Summer all over the world means BBQ time, and that’s no different in Tokyo. Arrive with your stuff or arrive with nothing at all—these parks can kit you out and feed you too!
Everyone loves a BBQ, but not everyone has one, which can really ruin your weekend plans. Luckily, Tokyo is a place that makes things happen—and thanks to small apartments and few gardens, owning your own BBQ is not a necessity for enjoying some thoroughly grilled delicacies out in nature. You can purchase your own mini tin-foil barbecue for the simple option, or go full-on extra and get yourself a tipi-style one—you do you.
Whatever you fancy, please be sure of two things: cook all food properly and do not use barbecues in tents, as the carbon monoxide will genuinely kill you (some BBQ spots reccomend you use a tent if it rains—do not). Other than that, bring drinks, be merry and get grilling!
1. Showa Kinen Memorial Park
Also a great picnic spot due to its size, Showa Memorial Park is a recommended Tokyo BBQ spot because you can show up empty-handed—no ingredients, no equipment, nothing! It has a BBQ garden where you can rent equipment and buy platters of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles.
For equipment, a grill with charcoal is ¥3,600, while a grill set (including charcoal, tongs, bowls, trays, an aluminum plate, bowls, a knife, a chopping board, and a table) is ¥6,700. They even have chairs, tents, pots, and more for rent.
As for the platters, prices are ¥2,400 (small size), ¥3,400 (medium), or ¥3,900 (large) per head.
You can also bring pets, as well as check out the flowers afterwards, as this park is known for its beautiful blossoms.
Where: 3173 Midori-cho, Tachikawa City, Tokyo (Nishi-Tachikawa Station). Showa Memorial Park is large and is near two stations, Tachikawa and Nishi-Tachikawa. The barbecue garden is closer to Nishi-Tachikawa Station (it’s an 8-minute walk).
Admission: ¥450 park charge (adults), ¥80 (children 6-15 years old), ¥210 (senior citizens)
Hours: 9:30am-5pm (weekdays) 6pm (weekends) (4:30 pm from November-February)
Reservations: 042-524-6603 (10:00-17:00)
2. Tamagawa-Ryokuchi BBQ Area
Just five minutes away from Futako-Tamagawa Station is a barbecue area next to the Tama River. You can rent equipment (a basic set of a portable stove, grill, and tongs is ¥2,100; there are two other equipment rental sets for ¥3,000 and ¥9,000, and you can also rent equipment individually), but you have to bring your own food. An entry fee of ¥500 is charged, while children at elementary school and younger get in free.
They do not take reservations for spaces but they do for equipment. At this area, there are nice, relaxing views, and some kids cool down by taking a dip and playing in the Tama River.
Where: Futako-Tamagawa Station
Hours: 09:00-18:00 April to September | 09:00-16:00 October to March
3. Sona Area Tokyo BBQ Garden
Now this is an extremely cheapo option! Just like with Showa Memorial Park, you can arrive without equipment. For the cost of admission, you can rent certain equipment without paying extra: a portable stove, lighter, table, tongs, oil, plates, and more—basically, all you need to have a barbecue. Of course, you have to reserve in advance—you can do so here. The link is only in Japanese so open in Chrome with Google Translate on if you can.)
You can pay extra to rent equipment such as a tarp, cooler, or folding table. You can also order food a la carte, starting at ¥324 for corn, or get a set meal starting at ¥1,058 per head. Pets are allowed in this garden as long as they’re kept on a leash.
Where: Ariake 3-chome, Koto-ku, Tokyo (Ariake Station)
Admission: ¥1,030 (adults), ¥520 (children)
Hours: On Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays and every day during the months of July and August there are two timeslots each day starting at 10am and 2pm and lasting three hours. For the rest of the year, there is one time slot each day starting at 11am and lasting four hours.
4. Komaba Park
Next to the University of Tokyo’s Komaba campus is this quiet park. It’s not as popular as Tokyo’s other parks, which means it doesn’t get as crowded. The park has a barbecue ground, but it seems that advanced reservations are required. The lush greenery of this park make it a good place for a relaxing barbecue.
Where: Komaba-Todaimae Station
Hours: 9:30 am-4:30 pm
An urban outdoor park in Odaiba, Wild Magic has barbecue plans for ¥5,000 (standard) and ¥6,000 (premium) and a ¥6,000 halal option—these prices are per person and do not include tax. You can add ¥3,000 or ¥4,000 for a standard or premium all-you-can-drink plan; the latter has more varieties of alcohol and cocktails. The prices not only include food, but also use of equipment. You can select your area from the stylish set-up including village and fire-pit areas with tipis or trailers!
Where: Toyosu 6-1-23, Koto-ku, Tokyo (Shin-Toyosu Station)
Hours: Open between 10am and 10pm with 4 hour slots.
Reservations: The online reservation system is pretty comprehensive and allows you to select course, time and area, showing availability at the time.
6. Kasai Rinkai Park
This large park has a barbecue plaza, but prior reservation is required. You can either bring your own or reserve a package and turn up empty handed. Prices start at ¥2,728 per head (including tax) and go up to ¥4,708 per person (including tax) if you want the deluxe plan and you don’t want to do the cleanup. In addition to having a barbecue, you can also enjoy the park’s other attractions, like the Ferris wheel, bird sanctuary and aquarium.
Where: 6 Rinkai-cho, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo (Kasai Rinkai Koen Station)
Hours: 9am – 6pm (10am – 5pm Dec – Feb)
Reservation: A reservation is necessary. This can be done online (link in Japanese).
Picnicking more your thing? Here are the best parks for it!