TOP10 Tokyo

Today I’m going to introduce for you my ten favorite things to do in Tokyo. I tried to pick up different activities, some free some not and even put them to order from 10th to 1st. If you have more recommendations, feel free to share them in the comments.

 

10. The National Art Center

artmuseum_tokyo

Tokyo has countless amount of different museums. It was hard decision to pick out just one of them. National Art Center was for me the most charming museum. Different exhibitions. Interesting artistes form Japan, Asia and around the world.

The modern art exhibition I visited was one of the best I have been. There was videos, sculptures, interactive art and inspiring works of art. One work even let the visitors take a piece with them. There was also a big house made of homeless people’s cardboard boxes.

 

9. Go to concert

tokyo harajuku street performance

Japan has music to offer for everyone’s tastes. Maybe go to small bar and listen rock or to big stadium see pop star. The Japanese music scene has many interesting artists and genres. In my opinion you can find concert experience that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. If you are lucky, there may be free concerts or events on the street.

Visit Tower Records store and ask if they sell tickets (if they don’t ask in which of their stores they do). The staffs are nice and at least for me they were able to suggest concerts foreigner should see as part of their Tokyo experience.

 

8. RiSuPia

Risupia tokyo museum

Some may say this place is for kids but I enjoyed it as twenty years old solo traveler. Japan is the country of inventions and in RiSuPia you can experience just that. Go to buy your ticket and while waiting for your turn check out all the new inventions from first floor or play newest Nintendo and Wii games in the second floor.

You get this remote thing and with it do different tasks in RiSuPia. Problem solving, funny experiments and teaching games. It really made the mathematics, psychics and chemistry lot more clear and easy. This should be the way to teach things to children! But the point is I had fun and the staff were amazing and kind. I recommend visit in RiSuPia for everyone.

 

7. Ueno Park

sunset in ueno park

I would write a long post about Ueno Park and why it is one of my favorite places in Tokyo. I lived near it and spend countless of hours exploring around. Ueno park is home of zoo, museums, shrines and temples. Take pretty picture with torii gates or people watch locals having free time around the beautiful fountain.

Museum in ueno park

The park is right next to Ueno station so many people are hurrying through it towards schools, works and homes. At evenings different dance groups are practicing and having fun. (I stalked this one group dancing with light sticks in too many nights…)

Tokyo Ueno Starbucks

Ueno zoo is worth of seeing if you have time. The pandas are their biggest attraction but I totally fell in love with the zoo area itself. Next to zoo you can find small alley made of torii gates, the spot many tourists (and me) took pretty picture of themselves. The locals are happy to help you and take the picture (even if you don’t ask!).

 

6. Harajuku (Takeshita Street)

Line Friends shop Harajuku

As district Harajuku is place you should just get lost and find interesting shops, crazy looking people and small museums. However I know some people are short of time and for you I recommend walking Takeshita Dori/Street. They even have maps made of that one street and it’s countless shops selling different kind of fashion. Be aware of the mass trying to run over you if the touristy you decides to be too slow at walking!

 

5. Sibuya

umbrella_tokyo

One part of Tokyo known for Hachiko dog statue and rumored to be world’s busiest pedestrian crossing (Shibuya crossing). May sound crazy but I recommend visiting here when it is raining. The way Japanese walk with their umbrellas without bumping to other people is art!

 

4. Senso-ji

Senso-ji Temple Asakusa Tokyo

When visiting Japan you should go to see at least one temple or shrine. I recommend Senso-ji because of the area around it and it is photogenic place. Walking from metro station to the temple is an experience on its own. There is small shops everywhere selling sweets, souvenirs and fortunes. If you walk to one of the side alleys getting lost is sure but so are amazing adventures.

 

3. Cherry Blossom Viewing

Japan is known for its pinkish blossoming trees and the beautiful pictures taken from them. Unfortunately you only can see cherry blossoms at specific time at year. For example I didn’t see them when going Japan in autumn (well I have reason to return…) The best time to go and get charmed by the pink brilliance is in spring but you should google more accurate timing.

