Tokyo on a budget: activities you can do and sights you can see for free

Many people say that a trip to Japan is expensive but it doesn’t have to be! Check this page for everything that you can do for free in Tokyo.

As always, walking around in the city is absolutely for free and you won’t be bored by it. There’s so much to see, smell and hear everywhere! One good spot, as you might know is Shibuya crossing, what is said to be the busiest intersection of the world. Harajuku and Shinjuku are also very lively neighborhoods.
But of course there’s more to do when you’re travelling to Tokyo on a budget!

tokyo shrine meiji-jingu gyoen
Tokyo has some beautiful shrines that you can visit for free. Senso-ji, the biggest shrine in Tokyo is free to visit. The street from the Asakusa metro station to the shrine is packed with shops and food stalls, making it a great people-watching spot. The Zojo-ji temple in Minatoku (near Roppongi) is also for free.
Next to the Harajuku station you’ll find Meijiu Jingu.
There are also some nice parks that are worth a stroll. Next to the Meijiu Shrine you’ll find yoyogi park, a big park with some nice birds.

fish market tokyo Tsukiji
Tokyo’s biggest attraction, the fish market, is also for free. The fish market is open to the public from 10am onwards. I advise you to be there at that time if you want to still see a bit of the action. The real sales are mostly done before 10am but because the infrastructure of the market isn’t designed for having many people walking there, tourists can only visit from 10am onwards.

game arcade free things to do in tokyo japan
Walk into a game arcade and watch the locals play. We didn’t understand most of the games anyway so it’s a waste of your money to throw it into a machine which you can’t play. But it’s a great experience to see the rows full of game machines and all the lights and sounds that come with it.

In the heart of the city, next to Tokyo Station you’ll find the Imperial Palace. You can’t visit the palace since the emperor and his family actually live there, but you can visit the surrounding grounds for free. A short walk from Tokyo Station is the Tokyo International forum, especially great for those who are into architecture.

free observation deck viewing point tokyo
Why pay ¥1500 for Tokyo City View, ¥1600 for Tokyo Tower or even ¥2060 for Tokyo Sky Tree when there are two free observation towers in Shinjuku? You can enter both the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices buildings for free and take an elevator to the 202 meters high observation deck. From here you’ll have beautiful views over the seemingly never-ending city. Expect a bit of a cue around sunset.

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