Tuesday, August 9, 2011

8 things you can do in Tokyo for free

Tokyo is among the most expensive places to live in and visit. If you are a budget traveler, you need not worry, there are still things you can do during your Tokyo holiday for free. Here is how you can stretch your travel budget:
Visit the oldest temple in Tokyo
Sensoji is the oldest temple in Tokyo and it was built in the 7th century. Locals believe that the smoke coming from the incense urn right in front for the temple can help help heal one’s body of ailments. Around the temple, you can find street vendors selling cheap quick snacks like bean cakes, rice crackers, and ice cream made of green tea. You can also try the local dishes from the traditional restaurants nearby.
Visit the Meiji Shrine
This Shinto shrine is located amid a 178 acre garden in Tokyo. The shrine was built in honor of the Emperor Meiji. Aside from the Meiji shrine, you will find a good number of shrines in honor of warriors, heroes, leaders, the dead, and a lot more that the Japanese culture holds dear.
Attend one of the Tokyo festivals
Celebration of the Japanese culture through their festivals are very important to every Japanese. In Tokyo alone, you will find a festival to attend to almost throughout the year. The festivities revolve around celebration of life, death, flowers,nature, stars, fertility, chasing away evil and a lot more. During these festivals, you can immerse into Tokyo’s traditions, meet locals, try unique dishes, join some local rituals, and take a ton of pictures.
Enjoy the scene at the Tsukiji
Tsukiji is the biggest fish market on earth. Anything seafood, you will find here plus everything Japense that you can think off. Aside from the fresh catch, you will be able to see mushrooms, tea, ceramics, seaweeds, pickles, kitchenware, and a lot more. If you love sushi, then this marketplace is heaven for you since you can find the freshest of sushi that you can imagine.
Visit showrooms and tech galleries
If you love gadgets and cars, Tokyo is for you and you can even visit places where you can checkout the latest Japanese creations. You can go to the Sony Building to tryout the latest gadgets that they are planning to release to the market. You can even try them out yourselves like the latest game consoles on their best high definition television. You can also go to the Nissan Gallery, Honda Welcome Plaza, and Mega Web by Toyota.
Join a free guided tour of Tokyo
There are a lot of destinations that you can visit in Tokyo and there is no better way to be shown around by locals. People here organize free guided tours of Tokyo to show tourists and travelers. The group of local tour guides include retirees, housewives, and students. They start the tours from several points around the city and cover Tokyo destinations like the Ueno Park and Japan’s Imperial Palace. The tour is free but you have to contribute to the travel expenses of the guide and pay for any admission tickets.
Free museums
There are a lot of free Tokyo museums that you can go to. If there is a fee, it could be no more than a yen to enter. Some of the best ones include Parasite museum, Sumo Museum, Postage Museum, Yebisu Beer Museum, Advertising Museum, Stationery Museum, Currency Museum, and a lot more.
Enjoy the views of the city
Go to the 45th floor of the Tokyo City Hall where the viewing decks are and enjoy a beautiful cityscape. The elevator ride will take you just around fifty five seconds and you will already be around 200 meters or so above the ground. From the observation deck, you will see Mount Fuji and Yokohama.