Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

by TripleLights travel specialist

Tokyo’s neon lights are something to see for those of you who don’t live in a modern asphalt jungle like Tokyo. They are on throughout the night 7 days a week, and they’re so bright it’s like the city doesn’t go to sleep at all. The lights of Tokyo are so bright they can be seen from outer space. And even if you do live in the city, night time in Tokyo can look a bit different than what you may be used to. The brightly colored advertisements plastering the vertical walls of almost all the buildings on the street have become a sightseeing spot of their own. You can see these neon lights up close and from afar, all around the city of Tokyo. However, below are 5 places that I recommend going to see.

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

 

5 Best Places to see Neon Lights

 

Shinjuku

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

Shinjuku is probably the most famous place to see the neon lights of Tokyo. Just take one step out of the west exit of JR Shinjuku Station and you’ll see what I mean. There are neon lights everywhere. There are also crowds of people everywhere as this is a big terminal station in Tokyo and thousands of people pass through everyday. It’s also a convenient area where you’ll find just about anything.

There are several department stores, hundreds of restaurants, a few movie theaters, karaoke stores, a park “Shinjuku Gyoen” within walking distance, etc. So you can wander around this area for a whole day and still not have enough time to see it all. If you want to see the neon lights from above, go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory. It’s on the top floor of a high rise about 10 minutes on foot from the station. And it’s free! 

Access: JR Shinjuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line, JR Chuo Line, JR Shonan Shinjuku Line or Shinjuku Station on the Keio Line and Odakyu Line, or Marunouchi Line, Toei Shinjuku Line, Oedo Line subways

 

Shibuya

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

You may know about Shibuya for the famous crossing in front of the station. It’s amazing how hundreds of pedestrians can cross from each of the four corners of the intersection without it becoming total chaos. It may be a feat only the Japanese can pull off! If you see this phenomenon from above it looks like a carpet of moving people. The scene is quite spectacular when you see this at night with the neon lights in the background.

Shibuya is known as an area where the youth of Tokyo congregate. It’s situated next to the other famous center of pop culture, Harajuku, and you can walk between these areas in about 20 minutes. You’ll be able to find department stores as well as other cheaper stores targeting the younger generation. There are also lots of restaurants and “izakaya” restaurants which are Japanese restaurants that most Japanese people go to drink alcohol and eat a casual dinner. These “izakaya” restaurants are great places to try Japanese food, as they have all kinds of dishes prepared in small portions.

Access: JR Shibuya Station on the JR Yamanote Line or Shibuya Station on the Hanzomon Line, Ginza Line subways

 

Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is another area where lots of people gather, especially on the weekend. It’s also an area where you’ll find lots of “izakaya” restaurants and department stores directly connected to the station or in the near vicinity. If you’re going to visit Ikebukuro, you should remember to go to Sunshine City. This building is like a shopping mall, but not exactly. It also has a hotel, an aquarium, an observatory, and even a planetarium inside it. And for kids who like Pokémon, there’s a Pokémon center here where you can buy toys.You can spend a whole day inside without running out of things to do so it’s a great place to spend a rainy day. As for going to see the neon lights, you can do that from the observatory or just walking around the area looking for a place to eat dinner after dark. 

Access: JR Ikebukuro Station on the Yamanote Line or Ikebukuro Station on the Yurakucho Line, Marunouchi Line, Fuku-Toshin Line subways

 

Yurakucho/Ginza

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

This area is a more sophisticated area compared to the first three areas above. There are department stores and places to eat, but it doesn’t seem so crowded or chaotic. It’s an area targeted toward adults rather than the youth. The distance between Yurakucho and Ginza is a mere 5 minutes on foot. Ginza is famous among foreign tourists for shopping opportunities. The department stores and boutiques are mostly filled with high-end brands, though you can also find huge fast fashion stores like “UNIQLO” or “GU”.

