Everyone puts Japan trip on their bucket list behind because you think traveling Japan is expensive.
Well, it is not a cheap trip compared with domestic trips or countries to share borders,
but the budget during traveling in Japan depends on how you look at it.
It is incorrect if you say EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE IN JAPAN.
Today, I am going to teach you the tips about how you can cut the budget on Japan trip.
First of all, what you should avoid…
- High seasons
- Very Tight Connection
- Check only one airport
- Non-stop flight
Avoid High Season for Japan Trip
If you want to cut the budget, you might have to give up the cherry blossom season.
Not only vacation season in your country, mind Japanese long vacations too.
- Cherry blossom season (mid-March – the bigging April)
- Japanese long holidays especially “Golden Week”, “Obon” and “New Year’s”
- Vacation season in your country
I have a kind of idea about the cheaper season to fly to Japan.
- The end of January through the beginning of March
- October, November
Use Multiple Search Engines
and research prices with date combinations, airport combinations such as Tokyo’s Narita & Haneda, Osaka KIX, Nagoya Centrair as much as you can.
Also, check the airline website.
You may find a good deal like JAL & ANA have offers for foreign visitors called “Welcome Japan Fare” so you may be able to find domestic tickets with a good deal. (as of March 2020)
I talk about more tips to find flight tickets to Japan on this page, also if you wank know
about use “incognito mode” when you look for the specific fight on the search engines,
The best attraction of Japan trip is of course “Food”, isn’t it?
If you want to go to Michelin-starred restaurants, that’s ok…
but if you don’t have a clue about where you can get affordable food and still tasty,
I can give you the hints below.
Refer to this section.
Go to the conveyer belt sushi chain restaurant
Order Lunchi Set Menu at the fancy sushi restaurant during lunchtime serivice
Go to the conveyer belt sushi chains in Japan!
You will not be disappointed and also be able to cut your budget.
The average prices at conveyor belt sushi chains are ¥100! (Tax is not included)
and the taste is good, actually.
Go to the authentic sushi restaurant where has “Lunch Time Menu” if you want to have an experience of an authentic sushi restaurant in Japan.
The lunch set menu is much reasonable than dinner time.
Travel bloggers sometimes recommend buying “Sushi-box” at convenience stores & grocery stores.
TO ME, they are OK taste but it’s convenient.
I would recommend ordering take out sushi at a conveyer belt sushi chain if you want to eat in your hotel.
Get Food & Coffee at the convenience store
Order “Morning Set” at the coffee shop
Try Japanese-style breakfast at the fast food chain
Convenience stores, 7-Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart, are EVERYWHERE throughout Japan.
The number of these is little creasy so I am sure you can find a convenience store around your hotel and buy breakfast easily.
You can buy patisseries, rice balls, a cup of Miso soup, salads…
“Melon pan”(メロンパン) is getting popular for foreign travelers.
You can buy a cup of coffee of course.
“Morning Set” is the special service at coffee shops, you can get a Japanese thick toast and a boiled egg (general complimentary menu) with just order drink.
You can easily find the “Morning set” service in the central region, which are Aichi, Gifu, Mie prefectures.
You might have to pay a little extra in other regions such as Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo.
“Komeda Coffee“ is a popular coffee shop if you can find it near you, visit there from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
If you want to try “Japanese style breakfast” (Wasyoku, 和食), you can eat it with a very reasonable price at “Gyudon” chain restaurants.
Gyudon chain restaurants have a mornig sepecial menu, you can have an experience of Japanese style breakfast cost between ¥400 and ¥700.
The breakfast service is generally from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.
It is not a “Gyudon” chain restaurant, but you can also get a reasonable breakfast at “Otoya” or “Miyamoto Munashi”.
Go to “Izakaya” chains.
Chain restaurants are better to go if you want to save the budget.
Izakayas are not the only place to drink, but you can eat a wide range of Japanese food in one place.
The drink menu is also reasonable rather than private own Izakaya, or pricy Izakayas.
