Tokyo can be an expensive city but if you want to travel Tokyo on a budget then we've got you covered. Many of the top tourist sights in Tokyo are free! From festivals to fireworks you can have a blast without spending any money. Check out the list below for the best free things to do and see while you are in Tokyo.
A collaboration that brings together entertainment and 10,000 fireworks lighting up the sky over Tokyo
Starting from Jingu-Gaien Park, the fireworks festival that takes place from 4 sites is a sight to behold as a collaboration between big-name guests and fireworks. It is famous as one of Tokyo’s Big 3 Fireworks Festivals.
A Tokyo symbol of summer to enjoy at 4 sites The Jingu-Gaien Fireworks Festival is one popular event which attracts many tourists every year. It is known as one of Tokyo Big 3 Fireworks Festivals, alongside the Sumida River Fireworks Festival and the Tokyo Bay Grand Fireworks Festival. Jingu-Gaien Park is brilliantly lit up annually by 10,000 fireworks but the highlights are not restricted to the fireworks alone. Events with popular singers and comedians are also held so that one of the features of the festival is how lively the summer night...
- Adult: 6500 JPY
Price differs depending on the venue
The opening times for the venues are as follows:
・Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium:4:00pm
・Jingu Softball Stadium：3:00pm
・Tokyo Gymnasium Grounds：5:00pm
A thrilling festival of Asakusa tradition with vigorous shouts accompanying the parade of mikoshi through the streets
Asakusa’s Sanja Festival boasting 700 years of history. Mikoshi (portable shrines) and floats are pulled through the streets while loud shouts accompany them, and during the festival’s 3 days, 1.5 million people come out to celebrate.
The history of the Sanja Festival The origins of the Sanja Festival lay with the Hinokuma brothers who discovered a statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon, the principal image of Senso-ji Temple, and the landlord who consecrated the statue and established the temple, Nakatomo Hajino. The three spirits of the men were then enshrined. The Hinokumas, who were fishermen, found the statue in the middle of a fishing net, and in 1312 when the festival was first started, it took on the form of a boat festival with mikoshi being placed on boats. And then wi...
12 million visitors a year. Yebisu Garden Place has risen from the remains of a factory to become a sophisticated complex
While evoking nostalgia from its brick exterior, it has an urban atmosphere. It’s an open space with lots of greenery where you can spend a luxurious time tasting beer that is the pride of Japan.
Yebisu Garden Place originated from a beer brewery Yebisu Garden Place was born on the site of the former Sapporo Breweries. It is a multipurpose complex with a department store, a hotel, restaurants, movie theaters, a museum of art, etc. Yebisu beer is a premium beer with 100% malt developed by Sapporo Beer. Started over 100 years ago, it won the Gold Prize for excellence at the 3rd National Industrial Exhibition in 1890. After that, it brought so much influence that the area was called Ebisu. The beautiful brick exterior is a remnant of th...
- Everyday (11:00 AM ~ 8:00 PM )
The venerable Kanda Festival under the patronage of the Tokugawa shoguns is a celebration representative of not only Tokyo, but also of Japan
Peerless in both The Three Great Festivals of Japan and The Three Great Festivals of Edo, the Kanda Festival boasts a 1300-year history. The festival which is the pride of any Edokko (true Tokyoite) not only includes the highlight of mikoshi (portable shrines) but also a parade.
The origins and history of the Kanda Festival The Kanda Festival is a festival held at Kanda Shrine in the Kanda district of Tokyo. The 1300-year-old shrine was worshipped as the guardian deity for the streets of Edo during the Edo Era, and although the origins of the following festival are unclear, during the turbulent times in the year 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa made it a standing order to pray for victory daily. When he did achieve victory, he was able to unify the entire nation, and as a result, Kanda Shrine received protection from the Edo sh...
A shrine dedicated to the war dead which is also a famous place for cherry blossoms. The festival stalls are a must-see.
During the sakura season, the area surrounding Yasukuni Shrine becomes the most beautiful famous place in Tokyo for cherry blossoms. Although there is also the controversy of the war dead enshrined at Yasukuni, the shrine, where you can experience traditional events every season, has plenty of things to see.
The spirits of people ranging from the upheaval after the end of the Edo Era to World War II are enshrined Yasukuni Shrine had its origins as Tokyo Shokonsha Shrine when it consecrated all those who had fallen in battle during the period of revolution (the Meiji Restoration) as the age of the samurai changed from 1869 to a time of modern nation-building. Afterwards, it was re-named Yasukuni Shrine, and it was there that the dead from the end of the Edo Era in 1853 to the Second World War were also enshrined. At the shrine, please appreciate...
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Admission to Yushukan: adults 800 yen
A park filled with cherry trees where you can enjoy museums, a zoo and boat-riding
Ueno Park, a place also of culture and art where you can see popular art presentations and other exhibitions of note. Not only can you enjoy the turning of the seasons here but you can also tour some important historical buildings.
Experience history as well as culture in nature What makes Ueno Park special is that it is not just simply a park; you can experience history, science, and culture, and you can also spend time with animals. The park was originally part of the grounds of Kaneiji temple but was designated as one of the earliest public parks in Japan in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912). The park started out mainly as a place for viewing Kaneiji temple, Toshogu shrine and their cherry blossom trees. Subsequently, facilities were built one by one including muse...
