Top Free Things to see and do in Tokyo
Tokyo can be classed as an expensive city, but that doesn't mean it can't be travelled on a budget. I actually found Japan to be a very cheap place to travel! I have put together a list of my favourite top free things to see and do in Tokyo.
Walk/cycle around the Imperial Palace
The imperial palace is located at the heart of Tokyo, surrounded by a pathway going all the way around. Follow the moat and see every angle of the palace. Stepping into the wonderful zen, is a great way to get away from the bustling city. On Sundays (if you are early and quick enough) you can hire out a bike to pedal around for free. This is based on a first come, first serve basis.
Stand at the bottom of the Tokyo Skytree
Known as the centerpiece of Tokyo, you don't need to spend fortunes to see this famous landmark. It is the tallest structure in Japan, and at the time it was built, was the second tallest building in the world at 634 meters. You can't miss seeing this magnificent building whilst visiting Japan!
Taste free food and enjoy the delights of Asakusa
Asakusa was my favourite places in Tokyo! (As you will probably realise in this post). It is so beautiful and nothing will cost you a penny. You can even get a free cup of green tea! You can walk around the stalls which offer tasters of all the different snacks where you can try the many delights of Tokyo. Be prepared for HUGE crowds however.
Built in the year 628 and located at the heart of Asakusa, this is Tokyo's more famous and oldest Buddhist Temple. Many seasonal events occur here, including the Hozuku Market (Chinese Lantern Plant) and Hogoita Market (Wooden Paddle)
See many festivals or spot Geishas in Asakusa
There are so many festivals every year in Asakusa. I was in Tokyo whilst the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri festival took place and it was absolutely amazing! This particular festival is mostly popular because of the Edo Yoshiwara Oiran-dochu Procession, which tells the story of the Edo period, where glamorous oiran or geisha walk down the streets right in front of you.
Get lost in Harajuku
Harajuku is the center of the most extreme teenage culture and fashion in Japan. The most popular place to visit is Takeshita Street, where there are many fashion shops, boutiques and stalls selling the best crepes you have ever tasted. On Sundays here, between 1 - 3pm, you can also see the famous cosplay!
Visit the many beautiful parks of Tokyo
Tokyo is home to some of the most amazing parks and green areas. All parks are free to the public and lots of them have temples, beautiful buildings and museums. The parks have a wonderful range of foliage and a lake can often be found in amongst them.
Visit the famous fish market at Tsukiji
The Tsukiji fish market is the largest fish market in the world, full of rich Japanese history and culture If you want to watch the famous tuna auction, you're going to need to get up pretty early, about 3am!. You can read more about it here. This place is completely free to visit, although if you want to eat the best sushi in the world here, then expect hefty prices!
Visit the Zojoji temple and the Tokyo Tower
The Zojoji Temple is the main temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism and provides a great photo location with the famous Tokyo tower in the background.
Watch Sumo Wresting
It is possible to watch Sumo Wresting for completely free!. At Arasio-beya in Hamacho you can watch Sumo's training through the glass window. Not quite a tournament, but still an amazing experience to watch, although you may find yourself fighting competing with other tourists to get a glimpse through the window.
Watch the Shibuya crossing
This is one of the most famous intersections in the world, where traffic will stop completely to allow the hundreds of shoppers walk from every direction. A great place to watch it from is the second floor on the Tsutaya building or the bridge corridor linking Shibuya Station with the Shibuya Mark City complex.
Visit the prayer wheels, temples and Meiji Shrine
This shinto shrine is a beautiful escape from the bustle of Harajuku. In among the wooded grounds is an incredible sacred place, where prayer wheels can be turned and people can connect with the god, Kami (the god in the trees).
Cross the Rainbow bridge to Obaida Island
The Obaida Island is reached by crossing the famous 918m-long single-span suspension rainbow bridge. On the island you will find an artificial beach and an incredible statue of liberty replica