Despite popular belief, Japan’s not actually an especially expensive destination to travel to—especially when compared with some places in Europe. While your money will definitely go further if you happen to choose a time when the exchange rate is good, if you’re careful with your money, you most likely won’t need to break into your savings account to finance your holiday.
Still, here are a few quick tips to save you some money if you do plan to travel to Japan. First, plan your travel during an off-peak time. Not only will you be able to score cheaper flights, but you’ll probably be able to get cheaper rates on hotels and other accommodation, too. If you are worried about accommodation prices—don’t be. The backpacker hostels I visited in Japan were not only cheap, but they were actually quite clean and pleasant, too. I would certainly recommend staying in one if you want to save a bit of cash.
Purchase a JR ticket before traveling to Japan. JR tickets let foreigners travel cheaply on the Japan Rail network—including the Shinkansen (bullet trains). If you plan to travel between cities, this can work out to save you quite a bit of money.
Food prices vary, but are generally quite affordable. If you’re on a strict budget, try picking up some onigiri at your local convenience store, and shopping late at night at the supermarkets beneath the train stations. You’ll find that all of the bento boxes are marked down late at night, meaning that you’ll get a cheap meal that’s not bad to boot. You can also silence that rumbly tummy by heading down to a market or any of the tourist shops—there are heaps of cheap snacks and freebies to fill yourself up on.
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