Tokyo is one of the most exciting places on the planet, but this doesn’t mean a holiday to this amazing destination has to break the bank.
Like most places in the world, a trip to Tokyo can be done either in luxury or on a shoestring budget. I’ve been lucky to have been able to travel around most of Japan in my 10 years of living there and overall I have found Japan to be an incredibly affordable holiday destination.
If you are planning a trip to the land of the rising sun, be sure to check out these things to do in Tokyo, for people traveling on a budget.
Imperial Palace gardens
Located in the heart of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is a must see tourist attraction, whether you’re traveling on a budget or not. Visit the magnificent gardens surrounding the home of Japan’s emperor and imperial family. It is an easy walk from Tokyo Station and entry is free.
A trip to Harajuku is the experience of a lifetime. This is the home of Japanese street fashion and cosplay and the best spot in Tokyo for people watching. Also located close by is the famous Meiji Shrine.
Visit a Shinto shrine
Most temples and shrines in Tokyo are free to visit. The more famous ones will charge an entrance fee but this is usually as little as 500 yen. Various religious festivals are held throughout the year, with the shrines themselves being a major attraction. Colorful features and intricate detailing can date back hundreds of years to when the shrines were first built.
Buy something from a vending machine
Yes, I know most countries have vending machines, but in Japan they’re at another level. Using a vending machine in Japan is like taking a step into the future with high-tech machines that can recommend drinks for you based on the weather and your age and gender. You can pretty much find them on every street corner in Japan. Tokyo has vending machines that sell just about anything and the prices are very reasonable, sometimes cheaper than a shop.
If you’re going to have one night out in Japan, make sure it’s at a karaoke box. The Japanese love to sing and it’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Your night doesn’t need to be expensive with karaoke boxes offering great deals for small groups that include food and drinks.
Get electric in Akihabara
Better known as electric town, it is the home of technology. Tokyo’s gadget district is frequented by millions of visitors every year. If you’re traveling on a budget, it may be a good idea to leave your wallet at home for this shopping experience, although you can find some pretty good deals there.
If you’re looking for some free entertainment, you can’t go past a Sunday afternoon in Yoyogi Park. Local bands battle it out, dressed in the craziest rock gear you’ve ever seen.
While sumo wrestling bouts can take a chunk out of your spending money, you can see sumo wrestlers in action during training matches, for free. Training venues aren’t generally made public, so talk to your hotel concierge about finding one nearby.
Throughout Japan you will find a variety of noodle dishes and restaurants. In my experience, the best noodles are found at the small traditional shops that are usually hidden away in alleys or between buildings. A yummy bowl of noodles will cost you around 500 yen.
If you want to travel, but know that world trip tickets come with a hefty price tag, try discovering the islands of Japan instead. Flights between islands are very affordable and give you the chance to experience various types of Japanese culture.
The author runs Japan Australia, a blog about Japan containing useful tips and advice about living or traveling to Japan. This blog is dedicated to Japan travel, food, cooking, music, and culture.© Japan Today