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Tokyo Citizen's Day: Free Entrance to Zoos, Museums, and Gardens!
Tomin no Hi, or Citizen's Day, is a special holiday in Tokyo that takes place on October 1; many government-run facilities are free to visit on this day! Read on to find information on this day including our top five places to visit.
October 1 Is Tokyo Citizen's Day!
Every October 1, in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, a special event called Tokyo Citizen's Day takes place. On this day, various events are held at different facilities, and some facilities even open their doors to the public free of charge. Although called Citizen's Day, it goes without saying that non-Japanese citizens are welcome to take part in these festivities as well as long as they reside in Tokyo.
This is a rare and unique opportunity for anyone to enjoy different popular facilities with ease! Here we have put together some information on Tokyo Citizen's Day, as well as on popular facilities to visit.
Important Points Regarding Tokyo Citizen's Day
As expected, with entrance fees being waived for the day, many facilities become incredibly busy on this day. In other words, you can expect large crowds and long wait times in many different places.
If you are the type to prefer a relaxing, slow day sightseeing, then this is not the ideal day for you to visit any zoos, museum,s or galleries.
There are also many other facilities in Tokyo that are not operated by the regional or national government, and these will be running as usual on Tokyo Citizen's Day. Some government-run establishments will also be operating normally (i.e. will still have their usual fees in place) at this time, so it is a good idea to check in advance whether or not a given place will be taking part in Citizen's Day or not.
Free Entrance or Viewing Facilities
On Citizen's Day, viewing or entrance fees will be waived at several facilities in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. For more information on whether a facility will be taking part in Tokyo Citizen's Day, please refer to their individual official websites.
The following are facilities that had free entrance or viewing fees in recent years.
Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
Jindai Botanical Garden
Tama Zoological Park
Tokyo Sea Life Park
Inokashira Park Zoo
Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome
Port of Tokyo Wild Bird Park
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Garden Art Museum
Tokyo Photographic Museum (permanent exhibitions only)
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (permanent exhibitions only).
5 Recommended Spots to Visit on Tokyo Citizen's Day
"There are so many places to see, how am I supposed to choose?!" If that statement sounds like something you might be saying, then of all the free places to visit on Citizen's Day, here are our top five recommendations for those visiting the Tokyo area.
1. Hamarikyu Gardens
Photo by Pixta
Hamarikyu Gardens is a Japanese garden located in central Tokyo. This garden, surrounded by skyscrapers, is ideal for those visitors that would like to feel the atmosphere of both the 'Japan of Today' and 'Traditional Japan' in one place. Near to both Tsukiji and Tsukishima, this is a lovely place to include in any walking tour of Tokyo.
2. Rikugien Gardens
Rikugien Gardens is another Japanese garden located in the Metropolitan area. This garden is well-known for its seasonal landscapes, which include cherry trees in spring and maple leaves in the fall, and is an often-visited site by those who want to appreciate the art of nature. It should be noted however that around October 1, the maple leaves will not have begun to change color just yet, so a fall landscape will not be available on Citizen's Day.
3. Ueno Zoo
Ueno Zoo is Japan's oldest zoo. The exceptionally large plot of land that Ueno Zoo occupies makes it feel as though it were a city itself; there is even a monorail that runs through the grounds.
Of course, their two pandas, Ling Ling and Shin Shin, are the mascots of Ueno Zoo and are well-known nationwide. But other than having animals from around the world, here you will find a great number of Japanese animals as well, so this is a perfect place for those who are interested in the natural environment of Japan to visit.
4. Inokashira Park Zoo
Found within Inokashira Park, the Inokashira Park Zoo also has free admission at this time. While a much smaller place when compared to Ueno Zoo, the Inokashira Park Zoo has fewer tourists and is overall much quieter, which makes it loved all the more by the locals.
Plus it is right next to Mitaka's Ghibli Museum, making it a perfect place to visit either before or after your trip to the world of Ghibli. At present, Inokashira Park itself has free admittance all year round.
5. Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Photo by Pixta
Of the facilities we have introduced so far, this one is the furthest from Tokyo itself. This spacious park is based on the themes of traditional Japanese architecture and as such here you will find buildings from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras which have been transported and rebuilt within the grounds.
There are various types of buildings to see, from private homes to old shops, and visitors just might have the sensation that they have traveled back in time while surrounded by these historical structures.
Enjoy Tokyo Citizen's Day!
There's only one Citizen's Day every year! If you're looking to do as much sightseeing as possible on a shoestring budget, then this is the day to spend in Tokyo.
Main image: Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum. Photo from Pixta