The center of this shopping district is Chuo Dori, a large street that is closed off to traffic from 12 - 5 pm on weekends. With no cars to bother them, the whole street becomes filled with pedestrians coming and going from the numerous stores that line the street for 8 long blocks. Take a stroll along this street after dark and the scene changes to a sight of lights from the neon advertisements lining both sides of the street and the cars slowly passing by between them. It’s a scene that will make you want to take your camera out and take a few shots. 

Access to Yurakucho: JR Yurakucho Station on the JR Yamanote or Keihin Tohoku Line

Access to Ginza: Ginza Station on the Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line subways

 

Odaiba

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

Odaiba is the bay front of Tokyo. It’s located on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. You can access the area by subway on the Tokyo Rinkai Line or the Yurikamome Monorail, across the famous Rainbow Bridge. Almost everyone will say that the Rainbow Bridge is the symbol of the Odaiba area. But don’t be fooled, it’s not painted in rainbow colors as the name might suggest. It’s actually white. At night it’s illuminated by lights, making the night view of the bridge along with the neon lights of the city of Tokyo in the background a wonderful sight. During the special period from the beginning of December to the beginning of January, the lights become rainbow colored, thus making the “rainbow bridge” a reality. The promenade of the shopping malls facing the bridge are also decorated with illuminations and are a great place to take pictures.

Another night time specialty in Odaiba is the humongous robot “Gundam”. It stands like a guard to the entrance of “Diver City”, one of the shopping malls in Odaiba. It’s an awe inspiring sight which makes you feel tiny even in the day time. However, it’s even more amazing at night when it’s illuminated. The gigantic Ferris wheel attached to “Venus Fort”, another shopping mall, is also illuminated at night. It’s quite beautiful by itself. And it’s fun to ride on for the whole family, as you can view the Odaiba area from above. There are even seating cars that are totally transparent for those of you who want the added thrill of being able to see down below your feet.

Access: Aomi Station, Daiba Station, Daiba Kaihin Koen Station on the Yurikamome Monorail (depends on which area of Odaiba you want to go to) or Tokyo Teleport Station on the Tokyo Rinkai Line subway

 

What do you think about getting the most from your Tokyo trip? 

Here is how...

Tokyo Neon Lights: 5 Best Spots to See Tokyo at Night

TripleLights is a service providing customers with the tour and guide which are the best match for them. You can look for guides and tours like on an internet shopping website. 

All of the guides create their own tours of Tokyo so all of the tours are different. You can also send a message directly to the guide to ask questions or convey requests. Examples of this would be the length of a tour or the meeting spot or where you’d be eating lunch.

And if you don’t find the perfect tour on the list of tours, you can request a tour. For half a day, a full day or more, you can write exactly what you’d like to see or eat, etc. There are numerous guides for the Tokyo area and all of the guides will be able to see requests like this. The guides that are available during your requested dates will recommend a tour itinerary just for you. So you’ll be able to compare what several guides suggest and see which one looks to be the best for you. This way you can create your very own customized tour.

Most tours are walking tours and they’re made so that you can use the public transportation system while sightseeing and get a feel for the city’s layout. It’s an experience that will give you insight into how the local people move around during their daily lives. It’s also the easiest and most efficient way to get around Tokyo.  However, you also have the option of hiring a private car and driver for your tour. This is a helpful and convenient option for people with disabilities or elderly people who aren’t able to walk around the city for hours on end. Catching a taxi is also fine, but sometimes you just can’t find one, so having a car just for your use is pretty convenient, though expensive.

You can also take a look at the guides’ profile videos to see what kind of person they are and also see the reviews they got from other customers. This is an important step in choosing a tour. At most places, you aren’t able to choose your guide nor see what they look or sound like before the day of the tour. And you may have preferences about what kind of guide you’ll have like make or female, young or old. You’re going to be spending an entire day with them so having a pleasant companion during your tour is an important aspect of having an amazing day. So browse our website carefully and choose the perfect guide for you. I hope you enjoy your visit to the largest city in Japan, Tokyo.

