Affordable Japan: Part 2 Attractions

Affordable Japan: Part 2 Attractions

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In my last article Affordable Japan Part 1 Food, I discussed how restaurants, street foods, and desserts were affordable in Japan, despite talk that eating out in Japan would make a dent in your pocket. Based on my experiences traveling in Japan,  eating out was an exciting experience. Train station restaurants were very affordable, andJapan's famous ramen was "oishii" and cheap. Eating street food was cheap in some places, but a few times we managed to get duped on overpriced sweet potatoes. Desserts being the most expensive treat to have in Japan, was worth the indulgence.
This article will continue on from the last, but instead, I will be talking about Attractions!


There is definitely a lot to see and do in Japan when it came to its attractions. I will be comparing the affordability of different types of attractions one might want to experience in Japan.

Natural Attractions

Visiting 'natural' Japan ended up being the most affordable and most rewarding thing to do on our trip. We got a train pass, that allowed us to take shinkansen routes as well as local routes within Japan. Even though the passes were quite expensive, it ended up being affordable in the long run. Most of the places like Takayma,  Ise , Miyajima (Hiroshima) had natural attractions, like walking tracks and local parks. Because the more local traditional towns ended up being the main spectacle, we didn't end up spending as much compared to a day in Tokyo or Osaka.  Popular natural attractions, like going to Geibikei Gorge in Ichinoseki City, a good 2 hour local train ride from our main destination Kitakami, ended up costing, but it was worth the price, as it was stunning.
On the other side, in main cities as well as local towns, manmade or preserved parks did end up costing. Zen gardens and even gardens at temples/shrines you had to pay to see. Sometimes being a good 500 yen.
One thing we did manage to find out and appreciate, is that in some main attractions, where you had to pay extra to look at the zen gardens or view a temple or shrine, if you were a tourist and had your passport on you (advise you to always have passport with while traveling), they let you in for FREE.
Also, there are zen gardens and temples/shrines everywhere in Japan, so do not feel like you have to go to everyone of them on your trip. Again, depending on the time, costs, its a pick and choose kind of thing.

City Attractions

For the main type of attractions that bring tourists like you and me to Japan, they ended up costing a bit more. 
For instance, city towers and observation decks ended up being the most expensive thing to purchase while visiting places like Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. It is worth a look to get a great view of your destination, especially at night time.  
City amusement themed attractions cost the most. Ferris wheels, aquariums, theme parks, they ended up being the most expensive attractions to visit. Again, as a Japan first timer, like I was, the cost was worth it!
Overall, whether or not you plan to visit the natural Japan or get 'lost in translation' in its bustling energizing cities, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to Japan's attractions, to make it the trip of a lifetime!

Ksenia Smith