Ever heard of Tokyo’s Skyhop Bus? It’s a fun tourism-focused bus line operating in Tokyo and Kyoto that lets you hop on and off whenever you want. It’s also a rising star among Japan’s travel services thanks to its open-top deck from which you can enjoy area sights, plus convenient routes that take you up close to popular sightseeing destinations.
And you can buy a 1-day pass for just 3,800 yen (under $30)!
We rode along with Timothy, one of LIVE JAPAN’s editors who’s familiar with Tokyo, to see just how many cool places we could visit in half a day. Let’s hop into it!
Skyhop Bus: Hop on and off at the destinations you choose - it’s a cheap and great way to tour Tokyo!
Skyhop Bus runs along courses that are conveniently close to major sightseeing destinations. As you can hop off as you please, you can enjoy exploring an area that catches your eye. Given their flexibility, these buses have become quite popular with tourists from all over.
Tokyo’s Skyhop Bus has three routes.
The Red Course runs through Ryogoku, Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa, Ueno, Akihabara, and Nihonbashi areas.
The Blue Course visits Tokyo Tower, Tsukiji, Ginza, and Odaiba (three buses per day for Odaiba).
And the Green Course runs through the Shinjuku and Shibuya area (three buses per day).
For our run, we’ll use the destination-dense Red Course!
- Ten bus stops in total, hop on or off at any time during your ticket hours!
- Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building Stop: Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace
- Kodemmacho Station Stop: Amazake Yokocho
- Ryogoku/Edo-Tokyo Museum Stop: Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall), Edo-Tokyo Museum
- Tokyo Skytree Station Stop: Tokyo Skytee, Tokyo Solamachi
- Asakusa Hanakawado Stop: Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Shopping Street
- Asakusa Tawaramachi Stop: Kappabashi Kitchenware Town
- Ueno Station Stop: Ueno Park, National Museum of Western Art
- Ueno Matsuzakaya Stop: Ameya-Yokocho ('Ameyoko')
- Akihabara (Suehirocho) Stop: Akihabara Electric Town, arcades
- Shin-Nihonbashi Stop: Nihonbashi Mitsubishi, COREDO Nihonbashi
Here’s our challenger, Timothy. He’s lived in Japan for around 20 years and is more familiar with Tokyo’s history and terrain than many Japanese natives.
Timothy expressed some incredulity at first: “How many places could you really see in a day?” It’s time to find out!
Hop aboard! Open-top buses, perfect to enjoy the city's sights
We meet up at 9:00 AM at the Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building near Tokyo Station. There’s multilingual guidance, onboard Wi-Fi, and other services tourists will enjoy. Riding the bus is a chance to both enjoy the sights and learn about Tokyo.
The bus seating is first-come, first-serve, and only on the second deck. If you want to sit in the popular front seats, make sure to board at the first stop!
Since an open-top bus, it’s a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city around you. (Just be sure to pack sunblock, ponchos, or warm clothes - depending on the season!)
9:15 - An exciting dash through Marunouchi’s buildings
Marunouchi is an office and shopping district packed with all sorts of great Japanese architecture. The bus takes you at a breezy pace through these high-rise structures.
As Timothy excitedly noted, “Thanks to these open seats, you can feel the city’s sounds and atmosphere – but from above. It’s totally different from just walking through areas, and great for photos, too!”
9:30 - More than just sumo! Ryogoku has a wealth of museums
Ryogoku might be most famous for having the Ryogoku Kokugikan, the stadium where sumo matches are held.
However, as Timothy reminds us, sumo is not the only thing that makes it special. “This area has lots of fun museums and gardens that I’d absolutely recommend to visitors. They’re all in walking distance, as soon as you hop off, explore around and visit as many as you can before the next bus arrives!”
Our first stop here was the Sumida Hokusai Museum. This art museum features the artwork and history of Katsushika Hokusai, the famous ukio-e artist. Even if you don’t buy a ticket to see the exhibits, you can enter the museum shop and find yourself a very Japan-esque souvenir.
Nearby, the creatively designed Edo-Tokyo Museum lets you learn about Tokyo’s fascinating history and heritage, covering from the days back to the Edo period between 1603 and 1868, until the modern megacity that we know today.
Timothy’s other personal recommendations include the Former Yasuda Garden, and the Japanese Sword Museum adjacent to it.
“Tokyo has so many scenic gardens, and the Former Yasuda Garden is absolutely free to enter. Be sure to visit it if you want to take in the atmosphere of a Japanese garden,” recommends Timothy.
The Japanese Sword Museum displays many Japanese swords, some of which are designated as national treasures. Samurai fans will love it.
11:05 - At the foot of Tokyo Skytree!
About an hour and a half after disembarking, the next bus arrives - and we head for Tokyo Skytree!
After around a fifteen-minute ride, we arrive at Tokyo Skytree Station. First, we dropped by the Tokyo Mizumachi, which opened in August 2020. It’s located underneath the elevated Tobu Railway and includes cafes, restaurants, assorted boutiques, a hostel, and fashionable shops.
For today’s lunch, we’re going to Deus Ex Machina Asakusa. They have a “BBQ Pulled Pork Plate” (1200 yen) here, said to be Tokyo’s next big wave of cuisine.
The soft and juicy, BBQ-flavored pork shoulder goes wonderfully with the soft and fluffy bread! The sandwich filling is so generous it nearly tumbles out. You can eat inside the restaurant, or bring your takeout to the nearby Sumida Park. Eat like a local! No doubt, it would make for a relaxing lunch time.
1:08 - Parade through eastern Tokyo’s most popular tourist spot: the Asakusa/Kappabashi area
Now let’s disembark at the Asakusa Tawaramachi stop, explore the Asakusa/Kappabashi area, and make our way to the Ueno Matsuzakaya stop! In addition to the popular Nakamise Shopping Street, you’ll find all kinds of cool shops and side streets near Sensoji Temple.
