Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo During the 2020 Olympics

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo During the 2020 Olympics
Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo During the 2020 Olympics

By now you should be excited about visiting Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics and have the majority of your event tickets finalised.  You are now at the stage to better plan your itinerary for Tokyo and better understand things to do in Tokyo during your visit!  And for many activities you should plan to pre-book early as due to the large number of visitors many of these activities will sell out well in advance for the period of the Olympics.

Below I have created my list of the top things to do in Tokyo, to help you further plan your visit and make the most of your time in the amazing city of Tokyo.  We have done most of these experiences ourselves so are well placed to make recommendations!

Note that this article is sponsored by Klook, but our opinions are our own.

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to be inspired and to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Top Ten Things to Do in Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is going to be an exciting event, with events and fanzones being located across most of the city.  While most visitors will want to immerse themselves in the spirit of the Olympics, during your visit is also a great opportunity to experience the unique Japanese culture. 

Below is our personally curated list of the top things to do in Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics – check them out, and make your decisions early to have the best chance of success to get into your preferred activity!  We have used Klook extensively over the past couple of years to book tickets and tours, you may like to check out our detailed review of Klook to learn more about them!

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo During the 2020 Olympics
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1. Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

The Robot Restaurant is a crazy retro show experience in a uniquely Japanese style!  The robots are like giant puppets, with an amazing cast, lighting and sound experience.

When we visited we were not sure if it would live up to the hype, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we really enjoyed the show.  We really enjoyed the taiko drumming section – the energy and drumming were amazing.  The battle between Robots and Humans was also a great spectacle!

The Robot Restaurant Taiko Drumming Set
The Robot Restaurant Taiko Drumming Set

Be aware that the Robot Restaurant usually runs 3-5 shows per day depending on the season and the theatre room is quite small. Each show runs for 90 minutes with an intermission. As a result there is a real chance that shows will quickly sell out for the 2020 Olympics period, so get your booking in early if you are keen to see the show. 

Robot Restaurant ticket pricing has options for either show only, show plus popcorn and drinks or show plus a bento box, all options come with a free gift.  Tickets usually become available from 3 months prior.  These tickets do not allow any refunds so ensure you can lock in your timeslot before booking.

Click here to check out and purchase your Robot Restaurant tickets through KlookUse coupon code MDE8G to get a $A5 discount off your first order!

Klook.com

2. Street Go Karting Experience in Asakusa

A very popular activity for adults in Tokyo is the Street Go Karting experience, where you dress up in character onesies and drive through the streets of Tokyo in a Go Kart.  We also did the Asakusa Street Go Karting tour during our recent visit and loved the experience! 

The tour comes with guides, and you have a guide at the front and one at the rear to ensure your safety and to help you with confidence to drive through the streets of Tokyo.  You MUST have a drivers licence AND purchase an International Drivers Permit (which is essentially a translation of your drivers licence) before you depart your home country to do this tour.  You cannot take your children with you on this tour as each Kart can only seat one person.

Street Go Karting in Asakusa, Tokyo
Street Go Karting in Asakusa, Tokyo

Klook offers both a Short Course of 45-60 minutes and a Middle Course of 90-120 minutes for this tour.  Bookings usually become available from 3 months prior.  Cancellation is free from 48 hours prior to your timeslot.

We did the Middle Course and enjoyed driving through Asakusa, Akihabara and around Ueno Park.  The driving was mostly stop and start with the traffic lights with a few fun sections to do a bit more zooming!  We stopped briefly at Ueno Park for photos before driving back to Asakusa.

Click here to check out and purchase your Asakusa Street Go Karting Experience tour through Klook

Klook.com

3. Sumo Experiences

Most visitors to Japan are intrigued to learn more about Sumo Wrestling, and there are a great range of options to do this. 

