Learn How to See More for Less!:
Asakusa, Ueno, Tokyo Tower, Shiodome Edition
We sent our DiGJAPAN! editorial staff members Jeongyeon and Chiharu to see just how far they could get on 3,000 yen when traveling in Tokyo. How will they spend their remaining 1,265 yen? Let’s find out! Volume 2 starts with our team enjoying a cultural experience in Asakusa.
1:00pm Experience yukata and Japanese dance for free!
Traditional Culture and Art Program for Foreign Visitors
Since you’ve traveled all the way to Japan, you should experience Japanese culture as well as see it. Thanks to the Traditional Culture and Art Program for Foreign Visitors you can see what it’s like to wear a yukata and learn a Japanese fan dance– no previous experience (or money!) required! The program is only open to 20 participants at a time, so it’s best to sign up early!
This is a lot of fun!
I’ve always wanted to wear a yukata!
The professional instructors help each participant put on their yukata!
In an overview of Japanese dance conducted in English, they explain the role of the folding fan.
Take a picture with other participants to commemorate your experience.
Traditional Culture and Art Program for Foreign Visitors
- Address: 2-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Asakusa Culture & Tourism Center)
Open until 3/27 (Sun.) ※ Closed on 1/10, 2/14, 2/28, 3/13
- Hours: 11:00am – 12:00pm, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
- Contact: Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Traditional Culture Business Office 03-5369-4541
- URL: http://www.tokyo-tradition.jp/en/program/p02_02.php
(Program offered until March 2016)
A popular spot for mid-day freshening up!
Their experience complete, our duo heads to Asakusa Station where they take the Ginza Line to Tawaramachi!
3:00pm Freshen up at a Japanese bathhouse!
Vacations are meant to be relaxing, but all that fun can tire you out. Refresh yourself at Jakotsuyu, a bathhouse that has been in business since the Edo period. This spot is as popular with residents of the neighborhood as it is with visitors from overseas, so the bathhouse has instructions available in a variety of languages. Public bathing in Japan is still very much a cultural norm, so don’t be shy about taking a dip!
Don’t worry that you don’t have a towel. They have a “tebura” (lit. empty-handed) set for just 140 yen.
It felt so good! I’m refreshed and ready to go!
Just 460 yen gets you into the bath where they have complimentary shampoo-conditioner and body soap.
Our intrepid Jeongyeon enjoys some serious relaxation.
Enjoy the portrait of Mt. Fuji made out of tile.
- Address: 1-11-11 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 1:00pm - midnight (baths close at 11:40pm) / Closed Tuesdays. ※ If Tuesday is a national holiday, the baths will be closed the following day.
- Phone: 03-3841-8645
- URL: http://www.jakotsuyu.co.jp (Japanese only)
Budget-friendly libations in Ueno!
From Tawaramachi, Jeongyeon and Chiharu take the Ginza Line to Ueno Station. They exit the North Gate and head to Ameyoko where their next destination waits among the many bars.
5:00pm Give a toast at a standing bar!
Follow up your bath time with a beer in Ueno’s Ameyoko district. The former site of a post-war black market, Ameyoko has a fun, boisterous atmosphere. Out of all the many bars, Tachinomi Kadokura is a great place to grab a drink and a bite on a budget as their entire menu is under 500 yen. This is a standing bar (tachinomi), so you’ll get to rub shoulders with some of the locals as you enjoy your food.
Can you believe it? Just 150 yen for beef tendon stew!
You really are a budget expert!
Pay for your items in cash as they arrive!
Delicious dining: a draft beer (350 yen), beef tendon stew (150 yen), and ham cutlets (300 yen).
Whether a tourist or a regular, you can share a toast with the people around you!
- Address: Forum Aji Bldg. 1F, 6-13-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 10:00am - 11:30pm / Open 7 days a week
- Phone: 03-3832-5335
What to do with only 5 yen?
Jeongyeon and Chiharu have two options for you! Which will you choose?
7:00pm Finish your day at Tokyo Tower!
A famous Japanese landmark, Tokyo Tower takes on a new charm at night. Experiment with taking pictures of this 333 meter tall tower from different angles to commemorate your successful day.
I recommend taking a picture from the west side of the tower!
It’s interesting to look up at the tower while standing directly below it.
Our duo reflects on all they were able to do for just 3,000 yen.
Jeongyeon is ready for more budget-friendly adventures in Tokyo! And our expert? Maybe after a nap…
You can get some interesting pictures from the base of Tokyo Tower.
- ※Licensed by TOKYO TOWER
- Address: 4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Observation Deck 9:00am – 11:30pm (last entry 10:30pm), Special Observatory 9:00am – 11:00pm (last entry 10:30pm) / Open 7 days a week
- Phone: 03-3433-5111
- URL: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/eng/
7:00pm A view of Tokyo from the 46th floor!
BSKY VIEW Observatory Space
If you want a stunning view of Tokyo at night, then head to the Caretta Shiodome Observatory Space SKY VIEW. You’ll rise 656 feet from the second floor basement to the 46th floor in about a minute in the non-stop, high speed elevator. From there, you can see the lights of the Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, and the gulf area glittering in the dark.
Another point is that there are chairs where you can relax!
I can see Tsukiji from here! It’s like coming full circle!
You can see the Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, and even planes flying in and out of Haneda Airport!
We finish our tour with 5 yen left. Our expert looks a little proud of herself.
In addition to the observatory space, there are also sushi restaurants and bars on the same floor where you can enjoy the view over a meal.
Caretta Shiodome Observatory Space
- Address: Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-2 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 11:00am – 11:30pm / Closed January 1st-2nd
- URL: http://www.caretta.jp/english/
Our dynamic duo certainly made the most of every yen on their fun-filled day in Tokyo! Taking advantage of discount tickets like the Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket and free cultural experiences can really save you a bunch. What did you think of Jeongyeon and Chiharu’s day? Do you have any suggestions for budget-friendly activities in Tokyo? Let us know in the comments and see you next time!
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 01 29,2016 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team