Are you looking for a guide to save your money on a trip to Japan? Let’s get started
Japan is a high-tech world with the infusion of culture and respect for their past. It is the most amazing and friendly country in the world that will live up to your expectations. Backpacking Japan isn’t as expensive as it looks, or you heard from those myths. You need a bit of guidance to lower your cost and save big on any category.
Here are things to know before travelling to Japan.
The Best Way to Get Around Japan for A Low-Cost Visit
Getting around Japan is not usually cheap as it offers the most expensive transportation. However, a little research can save you money when trekking through Japan on the cheap. You can save a night’s accommodation by swapping a hotel for an overnight bus ride for longer routes. Since the highway tolls and petrol are quite pricey, renting a car can be economical if you are not alone and skipping the cities.
You must carefully look at transportation options and special offers for foreign transportation.
1. Hakone Free Pass: It is a great place to start your search for almost free passes, which refer to unlimited travel within certain areas. Some sightseeing tickets run year-round, while other offers vary depending on the occasion or season. You can get discounted transportation, meals, entry tickets, or other services as a combo deal. Hakone Free Pass lets you explore a popular hot spring place near Mt. Fuji with unlimited use of Odakyu-affiliated transportation, including boats, trains, buses, cable cars and ropeways. Always head into the tourist information centres to get special foreign specific discounts. (always carry your passport as a tourist when in Japan).
2. Japan Rail Pass: You will see a lot of Japan with a great travel bargain as it allows unlimited travel in Japan while reducing your train cost. The lightning-fast bullet train is comfortable yet ridiculously expensive for one-way fares than local trains. Getting a JR pass is indispensable for consecutive travel (7, 14, and 21-day tickets) instead of individual tickets. It can also be used intra-city and purchased out of the country, so plan before time.
3. Ride local trains and buses: If you are a fan of slow travel and finding an ultra-cheap alternative to the bullet train system, get local trains and buses. They will take more time, so you must consider your time worth it. Also, you can get five one-day tickets for travel on any regular Japan railway train (excluding high-speed express trains) under specific conditions, such as during school holidays.
4. Discounted flights: To get bus-like pricing on some routes, look into discount flights through several budget carriers like Peach, Jetstar, and AirDo. Sometimes, special last-minute fares are available to foreigners only on Skyscanner, especially for longer distances.
The Best Way to Eat Around In Japan When Running Out Of Yen
You can be a thrifty nomad in Japan if you resist walking into the first restaurant you see and doing some research. Here is how to find budget foods and cheaper places to eat in Japan.
1. Hit up at 7-11 and other convenience stores: Convenience stores like Family Mart, 7-eleven and Circle K are best friends to all budget-tight travellers. They stock affordable pre-set meals like sandwiches, rice balls, soups, fruit, beer, hot dishes, noodles, and other Japanese-style options.
2. Cook your meals: Wander around grocery stores and make your own meals like dumplings, ramen, noodles, and other fun cutlery adventures. Hostels have cookeries where you can cook and drastically cut food costs.
3. Befriend-button restaurants: Vending machines are cheaper options which also eliminate language barriers. You use a button system to place your order by looking at the images and paying at the machine; then, you are given your food.
4. Eat at night: As per the law, supermarkets must get rid of fresh food, so they further mark down the cost at night. You can save up to half percent on almost everything fresh if you buy after 8 pm.
5. Eat noodles, curry and Bento to meal out cheap: When in Japan, discover why noodles and a tasty bowl of ramen are so popular. Curry bowls, buckwheat noodles and donburi meals are great budget options. Moreover, a large bento from a supermarket offers a variety of dishes to eat cheap.
6. Street eats are cheap eats: Always go through upcoming or current festivals because there will always be cheap street eats to try. Imagine sampling yoghurt-dripped banana drizzled in chocolate and sprinkles or a Japanese-style omelette with teriyaki sauce.
7. Conveyor belt sushi: sushi is expensive in other countries, but in Japan, you can find cheap yet fresh sushi trains in Tokyo and Osaka.
What Places To Visit And Activities To Enjoy In Japan?
1. Visit the free attractions: Japan has fascinating shrines, temples, museums, historic neighbourhoods and parks. Many sights are free to enter, such as Shinto Shrines. Don’t forget to visit the Japanese sword museum in Ryogoku east Tokyo, which showcases white katana swords of remarkable quality and beauty. White katanas- symbols of Japan were the powerful weapons that showcased the power behind the samurai warrior old class. Moreover, urban parks are generally free to spend the day.
2. Walks and hitchhikes: Don’t be afraid to hitchhike as Japan is the safest country, and locals are happy to pick up foreign visitors. You will be more engaged in a new culture. It will stretch your legs, and your budget as going on a trek or hike is free. You can explore city neighbourhoods, walk old pilgrimage trails, or get into national parks. Not to miss hiking and meditating around Nikko, a little off the beaten path in the woods.
3. Sleep in a capsule hotel: Small rooms or pods provide a more budget-friendly place to accommodate in Japan than luxurious hotels. It’s an ultimate Japanese experience, but not for more than 2 nights.
4. Other activities: you must visit Tokyo’s fish market, join the locals at a traditional festival, ride the tempo of a Ferris wheel, spend a day in the Gion district, and relax in Okinawa.
Japan is a life-long dream destination with mouth-watering food, fascinating shrines and temples, and lush national parks. It may be expensive to travel, but there are plenty of ways to get more for your Yen in a low-cost visit. You will be in safe hands whatever transport or food options you choose. Just don’t delay or put off your trips entirely for fear of cost, as Japan is the most efficient travel option in the world. So enjoy scenic views, lovely people and delicious food!