 

2. Character Street

Hello Kitty Character Street

Character street gets the second place because it’s something different, cute and full of life. (Oh and free to go if you don’t get too desirous to buy something!) The shops are lined closely next to each other and people are everywhere. There is a lot of tourists but also locals. You will find Character Street on the basement of Tokyo Station.

 

1. See Mt. Fuji (from far away)

Tokyo metropolitan government building night

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building offers two free observation decks. I visited there three times while in Tokyo and there was no line at all (an most of the times I was even alone in the elevator…) Maybe this is for me at first place because I am from small city and never seen skyscrapers before but definitely must place to visit for everyone.

The views are breathtaking and if you are lucky and the mother nature is in good mood (read the weather is clear) you will be able to see Mt. Fuji. You should start from here and check out the city from above. Good place to go either in sunlight (to see everything clearly/the Mt. Fuji) or after dark (beautiful city lights).

 

To see more free things to do in Tokyo go HERE.

Top 10 Things To Do In Tokyo Japan
If you liked my article, you can pin this image to your Pinterest!

With love (and endless homesickness to Japan),

Viivi Severina

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10 Free Things in Tokyo

Tokyo is the place with endless free options. I would make the list last forever but I don’t really have enough pictures and time for that. So here is some of my favorite free things!

 

 

Tokyo metropolitan government building night
View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at night time

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Good place to start your Tokyo tour is from high place where you will be apple to see whole city. -Even the mount Fuji if weather is in your side.- Metropolitan building has two towers and both of then have free observation deck.

 

sunset in ueno park
Go see sunset in Ueno park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park something for everyone. From kids to grown-ups

Ueno park

Tokyo’s parks are must to visit and Ueno was my favorite. At evenings you may see dancers practicing and at almost every weekend there is some kind of  event. Ueno has beautiful fountain that’s perfect picnic place. It’s right next to Ueno station so it’s easy to access.

Go torii gate sighting or visit temples and shrines. Ueno park is also perfect cherry blossom spot. Come here to calm down and to see normal Japanese people living their every day life. And better not forget the performers you can see at weekends. Everything from magicians to musicians.

 

Shibuya109

Fancy, street style and cute shops. If you want to get in Japan’s teen fashion you should visit here. Roaming and admiring trough all the shops will take forever but it is worth it even if you don’t have money to buy anything.

 

Shibuya Crossing

One of the busiest intersections in world. After waiting for the green light and trying to get across the street without stumbling over other jaywalkers. At weekend nights people are dressed for partying and you see colors and happy people everywhere.

 

Anime figures in Akihabara
Just exploring all the figure shops in Akihabara makes it worth of visit

Akihabara

If you are planning to visit Japan you should probably be aware of the anime and manga culture. Akihabara is one of Tokyo’s districts and it has a lot to offer even people not being into Japanese cartoons or comics. It’s famous for its many electronic shops but in my case I recommend visiting the anime/manga figure shops and game halls.

It is unforgettable experience to go one of the narrow aisle shops full of figures and anime goodies. All you can see are glass shelves full of tiny colorful characters. Oh and just warning that it is easy to wander accidentally to mature content areas of shops. (A lot of naked woman characters.)

 

Showrooms

Who wouldn’t like to try new modern technology? Tokyo is full of different companies’ showrooms waiting for you to come and explore the new products. Go to Panasonic Center play Nintendo games, check out Sony‘s newest products and visit Mega Web to test drive cars.

 

Senso-ji Temple Asakusa Tokyo
Senso-ji Temple
Senso-ji Nakamise shopping street
You should visit Senso-ji at evenings when the are lights up beautifully in darkness

Senso-ji

Senso-ji is Buddhist temple located in Asakusa and the place you should visit if you only have time to see one temple/shrine in Tokyo. It’s popular among locals and tourist and especially at weekend evenings full of kimono dressed youth.

