Best View of Tokyo for Free
You can join the millions of tourists who go to SkyTree and Tokyo Tower every year, paying for a view. They’re both great places. But…
If you want a free view of Tokyo, look no further than Shinjuku. In Nishi Shinjuku (west Shinjuku), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building offers free panoramic views from the 45th floor. One of the best free things to do in Tokyo!
Keep a map with you since it’s a little hard to find west of Shinjuku’s electronics district. But it’s in a quiet part of the city that offers a nice respite from the main area of bustling Shinjuku, and you can spend a few hours looking across the sprawling metropolis that is Tokyo while you sip on coffee or tea at the cafe.
More Free Things to Do in Tokyo – Walking
Discover Tokyo on foot
In this large city with such an efficient public transportation system, walking to get from point A to point B would seem a bit stupid at first glance.
However, as the city is extremely safe even at night, walking in Tokyo can be a very pleasant experience.
In some areas, walking can be much shorter than taking the subway and walking the transit (the whole Akasaka/Nagatacho/Roppongi area in the center is for instance very easily covered on foot).
If you have the time, Shinjuku to Shibuya via Omotesando takes roughly one hour, Tokyo Station to Shinjuku would be a half a day walk, and the whole Yamanote line Grand Tour takes a long day.
Harajuku to Shibuya by foot
Make your own free walking tour in Tokyo!
An interesting and recommended walk will let you experience Harajuku and Shibuya, and all of the trendy places in between.
Starting from the Takeshita exit of JR Harajuku station, walk straight away from the station down Takeshita-dori, where you will almost certainly run into the mingling pedestrian crowds. When you reach the first major crossroad, Meiji-dori, turn right. When you reach Omote-sand, turn left. Here you will enjoy the tree-lined streets and pass by stores with some of the latest in fashion, and perhaps, as this author experienced, pass by a large open-air banquet area where a loudspeaker declares someone man and wife, and lets the whole world know about it.
When you reach Aoyama-Dori, turn right, and you will pass United Nations University on your right, and Aoyama Gakuin University on your left, before continuing down and finishing up at Shibuya’s world-famous pedestrian crossing.
Allow yourself approximately two hours for this walk.
If you’re looking for a day trip from Tokyo, check out our video exploring Yokohama, Hakone and Kamakura for inspiration: