Tokyo Districts

13 Best Tokyo districts that you should visit in 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article. 

Choosing the best Tokyo districts is not an easy task. 

The Japanese capital is huge with over 8 million people just within the city boundaries. 

Navigating this gigantic metropolis might seem overwhelming, let alone deciding where to stay or what to do because the options are literally endless. 

Since Tokyo has a superb public transportation that connects major parts of the city, staying around a metro station will save you a ton of time. It’s the key to exploring the best neighborhoods in Tokyo!

My guide to best Tokyo districts (also called Tokyo wards) will show you the best spots in the Japanese capital. During the brief tour of the Japanese capital, you will get a complete overview of the best districts in Tokyo and their options for hotels and entertainment.

Best Tokyo Districts: Overview

Tokyo is the largest city in Japan that's home to 23 wards

How many districts are in Tokyo?

Tokyo is the largest city in Japan that’s divided into 23 wards. Minato-ku, Chiyoda-ku, Chuo-ku, Shijuku-ku and Shibuya-ku are the wards that make up Central Tokyo.

Tokyo districts are made up of of smaller areas that have their unique identity. The west side of Tokyo is more modern, while the east side is home to the city’s remaining historic sites. 

What are the best districts in Tokyo?

Ginza, Shinjuku, and Shibuya are the areas on the west side of Tokyo that are popular with tourists thanks to a variety of hotels, shopping and restaurants. Ueno and Asakusa offer a good taste of what Old Tokyo looked like before it was bombed during World War II.


A brief summary of Tokyo neighborhoods

  • Akihabara – A Mecca of Tokyo’s anime and gadget culture
  • Asakusa – The best place to experience the culture and history of Tokyo.
  • Ginza – An upscale district of Tokyo known for its high-end shopping
  • Harajuku – A center of Tokyo’s subcultures and extreme fashion
  • Roppongi – The best nightlife in Tokyo
  • Shibuya – The most popular neighborhood in Tokyo

1. Tokyo Station and Marunouchi

Many Tokyo visitors arrive to the city via Tokyo Station, so depending on your travel plans it might be the first place you will get to see in the Japanese capital. 

The neighborhood around Tokyo Station is fairly easy to navigate and the nearby area Marunouchi is home to big Japanese companies and banks. You can find many good restaurants and stores in Marunouchi. 

One of the biggest landmarks in the area is Tokyo’s Imperial Palace that sits in the heart of the busy financial district.

Although many parts of the palace are off-limits to the general public, you can still book a tour through the Imperial Household Agency’s website

Akihabara is one of the coolest districts in Tokyo that's known for its anima cafes and arcades.

2. Akihabara

Akihabara is an area around Akihabara Station in the Tokyo ward called Chiyoda. Mostly known as a geek hub with a big game and arcade scene, Akihabara has tons of claw machines with the cute stuffed animals, manga and anime-themed cafes and shops and stores selling all sorts of electronics.  

Walking through Akihabara makes you feel like you are in a futuristic cyber-city full of pop-up ads and funky cartoon characters peering at you from huge screens.

It’s one of the most bizarre and unique experiences that you can have in Tokyo!

Book one of the best Tokyo tours

Akihabara is weird, fun and unlike anything else you’ve ever seen in your life! I recommend it as a must experience in Tokyo.  

PRO TIP: If you are visiting this city for the first time, and need help navigating Tokyo wards and districts, take a look at my guide to the top places in the Japanese Capital

Visiting Akihabara is one of the best things to do in Tokyo.
Akihabara is one of the most fun districts in Tokyo known for its its arcade scene.

PRO TIP: One of the best things about Akihabara is its assortment of electronics. If you want a new gadget, there’s a chance you can find it here. A good place to score a bargain on electronics is the Akihabara Radio Center that has two floors of electronic goods. 

Shibuya crossing is one of the highlights of Shibuya, one of the most popular Tokyo districts.

3. Shibuya

One of the most popular districts in Tokyo, Shibuya is a center of action known for its neon lights, towering skyscrapers, and the chaotic Shibuya crossing.

This area is abuzz 24/7 and you will always find exciting things to do in Shibuya! It’s a place that caters to the younger crowd with its organic and vegan restaurants and colorful fashion stores, but you will have a ton of fun in this place, no matter what your age is!

Why is Shibuya so famous?

Shibuya is famous for the Shibuya Crossing, which sits in from of the Shibuya Station Hachikō where vehicles have to stop allowing pedestrians to walk in every direction.

Shibuya Crossing is one of the most popular stops in Tokyo for tourists.

A popular meet-up spot in Shibuya is the Hachiko Plaza, named after the beloved Japanese dog Hachiko, who followed its owner to the train station every day and waited for his return for years even after his death. 


