Contrary to popular belief, Tokyo is not as expensive a city to visit as you may think it is. With some useful tips and careful pre-trip planning, you can enjoy the city without having to burn a hole in your pocket! Yes Really , you don’t have to live on rice or cup noodles to experience the grandeur of this big city. This might help you plan it in your budget-
Hostels are very common in Japan, but at times hotels (especially capsule hotels) can give you the best deals. Look up places online months ahead, as rates can fluctuate dramatically. Another options are Internet Cafes. These are well equipped with reclining sofa chairs that can serve as your bed for the night with access to internet throughout, vending machines selling instant noodles, luggage storage spaces and even showers to cater to travellers’ needs. Also check Airbnb.com & Booking.com which might give you some good deals.
Firstly forget Taxis if you are on a budget. Taxis in Japan are very expensive. There are lot of Tokyo TamenMetro Discount Tickets available for overseas travellers which can help you save a lot. If you are aiming at visiting multiples places in Tokyo for example then 1 day open pass is the best deal for intracity travel. If you love walking then nothing like it.
Eating & Drinking
Japanese fast food restaurants are never out of sight. They serve delicious, safe, authentic Japanese food that is both satisfying and wallet-friendly. Fill your belly with ramen which is easily available or some small bites like yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) at street stalls. Other than fast food restaurants, convenience stores such as Lawson, Family Mart and 7 Eleven are your best bet on cheap food. The bento boxes sold in supermarkets are a good option.A useful tip is to buy dinner from supermarkets after 9pm or during closing times as that’s when the food items are sold at half price to minimise waste.
Beer from a vending machine costs half as much as at a bar. Drink tap water which is safe and free.
There are couple of free sights in Tokyo which will help you save a lot. Here is a small list-
- play the free console games at the Sony Building
- Observe the famous Shibuya crossing from the 2nd-floor Starbucks opposite the train station (you don’t have to buy anything)
- Get your food & drinks and picnic at Ueno Park among the cherry blossoms
- Cycle around Tokyo Imperial Palace for free on Sundays, or simply wander around the garden
- Visit Yoyogi Park and the nearby Meiji Shrine, followed by a stroll down Takeshita Street and Omotesando Street. Go on Sundays in particular, you will see fashionistas parade down Takeshita Street.
- For buying toiletries, snacks and knick-knacks, supermarkets and 100-yen shops trump inconveniently priced convenience stores
- There are a lot of free museums in Tokyo too, like the Sumo Wrestling Museum
- Most shrines and temples in Tokyo are free of admission, like the famous Yasukuni Shrine and the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
- Try Takeshita Dori street at Harajuku for some cheap shopping. Walk around the streets of Ikebukuro and you will be able to find shops that sell cheaper clothes
With these tips, you won’t have to break the bank to travel to Tokyo and enjoy the city too.