Summer in Japan is commonly associated with BBQs, so here are some places for cheapos to have a nice barbecue party (aside from Yoyogi Park—which is also a great place for a Tokyo BBQ, but is just too popular already since it’s an all-purpose park):
1. Showa Memorial Park
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: 410 yen (adults), 80 yen (children 6-15 years old), 210 yen (senior citizens)
Hours: 9:30 am-5:00 pm (4:30 pm from November-February)
Reservations: 042-524-6603 (10:00-17:00)
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 yen, while a grill set (including charcoal, tongs, bowls, trays, an aluminum plate, bowls, a knife, a chopping board, and a table) is 6,700 yen. They even have chairs, tents, pots, and more for rent. As for the platters, prices are 2,400, 3,400, and 3,900 yen per head for small, medium, and large sizes, respectively. You can also bring pets, as well as check out the flowers afterwards, as this park is known for its beautiful blossoms.
2. Tamagawa-Ryokuchi BBQ Area
Where: Futako-Tamagawa Station
Admission: 500 yen
Hours: 09:00-18:00 April to September | 09:00-16:00 October to March
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Just 5 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 yen; there are two other equipment rental sets for 3,000 yen and 9,000 yen, and you can also rent equipment individually), but you have to bring your own food. At this area, some kids also cool down by taking a dip and playing in the Tama River. The area also has some nice, relaxing views.
3. Sona Area Tokyo BBQ Garden
Where: Ariake 3-chome, Koto-ku, Tokyo (Ariake Station)
Admission: 1,030 yen (adults), 520 yen (children)
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, but the link is only in Japanese.) 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 yen for corn, or get a set meal starting at 1,058 yen per head. Pets are allowed in this garden as long as they’re kept on a leash.
Note that entrance for the BBQ Garden is at 2 intervals a day from March to November: 9:30 am and 1:30 pm, and you can only spend a maximum of 3 hours there. From December to February, you can stay in the garden from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
4. Komaba Park
Where: Komaba-Todaimae Station
Hours: 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Next to the University of Tokyo’s Komaba campus is this quiet park. It’s not as popular as Tokyo’s other parks, so it doesn’t get as crowded as the rest. 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.
5. Wild Magic
Where: Toyosu 6-1-23, Koto-ku, Tokyo (Shin-Toyosu Station)
An urban outdoor park in Odaiba, Wild Magic has barbecue plans for 5,000 yen (standard) and 6,000 yen (premium) – these prices do not include tax yet. You can add 3,000 or 4,000 yen 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.
6. Kasai Rinkai Park
Where: 6 Rinkai-cho, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo (Kasai Rinkai Koen Station)
This large park has a barbecue garden, but prior reservation is required. For groups of at least 4 people, they have package plans that include food, equipment, and cookware, with the cheapest plan (for adults) starting at 1,300 yen per head. Equipment can also be rented separately. In addition to having a barbecue, you can also enjoy the park’s other attractions, like the Ferris wheel, bird sanctuary and aquarium.
Picnicking more your thing? Here are the best parks for it!
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