How to Survive in Japan if you are on a Tight Budget

Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Many people would like to visit the island and experience what it has to offer. Home to sushi, Japan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. The majority of us want to visit the Asian nation but fail to do so due to a lack of adequate financing.

In this article, we take that out of the way and show you several ways to visit and have a great time even if you are on a tight budget. The size of your budget should not always determine where you go and what you do. Here is your comprehensive guide on how to enjoy the best of what this destination offers whilst keeping your expenses to a minimum.

Carefully Choose Your Travel Period

One of the best and easiest ways to save is to plan your trip when the tourist season is off-peak. This comes with several advantages and discounts. You know that prices are mostly determined by demand. This means that you will get discounted airfares quite easily.

During the off-peak season, most hotel rooms will be available, and the only way they can attract more guests is to reduce their prices. If you are going to be staying for longer, you can go for cheaper accommodation options (discussed below). You also get to visit some of the tourist and heritage sites at a lower cost.

Book into Cheaper Accommodation

You have many accommodation options to choose from— go for hostels, capsule hotels, overnight buses, dorm beds, or Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is free but it is not very common. It is better to rule it out in the beginning and only consider it a bonus if you find a Couchsurfing place.

One of your safest bets may be a hostel although it is not the cheapest accommodation you can find. Fortunately, hostels allow you to save a lot—they have kitchens in them and allow you to prepare your own food. This goes a long way in saving from eating out.

If you are a lone ranger, you can book dorm beds. This way, you can make new friends and still save a lot. The trade-off is that you need to be comfortable with sharing a living space.

Wi-Fi and Internet Connection

For all its technological glory and advancement, Japan still lags behind when it comes to providing free Wi-Fi to the public. The internet connection is great as you would expect but you won’t find free Wi-Fi in many areas even in major cities like Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo. Use a tourist pocket Wi-Fi in Kyoto or any of these cities to connect to your mobile device and send some of your favorite pictures to your family and friends.

Go for Freebies

Free things still exist in Asia’s technological power hub and they are meant to benefit both locals and tourists. The purpose of touring a country is to experience its tradition, culture, food, sites, and more. There are certain days when you can visit museums and other sites for free or at a discounted rate. Plan your tours around these days. You can also attend free tour guides organized by the local people.

Japan’s breweries also organize free refinery tours and beer tasting. This is your opportunity to enjoy the different kinds of beer that the nation has to offer without forking out a cent. You are also sure to meet other people who share the same interest as you—free beer.

Street Food

Don’t look down on the food because it’s sold on the street. Street food is not only affordable but it actually gives you a true Japanese experience. Restaurants are good but they are slightly exaggerated—they don’t give you that connection with the life of ordinary people. Street food is cheap and light, allowing you to taste several dishes the country has to offer.

Walk Around

If you are physically strong and can walk for long hours on end, this could be a very practical way of saving money while enjoying the life of the natives to the fullest. Walking allows you to experience and see things that you wouldn’t if you used other forms of transport. You’ll get to meet new people and make friends.

You will also discover a lot about the culture and way of life. The purpose of visiting a country should also put an emphasis on experiencing its life from the perspective of a common man. Walking allows you to do that.

Gifts and Souvenirs

There is no better way to remember a place than to buy souvenirs. You may also be tempted to buy your loved ones at home some Japanese gifts such as small kitchenware. They don’t have to be expensive at all. The best places to buy inexpensive gifts and souvenirs are the 100 Yen shops spread all across Japan. These shops are very cheap and contain some useful items that will forever remind you of your time in Japan.

Partying and Eating Out

The local people enjoy partying as well. This is a great way of meeting new faces and mingling with the locals. However, you need to be careful as it can turn out to be costly. Eating out is also expensive. The best way to eat out and save is to go to cheaper restaurants and coffee shops.

Japan is a very interesting destination—with so many places to visit, people to meet, food to taste, and culture to embrace. Money should not stand in your way when you want to have an unforgettable and memorable Japanese experience. There are many ways that you can use to minimize the costs and maximize the pleasure and thrill of being in Asia’s best.
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