Hachiko’s loyalty brought him a world-wide fame and now the bronze statue of the dog graces the entrance of the Shibuya Train Station.

Check out the best tours of Shibuya

Best hotels in Shibuya

Shibuya is one of the most popular Tokyo wards with tourists. However, accommodation options here are not cheap! If you travel on a budget, try one of Tokyo’s famous capsule hotels in Shibuya. 

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu – Overlooking Shibuya Scramble intersection, this hotel is connected to the train station and has excellent breakfast and super friendly staff.

Shibuya Tokyu REI Hotel – Located just 2 minutes away from the Shibuya Scramble, this hotel is a few minutes away from Hachiko Square. Yoyogi Park is about a 10-minute walk.

The Millennials Shibuya – A great capsule hostel in Shibuya, the millennial offers a great social atmosphere, budget-friendly rates and welcoming, English-speaking staff.

PRO TIP: If you want to get a panoramic view of this sprawling city, head to the observation deck located on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building. The admission is free!

Shinjuku is a major commercial district and is one of the most popular parts of Tokyo.

4. Shinjuku

A major commercial hub, Shinjuku is one of the busiest Tokyo wards.

Shinjuku has a high concentration of shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels of all kinds as well as a sacred old Shinto shrine (also called Hanazono Shrine). Shinjuku station is the busiest railway station in the world.

From here, you can catch the Narita Express train to the airport or take a day trip to Mount Fuji and Hakone, some of the most popular day trips from Tokyo. 

Book one of the best tours of Mount Fuji from Tokyo

Omoide Yakocho is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo
Omoide Yakocho is a popular part of Shibuya

Shinjuku is one of the best Tokyo districts for shopping. 

Among some of the most popular shopping malls in Shinjuku are the huge Takashimaya Times Square with several stores of boutiques and restaurants; MyLord that is geared toward a younger crowd and Don Quijote where you can find great deals on accessories, electronics and fashion brands.

Book one of the best guided tours of Shinjuku

Another place to check out is Lumine connected directly to the south end of the Shinjuku Train Station. If you have extra time, stop at NEWoMan, a new mall also near Shinjuku Train Station.

Is it better to stay in Shinjuku or Shibuya?

Shibuya and Shinjuku are two popular districts in Tokyo, each with its own flair. Shinjuku is known for its shopping and nightlife, while Shibuya boasts the iconic scramble crossing. Shibuya is particularly popular with a younger crowds, and if you like the be in the center of action, it’s a perfect place to stay.

Best hotels in Shinjuku

Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku – A quiet oasis in the center of town, Onsen is a sustainable property about 10 minutes from the Shinjuku train station.

Amanek Shinjuku Kabukicho – One of the best new hotels in Shinjuku, Amanek offers central location, continental breakfast and walking distance to several point of interest including Samurai Museum, Okubo Park and Korea Museum. 

APA Hotel – Higashishinjuku Kabukicho Higashi – A perfect hotel for budget travelers a few minutes away from Higashi-Shinjuku Station.

Harajuku is one of the most fun Tokyo districts that's a must on your Tokyo itinerary.

5. Harajuku

Located in the Shibuya district, Harajuku is an area between Shinjuku and Shibuya along the Yamanote Lane. Harajuku’s most prominent area is the colorful Takeshita-Dori Street, known as home of teenage subcultures and extreme fashion styles. 

Taking a stroll along this pedestrian area is somewhat of a surreal experience. Here you can find stores with bizarre fashion and bright neon wigs, cafes and restaurants that sell colorful candy cane, pancakes with whipped cream and other sugary treats. 

My favorite place in Takeshita Dori is Totti Candy Factory where you can get tasty cotton candy.

Here you might finally figure out the meaning of Kawaii – a Japanese word for cute and adorable things. Takeshita Street gets especially crowded during weekends, so try to plan your visit to this special place on a weekday. 

Takeshita-Dori Street in Harajuku, Tokyo is known as home to extreme sub-cultures.
Takeshita-Dori Street in Harajuku is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo.

Don’t forget to make a stop at Meiji-Jingu located nearby. It is Tokyo’s biggest shrine that is dedicated to Emperor Meiji who lead the country through the modernization period in the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

Here you can catch a break from the bustling Tokyo and learn about the Japanese spirituality and unwind in the Yoyogi Park after days of walking around this crazy city. 

Senso Ji Temple in Asakusa is one of the most popular landmarks in Tokyo.

6. Asakusa

If you want to get a glimpse into the Old Tokyo, there’s no better place than Asakusa in Taito Ward. Asakusa is the best place to experience the traditional Japanese culture, buy cool souvenirs and explore landmarks like Kaminarimon gate; Sensoji Temple and pose for a picture in a kimono.

