Pro Tips on How to Enjoy Traveling Japan on a Budget
Traveling to Japan is a different experience compared to other places in Asia or anywhere in the world. Some places can tend to be intimidating for a gaijin or a foreigner. Just imagine yourself faced with a menu written in kanji and you don’t have a clue how to speak or read. Or imagine yourself getting lost somewhere because you couldn’t figure out Tokyo’s complicated transit system?
Another thing that can be intimidating about Japan is that it is known for being an expensive country to live in. The nationwide average rent in Japan, not including the utilities, is around 50,000 to 70,000 ($472 to $661) yen for a 20-40 square meter apartment. This gets worse in Tokyo neighborhoods since the rent usually starts at 100,000 yen ($944). The cost of living in Japan is 20.9% higher than in the United States.
For a traveler going to Japan, is it possible to enjoy Japan even if you don’t have a big budget? Here are a few tips that can come in handy.
Buy Your Pocket WiFi Before Hand
One of the things you don’t want to forget when you travel to Japan as a tourist is a pocket WiFi. You can save a lot of money by having a pocket WiFi because you have the power to connect online and see the cheapest transportation options. You get to know how much does it cost to ride the bullet train compared to a regular train.
Between a pocket WiFi and a SIM, a pocket WiFi is a good option especially if you are traveling as a group. You can connect up to 20 devices with just one pocket WiFi.
Stay in Vacation Rentals
Another way to save money is to stay in a vacation rental instead of a hotel. The average cost of staying in a hotel per night is $100 or more. Expect this to go higher if you are planning to travel to Tokyo. With Airbnb, you can stay in a vacation rental for as little as $50/night. You can even have it cheaper if you opt to have a roommate.
Buy the Unlimited Train Passes Early
One of the things that make Japan different is the fact that the country is connected by trains. If you will look at this price guide, you’ll notice that it can get expensive if you pay for every time you ride the train. Good thing that Japan allowed tourists to get unlimited passes for subways and other train lines. If you are planning to visit a lot of places for 2 weeks, these unlimited passes can help you save a good amount of money.
Combini is Your Friend
Combini or convenience stores are popular in Japan. You get to find them everywhere. And one of the most unique things about Japan’s convenience store such as Family Mart and 7-11 is the availability of delicious Japanese meals. These are cheaper than eating out in a restaurant every time.
If you are worried about your budget going to Japan, these are some of the tips that can come in handy. And also, be sure not to visit during Spring because a lot of people go to Japan to see the Sakura trees during this time.
All said and done, travelling to Japan can fit all budget sizes along with providing a wholesome experience. It just takes a bit of smart planning and knowing a few things that can make travel literally a walk in the breeze in this gorgeous country. If you have been to the land of cherry blossoms and the land of the rising Sun and have managed to survive on a shoestring budget, we would love to know how. Leave your comments below.