On a Budget? Here are Five Affordable Things to do this Summer Around Tokyo!


With the rainy season soon coming to an end and the hot summer days swiftly arriving, there is no better time to start going out more and exploring all the wonderful things Tokyo has to offer. Despite there being an endless list of famous attractions to see, visiting even a few of them can quickly add up and burn a hole in your wallet.

That said, there are many other ways to explore and enjoy the city without having to spend a lot. For those of you who are visiting Tokyo for the first time, you may not know about some of these places that we are about to mention, simply because they aren’t as advertised as Tokyo’s bigger and more popular tourist destinations.

This concise guide will provide you with just some of the best activities which everyone of all ages and interests can enjoy this summer!

① Enjoy a Picnic with Friends at Shinjuku Gyoen

Located right on your doorstep, Shinjuku Gyoen is a popular and large park where nature and the city are beautifully merged together. The spacious park with its relaxing atmosphere, is made up of 144 acres of land and is also known for its three different gardens including its Japanese Traditional Garden, French Formal Garden, and English Landscape Garden. 

There is an entrance fee which varies in price depending on age, but for adults it is ¥500. You have to pay by cash but there is an option to purchase your ticket online, using a credit or debit card. 

On the grounds themselves, you will find a few cafes and restaurants where you can eat and take in the surrounding views. However, during the summer, it is nice to bring your own picnic blanket, grab some convenience store food, and sit in the middle of the park with other Tokyoites.

The ideal day out for those who want too experience a more laid-back day in the sun and not stray to far away from Shinjuku. 


  • From Shinjuku, take the Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station
  • From Higashi-Shinjuku, it is a 15 minute walk or a 9 minute train ride on the Fukutoshin Line to Shinjuku-sanchome Station

② Soak up the Sun and Cycle Through Showa Kinen Koen

Fancy a day outdoors in the sun where you can relax but get in some exercise? Then you will definitely want to consider heading to Showa Kinen Koen, located in Tachikawa, a 50-minute or so train ride from Shinjuku station. This memorial park, originally opened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Emperor Showa’s reign, is filled with several attractions for you to explore. These include but are not limited to walking trails, a museum, boating lake, and a cycling trail. The gardens themselves are spacious and luscious, with them being filled with seasonal flowers such as cherry blossoms in the spring, tulips and azaleas. 

Without a doubt, the best thing about visiting Showa Kinen is that there is a bike rental service where you can rent a bike, or a tandem, for the whole day and cycle around the grounds. Adults can rent the bikes for ¥800 a day and children for ¥400. Cycling through the park on a bright and warm summer’s day feels like the stuff of movies, as you are surrounded by beautiful greenery and flowers.

There’s no pressure to cycle around the whole park in one-go, you can take it at your own pace. It is actually best to take breaks in order to properly appreciate the different spaces the park offers.

When you feel it’s time for a pit stop, you can take a break at one of the few cafes and food stalls that the park has. Otherwise, you could just stop by one of the many fields and have a picnic or play a casual game of baseball or football with friends. Keep in mind that you do need to return the bikes 30 minutes before the park closes at 5:00pm – that’s why we highly suggest making your way to this park as early as you can! 


  • From Shinjuku station, take the Chuo Line (Rapid Ome) to Nishi-Tachikawa Station 
  • Simply exit the station and you will be at the entrance to the park 

③ Immerse Yourself in Nature at Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley is the perfect place to visit if you are wanting to escape the city for a little bit. With its beautiful greenery, calming stream and iconic red bridge, visiting this valley will make you feel at ease and at one with nature. It is especially spectacular in the summer season, when the sun lights up the whole valley and route.

The route itself is around one kilometer and takes roughly half an hour to walk. There are many spots to explore whilst walking the route, including a Japanese garden and a tearoom where you can try traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi). Additionally, along the route there are a number of places to sit and admire the surrounding views. One of the most impressive things you can see during your walk is the Todoroki Fudo Temple. Here, there is a viewing platform from which you gain a bird’s eye view of the valley. It also serves as an ideal spot to snap a photo of the daily sunset.

Other highlights include the Japanese garden where you are greeted by the beautiful sight of hundreds of bamboo trees as well as the small park located near the end of the trail, where you can sit on the grass, soak up the sunshine and have a little picnic.

To get to Todoroki Valley from Shinjuku, catch the Fukutoshin Line to Jiyugaoka Station and then the Oimachi Line to Todoroki Station. Taking this route only costs around ¥410 one-way and takes just over 30 minutes. You don’t need to pay to walk through the valley itself, meaning that this is recommended for those wanting to see Japan’s beautiful natural landscape but are unable to travel far out.


  • From Shinjuku Station, take Fukutoshin Line to Jiyugaoka Station and then the Oimachi Line to Todoroki Station, ¥410 (One-way)

④ Understand the Unique Mind of Yayoi Kusama

For those of you art fanatics out there, you will probably know who Yayoi Kusama is. If you are unfamiliar with the name, you will definitely know her work as she is the mastermind behind the iconic dotted pumpkin models and infinity-light room which has been displayed in museums around the world.

The artist opened her own museum in Shinjuku back in 2017. It is within this artistic space that you can uncover more about the unique mind of Yayoi Kusama as well as see some more of her impressive works. Temporary exhibitions are also held throughout the year, each reflective of a different era of the artist’s life. The current exhibition being showcased is ‘Yayoi Kusama’s Self-Obliteration / Psychedelic World’, which is based on Kusama’s interpretation of ‘Self-Obliteration’ through different artistic mediums. 

You do need to pay an admission fee of ¥1,100 to explore this cultural haven but every yen is worth it. All tickets must be bought in advance online and paid by credit card. Here, you will have to choose an allocated time as each visitor has a 90-minute slot to walk around the museum.

Although the exhibition space is quite small in comparison to many other art museums in the city, there are still several interesting pieces of artwork to view and learn about. There is even an opportunity to stock up on some Yayoi Kusama merchandise including models of the dotted pumpkin, at the gift shop which is located by the entrance.

It is worth keeping in mind that this activity could also be a good option for those wanting to escape the scorching hot sun for a few hours! 


  • From Shinjuku station, you can take the 白61 bus to Ushigome-Hoken Center located right outside the museum.
  • From Higashi-Shinjuku it is a 26 minute walk to the museum or a 12 minute train ride on the Oedo Line. You will need to get off at Ushigome-yanagicho and then take a 8 minute walk.
  • Alternatively, go to Waseda station and walk 8 minutes to the museum. 

⑤ Head to one of Tokyo’s Many Beaches

If you fancy a day trip, why not consider heading to one of the many beaches around Tokyo. Although there are many great ones to choose from including Enoshima, Kamakura and Odaiba beach, we would highly recommend opting for Zushi beach. Not only is it a straight-forward trip from Shinjuku station but it tends to be quieter in comparison to the other beaches mentioned. A one way ticket will cost you just under ¥1000, making it one of the cheaper day trips you can do out of Tokyo.

Spend the day sunbathing in the sand, watching people participate in watersports, and on a clear day, even see Mount Fuji in the distance. This beach town also offers a good selection of beachfront restaurants and cafes where you can grab something to eat and peacefully watch the waves. Though it is worth keeping in mind that some of these places aren’t the cheapest. If you are willing to stay until sunset, you may have the chance to experience one of the prettiest pink sunsets.

You don’t just have to spend the whole day at the beach, you can also visit the different local shrines as well as Hiroyama Park, a small park located on top of the hill, and admire the views of the town and sea.


  • From Shinjuku station, take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line and rapid train to Zushi, this costs around ¥950. It is then a 13 minute walk from the station to the beach.

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