How to Travel in Japan on a Budget

It is a known fact that having a trip in Japan isn’t exactly what you would call cheap, but still there are some things you could do to decrease your expenses. These could be referring to accommodation, car rental, guides, parking fees, meals, souvenirs, attractions and finding free things.


You might have heard that accommodation is expensive in Japan, but still you can find some good deals. Consider staying at hostels or business hotels, or even spending the night at the capsule hotel. The love motels offer a nice place to sleep and usually they are pretty affordable. You can rent them for the night or for a few hours.

There are special Japanese inns owned by families, known as minshuku and these are quite cheap, not to mention that you could also get a meal or two. Another advantage is that you can see the traditional Japanese lifestyle for yourself.

Car rental

This is affordable and economical if you would like to reach more remote locations and if you are traveling with other people. The car rental agency of the country offers great deals and they also offer support in English.


Some other things that you could do is to look for coupons on the internet but keep in mind that you need an international driving permit in order to be allowed to drive in the country. Remember that while the rental may be cheap, the gas prices and the toll fees could increase the costs.


To find a cheap guide you should look for goodwill guides. They are volunteers who offer to show tourists around their own city or town. Keep in mind that most probably you will have to pay the entrance fees and you should buy lunch for your guide.

Parking fees and taxis

To save some money you should avoid taking the taxi and paying parking fees. Instead you should be using public transportation or travel by foot. If you choose public transportation, it might be better to get a day pass instead of buying single tickets.


If you would like to try the traditional foods of the country but you don’t want them to be expensive, make sure that you avoid the fancy restaurants. Buy food from supermarkets, food courts of the department stores, convenience stores and smaller restaurants that are owned by a Japanese family.


Most probably you would like to take home with you some items from your trip, and for this you should take into consideration the flea markets and the 100-yen stores. Stay away from the high-end department stores at all costs.

Tourist attractions

Although you would like to see the entire country, in case you are on a budget, you should choose a few attractions that you are really interested in, and pass on the rest.


There are many things to enjoy for free in Japan. You could be window shopping and you could also visit gardens and parks.


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