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The best things to do in Tokyo are free (or almost)

One of the great things about Tokyo is that you don’t have to do much of anything in the way of planning, beyond doing some reading and seeing which parts of the city might interest you most. In the old days, you needed books of maps and lots of advanced planning to tour the city where the streets have no name (they really don’t, it’s wild). Now, you just use your phone to get around, just like you would anywhere else.

That makes burrowing your way into (and out of) the alleyways of timeworn youth culture capital Harajuku or nightlife districts in Shinjuku, Roppongi or Shibuya much easier than it used to be. Ditto visiting the parks, where you’ve got a guide in the palm of your hand; go ahead and get lost in the many vast parks and gardens dotting Central Tokyo, or jump on the circular Yamanote Line train that races around the core of the metropolis all day and all night.

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Stop in one of the city’s many coffee shops — there’s entire coffee district, the Kiyosumi-Shirakawa neighborhood — cute French bakeries (they’re just as good as in Paris, sometimes better, more precise) and just take in the sights — almost everything you’ll remember about your visit to the city will be free, or had at the cost of a cup of coffee, a train ticket or a blister on your feet from too much walking.

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