Kappabashi Kitchenware Town is a shopping district where you’ll find professional-grade kitchenware and even make your own food samples. Many of these stores sell to regular buyers, so you’ll want to visit if you want great prices on Japanese earthenware or cutlery.
Moving through Kappabashi, we walked to Ueno Park. Its famous statue of Saigo Takamori, often dubbed the “last real samurai,” greets us. The Ueno Park area has a lot to see, including the National Museum of Western Art and the Tokyo National Museum, so let’s try to maximize our time here.
Just beyond Ueno Park is the Ameya-Yokocho shopping street, or more commonly, “Ame-Yoko.” As a location for inexpensive sweets, condiments, street foods and clothing, it’s always crowded with customers. See if you can find a souvenir while on the way to Ueno Matsuzakaya.
3:06 - Depart Ueno Matsuzakaya for Akihabara
Having walked for some time, Timothy begins to feel peckish. Luckily enough, a “SEGA Taiyaki” shop (now rebranded as GiGO Taiyaki) was nearby. In 2020, one variety of taiyaki available at this vendor was modeled after Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s age-old mascot. The Sonic taiyaki was cream-filled, while the logo taiyaki came in multiple flavors. We tried the pizza flavor.
Timothy mentioned: “This cheesy sauce is pretty yum. I think visitors would enjoy the flavor as much as the selfie chance.”
We saw 21 spots in six hours – and you could fit even more into a full day!
Finally, we arrived at our final destination for the day: Akihabara Station.
Between spots, we walked to and those we saw from the bus, we were able to view 21 tourist destinations! In half a day, we were able to take in a huge amount of sightseeing – the bus really helped with our range.
- Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building Stop: Marunouchi office cluster
- Ryogoku / Edo-Tokyo Museum Stop: Sumida Hokusai Museum, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Former Yasuda Garden, Japanese Sword Museum, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Ryogoku Station
- Tokyo Skytree Station: Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Mizumachi, Sumida Park
- Asakusa Tawaramachi Stop: Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Shopping Street, Hoppy Street, Kappabashi Kitchenware Town
- Ueno Station Stop: Ueno Park, National Museum of Western Art
- Ueno Matsuzakaya Stop: Ameya-Yokocho
- Akihabara Stop: Gachapon Hall, Dragon Quest Lawson, SEGA (GiGO) Taiyaki, Akihabara Station
“This course covers exactly the kinds of spots that visitors to Tokyo would want to see. It’s such a great deal!”
Timothy also had this idea for first-time visitors: “You could take the first bus in the morning all around the city and mark out the areas that pique your interest. Then after, just hop on and off as you like. That should be enough to let you see everything that makes Tokyo great.”
But if one day isn't enough for you, there is also a 2-day pass. And, if you plan things just right, in around ten hours, one could also visit the shopping areas of Nihonbashi-Kodenmacho and Shin-Nihonbashi. Take advantage of the morning-to-night SKY HOP BUS and have yourself a bargain tour of Tokyo!
Don’t forget, Skyhop Bus also runs through Kyoto!
SKY HOP BUS also runs courses in Kyoto. Kyoto’s tourist destinations are scattered throughout the city, and some may find it difficult to use their transit system. But with SKY HOP BUS, you can hop on and off as you like for a flat rate, making touring Kyoto easy.
SKYBUS TOKYOスカイバス東京Has Health & Safety Measures
Mitsubishi Building 1F, 2-5-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005
Tokyo Station （Tokaido Shinkansen Line / Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Tokaido Main Line / JR Yokosuka Line / JR Sobu Main Line / JR Sobu Main Line (Rapid) / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Chuo Main Line / JR Keiyo Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line）
3 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-3215-0008
- Address Mitsubishi Building 1F, 2-5-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
Share this article.
Limited time offer: 10% discount coupons available now!
Recommended places for you
Hato Bus Tokyo city tours
LAT. 25° Naritakukodaisantaminarusankaiten
Other Cafes and Sweets
SHA HO DEN Naritakukodainitaminaruten
Other Chinese Food
Udon & Soba
Udon & Soba
Enjoy Autumn in Nikko: 12 Best Tours & Things to Do in the World Heritage Area Outside Tokyo
Best Things to Do in Tokyo in December 2023: Christmas Markets, Countdown Events, and More
Where You Should Stay in Hakuba: Best Areas & Types of Accommodations For Visitors
Step Into an Autumn Dreamland: 'Light-up Nikko 2023' Transforms Tochigi's World Heritage for One Magical November Weekend!
2023 Shinkansen Travel Advisory: Book Your Seats Early for a Stress-Free Journey!
10 Best Hotels in Hakone: From Boutique to Luxury & Mt. Fuji Views
Hop On the Sky Bus and Explore Tokyo From Up Above!
Japan's Bath Culture: Tips You Should Know!
Spending Wonderful Time Alone in Shibuya - Free Cosmetics and a Hundred-Yen Bus!
[MOVIE] Sightseeing Taxi: Tour Tokyo the Easy Way!
Japanese Chef Reveals 6 Incredible Foodie Spots in Asakusa, Tokyo's Historic District!
Shibuya Crossing: Getting the Best View from the Deck at Magnet by Shibuya109!
- #best ramen tokyo
- #what to buy in ameyoko
- #what to bring to japan
- #new years in tokyo
- #best izakaya shinjuku
- #things to do tokyo
- #japanese nail trends
- #what to do in odaiba
- #onsen tattoo friendly tokyo
- #best sushi ginza
- #japanese convenience store snacks
- #best yakiniku shibuya
- #japanese fashion culture
- #best japanese soft drinks