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How to Travel in Japan Cheaply

The Land of the Rising Sun doesn’t have to be expensive.

Money management is truly brought into perspective when you start traveling. Japan is a beautiful country but one of the main things that dishearten travelers is how expensive it can become – public transport, hospitality, and restaurants are just a few hefty expenses that crop up.

That said, if you take onboard some of our advice on how to travel in Japan cheaply and you plan things out, you could find yourself traveling more of the country than you first expected. You could find yourself relaxing in a cozy accommodation around the best neighborhoods in Tokyo and still have enough money to burn.

Choose Hostels Over Hotels

This somewhat generic piece of traveling advice can go a long way in countries like Japan. As glamorous as hotels are they are one of the biggest financial burdens for travelers, so instead consider booking into a hostel.

Because you can also share a room with other people or hang out in the common areas, hostels can make it easier for you to meet new friends or travelers from different countries. You can exchange travel tips and stories and perhaps do something fun together. Hostels may also offer tours and let you know about local cultural activities you can participate in.

Keep in mind that you won’t spend a lot of time at the hotel anyway due to the fact that you’ll be out and about enjoying the landmarks and culture. Hostels might not be luxurious, but they are most definitely clean and safe since the Japanese pride themselves on cleanliness and security. Hostels are budget-friendly and offer nothing more than you’ll need whilst you stay there.

Bullet Trains Look Cool, But They’re Not Cheap

Trains are the fastest way to get around in Japan but they’re nowhere near cheap. Bullet trains are definitely the most efficient form of public transport in Japan but when you’re on a budget, they should be avoided.

If you prefer taking a train then get your hands on a Japan Rail Pass. Compared to purchasing a ticket every time you plan on boarding a train, it’s a lot cheaper to use this pass.

The Japan Rail Pass can be used in various transportation options throughout Japan, including Shinkansen trains. You may also use it on buses and ferries. It’s available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day duration. It’s the most convenient and cost-effective way to tour the country for a budget-conscious traveler.

Look Out for Travel Deals

Much like finding accommodation, flights can push your budget to the limit. Given that Japan is an island, there’s not another way for you to get there. Unless traveling to a spur of the moment decision, browse online and see if you can find yourself a last-minute holiday package or flight to Japan.

Now is your chance to use your collected miles and credit card rewards. Also, check out travel apps because they might be giving special exclusive discounts. It wouldn’t be so bad to check budget airlines either. Low-cost airlines have a lot to offer on top of their cheap rates.

Public Transport Isn’t Always Necessary

You might be surprised to hear that you can enjoy a lot of the Japanese culture without paying for public transport. If you’re well enough to walk then it’s a win-win! Not only will you minimise your spending on public transport, but you can experience much more of what Japan has to offer.
There are plenty of reasonably priced food stands and restaurants to choose from, endless hours can be spent exploring markets, and you can generally get a better appreciation for the country. Many Japanese cities can be explored on foot, so this is definitely a great way to cut down on spending.


Remember that traveling doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. When you look back on your experience it shouldn’t be learning how to travel in Japan cheaply that you remember, anything but. Visiting landmarks, eating traditional Japanese food, taking in the culture – these are the things that should come to mind.

Take control of your money and before you know it you’ll have a mouthful of sushi and a packed photo album to look back on and remember your visit.


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