15 Free Things to do in Tokyo | Japan Diaries

15 Free Things to do in Tokyo

15 Free Things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and one of the most populous metropolitans in the world. Apparently, that brings enormous footfall to this BEautiful city. This city is buzzing with culture, tradition, modernity, and so many activities both free and paid. I always wanted to visit Japan since I was in my teens. I couldn't be happier when I got the opportunity to move to this beautiful country with my husband. We were lucky enough that we got to live in Tokyo for close to 4 years. Hence, during this time we got to experience this beautiful place up close. Every city/country has their fair share of attractions. The best part of Tokyo is it has so many things that you can do without spending anything (almost).

Aforementioned, there are a plethora of options for things to do in Tokyo, both paid and free. Our time in Tokyo allowed me to draft my list of 15 Free Things To Do In Tokyo. 

Does this excite you yet? Are you planning for your next trip? Check out these fabulous flight deals for Japan here.

15 Free Things to do in Tokyo

  1. East Gardens of Imperial Palace. Imperial Palace is the main residence of the Imperial family of Japan. It boasts a lush, vast garden that is free for the visitors. You can visit and soak up some sun and feel the vibe of the royal grounds. The catch is, the number of visitors per day is limited. Hence, you might not get in if you go very late in the day.
  2. Explore Harajuku and Omotesando.  Harajuku is a district in Tokyo. It is a must if you are after extreme fashion styles, and are particularly looking for Japanese teenage street style. There are very high chances you will see people/teenagers with extreme fashion styles here. Omotesando is a street, more like an avenue with flagship designer fashion stores. These stores are on both sides of the street lined by trees. I don't think there is any designer brand that I didn't see in Omotesando. This street is a treat to the eyes in the evening (especially during the winters) with all the illuminations.
  3. Visit Senso-Ji Shrine, Asakusa.  This is a Buddhist shrine located in the Asakusa district that has beautiful views of the Sumida river. This is one of the most visited shrines in Tokyo and the lane in front of it - Nakamise-Dori - is garnered by hundreds of senbei and Japanese food stalls, souvenir stalls, and the traditional Japanese products to take back to your country. Asakusa, sensoji
  4. Wander around Shibuya and cross the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. You must have seen this crossing in almost every video/movie that features Japan. It's like the Times Square of Japan. When you visit this place, you MUST have a cuppa coffee (or just the view) at one of the busiest Starbucks in the world - with a view of the sea of people. 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
  5. Picnic at various gardens/parks of Tokyo. Gardens/parks play a really important part in the Japanese culture. They pay special attention to the layout, landscaping, and designing of the parks. Tokyo is the house to some of the most beautiful and vast gardens, viz. Yoyogi Park, Hibiya park, Hamarikyu garden, Inokashira park, Kasai-Rinkai Park, and much more. Sakura Yoyogi Park
  6. Get lost at the world's largest electronics store - Yodobashi Akiba in Akihabara. You have 8 packed floors of tech stuff (and Japan is the technology kingdom) to wander and get crazy. Believe me when I say that there will be so many awesome products that you will see and feel that you need to take them back home. If you are someone that loves latest and innovative technology then you will absolutely love this place.
  7. Get up close with the Sumo traditions at the Sumo Museum in Ryogoku. Who doesn't know about Sumos wrestling (wrestlers)? If you are very fascinated by this centuries-old sport of Japan then you must visit the Sumo Museum in Ryogoku. If you plan to experience Sumo tournament (takes place thrice a year in Tokyo) then try to plan your trip in either of these months - January, May, September.
  8. Understand the history of Yebisu Beer at the Yebisu Beer Museum. Yebisu is one of the oldest beers in Japan, now owned by Sapporo Brewery. They also have a dedicated museum for this prestigious and oldest beer, where you can get to know all about their initial days, all changes that it went through and how it is today. The museum remains closed on Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday), therefore plan accordingly.    
  9. Soak the metropolis views from the Observation deck at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. This city offers so many observation decks at various high-rise buildings, but this one in Shinjuku has to be my favorite of all times. Definitely go there near dusk, so you can have both day and night views when you stay a little longer till it gets dark. 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
  10. Explore the man-made beach at Odaiba, via the Rainbow Bridge. Odaiba is an artificial island with plenty of malls, parks, and activities to do.  You will not get bored with these many things to do, it's perfect to explore on a weekend. 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
  11. Visit the largest fish market in the world - Tsukiji Fish Market. Even if you cannot stand the smell of seafood, visit it for just the enormity and how well-organized and maintained it is despite that.
  12. Experience the nightlife at Roppongi. Tokyo is a very busy and fast-paced city. Where the hustle continues during the day, the after work bustle can be seen at all major wards. Roppongi happens to be the most preferred party destination, thanks to the hundreds of clubs and bars located there. Definitely go there if partying is your mantra in life.
  13. Get crazy in Kabukicho - The Red light district in Shinjuku. Now some people might be thinking that red light districts are not their field of interest. Rather this is not your typical red light, it's a street full of vibrant lights, bars, nightclubs, and the like. Although, it is named as 'red-light district' it is not one in the literal sense. 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
  14. Admire the architecture of Tokyo Station - Marunouchi. The building of Tokyo stations is a masterpiece in itself. One side you see the modern face of architecture, clean edges and no complexity. Whereas, the other side is more than 100 years old this facade of this historical city and this central station. 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
  15. Window shopping at department stores. Who doesn't like shopping? Furthermore, when it is in these fancy departmental stores, that have multiple floors filled with all the luxurious brands you can think of, the most expensive fruits that you can dream of, now if only our wallets were fat too. But hey, little window shopping never hurt anybody, especially if it's more like an experience of another country's culture. 🙂 15 Free Things to do in Tokyo_4