Sumo Wrestling Tournament – Nagoya – 5-19 July 2020

Sumo Wrestling tournaments are only held six times per year in Japan, and there is a tournament being held in Nagoya over 5-19 July 2020, which ends just prior to the start of the Tokyo Olympics which are being held over 24 July to 9 August 2020. So if you are planning to arrive in Japan early, it is great to plan to head to Nagoya to see the tournament. 

You can easily visit Nagoya as a day trip from any of Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka, or stay overnight and also plan to visit Legoland Japan.  Tickets go on sale from 23 May 2020 (Japan time) and can be purchased online from the official Sumo Wrestling ticket site.  Note that tickets sell out quickly so get in early to have the best chance for success.  These tickets are not refundable.

Sumo Second Throwdown!
Sumo Throwdown!

Sumo Training Session

Watching a sumo training session is the best option to experience sumo wrestling in Tokyo during the Olympics.  Klook offers a great option to watch a sumo wrestling training session in Tokyo.  Note for families that that viewers must be able to sit quietly on cushions on the floor, so this activity will not be suitable for younger children.  If you require a chair to sit on then please make this request when you make your booking.  We really enjoyed watching a sumo training session during our recent visit to Japan and would definitely recommend it to our readers!

Sumo Training Exercise
Sumo Training Exercise

Sumo training sessions sell out very early so for the best chance for success ensure you make your booking very early.  At the time of writing this article (29 Dec 19) bookings were already available through Klook until June 2020, so by the end of January 2020 expect that July bookings should become available.  Klook offers a full refund if you cancel by 72 hours prior.

Click here to check out and book your Sumo Stable Tour through Klook

Sumo Show Experience with Chanko Lunch

Another great option to have a sumo experience in Tokyo is to watch a Sumo Show and have a traditional Chanko Lunch.  Sumo show location options include in Asakusa and Ryogoku.  This option is also great for families!  The venues are both stroller and wheelchair accessible.

The show includes a sumo wrestling demonstration, a traditional sumo style Chanko lunch, the opportunity to learn some moves and try to wrestle with the sumo wrestler!

The Sumo Show experience tickets usually becomes available 2-3 months prior.  Children 0-6 years old are free of charge, however will not be provided with separate seating or lunch.  Klook offers a full refund if you cancel by 7 days prior.

Click here to check out and book your Sumo Show Experience through Klook

Klook.com

4. Ghibli Museum

The Ghibli Museum is a very popular options for families and anime fans.  If you have ever watched Ghibli movie classics such as ‘Spirited Away’, ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ then a visit to the Ghibli Museum is a great option to learn more about the history of Japanese anime. 

When we visited the museum it was fascinating to see how anime has evolved over the years, and their displays showing the evolution of animation and the Ghibli story and artwork development processes were amazing!  You also get the opportunity to watch a short Ghibli Studios film during your visit.  Onsite is also a lovely café and shop.  Note that to get to the Ghibli museum you will need to travel by train approximately 45 minutes west of central Tokyo.

Ghibli Museum on the Roof - our family with the Robot
Ghibli Museum on the Roof – our family with the Robot

Ghibli Museum tickets are hard to get so you need to plan ahead.  Klook has a great option to pre-order your tickets at a reasonable price.  Pre-orders come available from approximately 2-3 months prior, so ensure you place your pre-order early to have the best chance of success.

Click here to check out and pre-order your Ghibli Museum tickets through Klook

Alternatively, Klook also offers a great tour option which includes the Ghibli Museum.

The Tokyo Ghibli Museum and Inokashira Park Walking Tour departs from Kichijoji Station and your English speaking guide will accompany you on a walk through beautiful Inokashira Park until arrival at the Ghibli Museum.  We really loved walking through the park – it is beautiful in its own right and there are signs along the way pointing to the Ghibli Museum which help build the anticipation!

Swan and Paddle Boats on Inokoshira Pond
Swan and Paddle Boats on Inokoshira Pond

At the entrance the guide will assist with admission and then depart, and you can then take your time to explore the museum at your leisure.  There is a regular bus to enable easy return to Mitaka Station, where you can catch the return train to Tokyo.  

