25 things to do in Tokyo for free

Time out for nowt in Japan’s costly capital

25 things to do in Tokyo for free

25 things to do in Tokyo for free
1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25

Load up on reading matter…
Trust us: you have no idea how many free magazines get produced in Japan until you go to Only Free Paper. This Shibuya store stocks nothing but periodicals of the complimentary kind, and there are hundreds of them: everything from limited-run fanzines to glossy monthlies, covering genres ranging from food to fashion to fine art. Visitors are invited to take home any titles that pique their interest, the only restriction being that you can't walk off with more than a couple of copies of any particular title. Which is fair enough, really. Only Free Paper. Wed-Mon, 11am-8pm; closed, Tue. 1-22-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (www.onlyfreepaper.com). Transport: Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Keio Inokashira lines)

Get peddling…
Rent-a-bike companies abound in Tokyo, but there's one spot that does them absolutely free, and it's in a charming locale, too. The Palace Cycling Course runs along Uchibori-dori, the street running from the north of Hibiya Park to the northern moat skirting the Imperial Palace. 250 bikes are farmed out on Sundays on a first-come, first-served basis. Take your pick from regular rides, kids' bikes, tandems and baby trikes. Once you've secured a suitable vehicle, it's yours until 3pm. Palace Cycling Course. Sun, 10am-3pm; closed on rainy days and during special park events. Bikes are available from beside the Kokyo-mae Koban (police box), next to exit 2 of Nijubashi-Mae Station (Chiyoda line)

Get tanked up…
Fancy getting up close and personal to a fully operational tank? How about trying your hand gunning from a helicopter? While the latter is just a simulator, the tank bit is as real as it gets, as are the uniforms you can deck yourself out in here at the Self Defense Force Public Relations Centre ('Rikkunland' to the kawaii-minded). If Rikkuland proves anything at all, it's that this country really does have a theme park for everything. Self Defense Force Public Relations Centre. Tue-Sun, 10am-5pm; closed Mon and every fourth Tue of the month. Oizumi-Gakuen-cho, Nerima, Tokyo (03 3924 4176). Transport: Wakoshi Station (Tobu Tojo, Fukutoshin, Yurakucho lines)

Chat it up…
The notion that the Japanese are a shy and retiring people seems odd when you count the amount of talk events taking place every week in the capital, each a chance for shameless self-promotion. If nattering is what you live for, regular events include PauseTalk (first Mon or every month, 8pm. Café Pause, 2-14-12 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo; 03 5950 6117; transport: Ikebukuro Station, Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Yamanote lines), where the main point of discussion is art and design, and the Talk Event series presented at Time Out Café & Diner (Liquidroom 2F, 3-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03 5774 0440; Transport: Ebisu Station, Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku, Saikyo, Hibiya lines), though the latter is mostly in Japanese.

Discover Morgan's organ…
Morgan Fisher - one-time member of Mott the Hoople, full-time member of the avant garde - has been a Tokyo resident for the best part of three decades. He can be commonly found propping up an analogue synth or three at the Morgan's Organ gigs held monthly at SuperDeluxe. Two improvisational pieces are performed each night, and attendees walk away at the end of it all with a mind full of light and sound, as well as an mp3 recording of the gig so they can recreate the experience whenever they so wish. Trippy. Morgan's Organ. Check the SuperDeluxe website for upcoming performances. Free to anyone who reserves a ticket before 6pm on the day prior to the event, or 1,000 yen on the door. B1F, 3-1-25 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo (03 5412 0515). Transport: Roppongi Station (Hibiya, Oedo lines)

25 things to do in Tokyo for free
1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25

By Time Out writers
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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