City - Getting the most out of the Grutto Pass
If you like visiting lots of museums and don't mind saving a bit of money, the Grutto Pass could be a good investment. It provides free admission to dozens of major museums like the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art as well as attractions like Hama-Rikyu Garden and Tokyo Sea Life Park.

There are also many smaller and more specialized museums like the Ancient Orient Museum and the Tobacco and Salt Museum - fun for quick 20-minute visits, but maybe less appealing if you're shelling out Y500 or Y800 each time. That's when free admission with the Grutto Pass really makes a difference.
How it works

The pass costs Y2200 and entitles you to free entry to around 70 museums and other attractions in the Tokyo area during any two-month time period. Here are a few highlights from the list of venues that accept the Grutto Pass. See the bottom of this page for more details.
Fresh-air destinations

1. Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum is a massive outdoor facility housing dozens of preserved and reconstructed examples of Tokyo's Edo-area architecture. A reconstruction of an old merchant's district is one of the highlights.

2. It's spread out over a rather hilly 129-acre site, so visitors to Tama Zoo can enjoy an invigorating afternoon hike while they're inspecting the animals. Popular stops include the walk-in aviary, the Koala House, and the Insectarium, a tropical greenhouse filled with butterflies.

3. Sandwiched between Tokyo Bay and the skyscrapers of Shiodome, Hama-Rikyu Garden features two huge flower gardens and the only tidal pond in Tokyo, with a lock that controls seawater flowing in from Tokyo Bay.


4.. The Edo-Tokyo Museum is one of Tokyo's most impressive museums architecturally, and the massive interior includes a life-size replica of Nihonbashi Bridge along with numerous full-size recreations of life in old Tokyo.

5. Another visually stunning museum is the Sumida Hokusai Museum, devoted to Japan's most famous master of the woodblock print. [The Grutto Pass provides entry only to the permanent collection, not temporary shows, but there's still quite a bit to see.]

6. With its fairly small collection and hefty Y1000 admission price, the Japanese Sword Museum is mostly of interest to hard-core katana enthusiasts, but it's worth a quick look when you're in the neighborhood with a Grutto Pass.

7. Located at the entrance to Ueno Park, the Shitamachi Museum is a fun, nostalgic peek into Tokyo life in the early twentieth century.

8. Ueno Zoo may not be the most modern zoo in town, but at least you can check out the very popular pandas that have become Ueno's mascot animals.
Kitanomaru Park

9. The six gallery rooms at the Crafts Gallery are filled with gorgeous ceramics and lacquerware, room-divider screens, metalwork and fabrics. The museum shop sells ceramics, textiles and jewelry from Japanese artists and designers.

10. The Science Museum is rather outdated compared to some of the more flashy science-oriented venues in town, but the exhibit devoted to the history of bicycles is unique in Tokyo and worth a quick visit.

11. Don't be fooled by the name - although the National Museum of Modern Art (aka MOMAT) focuses primarily on Japanese modern art from 1900 through the 1960s, they have a decent collection of contemporary art as well.

12. Showa-kan offers a unique glimpse into everyday life in Japan from 1935-1955 through old photographs, household objects and clothing from the era. The collection of posters, advertisements and magazine covers also serves as a showcase of mid-century Japanese graphic arts and design.
More details

The full list of places that accept the Grutto Pass for free admission can be found on the Grutto Pass page at Where In Tokyo. (Note that this covers only venues with some form of free admission, not venues with discounted admission.)

Passes for 2019 are on sale until February 29, 2020 and can be used for any two-month period until March 31, 2020. They are is sold at all the venues where it is accepted, and at other locations listed on their website. The pass is in the form of a ticket book, allowing use by one person only, with one visit per venue.
Researched by
Where In Tokyo, your guide to fun things to do in the big city.
Researched by
Where In Tokyo, your guide to fun things to do in the big city.
Explore some more
researched by Tokyo Picks
6 contemporary art galleries in Bakurocho
The Bakurocho neighborhood is home to Tokyo's most cutting-edge contemporary-art galleries. Here's a pick of our favorites, along with a few select cafes, lunch spots, beer bars, restaurants and other spots to visit.
taste-tested by Richard Jeffery
5 south Indian restaurants
Judging by the lines at several of these South Indian restaurants, Tokyo folk can't get enough of the intense flavors and fragrant whole spices that characterize the cuisine. Here are some favorites.
picked by Where In Tokyo
8 dioramas
All those tiny people - where are they all going? What are their lives like? Here are some of the best places to ponder these important questions.
curated by Jonelle Patrick
4 flower gardens in bloom year-round
There's something in bloom in Tokyo every month of the year - if you know where to look.
test-imbibed by
Ginza sake-bar tour
If you find yourself in Ginza with an hour to spare and you wouldn't mind trying out different styles of sake from all over Japan, we've got just the places for you.
selected by Tim Eustace
4 under-the-radar craft-beer restaurants
Tim Eustace introduces five Tokyo craft-beer restaurants and bars that serve very good beer and food, but aren't widely known or reported on.
researched by Tokyo Picks
9 things to do at Tokyo Skytree
There's a lot more going on at Skytree than just the observation deck. And since it's all indoors, Skytree is a good all-day destination for when Tokyo is too hot, too cold or too rainy to spend time outside.
curated by Ryo Seven
5 random martinis in Tokyo
Cocktail connoisseur Ryo Seven recommends five Tokyo bars he likes to visit when he gets that martini itch.
surveyed by Where In Tokyo
Kenzo Tange buildings in Tokyo
Our pick of the Tokyo buildings designed by Japan's most prominent 20th-century architect.
inspected by
Cat Cafes for Kids
Many families visiting (or even living in) Tokyo are surprised to learn that most cat cafes don't allow young children. There are a number of exceptions though, so here is a guide to our favorite cat cafes for kids, broken down by age group.
taste-tested by
6 cheese restaurants
Once found almost exclusively in expense-account Swiss restaurants, cheese fondue, raclette and other cheesy delights are surging in popularity in Tokyo.
selected by Where In Tokyo
5 aquariums (metro area)
Where are the best places to marvel at manta rays and hang out with penguins? Here are aquarium picks for the metropolitan area.
test-crawled by Craft Beer Bars Japan
Kanda craft-beer bar tour
Although it's not especially fashionable, trendy or gourmet-conscious, somehow the Kanda neighborhood has turned into a major destination for craft-beer fans in Tokyo. Here's our guided (DIY) tour of 10 of the area's best bars.
researched by Where In Tokyo
Getting the most out of the Grutto Pass
The Grutto Pass provides free admission to more than seventy museums and other attractions during a two-month period. Here's a map of all of them, plus recommendations for some favorite spots.
selected by
6 burger joints
Gourmet hamburgers are everywhere in Tokyo these days, but where do you go to find the meatiest, juiciest patties in town? Here's a rundown of a few of our favorites.
inspected by Where In Tokyo
5 train museums (metro area)
Train simulators, room-size train layouts, vintage uniforms and full-size locomotives - where are the best places for train buffs to indulge?