Tokyo, like the rest of Japan, is known for being an expensive place. A lot of travelers are put off by this as they think Tokyo is unaffordable for budget travelers. Unknown to many, is there are lots of free things to do in Tokyo, Japan. So here are the recommended free things to do in Tokyo for free by travel bloggers. A proof that Tokyo on a budget is possible.
Free Things To Do In Tokyo, Japan
Best Places to View Hydrangeas in the Tokyo area
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In Japanese tradition, Hydrangea is the sign of the rainy season. Although hydrangea is not exclusive in Japan, it holds dear in Japanese people’s heart and the flower is adored and honored as they do for ume (plum), Sakura (cherry), and irises. In fact, Hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan.
Now, Hydrangeas are cultivated in temples, gardens, parks, and even on the roadside – and these places will be packed with visitors when the flowers are blooming, usually from the end of May to June.
Hakusan-Jinja Shrine is located in Bunkyo city, a charming, old-fashioned neighborhood known for its rich culture and beautiful flowers – the city holds five major flower festivals annually, and the Hydrangea Festival (Ajisai Matsuri) is one of them. The event starts on June 8th in 2019 and there are over 3,000 hydrangeas around Hakusan-Jinja Shrine and Hakusan Park.
Visitors come here to enjoy viewing and photo-shooting, and there are a number of street stalls selling potted hydrangeas and other festive items during the festival. Another great place is Ueno Onshi Park, flowers are grown on the sidewalk of numerous trails in the parks. In other words, hydrangeas are basically everywhere and it is should be included on your itinerary for Tokyo.
Source: Kenny of Knycx Journeying
2. Tokyo Metropolitan Building
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One of the best places to see Tokyo from above is the Tokyo Metropolitan Building. I like it because it’s completely free, there are restaurants and shops on the viewing area so you can also do something else, and you can actually see the towers (Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree) from there. I mean, if you climb one of the towers, you won’t really be able to see it, will you?
Since it is a government building, everyone must pass through security on entering – X-ray of bags, etc, and it can get quite crowded. I recommend you visit it on a clear day, just before sunset – that way, you can see the Tokyo skyline during the day, during sunset, and during the night. You can stay there for as long as you want, but around an hour (if you’re not eating) will be enough for most.
Source: Thais Saito of World Trip Diaries
3. See the Amazing Fire Ritual At Fukagawa Fudodo
There’s fire, drumming and chanting but we’re not talking about any kind of theatrical performance here, but an amazing religious ceremony that happens up to six times a day at Tokyo’s Fukagawa Fudodo temple.
Known as the Goma ritual, its aim is to release suffering and negative energies that might hold people back on their journey to enlightenment. The wooden plaques being burned contain the wishes of devotees that they hope to have granted by the ritual.
Exactly what’s going on might be a bit of a mystery, but it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the rhythm, noise, and flames. Saying that though it’s also very sacred and as such, no photos of the ceremony are allowed. You’re also asked to remove your shoes as wearing shoes inside a temple is one of those things that you can’t do in Japan. And sit in a respectful position for the ceremony. When it’s finished visit the room of 10,000 crystal statues – it’s quite an amazing sight.
You’ll find Fukagawa Fudodo in east Tokyo, the nearest station is Monzen-Nakacho. The first ritual takes place at 9 am (which makes it a great thing to do in Tokyo in the early morning when many other things are closed). It then happens every two hours throughout the day.