You’ve probably heard time and time again how expensive Tokyo is. Well, it is! However, that shouldn’t stop you from making the journey to such a magical place. Take advantage of a fare sale, stay in an Airbnb, or Capsule hotel. Just get there! Once, you’re there here are a few tips to keep you from going broke.
1. Convenience Store Eating
Yes, 7-Eleven is your saving gracing. Fill your belly for under $5 and keep sightseeing. Grab a delicious melon Fanta and some onigiri(rice ball), which should hold you over until your next meal. No need to go broke to stay full!!
2. Street Food Is Your Friend
As you can see, food is very important to me. We often blow a huge portion of our budget on food, so it’s important to find ways to scale back. Soooo, if you see a line of locals waiting for street food, chances are that place/cart is legit. Join the line and save your Yen for a big splurge.
3. Izakayas For Drinking and Eating
Ok, I admit it, I’m pretty greedy. The main reason I travel is to eat! With that said, I like to partake in an adult beverage or two as well, so Izakayas in Japan are my happy place. An izakaya is basically a super informal restaurant that serves tapas-like appetizers and drinks. Grab a beer or some sake and order a couple of items (miso soup usually accompanies all orders for free). This will be slightly more expensive than your 7-Eleven and street eats but you’ll still come in under budget.
4. Stick To Public Transportation
The train system in Tokyo is super efficient! However, it can be tricky to navigate if you’re not a map wiz. If you’re with Sprint or T-Mobile you can access your mobile data for free and use Google-Maps to get around. It’s a lifesaver! Google Maps also gives you a price for your entire trip, so no surprises. The train system is much less expensive than catching cabs, which are pretty pricey. The trains typically run from 4:30 am to 12:30/1am, so keep that in mind for those late nights out.
5. Low Cost Tea Ceremony
The Japanese take their tea very seriously, but according to our host, the tea ceremony is a dying art. The ceremonies can be quite pricey but if you’d like to experience such an amazing part of the Japanese culture head to Hotel Okura. The ceremony is shorter than it’s more expensive counterparts but it’s quite interesting and a great experience. For 1550Yen($13-15), you’ll get the full tea ceremony experience.
6. 100 Yen Store/DonQuixote For Souvenirs
For souvenirs, knick knacks and unique snacks head to the 100 yen and Don Quixote stores. The 100 Yen stores are similar to the Dollar Stores in the U.S….BUT MUCH BETTER! You can get everything from rice bowls and chopsticks to toys and candy for just 100yen(about a dollar). At Don Quixote, you can find discounted sake, electronics, clothes and those wonderfully flavored Kit Kats everyone is asking you to bring back. Don’t forget to pop your head into various drug stores as well. They tend to keep a variety of flavored kit kats and oreos that will be a hit with your friends.
7. Check Out Tokyo Cheapo
The website Tokyo Cheapo has tons of suggestions for free events and activities throughout Tokyo. Check out the site before and during your trip.