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.
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15 Free Things to do in Tokyo
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 🙂
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.
Thanks for stopping by!