North America
Central America
South America
Middle East

What to Do in Tokyo When on a Budget



Home of the Imperial Family and capital city of Japan, Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world. With over 12 million people living in the city, Tokyo offers numerous places of interest for tourists. Tokyo combines modern Japan with the historically traditional Japanese culture. As one of the most developed cities of one of the most developed countries in the world, the price of accommodations, food and services is quite high. This guide offers some advice on how to keep your expenses at a minimum while in Tokyo.

Tokyo has one of the most modern and large public transport systems in the world. The central transportation hub of Asia, Tokyo hosts over three international airports, all of them connected with the rest of the city and Japan through a huge railway and subway network. Railway prices are quite affordable compared with European fares. Plus, the subway is extremely clean and efficient along with the surface buses, trams and monorails.

Using a single Rail Pass you can travel all over Japan. The Pass allows you travel on all local rail lines including the famous Shinkansen, one of the few high speed trains in the world. You must remember that the Rail Pass cannot be purchased from Japan; instead you must buy one before entering the country.

In Japan the cheapest stores are 100 Yen Stores. These are like US Dollar Tree stores and offer you any item for just 100 Yen. Visit one of them for souvenirs or small snack refills.

For a good night in the city, one of the best places to visit is an Izekaya establishment. Outside of sake and beer you can enjoy a substantial Japanese meal at a budget price. The Izekayas are the locations where the usually rigid Japanese tend to be more approachable. This is the place where you can make friends and socialize while keeping most of your money in your pockets.

The cheapest way to stay overnight in Tokyo is to get a booking at one of the many capsule hotels. These usually offer minimal comfort at minimal prices. An average overnight price is around 35 US dollars.

If the thought of spending the night in a small capsule does not appeal to you, the next cheapest solution is a business hotel. These offer a little more comfort, but the prices start at 70 US dollars and can go up to 150 USD dollars a night.

Visiting museums in Tokyo is a great way to pass the time while keeping costs down. Entrance to some of these museums is completely free while others have a small admission fee. The museums cover almost all the possible topics from history to science to art.

The local Conveyor belt sushi or kaiten-zushi is similar to a western fast-food restaurant. The food, mainly sushi, travels across the restaurant on different conveyor belts. While sitting at your table you can pick anything that you like from the conveyor and put it on your table. One thing to take watch when dining in a kaiten-zushi is that the belts have different colors, and each color has its own price. Be observant of pricing before eating and try to keep your costs at a minimum.



Related Guides
Guides from Laura M.
8 years, 2 months ago
It's one of the cities on my list I want to visit.


8 years, 2 months ago
Was in Japan back 2005 (for 6 months). I have not tried the shinkansen though and the "capsule hotels" ?Ha!ha! I checked the pictures on the internet and hmmm I should have tried it back then. Looks cool!



Add your comment!