Japan with a low budget / 6 Tips

6 tips for traveling / staying in Japan with a low budget
Maybe some of you want to visit Japan, study in Japan or just stay in this beautiful country but there is one problem:
The money...
And yes, I also struggle with paying things in Japan, as everything is not really cheap.
But you can survive in Japan by spending only a little money,
and here is how:
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1) Ask locals about cheap restaurants
If you always eat in tourist areas, in restaurants with english menu and maybe even english-speaking workers, you will be poor soon.
Especially in Tokyo, restaurants are expensive as hell...
But if you know the right places, you can eat cheaper than you might think.
Those small and cheap restaurants are often hard to find but some local people may show you the way.
And believe me, the food often tastes more amazing than in any big tourist restaurant!
Food in a small hidden restaurant: 700-1000 Yen
 

2) Cook rice and nudels by yourself
Sometimes it can be a great decission to cook by yourself.
Every apartment in Japan should have a rice cooker.
And the rice mixed with rice powder which you can get in every supermarket, tastes really good!
There are many different tastes of rice powder so there should be something for everyone.
Also there are so many kinds of noodles in Japan.
Soba can be cooked in about 3 minutes, soumen in about 1 minute.
Just cook them, let them get cold, mix some tsuyu つゆ and wasabi with negi for the souce and you have a perfect lunch.
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Rice and rice powder: depends on rice, powder under 500 Yen
Soba, tsuyu, negi and wasabi, for 2 times lunch: about 1200 Yen
Wasabi, tsuyu and negi can be used for many days
 

3) Buy special bus tickets in cities or railway passes
In some cities like Kyoto, you can buy a bus ticket for 500 Yen, which allows you to take any bus in Kyoto city for a whole day.
And if you travel around in Tokyo a lot and also use the shinkansen bullet train, you should consider buying the JR railway pass.
It costs around 40.000 Yen but you can really use every JR train in whole Japan and even the shinkansen.
It is maybe better to get the railway pass for longer trips in Japan (3 weeks +)
One day-bus ticket in Kyoto: 500 Yen

4) Get food and drinks at the supermarket
Big supermarkets like Aeon offer lunch boxes for a cheap price.
The food is fresh, good and enough to fill your stomach.
Drinks are also cheaper than in vending machines.
The convinience stores at the stations are also fine for buying a drink or snack before going on the train.
Lunch box at Aeon: 400-800 Yen
Drinks at Aeon: 80-130 Yen, mostly 100 Yen
 
5) Book apartments instead of hotel rooms
If you visit Tokyo for instance, hotel rooms are often very expensive if they are located in the center.
But there is a really great alternative: Airbnb
You can basically rent apartments from normal people who live in this city for the time that you want to stay there.
They are located in the center of Tokyo, for example in Shibuya and cost less than any hotel in this area.
Airbnb apartment in the center of Tokyo: 5000-8000 Yen per night
 
6) Use the Wifi spots in Japan
Prepaid sim cards are often just a annoying thing...
They are expensive and don't work on every phone (because Japan has other sim cards than Europe or USA).
But there is really no reason for buying them.
Because at least in all the big cities of Japan, there are Wifi spots everywhere.
Just go to one of the many starbucks cafes and enjoy their free Wifi.
Sometimes you have to enter your email address to be able to use the Wifi but if you use an unimportant email adress for that, it should be ok.
Internet access in japanese cities: free if you use the wifi spots
Those 6 Tips will hopefully help you traveling in Japan with a low budget.




Rob W