Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

by Steffani - TripleLights travel specialist

Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

Tokyo is surely not something to be missed when you travel to Japan. The largest metropolitan city in the world is breathtakingly stunning with its combination of modern and traditional elements, from its bustling city lights to its historical traditional shrines. Yet, Tokyo is famously known to be an expensive travel destination. Worry not, because here we’ll explain how to enjoy the most out of Tokyo without breaking your bank account. Tokyo might be expensive, but it can be an affordable trip.

 

Accommodation

1. Hostel Dormitory

If you will be traveling in a group and do not want to spend a ton of money on accommodation, staying at a hostel dormitory might be the best solution. The room is shared that could fit 4 to 8 persons with bunk beds. Toilet and washroom are also shared with other guests. You surely don’t need to worry about cleanliness as most Japanese hostels are usually clean. They also usually offer free Wi-Fi, shared lounge to relax in, basic amenities, and other facilities you could comfortably use. However, If you are a solo traveler and in need of privacy this might not be the best option for you.

 

Planetyze Hostel 

https://planetyzehostel.com/en

map 

K's House Quality Hostel 

https://kshouse.jp/index_e.html

map 

Khaosan Tokyo 

http://khaosan-tokyo.com/en/

Khaosan World Ryokan&Hostel 

Khaosan Tokyo Samurai 

Khaosan World Ryogoku Hostel 

Khaosan Tokyo Laboratory 

Khaosan Tokyo Origami 

Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki 


2. Economy Hotels

Known as Khanshuku in Japanese, meaning simple accommodation, this type of hostel is a little bit different as they offer tatami mats and futon. It is a great way to experience the traditional Japanese culture of sleeping on the floor with a futon in a cheap way without spending extra bucks for Ryokan.

 

Price : ¥2000 - ¥6000 ($18 - $55) per night/person 

 

Backpacker's Hotel New Koyo 

http://www.newkoyo.com

map 

 

3. Capsule Hotels

If you are traveling alone or with a small group (and not a claustrophobic) staying at a capsule hotel will be an unforgettable experience. Rather than a room, you will be sleeping inside a pod with only the size of a single bed. In your own pod, you will have your own TV, radio, alarm clock, reading light, charger socket, and obviously your own bed. Basic facilities such as locker room, toilet, washroom, and lounge are shared. Other facilities like onsen, restaurant, vending machines, massage services, manga library are sometimes provided too. Sounds like a good bargain right?

 

Price: ¥2000 - ¥6000 ($18 - $55) per night/person 

 

Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku 

https://www.anshin-oyado.jp/english/

map 

 

4. Airbnb

Lately, Airbnb is also becoming more popular among tourists seeking cheaper accommodation other than hotels in Tokyo. It offers you a wide variety of accommodations that you can choose with affordable prices. You can rent a single room for yourself sharing houses with the host and you can even rent out the whole apartment for your group.

 

Some things for you to consider:

  • It may cost more for a solo traveler
  • The hosts are mostly Japanese, providing their own property for rent. Any inquiries about the room will be directed to them and some of them may or may not speak English.
  • Location. Sometimes the place might be located a bit far from the nearest train station. And some places are even far from tourist attractions.
  • Additional charges such as cleaning fees.

 

Price: Depends on the type of accommodations.

 

Transportation

Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

Train & Subway

In Tokyo, public train is the main transportation to get around the city. It’s convenient, clean, on-time and of course, they can be a little bit pricey. If you want to save your budget, try not to change lines / train operators often on a single journey. Also, plan your trip well. In a day, explore places that are near to each other. For example, Ikebukuro-Shinjuku- Shibuya-Harajuku-Ebisu are near to each other and they all are in one line which is the JR Yamanote Line.

 

Shinkansen / Bullet Train

Shinkansen is very convenient to travel to other parts of Japan as they are known for its comfort, punctuality, safety, and time-saving journey. However, it is not cost-effective. If you are only planning to visit Tokyo, then you don’t need to ride the Shinkansen. But if you are going to other cities in Japan, try looking up for budget airlines. Sometimes they can offer you a cheaper rate than the Shinkansen. Another cheaper option is the overnight bus. You could save both the accommodation cost and the shinkansen cost with this. But, they take longer times and take more of your energy, especially if you can’t sleep inside the bus.

