Tokyo is one of those cities that is simply indescribable!
Flashing neon lights, punctual transportation, gastronomic heaven and nonstop entertainment make it one of the world’s cultural icons.
Naturally, many travelers assume the bells and whistles of this urban jungle come with a hefty price tag. However, Tokyo is teeming with enigmatic adventures suitable for those traveling on a budget. From sensational views of its towering skyline to a heavenly promenade through the park, Tokyo is full of inexpensive outings.
Take your money further in Tokyo with these eight cheap or free things to do!
- Wander the Grounds of Sensō-ji Temple
Located in Asakusa, the iconic Sensō-ji Temple is the oldest in Tokyo and a must-see for any first-time visitor. Its history dates to the 7th century when two brothers supposedly built the temple for the goddess of Kannon.
Today, the beautiful structure is a testament to the impact of Buddhism across Japan. Millions of visitors flock to the site for spiritual enlightenment and it remains one of Tokyo’s most cherished sights.
The walkway beginning at the temple’s outer gate is a wonderful place to shop for authentic Japanese street food and keepsakes.
- Take a Stroll in Ueno Park
This relaxing urban park is a fantastic place to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. Bird watchers will enjoy the numerous species that gather around Shinobazu Pond.
In addition, the park contains thousands of stunning trees and flora creating an enchanting atmosphere. Spring offers a fabulous setting and the park is one of the hot spots in Tokyo for cherry blossoms.
If you are hoping to learn more about Tokyo’s culture, the park is home to numerous museums showcasing art, science and more.
- Watch Sumo Wrestlers
If you are curious about sumo culture, Tokyo is the place to be! It would be wise to research ahead of time to see if there are any scheduled events. However, you are in luck if there are no tournaments during the time of your visit.
You can watch sumo wrestlers compete against each other free of charge while they practice at their stables. Several stables in Tokyo give visitors the chance to witness this famous Japanese sport. It is important to gain permission ahead of time and guests must behave in a respectful manner when attending practice sessions.
- Visit Toyosu Fish Market
Tokyo has earned global praise for its amazing selection of seafood. The recent opening of Toyosu Fish Market marked the beginning of a new era in Tokyo. Toyosu replaced the legendary Tsukiji Fish Market but became one of the world’s largest food markets in the process.
You can watch the action that takes place in the market for free by joining a tuna auction tour, but space is limited. There are other areas throughout the facility where you can gain a peek of Tokyo’s thriving seafood industry.
- Skyline Views at the Metropolitan Government Building
Standing at 243-meters, the Metropolitan Government Building is among the top places for budget travelers to see the breathtaking Tokyo skyline.
The free observation decks are located on the 45th floor and many notable landmarks can be seen in the distance. The Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji are just a handful of the places to admire from the building.
The structure is a great place to have a meal with a view as each deck contains its own café.
- Explore the Advertising Museum
Tokyo contains numerous museums that offer free admission and the Advertising Museum is among the most fascinating to visit!
Located in the Shiodome district, the museum presents centuries worth of Japanese marketing techniques. You will find exhibits showcasing woodblock prints of the Edo period all the way to commercials of modern society.
From the clever to downright wacky advertisements, this is one place in Tokyo that will provide plenty of laughs.
- Walk Across Rainbow Bridge
Day or night, the views provided by the Rainbow Bridge are among the best in all of Tokyo!
Take a walking tour in Tokyo and gaze at the city’s magical skyline while you span the entire length of the suspension bridge. The bridge links the metropolis to the man-made island of Odaiba. Seaside Park, located on the island, is a fabulous urban getaway to have a picnic or sprawl out underneath the sun.
When your relaxation time is complete, trek across the bridge after sunset to see it illuminated in bright lights.
- Conquer the Shibuya Crossing
The infamous Shibuya Crossing is famous for being one of the most chaotic intersections in the world. Pedestrians zigzag in all directions but the jumbled mess somehow gets everyone from point A to point B.
The massive wave of organized chaos is worth feeling the frenetic heartbeat of Tokyo. If you would rather get a bird’s eye view of the madness, head to one of the nearby cafés overlooking the intersection.