How to Travel in Japan on a Budget
Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit as a tourist, but don't let the cost put you off - this is one of the most interesting destinations you will ever experience and the price you pay is worth it. There are lots though of ways to travel on the cheap and below you can view our top tips for how to visit Japan on a budget...
1. Peach Airways
Japan has launched its first low cost carrier named Peach Airways. This has changed the value of travelling the country significantly. Forget the bullet train and its pricey tickets; look into Peach Airways which can get you across the country with EasyJet style prices.
2. Willer Express
Another cheap way to travel Japan is by Willer Express. This company is a bus service which travels throughout Japan. Although the journeys are long, they are usually empty and very cheap. Also, Willer run a lot of overnight trips where the seats recline into quite comfortable beds.
3. Manga Cafes
There are a variety of hostels in Japan, and you may be surprised by how reasonable the prices are but if you’re still wanting to cut down on your budget even more then look for manga cafés. A manga café allows you to book a private computer booth so you can play games and read comics. But these booths come with very comfortable chairs, and usually communal showers. Book by the hour and save what you might spend in a hostel.
4. Capsule Hotels
Similar to a manga café expect you book a ‘capsule’ which is wide as your laying down and as high as you sitting up.
Izakayas are usually small bars which advertise their 280yen drinks (roughly €3). They can be found in the big cities, usually in the busy areas so they aren’t too hard to miss. There is no catch to these places, just a small bar with cheap beer.
Buffets, but with food AND drink. Usually time allocated so a good idea to visit if you’re wanting a big night. You’re looking at about 3000yen for 2-3 hours of non-stop drinking.
7. Convenience Stores
Convenience stores are easy to come by in Japan and they can offer you a range of reasonably priced snacks/small meals to suit a lunch or small dinner. For example buy a few onigiris (different flavoured rice and seaweed snacks) or a bento box (lunchbox) which are fresh, cheap and very popular amongst the Japanese.
8. Noodle Bars
Throughout Japan (especially near train stations) you will find noodle bars and huts which provide a delicious section of noodles, with rice balls and tempura as added extras. These can be quite cheap and can definitely fill you up. For more recognisable places look out for the chains of Yoshinoya, Matsuya and Coco Ichiban.
A lot of the sightseeing in Japan can be done from the outside. For example in Tokyo the great places to visit are the Imperial Palace, Harajuku, Shinjuku and Asakusa, all places which are free. Many temples and shrines can charge in Japan, but usually they only charge if you want to go inside the temple, which honestly is pretty much an empty room. Japan is better explored from the outside with a lot to say without spending a penny.
Whether you’re an English teacher or working in a ski resort, you’ll find you can probably find a job in Japan quite easily , therefore making it much easier to travel here with a few more pennies in the pocket. Have a look at the number of different ski resorts which are always looking for English speakers. You usually get accommodation, food and a lift pass for the season in with your wage, therefore allowing a free ski trip in one of the most expensive destinations in the world.
By Becky Wood
Looking to book a trip to Japan? The following websites are recommended: