I fell in love with Tokyo on my first trip and it has firmly cemented its place on my list of ‘favourite places I’ve ever been.’ The only thing I didn’t like about Tokyo, was the way my wallet seemed to be leaking cash! There are a lot of ways to spend a lot of money, very quickly, in Tokyo. Thankfully there are a lot of free and cheap things you can do too. To help you visit Tokyo without breaking the budget, I’ve rounded up 49 of the very best free and cheap things to do in Tokyo. If there are any I’ve missed, please share them in the comments below. #SaveDatMoney
But first, watch this…
1/ Visit Yoyogi Park on a Sunday, it’s when the park comes alive with locals wearing costumes, dancing, playing games and just hanging out
2/ Catch a festival! There’s always a fun, weird, wonderful or interesting festival on somewhere in Tokyo – find one here.
4/ It’ll only cost $3AU to hit 20 balls at the Oslo Batting Cage and it’s so much fun!
5/ Make sure you visit Sensō-ji, the most incredible and easily recognised Buddhist shrine in Tokyo
6/ Get stuck into a cheap but delicious bowl of Japanese Ramen at Afuri in Ebisu
7/ For a cheap meal, visit the weird and wonderful shute sushi restaurant, Uobei (sushi-train is for chumps)
8/ It is totally free to go see the huge Tokyo Sky Tree, though it will cost you to get up to the top, marvelling at it from below is $0
9/ Head out to Ueno and stroll through the very busy, very cool markets, perfect for trying lots of food and snapping great photos
10/ Take a trip to the Jimbocho neighbourhood where you can geek out over the 180-ish second-hand bookstores
11/ For the best views of Tokyo and Mt Fuji, totally free, take a trip to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
12/ Watch Sumo practice (totally free!) by taking a visit to the very friendly Arashio Stable (local hostels in Tokyo may have tips on other good ones)
13/ If you LOVE old-school 80s video games, you have to visit 8Bit Cafe
14/ Ride bikes (or just walk) around the Imperial Palace, they even have an allocation of 150 free bikes available from 10am to 3pm on a Sunday
15/ Push your food boundaries by taking a visit to Akitaya and eating their yakitori-style chargrilled organ meats (down with lots of Sake!)
16/ Dedicate some time to walking around Harajuku and just getting lost, there are some amazing hidden stores waiting to be discovered in back streets
17/ Even if ya broke, visit massive department store Tokyu Hands and marvel at the huge range of weird and wonderful stuff they sell
18/ Take a late-night stroll through the incredible little streets of Golden Gai, famous for the 200 tiny bars packed into the small area
19/ Now that the famous Tsukiji Market has closed, consider heading over to the Toyosu Fish Market to watch the auctions. Admission is free.
20/ Take a free one-hour tour of the Suntory Musashino Beer Factory! Yes!
21/ Get your hands on a ridiculously life-like plastic replica of food at the hilarious Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya
22/ Check out the man-made hot spring and soak those tired legs at Komorebi no Ahsiyu
23/ It’s totally free to visit the Tokyo Anime Centre in Akihabara and the Suginami Animation Museum
24/ For free art, in a space with awesome views, it’s worth seeing the latest display at ESPACE Louis Vuitton
25/ It’s a small fee to gain entry to the beautiful Kyu Asakuru House, straight out of your Japanese dreams
26/ Hire bikes in Ginza and spend a few hours riding around the local area
27/ It won’t cost you a cent to visit the famous Shibuya Crossing, but for the best views set yourself up at a coffee shop overlooking the madness
28/ Join a free walking tour of Tokyo
30/ Pop up to the Sky Carrot (Carrot Tower) and enjoy the totally free views from the top of the building
31/ Find cheap beers and even cheaper bar snacks at Fujiya Honten in Shibuya
32/ Explore the risqué side of Tokyo by wandering the ‘Love Hotel‘ scene where guests rent rooms for, erhm, intimate moments with bae
33/ If you love art and the hit serious ‘Mad-Men’, take in the fantastic collection at the Advertising Museum Tokyo
34/ Spend a few hours exploring the Meiji-jingū shrine, where it’s free to wander and you get to soak in the charm of this beautiful, serene place
35/ Walk across the bridge, around 1km, or catch the above-ground rail over to Odaiba where you’ll find arcade games and a giant robot
36/ Spend 100 Yen at a Coffee Boss vending machine for one of the rainbow cans of coffee
37/ If you love Japanese culture and art, try visiting the Origami Kaikan, a space dedicated to origami!
38/ Love a good spud? I do! Get a budget-friendly bite to eat at And The Friet
39/ It won’t cost anything to scope out Tokyo’s red light district, Kabukichō
40/ It’s free to get into the Tokyo National Forum and wander around, marvelling at the stunning and unique architecture
41/ Wander the picture-perfect Shinjuku Gyoen gardens, especially if you’re there in cherry blossom season
43/ Visit the gorgeous gardens of Hotel Chinzanzo, which won’t cost you anything to scope out
44/ Make sure you eat at least 1(00) unforgettably delicious Portuguese egg tarts from Nata de Cristiano’s
46/ Take a peek through the National Art CentreTokyo, in Roppongi (the building is super cool too!)
47/ Visit the Marunouchi area and wander the Kitte shopping complex for a spot of window shopping, there’s also a cool garden
48/ If you want to feel like a little kid again, visit the kiddyland toy shop in Harajuku
49/ Make sure you take a trip to Don Quijote, the weird and wonderful variety store that sells… weird and wonderful EVERYTHING
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