Japan on a budget

Japan on a budget

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One of the biggest myths about Japan is that it’s expensive. The truth is, Japan can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. Think you can’t afford to make that dream trip to Japan? Odigoer Chloe shares some of her thoughts about why you should do it anyway, and how it can change your life.


Japan can be just as fun and exciting, even on a budget. There are plenty of wallet-friendly options for where to stay, what to eat, see or do, and how to get around. Here are some top Japan travel budget tips from the Odigo community:

Header image via Flickr

Budget stays

Finding accommodation in Japan that meets your budget is easy if you know where to look. Beyond the fancy 5 star hotels are clean and functional business hotels, love hotels and even capsule hotel offerings located across the country.  They're great value for money, and an interesting talking point from your vacation. Away from hotels, hostels and AirBnB rentals are also popular choices.

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10550-not-only-for-business-people-stay-on-a-budget-in-japans-business-hotels
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10349-close-quarters-all-about-japanese-capsule-hotels
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10203-5-reasons-to-visit-a-love-hotel
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/9657-tips-for-finding-the-right-air-bnb-place-for-you

Budget eats

Japan is famous for its incredible food, and many of them won't burn a hole in your pocket. From satisfying gyudon bowls at chains like Yoshinoya and Sukiya, to 100 yen sushi stores, and even sweets on a budget - you'll have happy taste buds and a happy wallet.

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10586-tokyo-cheap-eats-best-meals-under-500-yen
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/8126-how-to-eat-well-in-tokyo-for-under-2000-yen-a-day
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/8234-kura-sushi-cheap-and-fun-sushi-fix
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10313-eating-cheap-at-kaiten-zushi-restaurants-in-japan
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/2197-something-for-everybody-at-kappa-sushi
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/9376-how-to-get-high-quality-sushi-cheaper
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10629-snack-attack-cheap-japanese-desserts-and-street-food
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10279-sweet-tooth-in-tokyo-savory-sweets-for-you-and-your-budget

Budget fun

There are loads of fun things you can do in Japan that don't cost much. From historic shrines and temples, to fascinating museums, beautiful parks and even breweries (hello, sake!) there's something for everyone. If shopping is your thing, stores like Don Quixote, 100 yen and 300 yen stores will help you find just about anything you want at great prices. They're especially great for picking up some souvenirs!

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10650-culture-history-cuisine-and-booze-on-the-cheap-japans-brewery-tours
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10295-100-percent-free-family-fun-at-the-fire-museum
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10159-a-complete-guide-to-gallery-hopping-in-tokyo-see-more-for-1000-yen-or-less
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10097-one-coin-wonders-attractions-across-japan-for-500-yen-or-less
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10284-5-free-places-to-enjoy-the-view-of-tokyo
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10801-5-free-things-to-do-in-tokyo-for-the-wanderers
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10217-top-5-free-green-spaces-in-kyoto
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/9819-colourful-characters-at-yoyogi-park-a-fun-and-free-day-out
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10678-top-5-free-things-to-do-in-kanazawa
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10485-top-5-free-things-to-do-in-takayama
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10435-top-5-free-things-to-do-in-kyoto
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10433-top-5-free-things-to-do-in-osaka
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10150-your-guide-to-a-budget-friendly-shopping-experience-don-quixote
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/9999-why-you-should-visit-a-temple-flea-market
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10330-free-memorabilia-for-your-next-trip-to-japan
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10196-5-easy-tips-to-help-you-stay-on-budget-at-japans-game-centers

Budget transportation

Transportation costs can eat up a big chunk of your budget if you're not careful, but there are ways to get the most out of your Yen. Japan has affordable buses, multiple discounted rail passes, and if you prefer to fly, budget airlines that offer prices comparable to bullet trains.

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10133-the-cheapest-bus-from-narita-to-tokyo-slash-ginza-dot-dot-dot-for-only-1000-yen
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10232-the-one-ticket-that-will-change-the-way-you-sightsee-tokyo
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10538-from-hiroshima-to-osaka-making-the-most-of-a-rail-pass
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10810-visit-hiroshima-tourist-pass-the-best-travel-pass-for-hiroshima
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10432-see-mt-fuji-on-a-budget-with-the-hakone-free-pass
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10719-the-cheapest-way-to-travel-japan-is-by-dot-dot-dot-air

Stay connected

Staying connected is a big consideration when traveling - how else are you going to upload that ramen pic on Instagram? In Japan, free WiFi is still the exception rather than the norm, and for most people, a pocket WiFi router is the way to go.

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10390-ways-to-get-yourself-some-free-wifi-across-japan
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/2018-cheap-and-easy-way-to-never-get-lost-in-japan

Budget itineraries 

One of the best ways to stay on budget is to plan a good itinerary. Need inspiration? Here are some recommended Japan budget travel itineraries from our top community contributors:

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  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10800-hiroshima-and-miyajima-travels-on-a-budget-a-2-day-itinerary
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10802-5-days-in-osaka-for-under-100-dollars
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/8395-24-perfect-hours-in-tokyo-while-spending-only-7000-yen-without-compromising-on-quality
  • https://www.odigo.jp/articles/10757-5-days-in-tokyo-for-under-100-dollars

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