#1. Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory
Photo Credit: suntory.co.jp
Fresh beer going straight to your dried and thirsted throat cannot be a better treat for the summer, especially in the places like Japan where heat and humidity are taking every single energy out of you. Now, how about free beer from one of the most popular beverage companies in Japan?
Photo Credit: suntory.co.jp
Here at Suntory Beer Factory, you can take a tour to observe how their beers are made which will be followed by the freshest beers up to 3 glasses! You can also take learn the best way to pour a beer into a glass – something you show off once mastering when having some guests at home.
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Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory
Address: 3-1 Yazaki-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo
Access: 12 minutes walk from Fuchuhonmachi Station
Hours: 10:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM (Tour starts every 30min. *In December and January, it starts every an hour)
Website: Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory (Japanese)
#2. Japanese Traditional Boat Riding
Photo Credit: Akuppa John Wigham@flickr.com
In Koto ward of Tokyo, there is a place you can ride a very traditional and historical Japanese boat which used to be utilized for freight transportation from the Edo period (1603 – 1868). It is located in the Yokojikken River of the Suishin Park and the program is run by a volunteer organization that works to promote the technical tradition of oar pulling.
Thanks to them you can enjoy approximately 20 minutes’ ride which goes through the river stream, for absolutely no pennies. If you wish, you can even try to row the boat. No reason not to try, right?
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Japanese Boat Tour – Yokojikken River Shinsui Park
Address: 8-4 Umibe, Koto-ku,Tokyo
Access: 20 minutes walk from Toyocho Station
Hours: 10:00 AM – 2:15 PM
Website: Japanese Boat Tour (Japanese)
#3. Yunohama Hot Spring in Niijima
So you think you always have to pay to experience an amazing Onsen, Hot Spring, in Japan? The answer is no, if you know where to go. Niijima Island which is located just a short ferry trip from the central Tokyo has 6 open-air Hot Springs (Yunohama Onsen) you can go for free.
The outside facility structure is inspired by the ancient Roman Empire for some reason, but you will just be amazed by the quality and view you can have there. As it’s an open-air, you put your swimming suits on and can go in with your friends and families. The other wow point is that they are open for 24 hours. You can enjoy the stars above your head whilst being completely relaxed in the natural hot spa. Again, it’s free, believe or not!
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Yunohama Hot Spring
Address: Setoyama, Niijima, Tokyo
Access: 10 minutes walk to the south from the harbor
Hours: 24 hours
Website: Yunohama Hot Spring
#4. Komorebi no Ashiyu Foot Bath
Photo Credit: Travis@flickr.com
If you want to try a bath time for free but rather want to stay within the central Tokyo, you should check out this great foot bath place open for everybody. It is called Komorebi no Ashiyu and located in the middle of Nature Conservancy Area in Tokyo.
Became publicly available from 2007, this foot bath uses the groundwater pumped from as deep as 250 meters. The water is boiled by the heat that is created during the refuse incineration process. Other than this foot bath, there will be a hand bath and reflexology path.
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Komorebi no Ashiyu
Address: 3-5 Nakajimacho, Kodaira, Tokyo
Access: 10 minutes walk from Higashi-Yamatoshi Station
9:30am-4:30pm (March – September)
9:30am-4:00pm (October – February)
*Closed on Thursdays
Website: Komorebi no Ashiyu (Japanese)
#5. Zazen Experience
At Kourinin Temple, you can join the free Zazen experience session from 7:00am Monday to Friday as well as from 5:00pm on every Sunday.
One session lasts about 50 minutes with 5 minutes break in between, but don’t worry if you are a total beginner, the temple master can teach you how to sit, etc. It may sound daunting to wake up for 7:00am, but it will surely be an exotic and authentic experience in Japan.
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Address: 5-1-21 Hiroo, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 3 minutes walk from Hiroo Station
Website: Kourinin Temple (Japanese)
#6. Maison Hermes Art Space
Photo Credit:Hermès Japon
If you are a fashionista, Ginza will probably be your top list of must-go place. But did you know that there are some buildings you can go in and make the most of this artistic centre of Tokyo? The Maison Hermes is one of them and here you can visit the art spaces and exhibitions for free. It is already quite an experience to go as high as 8th floor of shiny state-of-the-art building where warm sunlight will come through the glass blocks. The exhibition space is not so huge, so you can go in even just to escape from the constant heat of Japanese summer.
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Address: 5-4-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: Walking distance from Ginza Station
11:00 AM -8:00 PM (Monday – Saturday)
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Sundays)
Website: Maison Hermes (Japanese)
#7. Meiji Jingu Gaien Cycling Center
Everybody knows Meiji Jingu Gaien for its huge area of sport facilities and nature. But the fact that they are opening the cycling courses on Sundays and public holidays to everyone who wishes to cycle is not so known even to Japanese. You don’t need to have or bring your own bicycles because they can rent you one for free of charge.
The course length is 1.2 km, and is good to have a fresh air in a clear course where no cars would disturb you. Now the nature is greener than ever, how about healthy cycling weekend for a little change?
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Meiji Jingu Gaien Cycling Center
Address: 10-2 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Access: 5 minutes walking from Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō Station
Hours: 9:30 AM ~ 3:30 PM
Website: Meiji Jingu Gaien Cycling Center (Japanese)