My First Solo Trip To Tokyo: Tokyo Itinerary for 3 days

Tokyo, the heart of Japan, is famous for its beautiful places and exotic culture. In this article, I’m sharing my first solo trip to Tokyo, as well as my Tokyo itinerary for three days.

Arriving in Tokyo

I was overwhelmed when I first got to Narita airport. “Wow! There are so many people!” – I first thought. Several customers are waiting for flights or people who just arrived like me. It was chaotic.

Although I had already searched for how to get from the airport to Tokyo, I still struggled to find the subway. I had to ask for help.

Things to do in Tokyo on the first day

a) Ueno Park

I decided to spend my first day at Ueno Park, a popular park with lovely walking paths and several museums.

There were so many people at the park that day, so I had to wait in a long line to get into a dinosaur museum.

It was pretty weird at first when being alone and seeing only couples or friend groups around, but I had a good time exploring the museum and the park on my own.

things to do in Tokyo

b) Shibuya crossing

I spent an evening in the Shibuya area and visited the famous Shibuya crossing.

It was crazy to see how many people were crossing that intersection at once. At some point, I did not feel lonely anymore. Instead, I felt happy that I could explore a new place on my own.

places to visit in Tokyo shibuya
There are so many people crossing at the same time at the Shibuya intersection.

c) Time for Sushi

On that day, I also went to a restaurant alone for the first time and enjoyed some Japanese food.

It was great because that sushi restaurant offered single chairs for solo travelers. I could enjoy my dinner at my speed and not worry whether I ate too fast or too slow.

So, how did I sleep at night?

Trying to catch free wi-fi at McDonald’s, I found the nearest Internet Cafe to sleep. I paid for a small area (2×2 square meters) for 8 hours and spent my first night there.

The Internet Cafe had a corner for female travelers, so I didn’t need to worry about safety. Some Japanese guys stared at me when I first checked in, but it was nothing more.

Internet cafe tokyo
A 2×2 square meters room in Tokyo

After resting a bit, I planned the following day’s activities while eating free ice cream from this place.

Yes, Internet Cafe in Japan offers free ice cream and a drink bar. If you’re not a fan of Internet Cafe, you can see this list of Best hotels in Tokyo.

Things to do in Tokyo on the 2nd day

Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park & Takeshita Street

The next day, I woke up early at 6 am, caught a train, and visited Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and Takeshita Street. Even though I got lost at first, I figured out where to go thanks to the help of a local man.

It’s an interesting part of traveling, right? Getting lost and let the road be your guide.

I spent tons of time wandering around Takeshita Street. Every shop is unique, so you should make sure to check out all of them!

places to visit in Tokyo Takeshita Street
I accidentally came across Takeshita Street. This place was full of people!

At night, I chose to stay at the Internet café just like the previous day, but I couldn’t find the place.

A Japanese girl offered to help me, and she even took me along the way to the Internet café. It was so lovely of her to do so.

Things to do in Tokyo for the 3rd day

a) Shinjuku Gyoen

I visited Shinjuku Gyoen in the morning and enjoyed beautiful nature. You’ll need to pay a small entrance fee, but it’s worth it.

b) Lunch & Joining the Festival

Because I have a goal to try Vietnamese Pho around the world, I had my lunch at a Pho restaurant in Tokyo.

I was surprised when the owner suggested I visit a Vietnamese festival nearby. “Wow, what a coincidence! I’m in Tokyo, and now there’s a Vietnamese festival”.

I was so happy to attend my home country festival in this country since I missed Vietnamese food a lot.

Although it was a Vietnamese festival, there were food stands from all over the world and many performances. I had a good time at the festival, talking with people and making new friends.

Vietnamese festival in Tokyo
Yummy food to try at Vietnamese festival

The most memorable experience during my trip to Tokyo

When visiting Tokyo, one of my bucket lists is to buy cheesecake from Pablo – the famous cheesecake brand that I saw several times on Facebook.

However, I got lost and couldn’t find the way without the Mobile data. I tried to ask an old lady for the instruction, but she didn’t know the location.

Luckily, a Japanese man nearby just offered to help me find that store. We walked together for around 30 minutes, crossed many streets and buildings, and finally got to the place.

But we were not there yet cause that mall has seven floors and five underground floors!

I was thinking about giving up, but he still wanted to help me. We walked around the mall, went to 6 different floors, asking tons of people to find the place! We finally found this cheesecake stand on the 2nd underground floor after that.

That man asked me “How did you know about the place?”

I said “Ah… I saw the cheesecake on Facebook”

He was surprised by my answer and said that I knew more about Tokyo than him (haha!). He said goodbye to me because he had to get back to work. The cheesecake was yummy, but 1-hour walking was just too much.

The impression from my first solo trip to Toyko

I was so surprised by how friendly the people in Tokyo were. They spent their time helping other people.

That guy was a stranger, but he was willing to help and spent his lunch break finding the cheesecake shop with me.

