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Originally published Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 7:04 PM

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Enjoying Tokyo on a budget

Tokyo is known for its sights and heritage — and budget-busting prices. Here's how to enjoy the city on a budget.

Tokyo is known for its sights and heritage — and budget-busting prices. Here's how to enjoy the city on a budget.

Getting around: You can buy a two-day metro pass at the Narita International Airport for less than $11, an efficient way to get around the sprawling city.

Free sights: Visit the Imperial Gardens. Laid out in traditional Japanese style, the gardens include castle ruins from the Edo period. The Harajuku district, a colorful neighborhood of Tokyo is known for its costumed youths and street performers. Stroll to the nearby Meiji Shrine in a forested park.

Cheap sights: Going up Tokyo Tower, for an on-high view of the city, is less than $10 per person, and Tokyo National Museum was about $6.50.

Eat on run: You can find noodle bowls for $4 from a street-side lunch counter. Bento box lunches, available outside of restaurants for the "to go" crowd, were less than $8, including additional cups of miso soup. For treats, try fruit and ice-cream crepes for less than $4 at local street stands.

Accommodations: Tokyo Inns is a chain of affordable business hotels. A stay in the Asakusa district can cost less than $90 per night, including breakfast, Internet and welcome gifts. says the Guest House Shinagawa-Shuku offers Japanese-style rooms with mats, futons and traditional pillows for about $46 per person.

Tourism Bureau: Film enthusiasts, special-needs travelers and other visitors can find valuable information on the website ( operated by the Tokyo Tourism Administration. With information in several languages (including English), the site offers information about free guided tours, museums and seasonal events.

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