Tokyo is definitely an expensive tourists destination; but, let us introduce a few places to visit that cost you absolutely nothing.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices: The Tallest Building in Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also referred to as Tokyo City Hall, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities, towns and villages that make up Tokyo as a whole.
Located in Shinjuku, it held the title of the tallest building (by roof height) in Tokyo, at 243 meters (799 feet), from 1991 to late 2006, when it surrendered its title upon the completion of Midtown Tower.
The two panoramic observation decks, one in each tower on floor 45 (202 meters high), are free of charge to the public and contain gift shops and cafes. They are open till 23:00 on weekdays. Use of cameras is permitted, but tripods are forbidden.
NHK Museum of Broadcast
The NHK Museum of Broadcast opened in Atagoyama, dubbed “the birthplace of Japanese broadcasting”. Japan’s broadcasting history started in 1925. Since then, broadcasting has greatly progressed from radio to television, to satellite broadcasting, to High-Vision (HDTV), and to digital broadcasting.
The Museum houses various exhibits on broadcasting history, including original items used in actual programs, and has an on-demand video library and a reference library, opened to public for free.
Hours: From 10 : 00 to 16 : 00
Closed: Every Monday unless it is a National Holiday and Dec.28th-Jan.3rd
2-1-1, Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0002
Phone No.(03) 5400-6900
Kamiyacho Station (Hibiya Line)
Toranomon Station (Ginza Line)
Onarimon Station (Toei Mita Line)
Jikeikai Idai-mae Bus Stop
(City Bus: Running between Tokyo Station Marunouch South Exit and Todoroki Soshajo)
(Tokyu Bus: Running between Tokyo Station Marunouch South Exit and Todoroki)
Toranomon San-chome Bus Stop
(City Bus: Running between Shimbashi Station North Exit and Shibuya Station)
Tokyo Sony Building
A Ginza landmark, the Sony Building features a variety of shops, showrooms and restaurants. Among these are:
- the Sony Showroom, where you can see, touch and try the latest Sony products;
- the Sony Shop, where you can buy international models of Sony products;
- Maxim’s de Paris, where you can enjoy a fine French meal; and other shops offering the perfect Japanese souvenir.
Communication Zone Opus on the 8th floor allows visitors to experience video and audio entertainment of the highest quality.
On the sixth floor, there’s a duty-free shop “Sony Store Ginza” which is Sony’s own shop where you can see and buy Sony Overseas Model products. Click here for the map.
Tokyo Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, Japan located adjacent to Harajuku Station and Meiji Shrine in Shibuya.
What is now Yoyogi Park was the site of the first successful powered aircraft flight in Japan, on December 19, 1910, by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa, after which it became an army parade ground.
During the post World War II occupation, it was the site of the Washington Heights residence for U.S. officers. It was later the site for the main Olympic athletes village of the 1964 Summer Olympics and the swimming, diving, and basketball venues. The distinctive Yoyogi National Gymnasium which hosted swimming, diving, and basketball was designed by Kenzo Tange for the Olympics, and is still in use, but most of the area north of the gymnasium complex and south of Meiji Shrine was turned into a city park in 1967.
Today, the park is a popular hangout, especially on Sundays, when it is used as a gathering place for people to play music, practice martial arts, etc. The park has a bike path, a public basketball court, and bicycle rentals are available. As a consequence of Japan’s long recession, there are several large, but quiet and orderly, homeless camps around the park’s periphery.
Yoyogi Park has a fenced dog run, one of the few areas in Tokyo where dogs are allowed to be off leash. The dog run is located towards the western side of the park, inside the bicycle path, east of the parking lot at the western edge of the park. The ground is covered in wood chips, and the run is divided into three sections which are limited to dogs of different sizes (defined by weight) and contains a few benches. Only dog owners are permitted to enter this area.