I heard the story from my friends that a guy went with them the whole way on the train to guide them to the correct place, and I doubted it, but this experience made me believe in the kindness of people :)


Before visiting Tokyo, I’ve never had any solo trips.

At that time, I didn’t start traveling alone or think about doing a solo trip.

In Vietnam, I just traveled to some cities with my family, and in Japan, I did camping, field study trips, weekend trips, but I was always with a group of people.

I was in my comfort zone and didn’t try to break it. With me, traveling alone was lonely and dangerous.

Preparation for visiting Tokyo

Since it was my first time traveling alone, I decided to do something differently.

  • No Mobile Data during the trip
  • Using Maps and asking people if I got lost
  • Not booking any accommodation beforehand
  • Preparing a small plan for the first day about what to do, where to go, what to eat

That’s it. I took a small backpack I used daily to school and went on a solo trip to Tokyo.

Why did I travel solo to Tokyo?

Even though I live in Japan, Tokyo is different from my place, a small onsen town in Kyushu – the South of Japan.

I was thinking of visiting Tokyo for a long time but didn’t have a chance to do it. Eventually, I had to go to Tokyo because I had to apply for a visa to Denmark for my exchange. (I studied at Copenhagen Business School for one year as an exchange student)

How my first solo trip to Tokyo changed my life


Remember how I thought about a solo trip?

I never expected to travel alone, and now I’m more than happy to do that. Now, I feel comfortable going everywhere on my own. Also, I know how to take care of myself while on a solo trip.


The freedom to decide where to go, what to eat, and when to do it made my trip unforgettable. I’m not tied to anyone’s plan or schedule when traveling solo and don’t need to worry about others’ feelings.

Also, I can travel in my space and enjoy the destination in my style. I’m growing my love for solo trips <3 

Communication & New friends

At that time, I was still super introverted and didn’t spend time outside my circle.

When I traveled in a group, I just talked to my friends or family and didn’t try to communicate with anyone else or even local. I didn’t try to see the place in local eyes at all.

When I travel alone, I start to talk to different people on the road.

I start making lots of new friends and learning how to interact with different people. I never thought that I could talk to a random person and have a good time with them.


Talking to different people out of my circle helps me become more open-minded. I started to accept the differences in people and value the differences in cultures and living styles.

Also, I tried different activities on my solo trip, rather than just being a “normal tourist.” I let the road be my guide.

Now, I’m a big fan of solo travel. I’ve been traveling alone since then, and I’ve visited 30 countries on my own.

Traveling alone gives me the power to do things that I cannot imagine, and being a travel blogger is one of these. Now, I’m using my voice to encourage more women to explore the world.

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I would absolutely love to visit Tokyo! ?

    1. I hope you can visit one day, Sandy :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this – I’m not sure I could travel without data or plans for accommodations, etc. It’s seems exciting when I read about other people who do it. I hope to go to Japan one day, but I will bring my husband and my electronics!

    1. It was a bit of challenging to do so, but you surely should bring more to make the best of your trip :)

  3. I loved reading this! Traveling solo is so important in growing as a person and I feel like it really can change you!

    1. Thank you, Hannah. I’m glad that you liked it.

  4. Mary Beth says:

    Doesn’t solo travel kick ass? Love reading about when people do it for the first time. It’s so much fun just relying on yourself, and being able to decide where you want to go, and when, without always having to negotiate with a travel companion.

    1. It does :) I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my sharing.

  5. Getting lost and let the road be your guide! What great words to live by while travelling. I know it can be overwhelming travelling solo, but ohh what a great experience it is for your own personal growth. I’m glad to hear that growing up you still got to experience travels at home around Vietnam with your family. What a beautiful country to explore before your first big solo trip to Japan.

    1. Thank you, Soraya for your sweet comment. Traveling solo helps me learn many things and be a better human being :)

  6. Abhinav Singh says:

    I can so relate to this blog. My first solo trip to Pondicherry changes my life too. My style was same as yours. For 7 years I traveled without any data. And I always rely on the locals for directions. Always!

    1. Wow! It’s really impressive that you’ve been traveling for 7 years without data. I only did it that time haha xD

  7. I think you’re so brave to go to Tokyo on your own because to me it’s such a big and scary place! I’m glad you had a good time and got to experience the kindness of strangers.
    Also I can’t believe you wrote all that in an hour! Very impressive!

    1. Thank you, Anna. I had a great time there :)

  8. Olga Maria says:

    Sounds like a wonderful experience. I cannot wait to visit Tokyo :-)

  9. I think my first solo trip was a day trip to Denmark when I was like 17…either that or it was when I moved to Denmark a couple of years after that. Then from that moment, I was on my own. I haven’t been on a solo trip for about a year now but finally going again next month, can’t wait!

    1. Wow, that’s so nice! I hope you will have a great trip!

  10. Elaine J Masters says:

    You set some hard restrictions for your first solo trip but it turned out so well. Didn’t know about sleeping in Internet cafes! Keep challenging yourself & going solo!

    1. Thank you, Elaine. It was fun and challenging to set up these restrictions :)

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