Pin it for later

And, that's a wrap of my list of 15 Free Things TO DO In Tokyo. I hope I have convinced you enough to plan your trip to Japan by now; however, should you be in doubt anymore, check the snow monkeys from Nagano prefecture here. Consequently, this will surely melt your heart into visiting Japan. 😀

Have you been to Tokyo? I'd love to hear what are your favorite activities to do were in Tokyo. Share your experiences with me, I'd love to know.

Perhaps looking for more travel locations, while Japan is already ticked off your list? Check out these to help you plan your next holiday to Paris or Fiji.

Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Familyearthtrek

    I love Japan! We spend almost two month there for the Hanami festival. Unfortunally we have not see some of the things on your list such as the fish market in the morning..I know I know!😫 Neither have we been to the man made beach. But other than that we are quite happy of what we have explored. We will go back for sure so we will not miss them next time.


  • I know that Japan is a very expensive destination so that you for this brilliant list with free things do to in Tokyo. It’s great that you can visit so many building for free as well, like the Imperial Palace or all those Museums. A little bit like in London, where all the museums are free.

  • Yeah, we did almost everything you mentioned on our trip to Japan and then we did even more stuff. We paid for the Tokyo Tower visit which was awesome and took a ride to Mitaka to the Ghibli Museum which was unforgettable. I’m ready for my next visit.

  • Kai Digger_Digg

    I heard lot of things about Tokyo, i really wanted to go there and explore Tokyo for a week atleast, everything looks amazing.

  • Laura Dove

    This is so interesting! I always think that city breaks would cost us a fortune in days out when we get there but this shows there is so much to do for free!

  • Made Adayasa

    Japan is on my list . Thanks for sharing a lots idea where to go in Japan . I always dream to walk in the garden and seeing the flowers of Sakura threes . Do you know which month is it ?

  • Our Family World

    I have not traveled to any country in Asia (yet). However, if I get the chance to visit Japan, I would love to see the countryside. The temples, shrines, museums. I have lived in the city all my life and when I travel, I prefer sites that bring me close to nature.

    • I have not traveled to Asia yet either but I would like to! I am the same as well, when I travel I like to experience nature, especially now that I too live in a city but am from a countryside background originally x

  • I believe that sometimes the best things in life are priceless! If I was to go to Tokyo I would love to go to Yoyogi Park, Hibiya park, Hamarikyu garden, Inokashira park, Kasai-Rinkai Park, as I love nature!

  • Zainab Mohiuddin

    Ah these all sound so awesome! I love walking around and doing things for free – it’s the best way to explore a place and save money. Would definitely try and do most of these if I went.

  • You have listed really lovely 15 things to do in Tokyo that too in free. I would like to go Largest Electronics store to look our for new innovations as Japan is so famous for electronics. Nice tips.

  • Japan is favorite spot for anyone who love to travel. I learned several things including local customs, attractions, foods and others in Tokyo through this post. It’s best place to explore and spend your vacation.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    I would love to visit Tokyo one day, it sounds so lovely, there is so much to do and see there that it would be a wonderful trip.

  • Helen Clark

    Tokyo is somewhere I would love to visit one day. It’s great that there are so many free things to do there. The garden in your photograph looks so pretty! Definitely somewhere I’d like to go.

  • OMG this is perfect timing – I’m dying to go to Japan, and am having such a hard time figuring out how to start the planning on where to go, what to do. Love this post!

  • Kim Gammage

    This is perfect, I’ve always wanted to go to Japan but I’ve heard it’s super expensive so it’s awesome to see that there are free things to do that can fill your days! Saving this for future reference.

  • Sreekar Harinatha

    Great that you put these together. Helpful for anyone going to Tokyo. Arigato!

  • Star Harford

    This is really useful for anyone visiting Tokyo. My son would love the electronics shop the best

  • Elena Stevkovska

    I still haven`t been to Tokyo but I am planning a road trip next summer so I am saving this list.