 

Taxi 

Do not ever ride in a taxi if you are on a budget. Taxi fares in Tokyo are disturbingly super-expensive. People usually take  a taxi if they missed the last train or they are carrying heavy things that they'd rather not to take the train. So, important note while travelling in Tokyo: don't miss the last train, or else you will have no choice but to pay extra bucks if you don't want to be stranded on the street. 

 

Food 

Everyone loves to eat and hates to spend money on it, especially if they are expensive. Tokyo has some of the best food in the world, and has the most Michelin-starred restaurants some of which are surely very costly. If you do not want to spend much on food but still want to eat delicious Japanese food then we got you covered.

 

1. Japanese Fast Food

Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

Yoshinoya, Sukiya, Matsuya are the 3 main Japanese fast food restaurants selling mainly gyudon (beef bowl) and other varieties. They can be found literally anywhere across the city, open for 24 hours, and the best of it, they are cheap. The average cost for a medium size gyudon is around ¥400 / $3.5 and around ¥500 / $4.5 for large size. Other than gyudon, you could also have a tempura bowl in Tenya for only ¥500 / $4.5. Also, if you want to try out tonkatsu or katsudon, Katsuya sells them with a range of price from ¥500 - ¥800.

 

2. Sushi

Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

The high-end sushi restaurants, where the itamae (sushi master) makes the sushi in front of your eyes, not in your budget? Don't worry, you can still eat oishii (delicious) sushi for cheap! If you are a big fan of cheap delicious sushi, then the conveyor belt sushi restaurant / kaintenzushi is your best friend. They have many types of ¥100 / $1 sushi plates and other sushi that costs more than ¥100 but are still cheap! The famous restaurants are Genki Sushi, Sushi Ro, and Kura Sushi.

 

3. Udon / Soba

Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle, while soba is a thin buckwheat flour noodle. Both can be served hot or cold, either way, they are delicious and cheap. One bowl could cost from ¥300 - ¥500 / $3-$5. Hanamaru Udon and Marugame Seimen are the all-time favorite.


4. Supermarket/ Convenience Store Pre-Made Food

Japanese supermarket and convenience stores sell cheap pre-made foods such as; bento, donburi onigiri, sandwich, side dishes, dessert, yakitori, tempura. You could even get a discount or a half price at night when the supermarket is almost closed.

 

Souvenirs

Tokyo Travel Costs : How To Be A Cheapo in Tokyo

The best affordable place to buy souvenirs for yourself, friends and relatives is Don Quijote. You can find literally everything you need in this souvenir-heaven shop from snacks, food, toys, skin care, make-up, to used-branded goods. The store has so many products in there that sometimes it’s hard to move around inside especially during peak hours. Another place to buy cheap souvenirs and Japanese goods is the 100-yen store. Daiso, Can Do, and Seria are the most famous and can be found easily.

 

That's it for our tips on how to be a cheapo in Tokyo. If you have further questions or if you want to know more information about Tokyo or Japan, feel free to ask one of our guides. They will be happy to help you out and answer all your questions. 

 

Are you in the middle of planning your trip to Japan? Are you worried about the language difficulties when you arrive in Japan or are you having a hard time planning it all on your own? Each year Japan receives millions of tourists from all over the world, yet English is still not widely spoken. Also, travelling in Japan will require you to use the public transportation, especially the public train. Many foreigners are having difficulties with the train system in Japan because they are not familiar with it and because they don't understand the language. Worry not, because we are here to help you have the most memorable time in Japan. 

 

At TripleLights we provide professional guides and tours to customers based on your preferences and convenience. In our website, you can find various tours carefully planned to meet your interest and if you can’t choose one, you can also request a tour. Our guides then will plan it just for you and you only. 

 

If you are interested to have a private tour in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan with our local guides, click here. We have experienced guides that would satisfy all your needs with high standards of hospitality to help you explore the most out of Japan. Please visit our website for more information and other useful tips about travelling in Japan.

