During my travels to 10 different countries, I came to realize the importance of listening to the locals to truly understand the culture and charm of a place. This experience taught me that local knowledge and experiences are invaluable in building a deeper understanding and connection while traveling. In my tours, I make it a point to not only showcase the popular tourist destinations but also to share insights into the everyday lives of locals and the culture of the region. By incorporating stories and knowledge from locals, I aim to provide a more enriching travel experience. My mission in life is to foster a deeper understanding of the world through travel and to build connections with people from different backgrounds. I look forward to creating unforgettable memories and sharing new discoveries with all of you!                                                                                                                                 

Yokohama Tour Guide - Haruo T.

Haruo T.

4.90 / 5
(10 reviews)
Japan

I live in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. I have a license to teach in high schools and was admitted to the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language in the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 I had been teaching English at public high schools in Kanagawa for 37 years. During that time, I had some experience of guiding students from overseas through sister-school relationship around Tokyo and Kanagawa. Therefore, I had good command of English with the TOEIC score of 935. As for a tour guide experience I earned the certificate of National Government Licensed Guide-Interpreter in English and since then I have guided tourists to the popular sites around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura and Yokosuka. My guiding focuses on introducing not only Japanese historical and cultural backgrounds but also giving tourists some tips to travel Japan only by themselves, such as how to use trains and subways, find good restaurants, reserve tickets, buy survenier, and speak basic Japanese. In addition, my tour includes opportunities to experience Japanese culture like Zen meditation, ninja performance, visiting anime's location sites based on tourists' request. Besides, by means of my hobbies of writing English Haiku and Waka (traditional Japanese poems) and performing Rakugo (traditional Japanese funny story telling) in English, I can surely entertain tourists during the tour. My moto as a tour guide is let the tourists have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Japan with my profound, intelligible and interestiog guiding.                                                                                                                                 

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