12 Awesome Free Tokyo Experiences

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10. Visit a Sumo Stable

Many tourists to Tokyo pay big bucks to visit a sumo stable, but it is in fact a common misconception that these training sessions are off-limits to the public. Many of these sumo stables can actually be visited for free, all it takes it a quick phone call a couple days in advance. There are certain rules that need to be followed though while watching these wrestlers in the early morning training sessions. To start with, there is absolutely no talking while observing the sessions or moving around. Visitors are to remove their shoes and sit with their legs crossed on the traditional cushion. If you happen to speak Japanese or know someone who does, it always helps to bring them along. We suggest asking before you take pictures and bringing a small bottle of sake as a gift. This is your chance to get up close and personal to these amazing athletes and see what it really takes to be a sumo wrestler in Japan.

9. Visit Senso-ji

This is a popular tourist site, for both visitors from Japan and the rest of the world. This ancient Buddhist temple is located in Asakusa, Tokyo and is the oldest and one the most significant temples here. Legend has it that two brothers built this temple in 645 for the goddess of Kannon, the goddess of mercy that kept returning to them in the form of a statue. Today visitors will approach the temple by entering through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) and walk along a shopping street that stretches 200 meters. This street is packed full of souvenirs and local snacks and leads visitors to the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon. Beyond this gate are the temple’s main hall and a five-story pagoda. The Asakusa Shrine built in 1649 stands just to the left of the temple’s main building. All of these structures can be explored for free and the temple is home to many festivals throughout the year.

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