Bookings for this tour usually become available 2-3 months prior.  Klook offers a full refund if you cancel by 11 days prior.

Click here to check out and book your Ghibli Museum and Inokashira Park Walking Tour through Klook

Klook.com

5. Teamlab Borderless and Planets

A newer popular activity for visitors to Tokyo are the teamLab Borderless (in Odaiba) and teamLab Planets (in Toyosu) Digital Art Exhibitions.  We visited both exhibitions during our recent visit to Japan and absolutely loved them!

Both exhibitions are an amazing combination of sensory experiences, combining visual, sound and touch to create unique experiences.  We definitely recommend both experiences for visitors to Tokyo!  Between the two exhibits there are some similar experiences but also some unique experiences in each.  For both exhibits we recommend that you wear trousers or shorts, not dresses or skirts as there are mirrored floors in both exhibits.

teamLab Planets - The Crystal Room
teamLab Planets – The Crystal Room

teamLab Borderless enables you to wander around the whole exhibit at your own pace and to explore with your own route.  However the exhibit can become very busy as a result.  teamLab Borderless is much larger than teamLab Planets and has two floors.  On the upper floors are a great range of physical activities which are fun for both kids and adults alike.  On the lower floor are a multitude of exhibition rooms with no maps and minimal directions to enable you to just wander.  But if there is a specific room you would like to visit ensure you ask the helpful staff for directions!

teamLab Borderless fun with lights
teamLab Borderless fun with lights

By comparison teamLab Planets has timed entry and visitors explore a one way route, again at their own pace.  But once you are through you are finished and cannot return.  The unique feature of teamLab Planets are the water based activities – you wander through the exhibit barefoot.  Ensure you clothes are no longer than knee length!

teamLab Planets - the Water Room
teamLab Planets – the Water Room

teamLab Ticket Only Options

Klook offers both ticket only options for each teamLab exhibit as well as a half or full day tour of Tokyo which combines with a visit to teamLab Borderless.   

Click here to check out and book your teamLab Borderless or teamLab Planets tickets through Klook

Tokyo Half and Full Day Tour including teamLab Borderless

Klook offers a great half or full day tour option of Tokyo which includes a visit to teamLab Borderless as well as the following attractions:

  • Imperial Palace
  • Tsukiji Outer Fish market
  • Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street
  • Japanese lunch
  • Sumida River Cruise (half day tour commences from this point from Asakusa)
  • Toyosu Market
  • teamLab Borderless (or alternatively teamLab Planets on dates when teamLab Borderless is closed)
Sushi Zanmi Restaurant in Tsukiji
Sushi Zanmi Restaurant in Tsukiji

This tour departs from Keio Plaza Hotel and returns to Shinjuku Station.  Optional hotel pickups are also available select hotels across central Tokyo, see the list in the tour details.

Click here to check out and book your half or full day tour of Tokyo including teamLab Borderless through Klook

Klook.com

6. Mt Fuji Day Tour

The opportunity to view Mt Fuji is a top activity for most visitors to Japan and a day tour from Tokyo is a great option. However, Mt Fuji can often be elusive and unable to be viewed, so if you are planning to book a day tour, you should also spend some time considering other activities you may wish to do in either the Kawaguchiko or Hakone areas.

We have written a detailed article on the best Mt Fuji tours which you can check out here, which includes maps and an overview of each of the major destinations to help you choose the day tour option to suit you best.

View of Mt Fuji at sunset from Oishi Park on Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji at sunset from Oishi Park on Lake Kawaguchi

Klook has a large selection of day tour options so you can also click on the below link to see the options!  Please check your preferred day tour options to confirm the advance booking period and cancellation conditions.