➡️ Where to stay in Asakusa: Asakusa Tobu Hotel

Asakusa is one of the best places in Tokyo for watching the cherry blossoms (hanami in Japanese). The best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan is April.

Book one of the best Asakusa tours

Senso Ji Temple in Asakusa is one of the best places to visit in the Japanese Capital
Senso Ji Temple in Asakusa is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo.

The main highlight of Asakusa is the Buddhist Senso-Ji Temple and the nearby Nakamise shopping district. 

Although Asakusa lacks the action and the chaotic atmosphere of Shinjuku and Shibuya, it boasts some incredible old-time landmarks and a more tranquil atmosphere.

Unfortunately, many parts of Asakusa were destroyed during World War II and while the district has been rebuilt, certain aspects of the city such as movie theaters and old-style bars have never made a come-back. 

Ginza is an upscale district of Tokyo and a Mecca for shopping.

8. Ginza

The upscale Ginza district is a mecca for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Here you can find a lot of high-end restaurants with English-speaking staff and luxury boutiques.

Where to stay in Ginza: Hotel Musse Ginza Meitetsu

During weekends traffic is closed and Ginza’s main street, Chuo Dori, becomes a pedestrian zone. Overall, Ginza is quieter and caters to a more mature crowd than youth-oriented Shinjuku and Shibuya. Hotels in Ginza are more expensive, so be prepared to spend more if you stay in this area.

Roppongi is one of the most modern districts in Tokyo

10. Roppongi

A popular area in the Minato ward, Roppongi is one of the most international districts in Tokyo in the Minato ward that has many night clubs and bars that are popular with tourists and visitors.

The central part of the district is home to Roppongi Hills, one of the biggest property developments in Tokyo. While the area has more of a business to it by day, it comes alive during the night, when many bars and restaurants open offering the best food and drinks in Tokyo.

Although Roppongi is a fairly large area, most of the action is in a circle that encompasses Roppongi Hills and another large development, Tokyo Midtown. Another place not to miss is the Mori Art Museum on the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.

When visiting the Japanese capital, be ready to spend no less than 3 days to have enough time explore some of the best Tokyo districts.

11. Odaiba

One of the city’s newest districts, Obidaba is a man-made island located in the middle of Tokyo Bay. It is home to the TeamLab Borderless, a huge ferris wheel, and several exhibition halls.

A trip to Obidaba might not be the shortest one, but it’s still worth it because TeamLab Borderless has some of the most amazing digital graphics.  One of the most prominent features of Odaiba is the waterfront with an awesome view of the Rainbow Bridge that lights up in colors at night. 

12. Ueno

Much cheaper than other districts in Tokyo, Ueno is a low-key Tokyo district located in Taito Ward that is a perfect for budget travelers. While it might not offer the glitzy shopping malls and vibrant nightlife, Ueno district is home to Ueno Park, one of the largest green spaces in Tokyo.

It also boasts the Tokyo National Museum and the Ueno Zoo, the oldest zoo in Tokyo. If you want to learn the history of Japan, there’s no better place than Tokyo National Museum. It has a large collection of Japanese art dating to different historic periods and artifacts like kimonos and swords.  

13. Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa is a hidden gem of Tokyo and a perfect alternative to the city’s busy districts like Shibuya or Shinjuku.

Shimokitozawa offers a different side of Tokyo, with a more quiet and local feel to it. Here you can check out the adorable cat temple Gotokuji or the Folk Arts Museum where you can find traditional Japanese arts.

The district has many cafes, restaurants and stores, although it’s admittedly more quiet and low key than more popular districts.

Best districts in Tokyo: FAQ’s

What is the party district of Tokyo?

Tokyo has countless options for dining and entertainment, but if you are looking for the best nightlife, check out Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Roppongi is a Mecca of nightclubs and bars, while Shibuya caters to a young and hip audience.

What month is best to stay in Tokyo?

Shoulder seasons are the best times to visit Tokyo for perfect weather, while December through February is the low season in Japan when you can expect smaller crowds, but slightly chilly weather.

What is the low season in Tokyo?

Low season (December to February and June to July) is the best time to avoid the crowds, with the end of December being the most happening time because of numerous end-of-the-year parties.

Which district should I stay in Tokyo?

The best places to stay in Tokyo are Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, and Roppongi. To get around the city quickly, make sure to stay near a Yamanote Line (or Tokyo loop line) station.

Best districts in Tokyo: final word

I hope you enjoy your stay in the Japanese capital and will have enough time to discover everything that it has to offer. If you need help organizing your trip, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.