5 things to do for free in Tokyo

Ever fancied a trip to Japan’s capital, but thought it seemed too pricey? Well pack your bags: the city is chock full of amazing things to do for free, meaning you can explore the city without fear of breaking the bank. Here are some of the best things on offer…

Cycle around Imperial Palace

Don’t forget to pack your trainers! On Sundays, there are 150 free bikes on offer for visitors to pedal around the famous palace grounds on, with beautiful paths and moats waiting to be explored. Join the Palace Cycling Course and don’t forget to bring your camera – you’ll want to document this adventure.

Immerse yourself in art at Design Festa

Get your fill of true Tokyo art at Design Festa. Even the exterior is impossible to miss, with full decoration covering the building to make it a work of art in its own right. Anyone can rent a space inside and present their work, so you’re sure to get a real feel for the Tokyo art scene. Best of all, the gallery is free and open all week from 11 am – 10 pm.

Watch the city from 200 metres above ground

Worried you won’t be able to see everything from the ground? No worries, you can head up to the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to soak it all in. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji, but the best time to come is around dusk when you can catch an incredible sunset and watch the city light up the night.

Catch some washi making in action

Ever seen those intricate paper designs and wondered how the art of paper folding is done? Now is your chance – Origami Kaikan holds lessons in the gallery workshop. You’ll have to pay if you want them to provide the paper, but it’s free to come along and watch them teach, and you’re welcome to wander around the gallery to get your fill of art.

Embrace nature at Meiji-jingū

When the bright colours of Harajuku become a little too much, head over to Meiji-jingū, the dense woodland that surrounds the capital’s famous Shinto shrine (Meiji-jingū). To spot some amazing kimonos, come on a festival day (there’s one every week), but if not it’s the perfect chance to relax and take a breather from the busy city.

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