Outside the typical traveling cost-cutters such as taking transit over taxis and also hostels over resorts, there several easy ways to see Japan economically. If you think exploring this intriguing place suggests bleeding your budget plan, reconsider. Below’s 6 very easy suggestions to travel Japan on the cheap!

Psst, want to conserve even more money on a visit below? Inspect our suggestions on eating affordable in Japan, plus Japan Rail pass ideas.
1. Take buses over trains


As with Europe, rail passes have actually come to be a prominent staple for travellers in Japan. While it can be affordable for brief journeys (check our cost-analysis overview), there are more affordable methods to navigate.

Several bus business exist in Japan, and also nearly all of them can be reserved online at kosokubus.com. After payment, you’ll obtain instant confirmation and also a confirmation email. Simply reveal your verification e-mail on your mobile phone to the chauffeur.

An additional bus company, Willer Express, supplies 3, 5, and also 7-day bus passes priced from ¥ 10,000- ¥ 15,000 ($ 94-$ 141 USD). Cheaper passes are offered for use on Mondays-Thursdays only, while somewhat costlier options exist for any type of day usage. These travel journeys (referred to as “days” on the site) can be used anytime, non-consecutively within a 2-month window.

There are many over night bus routes, which saves on an evening’s holiday accommodation. The buses are quiet, tidy, and comfortable, complete with reclining seats as well as a pull-over head callous block out light (see below).


Popular bus locations consist of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya. At a portion of the ¥ 29,000+ ($ 273+ USD) price-tag of a 7-day rail pass (which need to be used within the 7 days), you have actually obtained added flexibility for half the price. If you don’t acquire a bus pass, specific bus tickets are still typically more affordable than trains for long distances. Trains can frequently be crowded with commuters and also may call for a number of transfers, so a bus can commonly be an easier approach of traveling.

Where to get: Individual bus tickets can be acquired online at kosokubus.com, while the Willer Express pass can be gotten on their site as well as utilized at the respective terminals of your separation.

Keep in mind: for flying economical around Japan, there are a number of discount rate air passes which are only offered to vacationers. Peach Air is Japan’s budget plan airline company, and with flights for as low as ~$ 40USD throughout the country, flying can be widely less costly than the rail pass. For even more ideas on flying low-cost, check our flight-booking hacks.
2. Dine at Japanese junk food chains

Assume all convenience food is deep-fried, refined scrap? Reconsider. In Japan, “convenience food” implies steaming bowls of rice, delicious meats, crispy dumplings, miso soup, with a side of green tea. Standard meals such as a rice bowl with environment-friendly tea can be bought for just ¥ 130 (~$ 1.30 USD). More fancy meals (below) array from ¥ 300- ¥ 600, or ~$ 3-$ 6 USD. Examine our thrifty dining pointers for Japan below.

Cheap restaurant chains to locate consumes like these include:

Matsuya (rice bowls, Japanese breakfast, Japanese curries).
Sukiya (same as above).
Yoshinoya (once again more delectable Japanese recipes, from curries to udon).
Mister Donut (you have to try the star-shaped donuts).
MOS burger (Japanese-style burgers, most of which have rice as “buns”).
CocoCurry Home Ichibanya (curries).

” Button” style restaurants are typically cheap (easily < ¥ 500 or ~$ 5 USD). You just pick and spend for your dish based upon the photos and prices listed on the maker (imagined below), bring the invoice to the chef, get your dish as well as appreciate!

3. Obtain a city pass.

Taxi cabs and also Ubers are a mindless spend in any kind of significant city, as well as Tokyo is no such exemption. A transit pass is an excellent investment, given that when you have actually taken a particular number of transportation trips it will pay itself off. Transportation passes can be purchased online in advance (simpler than navigating the non-English machines at the stations).
4. Obtain a Grutt masquerade sightseeing.


If you intend on seeing also a handful of museums and art galleries in the Tokyo region, the Grutt Pass is a well worthwhile purchase for financial savings. At ¥ 2,000 (~$ 20 USD), the pass spends for itself quickly, as it offers admission and also discount rates to 80 centers. That consists of museums, art galleries, and tourist attractions throughout the Tokyo location.

On our initial 6-week check out to Japan we made exceptional use our pass– the abundance as well as quality of attractions it covers is impressive. To see Japan’s well-known robotics and other technologies to please the mind, take a look at the National Museum of Emerging Science as well as Advancement. For a colourful array of Japanese history, biology, as well as modern-day scientific research, the National Gallery of Nature as well as Science is a must-see. The MOMAT has contemporary art display screens from retro to modern art in a variety of tools. For a remarkable walk through the Japanese Edo period, make sure to have a look at the Edo-Tokyo Gallery.

Where to purchase: The pass can be acquired at choose corner store or any of the following areas:.

The Tokyo Visitor Details Centre (first flooring of the Tokyo Metropolitan Federal Government Building).
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center.
Tokyo Chuo City Traveler Information Center( KYOBASHI EDOGRAND).
LIBRO (Ikebukuro, Kichijoji, Shiodome SIO-SITE, Chofu).
PARCO Book Center in Shibuya.
Ueno Park Information, Asakusa Society Visitor Information Center.
TIC TOKYO (Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Terminal).

5. Browse broadly for accommodation.

AirBNB and also HotelsCombined regularly have the most inexpensive accommodation choices in Japan in our experience. On our last browse through, AirBNB supplied an extra local sensation experience as well as there are many affordable apartment or condos right in midtown Tokyo for less than $80 USD/night (commonly much less!).

In Tokyo, we suggest staying in Shibuya or Shinjuku. We have actually stayed at both this Airbnb in Shibuya and also the Shinjuku Granbell Hotel in Shinjuku (the buffet breakfast was tops!) Both areas are right in the heart of purchasing, restaurants, nightlife, and a short train trip from all significant attractions.

When in less took a trip locations, the Lonely Planet Japan guide was the best resource for resorts, hostels, and also ryokan (Japanese-style guesthouses). Visitor Information Centres are additionally a reliable source of English-speaking aid if in less-touristed locations.
6. Obtain take-away meals from grocery stores.

Japan bento grocery.


Inexpensive and also fresh bento, take-away sushi, noodles, as well as udon are simply some of the grab-and-go alternatives readily available at Japanese food store. They’re fantastic for picnics, hikes, and people-watching in a city park. Costs vary from ~ ¥ 130- ¥ 300, though we on a regular basis (and easily) invested ~ ¥ 200 per box (~ 2 $USD) per bento in our 6 weeks there.

Thrifty tip: beg grocery stores at nights when these boxes are more discounted– presto, tomorrow’s affordable lunch!

7. Beg $1/plate conveyor belt sushi.

Kaiten sushi.
Maki sushi.

Sushi-go-round, conveyor belt sushi, or “sushi kaiten” is a wonderful means to eat economically in Japan. Plates are colour-coded by price, but ¥ 100 (~$ 1USD) per plate conveyor belt sushi can be found throughout the country. This is a wonderful method to sample a variety of affordable sushi and linger with locals. Locations consist of:.

Nationwide: Sushi Ro.
Tokyo: Genki Sushi (Shibuya).
Osaka: Isono Ryotaro (5 min walk from Namba Terminal).

A lot more economical recommendations: road food and also markets are terrific chances for tasty, cost effective consumes (visualized listed below). Inspect our other thrifty food pointers in our guide, how to be an economical food lover in Japan.

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