How to travel cheap to Japan

FROMThe country of the samurai is far from Thailand or Indonesia in terms of prices for both food and services for tourists. Accordingly, travel Japan can become expensive, especially if it falls during the high season. However, there are a few simple solutions that can make your trip more economical and budget-friendly and allow you to travel to Japan relatively cheaply.

Indeed, both accommodation and transport in the high season in Japan are more expensive than usual. Some tourists reasonably have the opinion that food in Japan also costs a lot of money. But this is not entirely true, in the aggregate.

You can be more prudent about the issues of living and moving around the country, and due to this, get the opportunity to enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine to the fullest.

Therefore, I will name several ways to cut the budget on a tourist trip to Japan. So what do I recommend?

Buy a Japan Railways Pass

If you are planning to travel around Japan mainly by bullet trains, you should definitely buy JR Pass. By purchasing this pass, you can ride bullet trains for free (excluding NOZOMI and MIZUHO) and JR buses (this is the abbreviated name of the Japanese company) of local communication.

The pass is available in three different validity periods: for 7 days (cost just over ¥29,000 (¥) for adults and 14,000 ¥ for children), for 14 days (cost just over 46,000 ¥ for adults and 23,000 ¥ for children), and for 21 days (cost just over ¥59,000 for adults and ¥29,000 for children).

Shinkansen in Japan: operational maximum speed up to 360 km/h

The average price of an interregional round-trip ticket is around ¥20000, so this pass is a great alternative to the standard fare if you plan to travel to several different regions of Japan on bullet trains.

I agree that the price is quite high for many of us, but this option is undoubtedly suitable for those who planned to ride around Japan on the Shinkansen. For everyone else, the bus will be just a salvation, and more on that below.

Buy food in supermarkets

Do not eat out (rooms) in restaurants and cafes three times a day. Instead, buy food from local supermarkets.

Japanese noodles
Noodles in a simple cafe

It worked very well for us. But if you came to Japan primarily as a foodie, you have the right to disagree with this approach.

We usually ate out once a day so we could taste a lot of delicious food and explore some interesting local restaurants and sushi bars. However, every meal in a restaurant can be quite expensive.

I suggest visiting local supermarkets or convenience stores instead and buying ready-made meals there. Japanese supermarkets different from ours. But they tend to offer a large selection of ready-to-eat meals and a cool assortment of delicious baked goods. This pastry, by the way, is sometimes unique to Japan.

By supermarket dishes, I don't mean huge chunks of fried meat and potatoes. I'm most likely talking about plastic serious snack boxes full of locally simple Japanese food such as omurice, sushi, korokke, gyoza and something similar. The thing is, their prices are absolutely reasonable.

That being said, you'll likely want to cut down on fruits and vegetables, because they're astronomically expensive in Japan. Also, try the products of Japanese bakeries. But be aware that you can become addicted to them…

Take care of the Seishun18 travel pass

If you are traveling in Japan on a budget and the period of stay in the country is relatively long, then the pass Seishun 18 Kippu ticket can be a good alternative to the standard fare for you.

Japan train
Free travel with JR Pass

With this ticket you get unlimited free rides for five days on local and JR express lines (not including rides on Shinkansen and limited express trains), JR buses and JR West Miyajima ferry. The cost of such a ticket is a little over 12 thousand ¥.

Compared to the cost of a JR Pass ticket, this is a pretty good deal. But here it must be borne in mind that tickets like Seishun 18 are not sold all year round, but only during certain periods of spring, summer and winter. If the topic is interesting, then go to the original source in the ticket booking section and see all the available options:

Book a high-level guest house

The cost of living in reputable Japanese hotels can be unreasonably high, especially during the high season. Therefore, instead of staying in such hotels, why not choose a guest house for the night? Prices per night in guest houses vary depending on the level of the institution, but most of them adhere to an acceptable price.ummah in the range of ¥2,000 to ¥6,000.

In fact, there are quite a few guest houses in Japan. Some of them can be safely put a solid five and handed the sign "Guest house of exemplary content", but others ... just worse.

There is only one way worthy of attention - information from real people on thematic forums. But I still want to calm down. The vast majority of Japanese guest houses are clean, quiet, and provide the clients with everything they need. However, some of them may be a little dirty, they may have an earlier "clearance" or they may simply be located at a significant distance from the tourist sites of interest to you.

Do not be afraid, because living in guest houses is actually quite an interesting event. Guest houses give you the opportunity to meet new people from different parts of our planet. Some establishments are in demand among the residents of Japan themselves, and in them you can easily get to know a local resident.

Try staying overnight in a capsule hotel

If you do not suffer from the fear of limited space and your height does not exceed the average, then it may be worth considering living in capsule hotel. A modern capsule hotel is somewhat similar to the hypersleep cabins that science fiction writers imagine them to be. But not all capsule hotels look like this.

Capsule hotel in Japan
Hotel Capsules

In any case, hotels of this type provide their customers with a standard set of accommodation. You will have your own TV, alarm clock, radio and night light, and shared washrooms and showers.

Staying in capsule hotels provides privacy if guest houses do not suit you precisely because of its absence.

The cost of living in such establishments varies from 2 to 5 thousand ¥. Just as in the case of any other hotels, I recommend that you first study the information about the establishment you like. Even if it's about the very thing that is real Japanese love hotel.

Choose a night bus when traveling

To save on accommodation and travel at the same time, consider using night bus services. If you belong to the category of people who know how to sleep in soft bus seats, then there is no doubt that this solution will be optimal for you.

bus to tokyo
This bus travels short distances.

Instead of booking a hotel for the night and wasting half the next day on the road, just buy yourself a ticket for the night bus. You don't have to pay for an overnight stay and plus you get a whole new day in a new place that you would have spent on the road. All that is required of you is to buy a ticket, sit in the designated place and fall asleep to wake up in the morning at your destination.

These are just a few simple tips on how to make your trip to Japan more budget-friendly and economical. Use at least one piece of advice and your journey through the mysterious "Land of the Rising Sun" will become just that.

Use discount coupons

discount coupons

Whether they arrive in your inbox, through a dedicated app like Mcdonald's, to an official Line account, or on the website, coupons can be found everywhere.

Now you don't need to resort to cutting coupons. Many of them are available in electronic format, which allows you to use your mobile friend's screen to get a discount.

If you happen to be fluent in Japanese, you can also find great deals on collaborative shopping sites like Groupon, Ponpare, or HotPepper Beauty for a variety of products, services, restaurants, attractions, and even hair salons.

What do we end up with...

In summary, all of the above are just some of the highlights that helped us cut our travel expenses in Japan the most. Whether they suit you or not depends on your plans and expectations, but if I could be of some help, I will be glad.

However, if you are planning to visit Japan, I recommend that you do your own thorough research about all the budget travel options available. I am sure that you will definitely find a lot of useful tips. Consider my information just a kind of springboard to the Japanese economy. And I wish you a pleasant journey.

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