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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. Hostelbookers.com 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 (www.tourism.metro.tokyo.jp) 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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