The temple itself is beautiful and free to visit and around it spreads streets full of small shops and restaurants. If you want to buy something small, cute and japan like to souvenirs I recommend visiting the small stalls on the road from temple to metro station.

 

FT Island Tower Records
Korean boyband FT Island’s promotion in Tower Records

Tower records

Visiting Tower Records music store can be experience even if you are not there to buy anything. Taking pics with big Japanese idol posters or listening the sample songs throws you to the wold of Japan’s music culture. If you are lucky you may even see some idols or live performances!

 

Hello Kitty Character Street
Hello Kitty Shop in Tokyo Station’s Character Street

Character Street

Tamagotchi, Pokemon and Totoro. Below Tokyo station lies area full of small shops selling different character goods. There is some all time favorites such as Pokemon and changing newer trends like Japanese drama and anime series stuff. Takes pics with cute shop decorations and buy cute souvenirs. Don’t forget to check out capsule toys!

 

KITTE Garden Roof Tokyo
KITTE Garden is perfect spot to relax and explore the city from the heights

KITTE Shopping Mall/Roof Garden

This shopping mall right next to Tokyo Station has beautiful roof garden with view to the old station building. If you have time and are on the are visit here to calm down between fierce shopping spree. Don’t forget to do some window shopping on the interesting shops that are “highlighting Japan’s unique sense of beauty”.

 

See you next time!
With love,

Neidotta

 

Grutto Pass – Tokyo Cheaply

Grutto Pass costs 2 000 yen (in 2016, about 16€) and with it you can visit most of the Tokyo’s museums and sightseeing attractions. It’s valid for two months starting from the first use and you can buy it from the most of museums and places where you can use it. You can also buy it in set with day train ticket. When buying the pass you get small notebook of places where you can use it or get discounts (and it is in English or at least was when I bought mine in 2015).

http://www.rekibun.or.jp/grutto/pdf/grutto_pass2016.pdf

From the link above you can find places where the Grutto Pass is valid in year 2016. Below the ones I went and liked the most…

 

 

mitsuoaida

tomatoes, you know, are real
that is, if they remain tomatoes
if they try to be melons, however,
they then became fakes
though everything and everyone is real
in their own way,
it seems we always try so hard to become fakes
-Mitsuo Aida

Mitsuo Aida Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 800 yen. Even if the poems are at Japanese are they beautiful to look and every poem is translated.

 

 

Ueno Zoo PandaUeno Zoo

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 600 yen. Go and see pandas and other cute animals!

 

 

Tokyo Sea Life ParkTokyo Sea Life Park

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 700 yen. Who doesn’t love aquariums?

 

 

Tokyo Innovation MuseumMiraikan

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 620 yen. The national museum of emerging science and innovation. From the first look it may seem like museum for children but it’s a lot more. Go there to see robots and space ship.

 

 

fortuneShitamachi Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 300 yen.  Get to know how Japanese people lived in the past. They have free English guided tours and you can even get free fortune like the one above.

 

 

Tokyo National Museum of Nature and ScienceNational Museum of Nature and Science

Normally 620 yen but with Grutto pass you get 100 yen discount. This museum is huge and full of things to see. For example 360 theater, dinosaur bones and information of japanese nature. I recommend for science and nature students.

 

Should I buy Grutto Pass?

My opinion is yes. If you are going to spend more than day or two in Tokyo then definitely yes. You don’t need to go many places before Grutto pass pays itself back.

Also was fun how people always commented that I must be professional tourist because I have the Grutto pass. Apparently normally non Japanese speaking people don’t know about Grutto pass. Using it made me have many funny conversations with museum guides and other local people.

I hope me sharing my experience with Grutto pass makes someone else to safe their money! For me staying over month in Tokyo it saved a lot of money and made me go places I maybe wouldn’t have gone with out the free admission.

Follow my blog to read more of my adventures!
With love and passion,

Neidotta