The lure of tourists flocking to Japan isn’t showing any signs of slowing down with a record level of over 30 million visitors exploring the country in 2018, according to the Japanese Government. If you’re planning to go to Japan but are concerned you don’t have enough money to cover the costs of the trip, then don’t despair, there are many ways to save money for your travels and enjoy your vacation without it breaking the bank. With its breathtaking natural beauty, amazing cultural attractions and delicious cuisine, Japan offers the tourist a range of budget-friendly options to make the most of your trip.
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Where to eat and drink
Exploring Japan on a shoestring means ensuring that you save money on every aspect of your holiday, which means not spending a large chunk of your budget on food and drink. You won’t be disappointed with the varied selection of Japanese cuisine options which range in prices according to the type of restaurant and what time you eat out. However, for extreme budgets, try a Button Restaurant where you can order and pay for a meal using a vending machine before it is served at your table. Alternatively, eat out at a ‘Kaiten’ or conveyor belt sushi eatery and order your food with an iPad before it gets delivered to your table on a conveyor belt. For drinking on the cheap, check out dive bars and konbinis which can be found in city districts or experience nomihodai for some hardcore drinking madness.
Where to sleep
While Japan’s hostels may not be as affordable as Vietnam or Thailand, they are substantially cheaper than booking a room in a hotel. Room rates can vary according to where you stay in Japan but the good news is that they are extremely clean and have good facilities such as kitchens for the frugal traveler. If you’re not fussy about sharing a bathroom or not having a kitchen to cook food, try sleeping in one of the many Capsule Hotels where essentially, you are simply paying for a bed and shower although there can be other amenities such as a television within the walls of a tiny room. As with most accommodation options, try and book well in advance to secure a cheaper deal and bear in mind they also tend to get booked up fast.
Where to be cultured
Along with discount cards for popular tourist attractions being available to the visiting foreigner, exploring Japanese temples are also a money-saving choice to immerse yourself into Japanese culture. Located in most municipalities, they often have no entrance fees so you’re free to learn more about sacred Buddhist collections, customs and etiquette in Japanese temples or shrines. Other possibilities include walking around some striking architecture, relaxing in a park, shopping in markets or taking a walking tour, the latter of which can be found in bigger urban areas such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Shibuya, and Higashiyama.
Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, you don’t have to spend a small fortune exploring Japan. Just as long as you make wise choices and are flexible with your plans, you’re sure to have a great time on your travels.
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