Popular chains are “Torikizoku”(鳥貴族), “Uotami”(魚民), “Syouya”(庄や), “Yoro no Taki”(養老乃瀧).
Other options are convenience stores, corner stores at grocery stores, food section floors in department stores aka “Depachika” (but pricey).
Also, there are family restaurants such as “Dennies”, “Gusto”, “Skylark”, “Saizeriya”, “Coco’s”.
If you want to eat a Japanese style set meal called “Teisyoku”(定食), “Otoya” & “Mitamoto Munashi” have a wide range and affordable price menu.
We talk about cutting the budget, so we are not talking about fancy western-style hotels and fancy “Ryokan” style.
“Business hotel” (ビジネスホテル) is a decent hotel with a decent price, it’s just a smaller size of popular western hotels.
A very clean room (but tiny), a refrigerator, toiletries, towels, a hair drier, free-wifi, free-breakfast (depends on hotels) and great hospitality.
If you book weekdays in advance, you usually get a room with a better deal. (¥3,000 – ¥5,000)
My husband and I spent 4 nights at “Hotel Trusty Nagoya”, in February 2020.
Actually this was the second time we stayed in this hotel and probably we will next trip too.
The average room cost is around ¥4,000 per person, we spent around ¥32,000 with a deluxe double room without breakfast.
Compared with staying Hilton Nagoya (which is our preferred hotel), it is a ¥40,000 difference.
There are many guesthouses for backpackers and travelers in major cities. It’s very reasonable but you need to book pretty in advance especially during big events like F1, Word cup soccer games, cosplay summits…
Airbnb in Japan is also available, but it’s kind of pain.
- In downtown, the price is almost the same as other cheaper hotels
- Often the old type hotel or facilities turned to be “Minpaku” means “Airbnb”, so the room is old, can be Japanese style bedding, you have to share the bathroom…
- If the Airbnb you found is running illegally, it shuts out without notification.
Unique cheap hotels
If you want to cut the budget but also a unique experience, here is the option,
- Internet cafe
- Capsule hotel
- Love hotel
“Internet cafes”(インターネットカフェ) became places where sleeping in the night nowadays. They are opened 24 hours and offer very tiny private rooms…areas, not only surfing the internet, Mangas, unlimited drinking (not alcohol), and public showers room! The average cost is around ¥3,000, but you can’t use it without registration.
“Capsule hotel”(カプセルホテル) definitely goes in your list. It is unbelievably reasonable and unique. It is getting popular among Japanese girls too, so many capsule hotels have a female-only floor, complimentary amenities, and a very neat public living rooms, powder & shower rooms.
I couldn’t stay capsule hotels in Tokyo last time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am looking forward to staying at these hotels in the Shinagawa area next time.
“Love hotel”(ラブホテル) is also unique. According to hotel policies, some hotels don’t accept solo-guest. If you visit Japan with your partner, it can be saving the budget. It’s kind of fun to start choosing types of rooms. Generally, a room is comfortable, a large size of the bed and a bathroom, TV games, Karaoke, food menus…The price range is very wide, generally, love hotels in the countryside are cheaper than those in the city, near stations and highway ramp exits.
Go to ¥100 shop to buy gifts for yourself, family and friends.
You can get “Kawaii goods”, “Japanese-like goods”, “Stationaries”, “Cosmetics”, “snacks”…just ¥100+Tax.
I always buy Too much, so it became over budget…
Mom’s cat and his friend lost their words…
Anyway, the top 3 ¥100 stores in Japan are,
Do you think the Japan trip is still too expensive?
I think traveling around Japan can be affordable if you plan carefully now because you got my hints for cutting the budget on this post today by local.
However, Japan is still Japan, never going to be a cheap trip.
You feel some stuff expensive, especially attraction fees, admission fees, food and drink at stylish cafe & restaurants…
Traveling is anyway need money.
Save money, use smartly, and spend money to enjoy your trip.
Tips for Japan trip
If you want to know useful tips for Japan Trip, I can help you here.