 

Blogs About Tokyo

One Day in Tokyo - Trip Plan itinerary recommendation

9 Best and Most popular Tokyo Tours

15 Best Things to do in Tokyo

Asakusa: 9 Things to do

9 Best Things to Do in Harajuku

Need help planning your trip to Tokyo ?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Group of 5 in Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 hour ago Traveler: Cindi -   Tour Guide: Dai

Dai did an amazing job filling a large “want list“ from five very different personalities I’m sure it was a daunting task for him, but we spent two days with Dai and left feeling that we had a fabulous tour of Tokyo And a good understanding of the city He made sure that we were also able to squeeze in some great food and shopping along the way. Dai was flexible, patient, and consid...
read more

“ Personalised Tokyo Sightseeing ”

Very Good
5 hours ago Traveler: Jordan -   Tour Guide: VAN transportation

Big family of 9 adults (including 2 elderly) & 2 young children. Mr Kojima (driver) & Mr Uno (translator) were very polite, accommodating & smiling. They took us wherever we needed to go via the best route possible & were very attentive to our needs. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this service!
read more

“ Perfect introduction to Tokyo ”

Excellent
6 hours ago Traveler: Nonie -   Tour Guide: Keiko

Keiko was an absolute delight - we loved our half day tour with her! We went to the fish markets, Shinjuku and Azabu-Jyuban and then she showed us how to get the train to our next location. Keiko spoke excellent English and was able to answer all of our obscure questions. She told us just the right amount of history as we went around (sometimes guides go into too much depth, but she had it just ri...
read more

“ Varied day in Tokyo ”

Excellent
16 hours ago Traveler: Mark -   Tour Guide: YUKIKO

We had an excellent day with Yukiko, it was varied in that we went to a Buddhist prayer ceremony followed by a garden visit followed by a visit to the Meiji shrine. Tokyo is very big so travel and walking takes up quite some time but is useful to help soak up the detail. Yukiko was very well prepared and knowledgeable, she made a real effort to make the day as interesting as possible and was good...
read more

“ Outstanding tour guide and person ”

Excellent
17 hours ago Traveler: Susan -   Tour Guide: Makoto

Makoto is a wonderful person, knowledgeable tour guide, and has a fantastic handle on the English language. He was flexible with our schedule (worked around a typhoon) and physical limitation. I could not recommend him more highly!
read more

“ Simply Amazing Experience ”

Excellent
21 hours ago Traveler: Mike -   Tour Guide: Yusuke

Yusuke was kind, helpful and very patient as he helped us visit Tokyo. He waited an hour at the airport when our flight was delayed. His English was excellent and he took us to every destination we planned. We would have been totally lost without him. Highly recommended.
read more

“ Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Wendy -   Tour Guide: Toshi(T-chan)

Toshi is a marvelous guide! We had a great day with her in Tokyo. She is knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend the day with. We especially appreciated her kindness and flexibility as we had to rearrange our plans due to Typhoon Hagibis. Thank you Toshi for both your support and for showing us an awesome day!
read more

“ Half day Tokyo with Yasuro ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Jehanzeb -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

Tour layout and plan: We selected our own sites to visit and attractions. English understanding and speaking: 4/5 Knowledge of culture and history: 4/5 Customer service: Very cumbersome, the website does not allow direct communication with the guide till the end so direct communication is not possible. 0/5 for this policy of the website. Overall rating: 4/5 for this tour.
read more

“ Takano was the best! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Harry -   Tour Guide: Takano

The half day we spent with Yoshiro Takano was truly one of the highlights of our trip to Japan. He listened to what was most important to us and accommodated our needs. He even guided us on how to use the train system. We were extremely pleased that we had him for a guide. I would definitely recommend booking with him.
read more

“ An incredible introduction to Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Maria -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

Toshihiro is a truly excellent tour guide. We booked him for two days and he covered the older, more traditional part of the city (east) on day one and the newer, buzzing part (west) on day two. It was the perfect personalised package and it was incredible how much he efficiently fitted in. We got a taste of everything in the city, including Shinto shrine, Buddhist temple, shopping regions, parks ...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started