Click here to check out and book your Mt Fuji Day Tour through Klook

Klook.com

7. Visit an Onsen

Having an onsen (or hot springs) experience while is also one of the top things in Tokyo.  In Tokyo itself a great option in the Odaiba area is to visit the Oedo Onsen Monogatari onsen theme park.  It is located close to many Olympic venues in the Odaiba area so would be a great add on or time filler if you are already heading to Odaiba for the day!  There is a free shuttle bus to help you get there from major transport hubs in Odaiba.

Your Oedo Onsen Monogatari Theme Park tickets include free use of a Japanese Yukata robe (or summer kimono) with lockers, access to 13 different natural onsen bath options including an open air hot springs, steam baths and rock baths.  The shopping arcades inside the theme park recreate old Tokyo, with lots of shopping and dining options.

Note that men and women bathe separately unless you separately book a private onsen bath for a separate fee.  While you walk around in a yukata, inside the bathing areas you are only allowed to bathe with no clothing.  People with tattoos are not allowed to enter.

Bookings for these tickets are available for 12 months ahead.  Klook offers a full refund if you cancel before redeeming your voucher.

Click here to check out and book your Oedo Onsen Monogatari Admission Ticket through Klook

For other onsen experiences near Tokyo check out options to include an onsen experience as part of a Mt Fuji Day Tour in our detailed article.

Klook.com       

8. Fly in a Helicopter Over Tokyo

An option you may not have thought of for your visit to Tokyo is to take either a day or night time helicopter flight over Tokyo.  We recently did a night time flight over Tokyo and loved it!  It was fantastic to really see how large the city is, and fly over tourist hot spots like Odaiba, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa and more.  During a day time flight you may also have the chance to see Mt Fuji!  Click here to check out our detailed review article of our helicopter flight over Tokyo.

Tokyo Helicopter Tour Family Photo
Tokyo Helicopter Tour Family Photo

Klook offers an easy option to book your flight.  You are collected and returned to the heliport by free shuttle bus from Maihama Station, which is close to the Tokyo Disney Resort area on the eastern side of Tokyo. 

View of the Tokyo Skytree during our Family Helicopter Flight over Tokyo
View of the Tokyo Skytree during our Family Helicopter Flight over Tokyo

Bookings for this tour usually become available 2-3 months prior.  Klook offers a full refund if you cancel by 7 days prior.

Click here to check out and book your Tokyo Helicopter Flight through Klook 

Klook.com

9. Dress in a Kimono and Explore Tokyo

One of the experiences we really enjoyed as a family was dressing in kimonos for the first time and learning more about how many layers and steps are involved to fit them properly!  We would definitely recommend that you plan to dress in kimonos during your visit to Japan.  One of the major areas where there are many options to rent kimonos and explore is in the Asakusa area, however there are also other parts of Tokyo where you can also rent a kimono.

Our family dressed in kimonos in Asakusa!
Our family dressed in kimonos in Asakusa!

Klook offers a great selection of kimono rental options, many of them where you can purchase a professional photo shoot as an add on option.  Most also offer kimono rental packages for families, couple and groups.  I suggest you check out the range of options available at the below link to find the one which will suit your group the best.  Also check the cancellation conditions of each package before booking.

Click here to check out the Kimono Rental Options and book through Klook

Klook.com

10. Do a Tokyo Foodie Tour

We really enjoyed doing food tours in Tokyo – they give you a much richer experience having a knowledgeable guide to explain what you are seeing and encouraging you to try things which may be out of your comfort zone!

Ice Cream in Tsukiji Market
Ice Cream in Tsukiji Market

Klook offers a great range of foodie tours in different parts of Tokyo.  Options range from a Tsukiji Outer Seafood Market tour, After 5 tours, street food, making sushi and a sake tasting tour!  Check on the below link to check out the options.

Click here to check out and book a foodie tour of Tokyo through Klook.  Don’t forget to use coupon code MDE8G to get a $A5 discount off your first order!

Klook.com

You may also like:

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to be inspired and to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

 
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