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Sightseeing on a Budget in Tokyo

Sightseeing on a Budget in Tokyo

It isn’t known as a budget travel destination, but Tokyo is such a large, diverse city that it’s not hard to find inexpensive or even free things to see and do, if you know where to look. Here’s how to stretch a dollar (or yen) in the Japanese capital.

Buy a Transport Pass

Several different companies (e.g. Japan Rail, Tokyo Metro, and Toei Subway) offer transportation throughout the city. If you’ll be using lots of public transit, a pass is the cost-effective way to go. Options include the Tokyo Subway Ticket, the Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Economy Pass, and the Tokunai Pass, among others.

Pick Up a Grutto Pass for Museum Entry

Tokyo offers a huge range of museums, art galleries, zoos, and aquariums, but entry fees can really add up. Valid for two months, the Grutto Pass gives you access to more than 90 attractions. Not available for purchase in February or March.

Enjoy the Free Parks and Gardens

Although many temples and parks in Tokyo charge an admission fee, some don’t. For example, Meiji Jingu and the Imperial Palace East Gardens are two beautiful spots that won’t cost you a yen.

Shop at Markets

Chic, upscale shopping districts such as Ginza are great for window-shopping and people-watching, but if you’re on a budget, keep your wallet in your bag. Instead, head to local food and flea markets, such as Ueno’s Ameya-Yokocho or the Nogi Shrine Antique Flea Market. Harajuku has lots of vintage clothing stores, and you can pick up a secondhand kimono at Asakusa for a fraction of the cost of a new garment.

Get Free City Views

Replete with skyscrapers, Tokyo has plenty of viewing decks. If you’re pinching pennies, though, head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Take your pick of two 662-foot-high (202-meter-high) observation platforms—both free to access.

Seek Out All-You-Can-Eat/Drink Venues

Tabehodai (all-you-can-eat) andnomihodai (all-you-can-drink) venues are one of the most cost-effective ways of eating and drinking out in Tokyo. Usually for a set fee and a limited time (such as 90 minutes), all-you-can-eat establishments let you do exactly that.Nomihodai is a standard offering at karaoke bars in the wee hours—you won’t always be served the top-shelf liquor, however.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Tokyo Tours

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1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour

1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour

star-4.5
Discover Tokyo's must-see landmarks on this full-day coach tour including a cruise along the Tokyo Bay. See sights such as Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine and drive past the National Diet Building and other major attractions en route to the Imperial Palace East Garden for a stroll. Then explore the sights of Asakusa, including Senso-ji Temple, with commentary from an audio guide. Hop aboard a short cruise on Tokyo Bay. Opt to include the Japanese style lunch if you’d like, with views of the Bay and the Rainbow Bridge from your seat.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.44
From
$120.44
Taking safety measures

Walking Food Tour of Shibuya at Night

Walking Food Tour of Shibuya at Night

star-5
Get a taste of Japanese food and culture during this walking tour of Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Escape the tourist hordes as you eat like a Japanese local, sampling favorites like ‘okonomiyaki’ (savory egg pancakes), Wagyu beef skewers and more in the area’s off-the-beaten-path eateries and hangouts. Toast your adventure, and new friends, with an included glass of beer, ‘shochu’ (rice liquor) or soft drinks.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$178.72
From
$178.72
Taking safety measures

Tokyo Private Food Tour: From Ramen Bars, Vending Machines To Cat Cafes

Tokyo Private Food Tour: From Ramen Bars, Vending Machines To Cat Cafes

star-4
Go beyond the typical dining establishments frequented by tourists and get a real taste of local life on this guided food tour in Tokyo. In the company of a local host, discover local ingredients and dishes you have never heard of, and visit eateries you'd never find on your own. Eat your way around the city, visiting 6-8 different places that might include from side street yakitori, tiny sushi joints, and lively izakaya, while your host shares insights into Tokyo food culture.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$171.06
Price varies by group size
From
$171.06
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nights Three-Hour Small-Group Tour

Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nights Three-Hour Small-Group Tour

star-5
It can be an overwhelming challenge to choose where to eat and drink in Tokyo, one of the world’s 10 biggest cities. Let a local English-speaking guide take you and your friends on this exclusive tour through Shinjuku. You’ll eat and drink your way through Tokyo’s sprawling entertainment center. Enjoy the nightlife and neon lights in a relaxed way with your friends.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$108.32
From
$108.32
Taking safety measures

Shared Transfer to Takayama via Norikura Skyline beyond Clouds from Tokyo

Shared Transfer to Takayama via Norikura Skyline beyond Clouds from Tokyo

On this tour, we will take you to Takayama from Tokyo using our own minivan or coach. We pick you up at a hotel or apartment in Tokyo City except Adachi-ku, Arakawa-ku, Edogawa-ku, Katsushika-ku and Kita-ku. On the way to Takayama, you go on Norikura Skyline on Mt. Norikura that is located in the highest place as a motorway in Japan. It is forbidden to go there by car to protect the nature, but, our green licensed vehicles are accessible. Even in summer, skilled skier visits Mt. Norikura to enjoy skiing. There is a place called "Ohanabatake" that means a flower garden, and you enjoy hiking there. It is easy for senior and children. The blooming of alpine plants in early summer, and autumn leaves in September to October are waiting for you. Don't miss the hidden garden beyond clouds. We drop you off at Takayama station, Hotel Associa Tayama or Hotel Green Plaza Takayama and the tour is ended.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$156.56
From
$156.56

NIKKO PASS All Area

NIKKO PASS All Area

star-5
Build your own Nikko adventure with this 4-day Nikko All Area Pass for foreign visitors. With a round-trip ticket from the Asakusa station included plus unlimited Nikko train and bus travel, the pass lets you to explore Nikko over four consecutive calendar days, making it easy to visit the shrines, springs, and temples for which the area is known. Just show your non-Japanese passport and booking voucher to collect your pass, then start sightseeing.
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  • 1 to 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.92
From
$46.92

Traditional Antiques Market Tour Tokyo

Traditional Antiques Market Tour Tokyo

star-5
Hunt for Japanese curiosities on a tour of Tokyo’s antique markets with Sayuki, a geisha guide, and find unique gifts and mementos to take home. The perfect shopping trip if you’re looking for something different, this daytime tour visits flea markets and stalls outside shrines where traditional wares such as samurai swords and geisha pillows can be found. Your guide, who may be an apprentice geisha, will even bargain on your behalf.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
From
$234.59
per group
From
$234.59
per group