Tokyo is an incredible city known for its creativity and imagination. The capital of Japan is bursting with energy and life. Being the largest metropolitan area in the world, it is home to a population of 13 million people. Stepping into Tokyo is like stepping into the future, and you never know what to expect. No wonder Tokyo travel is one of the top things to do among global travelers.
People venture from all over the world to glimpse the action here. Tokyo provides visitors an endless list of things to do, from cultural tours, outdoor activities, fine-dining restaurants and an exciting nightlife. We also known Tokyo as one of the most expensive cities on the planet, so planning a visit to this trendy and cosmopolitan city can easily burn a hole in your pocket! Luckily, we have some savvy Tokyo travel tips for you.
We’ve tried and researched some great things to do in Tokyo, all for free! So if you want to take the budget traveler approach (because why not?) and not break the bank, note our list of the top 7 free things to do in Tokyo.
7. Take Advantage of The Free Museums
Are you ready to dive into the cultural scene of Tokyo? Tokyo offers visitors free access to some of its many different cultural museums. If you are traveling with a big family or group, then this could really come in handy as outings could get pricey. Some museums even offer free days or evenings, but be sure to check online first for hours and information.
With so many museums to choose from, why not try a few? Some highly recommend free-entry museums include:
The Metropolitan Police Museum: Shows the history of the Tokyo Police and the technology they use. In Ginza.
The Advertising Museum Tokyo: Showcases new and innovative ideas. In Minato.
The Fireworks Museum: Learn about how fireworks became popular in Japan and how they are used in festivals. Located in Ryogoku.
6. Visit The Famous Tsukiji Fish Market
Ready for a taste of Tokyo? The Tsukiji Fish Market is known as the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Located in the center of Tokyo, it offers 480 different seafood.
Visitors note it is best to visit in the wee hours of the morning (yes, that means waking up at 5 am!) to take part in the eventful tuna auctions. But, as expected, this Tokyo travel highlight gets crowded quickly, so be prepared to be met with crowds of people swarming in for a taste. Market veterans recommend going there hungry, as you will indulge in the fresh and mouthwatering food!
5. Take a Stroll in Ueno Park
Tokyo travel lovers say that they can spend hours strolling around this magical park, in a peaceful area of the city. The park was established in 1873 and was among the country’s first public parks. Here, you can find various activities to indulge in such as picnics under the cherry blossoms, local street foods to eat, visiting a collection of museums and art galleries and more.
While Ueno Park receives around 10 million visitors annually, this large space offers a little something for everyone. If you are looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan city of Tokyo, come here to indulge in the natural ambiance it offers.
4. Check Out The Views at The Tokyo Government Building’s Observation Deck
On the 45th floor of the Tokyo Government Building, this public observation deck is the place to go for must-see views of the city. Known as a tourist favorite, it is a 243-meter-tall building with two towers and was the tallest building in Tokyo until 2007.
The North Building stays open later for a chance to catch those fantastic night views of Tokyo. Meanwhile, Tokyo Tower charges $30 per person, making the observation deck a great alternative!
3. Jog Around Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace is situated right in the center of Tokyo and is one of the most visited sites in the city. Trees and nature surround it, giving one a relaxing getaway from the everyday grind of the metropolitan city.
Furthermore, if you are looking to be active on your trip, you can join joggers among the 5 km course that surrounds the palace. This path is very popular with the locals, and, best of all, traffic or traffic lights does not interrupt it. Perfect for one to enjoy the scenic and historical views of the city.
2. Visit The Sensational Senso-Ji
This ancient Buddhist temple is in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is known as Tokyo’s oldest temple (finished in 645 AD) and is another one of the most visited sites in the city. It is said that 30 million people visit the Senso-Ji each year and that they built it to honor the goddess Kannon.
Although travel pros say the crowds can be overwhelming (depending on the time of day), there are plenty of markets surrounding the temple where you can stroll and browse the shops. While you are there, be sure to fill up on the tasty snacks and food! Visitors also recommend going to see the temple at sunset to catch the incredible views!
1. Explore Tokyo with a Free Walking Tour
What better way to discover Tokyo than to take advantage of one of its free walking tours? If you are interested in Japanese culture and interacting with the locals, knowledgeable volunteer guides will show you the way.
Learn about Japanese history, architecture, neighborhoods and more. These tours are available on both weekdays and the weekends, and last for about two to three hours. Some require a reservation in advance. So strap on your walking shoes – there’s plenty to see and do in Tokyo!