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5 inexpensive outdoor- activities in Tokyo

5 inexpensive outdoor- activities in Tokyo

If you have seen all the sights and done all the shopping and still have some time left to kill or if you are on a long term- stay in Tokyo, you might want to know about activities that are fun and will not rob you of your money.

In this chapter, we try to give you some advice on activities, that will not cost a fortune, but are still fun, entertaining and maybe even educating.

Mixing culture and tradition with a magnificent view and some hiking? The site of Mount Takao was and still is an important religious place and when you are hiking up to the 600 m high summit, you may not only enjoy the view and the nature but also the company of many Japanese- pilgrims. If you are not that good “per pedes” but still would like to see the place, there are cable- cars and chair- lifts to take you parts of the way. Apart from the view of Tokyo or Mount Fuji (good weather granted), there is a temple and some waterfalls, that the pilgrims use for meditation and cleansing. If you go in March, you might even participate in some fire walking...
   
Another way to enjoy the view over Tokyo is the Tokyo Tower, the former broadcasting tower of the city. It is not in use anymore (and that is not due to the fact, that it was “destroyed” in several “Godzilla”- movies) but the Eifel Tower- like structure still serves well as a vantage- point, with two observation- platforms, one at 150 m and one at 250 m.
   
Another place to go and enjoy the birds eye view of the metropolis, is Tokyo Sky Tree, which is Tokyo's highest man made structure, with a hight of 634 m and the possibility, to have a look down, from 450 m. Even if you are afraid of heights...you can still stay on safe ground and have a look up!
   
If “nature” is more your kind of thing and you would like to combine it with a short “vacation”, maybe you should try Hakone, just 70 minutes outside of Tokyo's center. In this area around Lake Ashi, you will find a volcanically active national park, with bath- houses and cheap and charming little Ryokans (Inns). You can take a day- trip with some bathing or hiking...or you take one of the rooms at one of the Ryokans to enjoy and explore the area with geysers, a botanical garden and the Hakone- shrine. In spring, this place is very popular for the cherry blossoming.
   
If you would like to get to know Tokyo from a different perspective, “water” is the magic word. One thing you could do, is take a Yakatabune boat trip, out on Tokyo Bay. The boats are equipped with restaurants (there usually is an “all you can eat, all you can drink”- offer attached to the trip) and offer great views of nightly Tokyo or the impressive Rainbow Bridge. In summer, it is definitely the best way to cherish the annual fireworks- festival.
   
If you want to do a little more sightseeing and do it in an usual way, just hop on and join the Sumida river bus. There are three lines that you can take and all will pass at least some interesting sights or end at some interesting point.
The most popular one is the Odaiba- Asakusa line, passing the “Asahi” beer tower and the “Golden Turd”- statue and ends at Asakusa, where you should take a walk across the street- market or have a drink at the Kamiya Bar.
   
If you are a little weary of modern city- life in Tokyo and yearn for some “old school” Japanese culture, you don't have to travel far. Just approx. 1 hour from the giant city is a little town called Kamakura. Parts of the city may seem like you transferred yourself back some centuries, into ancient Nippon.
There are temples, shrines and impressive Buddha- statues to be seen. You can walk on a beach and (good weather granted) catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. Hiking up the temple- mountain is a nice exercise and rewards you with a breathtaking scenic view. The tranquility and calm will engulf you and make hectic Tokyo seem a million miles away.


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