- Everyday (5:00 AM ~ 11:00 PM )
The cherry blossom-lined path created from a filled-in moat is a must-see at the former Edo Castle and current Imperial Palace
A moat built to surround Edo Castle during the age of the Tokugawa shoguns. Currently, it encircles the Imperial Palace. When the cherry blossoms of Chidori-ga-fuchi open en masse, it’s enough to forget the hustle and bustle of the city.
The moat surrounding the Imperial Palace is a famous place for cherry blossoms This area has a moat which surrounds the Imperial Palace. Part of the moat resembles the shape of a plover (chidori) which is the reason behind the name of Chidori-ga-fuchi. During the Edo Era which lasted from the 17th century to the latter half of the 19th century, there was Edo Castle where the shoguns lived which is now the Imperial Palace. To prevent invasion by foreign enemies and to secure drinking water for Edo, a moat was constructed by damming up a ri...
View the nightscape of Tokyo for free! Relax and enjoy a glass of wine served 202 meters above ground in the Tokyo Government Building.
Shinjuku is one of the most bustling districts in Tokyo. With the emergence of skyscrapers, the view of Shinjuku has been changed dramatically. Enjoy a dynamic nightscape at the free observatories of Shinjuku’s landmark, the Tokyo Government Building.
Tokyo Government Building, the landmark of Shinjuku skyscrapers Upon its completion in 1990, people were astounded to see this towering ultra-modern building, appearing to pierce the sky. People felt like they had accidently come to the future. But no, this was the new Tokyo Government Building – the central administration building for the government of Tokyo. Planning for the construction began at the height of the Japanese bubble economy. The highest building in Tokyo at the time, the Tokyo Government Building was designed by a wo...
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 11:00 PM )
The crossing in front of Shibuya Station is a landmark of the area where 3000 people cross en masse at one time on weekends
Shibuya is the neighborhood where fashion buildings stand close to each other and advertisements are shown on giant LCD screens. The main intersection has groups of 3000 people cross simultaneously on the weekends.
The starting line for a tour of Shibuya Shibuya is the youth mecca. And there is a scramble crossing right in front of the entrance that is Shibuya Station. In front of your eyes, a huge LCD screen soars on which ads endlessly get shown. Surrounding you are fashion buildings, CD shops and other structures that symbolize youth culture, along with the many garish signboards standing about, and the pop songs or commercials that keep getting played; all of these make up a vista that is characteristic of Shibuya. Shibuya Crossing in front of Shibu...
Enjoy your day at the Tokyo’s vast historical landmark, The Imperial Palace East Gardens
The Imperial Palace East Gardens is located on the inner east grounds of the Imperial Palaces and is reminiscent of New York’s Central Park. Although neighboring the bustling Tokyo Station, it is a miracle that you cannot feel the hectic energy of the metropolis when within the grounds of the garden.
Imperial Palace East Gardens On the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Gardens, which has been open to the public since 1968, stand the innermost circles of defense for old Edo Castle: the honmaru, ninomaru and sannomaru. At the sannomaru, there are also handicrafts that are open to the general public where you can gain insight into Japanese history. The castle tower also remains and visitors can climb up the stone-paved path. The tower was built to have a view of the entire area and so you can have a panoramic view of the Imperial Palace. C...
- Tuesday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
- Wednesday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
- Thursday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
- Saturday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
- Sunday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Feel the mystical energy of the Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine, located in the Shibuya district in Tokyo, attracts the greatest number of visitors from throughout Japan for hatsumode or the first shrine visit of the New Year. If you happen to be lucky enough on the day of your visit, you could catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding ceremony.
Meiji Jingu Every New Year’s Day on ‘hatsumode’, Meiji Jingu, which is over 700,000 square meters in size, receives around 3 million worshippers, reflecting its ability to attract the greatest amount of visitors in the nation. Considering the amount of lush greenery located inside the perimeters of Meiji Jingu, it is hard to believe that it is located in the same vicinity as bustling commercial centers such as Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya. To reach the shrine from JR Harajuku station is a mere 5 minutes away and one coul...
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
from dawn to dusk
The Tour of Old and New Japan in Asakusa
In Asakusa which is visited by more than half of the overseas tourists, you will encounter Tokyo’s oldest temple Sensoji Temple as well as the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), which is the outermost gate of Sensoji Temple as well as the street lined with old-school shops that lead to the inner precincts of the shrine. Many of the stores offer services in English.
Senso-ji Temple Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple located in Tokyo, and Nakamise-dori connecting the Kaminarimon entrance to the main hall, are constantly crowded with sightseers on a yearly basis. Since the area has always had a large number of temples since the Edo Period, it has been called Teramachi, which translates to ‘City of Temples’. Asakusa Kokusai Avenue is where you can enjoy shopping while walking through this Teramachi. As soon as you exit Asakusa Station, there are many unique stores that sell goods such as Japa...
After shopping in cute and poppy Harajuku, relax in Yoyogi Park.
An urban park that has been loved for years as a daily resting area for Tokyo citizens which holds concerts and many events. If you’re tired of the city’s hustle and bustle, take a break in this huge park.
Taking it easy just like a Tokyoite Since Yoyogi Park is close to Harajuku Station, getting there after a round of shopping is simple. Take a break there once your shopping in Harajuku is done. You can take it easy just like a resident of Tokyo by walking among the trees or lying down on the fields of grass. It is the perfect park after feeling the everyday of the metropolis. Yoyogi Park was once the parade grounds for the Imperial army, and then following World War II, it was used as the US military barracks known as Washington Height...
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