Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world and in no way should be considered a budget travel destination. Brace yourself for some hefty sticker shock when scouting out essentials like accommodation, transportation, dining out and the like. Even a cup of coffee or beer is going to put you back some. The good news is not everything comes at a Ginza price tag. In fact, some of the best, most quintessential Tokyo experiences are completely free. Sceptical? Read on to discover 10 top Tokyo experiences that won’t cost you a yen.
1. The Imperial Palace, Tokyo
A short walk from Tokyo train station is the former site of Edo Castle and current main residence of the Emperor and Empress of Japan. You’re free to stroll around the park-like neighborhood to catch pretty of views of the moats, bridges, gardens, palace walls and towers. The best photo-op is around the Main Gate, where you’ll spy two Imperial guards and the famous circular “Eye Glasses” bridge. The inner buildings and gardens are generally off limits, but you can mosey along the paths of the Kokyo Higashi Gyoen (the Imperial Palace East Garden), the Kokyo Gaien (the Imperial Palace Outer Garden) plus Kita-no-maru-koen Park all without opening your wallet. Circumnavigate the area and you’ll see some cool contrasts of old and new, with Tokyo skyscrapers lurking in the background. On Sundays, 250 free bikes are also up for grabs for one of the most pleasant rides in this bustling metropolis.