Traveling to Japan is an expensive excursion. We’ve gathered for you 10 valuable tips that are worth thousands of yens, just so you can cut costs and save Money While Traveling in Tokyo as much as possible.
When NOT to Come to Tokyo
Do not Travel in Japan during peak seasons. Avoid arriving during Cherry Blossom Festival, Golden Week (late April through the first week of May), Christmas and New Year’s. Another slightly more expensive season is autumn fall-foliage which attracts tourists and locals and creates a spike in hotel prices.
See More: 13 Things Tourists Should Actually Know Before Visiting Cherry Blossom Festival Tokyo
Really Cheap Designer Brands
Can’t leave Tokyo without a little Shopping? Second-hand shops in Tokyo are great little secret tourists are not aware of. Japanese women are known for their taste for designer brands, and when they get tired of that Prada bag or Gucci purse they hand them over to one of the many second-hand shops in Tokyo. Here are two of the largest second-hand brand stores in Tokyo:
Even Cheaper Designer Clothes
Image by Gotemba premium outlet CC BY-SA 3.0
For up to 60% discount on new designer brand clothes head to Gotemba Premium Outlets. From Bulgari Ermenegildo Zegna and Gucci, to mid-priced brands such as Michael Kors and Abercrombie & Fitch. More than 210 shops of international designers, all at deep discounts.
Day Tours in Tokyo: Best of Tokyo
Day Tours in Kyoto: The Best of Kyoto
Day Tours in Kyoto: Cherry Blossoms, Shrines and Geisha
Private VIP Tours
Our Cultural Tours
Nara Day tour
Nikko Day tour
Hakone Day tour
Tokyo’s Flea Markets
Image by おむこさん志望 (Taken by おむこさん志望) CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
More great bargains can be found at Tokyo’s flea markets,. Most of these markets operate in local temples, so while the hunting for treasures you can also enjoy the traditional ambience.
Here is a list of Tokyo’s flea markets
Cheap Take-Away Food
Department store basements are the best place to find cheap prepared meals, large salads, bento boxes and Japanese sweets. You can enter these department stores basements from most major train stations such as Tokyo Station, Shibuya or Shinjuku.
If you eat at local restaurants, food can be very affordable. Lunch meals are typically cheaper than dinners because of the myriad of inexpensive restaurants geared for Japanese office workers. Just follow all the salarymen (white collar workers) at lunch time as they come down from their offices to eat. For ¥500-¥1000 you will get a simple and traditional Japanese lunch that will typically include fish, miso soup, rice and pickles, or Japanese curry, Ramen or Udon soup.
Supermarket Last-Minute Bargains
15 minutes before closing, Supermarkets in Tokyo reduce prices by 30-50% on anything fresh such as Vegetables and fish. Look for the discount stickers.
Free Japanese Language Classes
By User:Pmx – Based upon Image:Table hiragana.jpg
Original autor : Karine WIDMER. (http://www.escale-japon.com), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1710234
If you’re in Tokyo for a longer stay and would like to learn Japanese, here is a Free or next-to-nothing option for Japanese classes in Tokyo. Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network (TNVN) is a voluntary group offering Japanese classes. The TNVN’s web site carries a guide to the Japanese classes.
See more: Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network
Japan Rail Pass
In MOST cases, the Japan Rail Pass discounts can offer great savings. Japan Rail group, or JR, is a huge system of rail, buses and ferries. The JR pass is a convenient and cheaper way for tourists to enjoy unlimited travel in Japan. This Discount ticket is good for a set number of days (7, 14 or 21 Days) with access to 20,000 km of train network. You can get practically to any of the Tourism spots with this ticket. The Rail-Pass is good for taking the Japanese Shinkansen (Bullet Train) which is a super-fast train that travels between Japan attractions.
When you buy a Rail pass you can be sure you’ll be getting punctuality, clean trains and comfort.
If you plan to visit Japan for more than a week, then the Japan Rail Pass is worth it.
See More: Japan Rail Pass discounts
If you plan on spending most of your time in Tokyo, then perhaps the Rail pass is not for you.
Note that the Rail Pass does not include Tokyo Subway,
Japan Bus System
Image by Degueulasse CC BY 3.0)
Taking the bus is one of the cheapest ways to get around Japan. An even better option is taking the night buses which enable you to sleep on the way and save on accommodation.
You can buy tickets online from the following English language websites:
Night Bus in Japan: http://nightbusjapan.com/
JAPAN BUS LINES: http://japanbuslines.com/en/
By Peter Woodman from Seattle, WA, USA (capsule hotel asahi plaza) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A great cheap accommodation for those traveling on a budget are Capsule hotels. It’s a uniquely Japanese type of hotel intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation. The target market for these places are Japanese office workers late for their last train home, and locals on a short business trip or a holiday. Capsule hotels feature tiny “rooms” (capsules) and a shared bathroom. It’s a true Japanese Experience designed for short-term stays. That’s why they are also a fascinating peep into life in the Japanese culture.