 

Recommended Blogs: 

Tokyo 3-day travel - Where to go, what to do

7 days in Tokyo - What to do, where to go, itinerary ideas and more

Japan Travel - 7 Days Itinerary Around Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

 

Need help planning your trip to 東京 ?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to 東京, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for 東京


Plan your trip to 東京

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in 東京

“ A great day in Tokyo with Yuki! ”

非常棒
1 hour ago Traveler: Marcia -   Tour Guide: Yuki

Yuki was a wonderful and very knowledgeable guide. He was on time, spoke great English and is very polite and fun. He was very accommodating to our schedule, showed us the ropes with public transportation; took us to a great place for lunch and even hunted down a very special item we were looking for. Thank you Yuki!
read more

“ Thank you for Tokyo! ”

非常棒
2 hours ago Traveler: Kim -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

Dear Akira, Firstly, excuse Mark for all his questions. He is a very curious man, but you manage to answer his questions all just fine :D. Akira, you are our perfect guide. You introduces us the way of Tokyo and showed us places where we would never knew or how to go as a tourist. Eating tonkatsu in a local restaurant was the best experience ever!! You have no idea how much you made us ...
read more

“ Tokyo Highlights ”

很好
11 hours ago Traveler: Asha -   Tour Guide: Eiko

I thoroughly enjoyed my day your of the highlights of Tokyo with Eiko! It was the first day of my trip and was a great start for my adventure. Eiko was very flexible with the schedule and provided on the go suggestions. She gave insights into Japanese culture and an introduction on who to navigating the city's transportation. She was very nice to spend the day with.
read more

“ Great guide and heart of a teacher ”

非常棒
15 hours ago Traveler: Carolyn -   Tour Guide: Mitsuru

Mitsu was a very agreeable guide, anxious to make sure we saw what we were interested in seeing. We were going to Nikko one day and had a day in Tokyo by ourselves. He spent a lot of time making sure we were comfortable traveling by ourselves. Highly recommend!
read more

“ An Amazing Day in Tokyo ”

很好
17 hours ago Traveler: ABHAY -   Tour Guide: Fumiko

We had an amazing day with Fumiko in Tokyo. She is very good English speaking guide with in depth knowledge. We traveled with her in public transport and it was a very good experience. She took us around Tokyo smartly within the available time. The Kabuki show was excellent. Thanks to her for making advance arrangements for the same as well as travel. The day was memorable. Will strongly recommen...
read more

“ Japanese last and present ”

很好
1 day ago Traveler: Julia -   Tour Guide: MAYUMI

If you want to learn about Japanese history and present time Mayumi is the right choice. We asked her many questions about traditions and rules..we learned a lot about history of this great country. But be ready to walk fast and follow her closely 😉..
read more

“ Fabulous guide and wonderful day ”

非常棒
1 day ago Traveler: Roxanne -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

I spent my first day in Tokyo with Toshihiro. He is so knowledgeable, informative and kind. Really knows his way sround so we covered a lot of territory. He took the time to customize an itinerary for me and made sure that everything ran smoothly. And he taught me a lot. Thoroughly enjoyed it all. I would highly recommend Toshihiro to anyone and feel lucky that I toured with him.
read more

“ Canadians 1st Japan visit ”

非常棒
1 day ago Traveler: Philip -   Tour Guide: Junko

Excellent tour of Tokyo incorporating both old and new points of interests. I would highly recommend Junko.
read more

“ Busy two days seeing highlights of Tokyo ”

非常棒
1 day ago Traveler: Lynne -   Tour Guide: Kaori

My husband and daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed spending two days in Tokyo with Kaori, who was extremely pleasant, agreeable, low key and helpful. We had an ambitious agenda but Kaori got us smoothly around town by foot and transit and helped us get our bullet train tickets for later travel. She had learned about the opening of an observation tower near Shabuya crossing and suggested we modify ...
read more

“ Very good experience ”

非常棒
1 day ago Traveler: Charles -   Tour Guide: Shoji

Our first time in Japan.. Shoji has an easy going communication style through which he provided historical information and cultural nuances about the sites we visited. Based on our food preference he took us to a wonderful resturant that enhanced our Japanese experience. Shoji provides a high quality experience.. We highly recommend his services.
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to 東京

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started