Tokyo may be a pricey city, even more for tourists on a tight budget. Still, some places are worth spending money on! After all, it’s always better to leave the country without regrets, especially if you don’t know if you’ll ever be back, right? Here are some places that are worth every yen you spend.
1. Tokyo Skytree
Standing at the height of 638 meters, Tokyo Skytree is the world’s tallest broadcasting tower and the tallest structure in Japan. There are two observation decks located at the heights of 350 and 450 meters where you can view the entirety of Tokyo! Meanwhile, its lower floors consists of a shopping complex with an aquarium, a planetarium and a museum.
Opening hours: 8 am to 10 pm (last entry 9 pm)
Admission fee: For foreign tourists, ¥3000 (first observation deck) and ¥4000 (first and second observation decks)
How to get there: Tokyo Skytree Station will get you directly to the Tokyo Skytree Town. Otherwise, there are shuttle buses from Tokyo Station, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Disney Resort and more. Visit the official website for more info!
2. Tokyo Dome City Attractions
Credit: The Japan Time
Tokyo Dome City Attractions (or LaQua) is an amusement park that is a part of Tokyo Dome City, a leisure complex located in central Tokyo (which also includes Tokyo Dome baseball stadium). This park offers more than 20 attractions, and its strategic location makes it a better choice for those who wish to spend less time commuting. Entering the park is free for everyone but a ticket is required for the rides, either per attraction or by purchasing a one-day pass.
Credit: Alphabet City
If you find thrill in feeling an adrenaline rush, don’t miss riding Thunder Dolphin, a roller coaster that cuts through part of the LaQua shopping centre building and the Big-O Ferris Wheel!
Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm
Admission fee: One-day pass is ¥3900 (adult), ¥3400 (youth aged 12-17 and senior citizen aged 60 and above), ¥2100 (child aged 6-11), ¥1300 (infant aged 3-5)
How to get there: A short walk from Suidobashi Station (JR Chuo Line), Korakuen Station (Marunouchi-Namboku Line), or Kasuga Station (Oedo-Mita Line)
3. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
The impressive National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or more commonly known as Miraikan, is an ultra-modern facility where people can get a glimpse of Japan’s amazing achievements in the field of technology. Visitors may also experience dealing with natural disasters such as earthquakes. Hands-on lessons on how to deal with natural disasters are provided.
Let your inner nerd out and learn about robots, space exploration, as well as Japan’s latest innovations such as modern transportation.
Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm (ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing), closed on Tuesdays and New Year holidays
Admission fee: ¥620 per adult, ¥210 for 18-year-olds and younger
How to get there: 4 minutes walk from Telecom Center Station or 5 minutes walk from Fune-no Kagakukan Station (Yurikamome). Otherwise take the free Bay Shuttle bus from Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line) and get off at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation stop.
4. Tokyo Tower
Credit: Jeffrey Martin
A trip to Tokyo will not be complete without a visit to the ever iconic Tokyo Tower! Although Tokyo Skytree has become the new centrepiece of the town, it still hasn’t come close to beating this red tower as one of the most recognizable country landmarks. Tokyo Tower stands at 333 meters and is the symbol of the country’s post-war rebirth as a major economic power. The tower’s main observatory can be reached via elevator or its 600-step staircase (great place to burn those calories!). Another set of elevators will get you up the special observatory, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city.
Credit: The Tokyo Skytree Explorer
In 2015, an indoor amusement park, One Piece Tower, was opened in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the famous One Piece manga, directly below the tower. Featuring characters from the series, the park offers games, shows and many other attractions.
#HHWT tip: You may get a ¥200 discount if you purchase your One Piece Tower tickets at local convenience stores or from your travel agents.
Tokyo Tower Observatories
Opening hours: 9 am to 11 pm daily (last entry 10.30 pm)
Admission fee: ¥900 (main observatory only), ¥1600 (both observatories)
One Piece Tower Theme Park
Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily (last entry 9 pm)
Admission fee: ¥3200 per person
How to get there: 5-10 minutes walk from Onarimon Station (Mita Line), Akanebashi Station (Oedo Line), and Kamiyacho Station (Hibiya Line)
5. Ghibli Museum
Credit: David Andrew
Technically, Ghibli Museum is located in in Mikata, a town just outside central Tokyo, but it’s just a 15-minute train trip away from Shinjuku Station.