  • One of my brother and sister-in-laws favorite places to visit it Tokyo. If my husband and I are ever lucky enough to follow in their footsteps, I know we’d love to stop at the East Gardens of Imperial Palace (for her) and the Yebisu Beer Museum (for him)!

  • ingrid

    You described places to visit in Tokyo in a way that brings value to the would be visitor

  • Margarette Puno

    Japan is one of my dream country to visit. I will book this by next year so i am going to bookmarked this. Thanks for sharing.

  • David Elliott

    The red light district there looks absolutely amazing. I know I would love to visit Tokyo and I will definitely be keeping all of these great places in mind.

  • Joline

    I’ve been to Japan but not to Tokyo yet. This is a great list! I’d love to go back when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

  • This is a perfect list! I’d love to go to Tokio and see the city from the observation point at that government building, it looks soooo cool! And all these bridges… dreamy! x

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    Would love to go Tokyo soon , these architectural buildings looks so amazing.

  • Alexandra

    I’m still yet to visit Tokyo, but will defiantly save this post for when I do.

  • Chandresh Jain

    I have a stayover for 16 hours next week … Surely take some recommendation from your list !

  • Sreekar Harinatha

    Hope I can see some in my five days there.. too many things to see and do…

  • Tyra Skinner

    TOKYO WAS SO MUCH FUN! I neeeeed to go again! I haven’t been to some of these places, but Harajuku and Shinjuku were my fave! I saw the photo of the Robot Restaurant. Did you go?! I went and it was one crazy experience!

    Thanks for sharing! Pinning this to save for later when I go back. Hopefully for the next Olympics!

  • Chei Pangan

    I have heard a lot of things about Japan. And this country is one of my favorite country, especially i have a favorite japanese anime. I cant wait to come here soon.

  • Bump n Mum

    oh, It’s a great post. before reading this post it was so little which I knew about Japan.Thanks for sharing.

  • My brother often went to Japan this year and he always sent me loads of photos! This palace looks quite familiar to me! If I ever get the chance to visit Tokyo, I would love to visit that beach at Odaiba!

  • I’d absolutely love to go to Tokyo, I know my friends are going for their honeymoon later this year so I’ll share this with them x

  • I have never been to Tokyo, but my brother is off travelling in a few weeks and will be going early next year, so passing this over to him.

  • I have not been to Tokyo, but as I have family that is Japanese, I have pinned this because I would like to travel there one day. Thanks for sharing.
    ~ Via Bella Blog

  • Prateek Goel

    Absolutely brilliant blog. So wonderful Tokyo. However, I have never been to Tokyo, but the photographs are so cool. Nice tips.

  • oh, Tokyo!! It is literally on top of my travel bucket list! Now, I want to visit even more! Great tips!

  • Ana Ojha

    What a comprehensive guide of exploring all the amazing things in Tokyo! I loved the Senso-Ji Shrine! It is absolutely gorgeous!

  • Thank you for the post! Visitign Tokyo definitely has high priority on my to-do list and this list will surely come in handy. I think the Observation deck at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku might be a valuable one for me, I love scenery like that!

  • Elena Stevkovska

    Everyone that has been to Tokyo says it is so much fun. I have to visit it asap as well.

  • I have never been to Tokyo but would love to visit some day. Looks like an amazing city to see.

  • Hal Yusuf

    yessssssss the coffee with that view is a must ! your so right on that one – id go for roping/ the red light district and definitely checking out the sumo wrestlers – bookmarked!!!!!!!!

  • Our Samyatra

    Pictures are awesome. and the way you narrate is absolutely mind blowing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Melanie Edjourian

    This is a great read. I didn’t realise there was so much to see and do in Tokyo. I would love to visit when the children are older.

  • My cousin is actually there now visiting her girlfriend so I must send your tips! These are great so many things to do and see!

  • Japan is in my top three countries I need to visit. The gardens especially are one ting I want to see. They’re so beautiful in photos, I can’t imagine how beautiful they are in person!

  • Angela Milnes

    I haven’t been in Tokyo but I heard many good reviews about going to Tokyo and it looks so much fun.

  • BuildYourOwnEmpire

    Ahh, my boyfriend and I are always dreaming about visiting Tokyo.. You post made me feel some type of way.. Thank you for the guide, I just might use it one day I visit

  • Shawna Morrison

    I would love to travel abroad to Japan one day! I’m definitely saving this for future reference, thank you!

  • arra carrasco-odeza

    Tokyo! Tokyo!! If it’s not expensive to travel, I would have gone to Tokyo by now. I’ve been dreaming of visiting Tokyo because of Disneyland, cherry blossoms, ramen and other beautiful places in Japan. I also read that Japan has low crime rate.