Tokyo has the reputation of being one of the most expensive cities to visit. But did you know there are cheaper ways to experience the sensory overload of the capital city of Japan?
Tokyo, with all its grandeur always has something for everyone. From the most modern skyscrapers to the neon soaked streets to the traditional and historic temples and other landmarks, Tokyo is one of the must-visit places in the world.
If you’ve been wanting to visit Tokyofor a long time, but are concerned about spending a fortune, worry not! Here are few tips that will help you enjoy Tokyo on a tight budget:
Food budget in Tokyo
When it comes to food, Tokyo certainly offers you plenty of options. From the irresistible and delicious street food to the high-class fine dining, the city offers an exciting dining experience. If you think food in Tokyo comes with a high price tag, you’ll be surprised to find how easy it is to save money on food.
Street food – Japanese street food is extremely delicious, filling and inexpensive. Yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), shioyaki (baked fish on a stick) and dungo (dumplings on a stick) are some of the most popular choices. Depending on the portion size, you can get them in the range ¥150-700 (€1.00-5).
Chain Restaurants – A wide range of food chains can be found in Tokyo, offering truly authentic and extremely delicious meals. Shredded beef or fried meat served over a bowl of rice, in combination with a bowl of miso soup is a very popular choice in Tokyo. The dishes often come as a combo and there is an overwhelmingly huge selection for you to choose from. A meal at a chain restaurant will typically cost you around ¥500-900 (€4-7).
Go where the locals go – One of the best ways to save money on food and at the same time enjoy a truly authentic experience is by visiting the spots where the locals go. These spots usually serve some of the most inexpensive and delicious meals starting from ¥350-400 (€3.00).
Shop at supermarkets – It makes perfect sense to shop at supermarkets, when you are on a budget. Japan’s supermarkets are filled with amazing and tasty options available at very cheap prices. The sushi or seafood meals available in these stores are freshly prepared in the morning and by the end of the day, you can get them at 50% discount because as per the Japanese standards, they are no longer considered fresh at this time.
Staying in Tokyo on a Budget
Tokyo offers a wide range of budget accommodation such as cheap hostels and other alternatives like karaoke rooms, internet cafes and capsule hotels.
Capsule hotels – These type of hotels are extremely popular and can be found all over Tokyo. As the name suggests, capsule hotels offer tiny, capsule sized rooms, or sleeping pods that contains a bed, a small ceiling-mounted TV and a radio. Spotlessly clean, the hotel offers access to a large shared bath and sauna. You can spend a night at a capsule hotel for a mere ¥2-4,000 (€15 -31).
Manga/Internet Cafes – Manga cafes used to be a place where you could sit and read the manga comics and surf the internet. These spots soon became a solution to the expensive accommodation costs in Japan. These cafes offer private cubicles equipped with a desk, a large chair and a computer with unlimited internet access. You can stay at these cafes at a cheaper rate of about ¥1,500 – 2,500 (€11-19).
Airbnb and Hovelstay – An alternate option would be to go for the conventional Airbnb and Hovelstay, where you can find rooms ranging from €40 to €150 per night.
Shopping on a budget
Just like food and accommodation, shopping in Tokyo can also be done on a budget. Daiso on Takeshita-dori is a main shopping street in Harajuku, where you can buy souvenirs and accessories. You can get most things here at a mere cost of only around ¥100 (€1). Tokyo is full of 100 Yen stores, where you can get pretty much everything under the sun. A lot of shops in Tokyo also have sales on and offer budget-friendly products.
As travelers, we always look for ways to save money. For those who have been putting off their desire to travel to Tokyo simply because of the notion that the city is too expensive, this article shows you inexpensive ways to explore Tokyo on a budget. So if you’ve decided to make Tokyo your next destination, rest assured you won’t be disappointed.