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Goin’ Japanesque!

5 Best Ways to Save Your Money While Traveling in Japan!

Traveling in Japan can be very expensive sometimes, especially if you visit the country during the high seasons. Hotels and travel fares can be very expensive, so you’d likely spend more money on these two items. Some people think that foods are expensive in Japan, but actually they are not that expensive at all. Japan has a certain standard price and quality for foods, so you shouldn’t save your money by limiting the food budget. You should actually limit your budget for lodging and travel fares instead.

I’ve listed up few things you could do to spend less money on lodging and travel fares, so you won’t have to sacrifice your appetite for foods in Japan at all! Title Photo by flickr


1. Buy JR Pass!

Photo by flickr

If you plan on traveling all over Japan mostly with the bullet trains, then you should definitely buy the JR Pass. By purchasing this pass, you can enjoy free rides on the bullet trains (except for NOZOMI & MIZUHO) and all JR trains.

The pass are available for three different validity periods, which are: 7-day (JPY 29,110 for adults and JPY 14,550 for children), 14-day (JPY 46,390 for adults and JPY 23,190 for children), and 21-day (JPY 59,350 for adults and JPY 29,670 for children). All of the prices mentioned are for the regular coaches, so you have to pay more if you want to sit on the VIP (green) coaches.

The average price of a round trip fare is around JPY 20,000, so this pass is a great alternative if you plan on travelling to two or three different regions in Japan with the bullet trains!

Purchase in USD, EUR, GBP, JPY…


2. Stay at the Hostels!

Photo by flickr

Business hotels and Airbnb can be very expensive during the high seasons, so instead of staying at these places, why don’t you stay at the hostels? The rate per night varies depending on the hostels, but most hostels offer reasonable price (from JPY 2,000 to JPY 6,000).

There are a lot of hostels in Japan; some are good, and some are bad. I strongly recommend you to read the reviews and the comments carefully beforehand. Most hostels in Japan are clean, well-staffed, and quiet, but some of them might be a little bit dirty, have early curfews, or are very far away from the tourist sites.

Staying at the hostels is pretty fun actually, as you will get the opportunities to meet new people from all around the world. Some hostels also accept Japanese guests as well, so you might get a new Japanese friend by staying at the hostels. We have listed few hostels in Okayama for you to stay, and if you want more information about hostels in Japan, you can visit this page as well!


3. Use Seishun 18 Kippu!

Photo by flickr

If you’re traveling in Japan with a very low budget, but have the chance to stay for a longer period, then Seishun 18 kippu might be the best alternative for you to go around Japan. With this ticket, you will get unlimited free rides for one day on the local and rapid JR Lines, JR buses, and JR West Miyajima Ferry only for JPY 2,370.

It’s very inexpensive right? Yes, because this ticket is only sold seasonally (spring, summer, and winter), and you can’t use this ticket on the bullet trains and reserved seats. You can buy this ticket for JPY 11,850 for 5 tickets, and you can use them for 5 days. The validity period of the tickets is one month, and you can use these tickets on different days as well.

Please refer to this page if you need more detailed information related to this ticket!


4. Stay at the Capsule Hotel!

Photo by flickr

If you don’t mind sleeping in a narrow space and you’re not too tall, then a capsule hotel might be the cheapest accommodation alternative for you. 

Just like the normal hotels, you will have everything in your capsule: TV, radio, alarm clock, reading light, & a single bed. Most capsule hotels use curtains or little doors to protect your privacy and safety. There are many ladies capsule hotels these days, so women can stay at the capsule hotel safely as well.

You can find capsule hotels near the train stations, and the rate per night is around JPY 2,000 to JPY 5,000. For more information about capsule hotels in Tokyo, please refer to this page.


5. Use Overnight Buses!

Photo by flickr

Use the overnight buses, and you can save more money on both lodging and travel fares. (Bus information is on this page.) This works very well if you are a type of person who can sleep anywhere. The price of ticket varies depending on the routes, but most likely it would be around JPY 2,500 to JPY 11,000 (one way). You just have to hop on the bus, sleep, and wake up in the morning reaching your destination!
(Information on free sightseeing bus rides are here.)
(Here is information on the biggest bus terminal in Shiinjuku.)



Saving your money while traveling in Japan can be difficult, as the hotels and the domestic travel fares in Japan can be very expensive during the high seasons. I have listed few things that you can do to enjoy a budget friendly trip in Japan without limiting your budget for the foods. Try at least one of these tips and have a blast while traveling in Japan!

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About the author

Hello, my name is Katie and I’ve lived in Japan for almost 10 years. You will see many reviews about things in Japan that you will never find in guide books for tourists, and I will take you to see both the prettiest and the ugliest side of Japan!

View all articles by Katie