If you haven’t been to Tokyo, you may have the impression that it is an expensive city to travel. Well, there are places, restaurants, or activities that can break the bank. The good news is there are lots of things and places you can explore in Tokyo without spending too much. Here’s a bunch of free things to enjoy in Tokyo:
Explore Nature Parks And Gardens
Visit the Imperial Palace. It is near Tokyo Station. You can also book a private day tour to conveniently reach the place. There are guided tours available on the palace grounds, but the buildings are off-limits to tourists. The tours last for 75 minutes and are in English and Japanese at 10:00 and 13:30 every day, except on Sundays and Mondays.
If you’re into martial arts or cycling, head to Yoyogi Park. There are also events like cultural festivals and farmers markets on the weekend. Yoyogi Park is just beside the famous Meiji Jingu Shrine.
There is a free zoo in Gyosen Park and Zoo, which is just a 15-minute walk from Nishikasai station. Your kids will enjoy because there is a kids playground as well. You can bring your friends to the teahouse and marvel at the fishing ponds and ornamental pond.
Admission is free at Shin-Edogawa Garden, which you can reach from either Waseda or Edogawabashi Station.
Visit Historic Sites
It’s free if you want to see Sengakuji, a small temple near Shinagawa Station in Tokyo that became popular for its graveyard where the “47 Ronin” are buried.
And then pay homage to Hachiko, the Akita dog that became famous for waiting for his master at Shibuya Station every day even after the person died. The Hachikō Statue is located on 1 Chome-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City.
Check out the DN Tower 21 at 1 Chome-13-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda City. This is the building where Douglas MacArthur ruled Japan from 1945 until 1951. His office has been preserved, but it is only open on rare occasions.
You can also visit the Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto shrine in central founded in 1869. This was built to commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives and died in war for their country.
Visit Japanese Shrines And Temples
Don’t miss the spacious Meiji Shrine, which was built for the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. You can participate in typical Shinto activities, such as making offerings at the main hall and writing wishes on an ema. If you’re lucky, you can also watch traditional Shinto weddings. Book a private Tokyo walking day tour to reach Meiji Shrine and Tsukiji Market.
Other attractions you can see for free are Ikegami Honmonji, the resting place of Nichiren, the Hie Shrine in Akasaka, the Nezu Shrine, and Honganji in Tsukiji. The 1,000-year-old Sensoji Temple features statues, shops, a pagoda, and several artworks.
Do Random Fun Things
If you are into watching and cheering for spontaneous street performances, go to Yoyogi Koen, one of the most popular busking places. When musicians perform, the park is filled with tourists, local families, and other buskers.
Check out the traditional miniature bars in Shibuya. It’s not entirely free when you drink, but it’s fun to explore the drinking districts under train tracks and alleys called yokocho. These districts are also filled with hole-in-the-wall bars and eateries. Aside from Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ebisu are among the recommended areas if you want to experience the authentic drinking culture of Japan.
Nature-lovers and adventurers can enjoy the hiking trails around Mount Takao. Its Takao 599 Museum, a nature museum about the mountain’s ecology, offers free admission.
If you need a cool background for a selfie, go to OmoHara Plaza Building. It has a kaleidoscope entranceway made of mirrors.
Other mesmerizing architectural works you can find in Tokyo are the Hermes Building by Renzo Piano, the Mikimoto building by Toyo Ito, and the Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Viñoly.
When traveling in Tokyo, make sure you have high-speed Internet so you can locate these awesome places. You can order a prepaid 4G SIM card in advance and pick it up at an airport in Tokyo. Or get a 4G portable Wi-Fi rental to access unlimited high-speed Internet.