Dedicated to Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, this museum is designed in the distinct style of the studio’s films, perfect for fans to imagine themselves being in the world of Ghibli. Of course, many of their famous characters are included as well. A small theatre can be found on the first floor where short films exclusive to the museum are shown, and special short-term exhibitions are held on the second floor.
#HHWT tip: Tickets are not sold at the museum so remember to purchase them in advance! You can either purchase them at JTB offices in your country or at any Lawson convenience stores in Japan.
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Tuesdays)
Admission fee: ¥1100 per adult (ages over 19), ¥700 (ages 13-18), ¥400 (ages 7-12), ¥100 (ages 4-6)
How to get there: 15 minutes walk from the south ext of Mitaka Station (JR Chuo Line). Community bus service from the exit to the museum is available with fees.
6. Tokyo Trick Art Museum, Odaiba
Credit: Appetite For Japan
Trick art museums are not that uncommon these days, but that doesn’t make this one any less amazing. Located in Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall, Tokyo Trick Art Museum is divided into several segments with different themes, including a haunted mansion theme and the Japanese Edo Era theme, which is the museum’s highlight. There are guides and suggestions provided at each illusion on how you can pose for your photos, but you are encouraged to be creative. Tickets can be purchased from a vending machine at the entrance.
Opening hours: 11 am to 9 pm (last entry 8.30 pm)
Admission fee: ¥900 per adult (high school students and older), ¥400 per child (4-year-olds to junior high students)
How to get there: 2 minutes walk from Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station (Yurikamome), 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line) Exit B. Tokyo Trick Art Museum is on the fourth floor of the Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall (Island Mall side).
7. Samurai Museum
What is Japan without all the samurais? Samurais are not just any soldier, but they value honour above anything else, including their own lives. If you find yourself in Shinjuku, make a note to drop by this museum to see this iconic symbol of courage for yourself. The founder, Tetsuro Koyano, spent five years collecting the costumes, head gears, swords and other related equipment for his mission to educate the public, including tourists, and revive the soul of a samurai.
Credit: Lorianne DiSabato on Flickr
The highlight of Samurai Museum is an opportunity to get yourself photographed in a samurai costume of your choice!
Opening hours: 10.30 am to 9 pm (last entry 8.30 pm)
Admission fee: ¥1800 per adult, ¥800 per child under age of 12, free for children under 3
How to get there: 4 minutes walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station (JR Yamanote Line) or 8 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit.
8. Tokyo Sea Life Park
Credit: Matthew Bystedt
The huge glass dome will be the first thing that catches your attention when you get to Tokyo Sea Life Park. Beneath that lies a beautiful marine world consisting of all kinds of sea life from the Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctic, Arctic, and Indian Ocean. What the aquarium is best known for is the penguin exhibition, one of the largest in the country, that can be observed both on land and through water. Tokyo Sea Life Park also has a collection of replicas of freshwater life that used to exist in Tokyo when the place was rich with nature.
Opening hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm (last entry 4 pm)
Admission fee: ¥700 per person, ¥350 per senior citizen (ages above 65), ¥250 per junior high school student (ages 12-15), free for children under 12
How to get there: 5 minutes walk from Kasai-rinkai-koen Station (JR Keio Line)
9. Catch a sumo tournament
Credit: Ko Sasaki
Sumo is Japan’s national sport and a unique form of wrestling that has its origins in the past as a form of entertainment for the Shinto deities. If you happen to be in Japan during a sumo season, be sure to attend a tournament! Tickets can be bought from the official site, via https://buysumotickets.com, or at convenience stores. Alternatively, you can try visiting a sumo stable to watch the practice sessions. However, not all stables allow visitors, particularly foreign tourists, so joining a guided tour is a better choice.
#HHWT tip: Sumo tournaments only take place in the odd-numbered months and in four different cities, therefore please check the sumo calendars when planning your trip! You might want to study more about sumo tournaments here before attending one.
Admission fee: Ticket price ranges from ¥5300 to ¥13400 per person depending on your seat.
Website: http://www.sumo.or.jp/En (official site) or https://buysumotickets.com/ for ticket purchasing and more information about the tournaments and time.
10. Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
Credit: Character Central
You just can’t leave out Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea when talking about the best attractions in Tokyo! Not everyone can admit how much fun they actually have here, but no one can deny the charms of these two parks. We have already shared tips on planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea previously, so check out those posts for more information!