Photo:maurizio mucciola on Flickr

Some Ways of Enjoying Japan at a Lower Cost

If tourists from outside Japan could enjoy their trip at a lower cost, they might acknowledge Japan's high quality for each service and love more Japan. Therefore, I can assume that they would be willing to visit Japan again due to price attractiveness.

For example, in Japan, customers don't pay any tips for service. I myself have stayed in London and Boston. The huge difference is tips and cost performance. Some of my foreigner friends still have the image that Tokyo is tremendously expensive despite tips. The answer is NO. Through past financial stagnation, we have a lot of cheap and nice amusement, which means recent Japan is a bit different compared to 5 years ago in terms of hospitality and service to customers. I currently live and work in the center of Tokyo, so please let me introduce some nice ways to reduce your expenses in Tokyo.

1. Food

Of course, we have numerous fancy restaurants in Tokyo, but in fact, you don’t need to go to luxurious restaurants if you care about your budget. You can still enjoy a casual restaurant, and you'll get a great service from the staff even without any tips.

A. Department stores

Japanese call Depachika the department stores' food area usually located in B1F of department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Isetan or Matsuya. They provide numerous tasty options such as obento (lunch box) or salad for customers. For example, RF1 is one of my favorite stores. When I am too busy to cook due to my job, I often use this store and grab some tasty salad for my dinner. The taste is almost equal to a restaurant’s taste, and of course much better than my cooked food. You can bring your obento in your hotel room, and hold pajama parties with nice food while relaxing at your hotel.

Photo : istolethetv on Flickr

B. Japanese fast and casual food chains

Chains such as Yoshinoya, Matsuya, Sukiya, Otoya and Komoro Soba are cheap and tasty, and they can be found almost everywhere. Especially, I love Komoro Soba since soba noodles are healthier than udon noodles, which component is flour.

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C. Kaiten zushi

Sushi is always a bit expensive as you know, so I would like to recommend Kaiten zushi chains such as Kura Zushi. In a Kaiten zushi restaurant, the chef puts the sushi plates on a revolving counter and you can choose what you want, or ask directly to the chef. These restaurants have often English menus available, and they are usually very cheap.

kaiten zushi
Photo : Rick on Flickr

At any rate, in Japan, there are numerous cheap and tasty shops. Most of the food is tasty, so you don’t need to spend so much money for food since you might very well be satisfied with these casual options.

2. Hotel

Of course, you don’t need to stay at a luxurious hotel. In Tokyo, there are a lot of Capsule Hotels. Capsule Hotel is one of the cheapest ways to stay in Japan, and it's very unique!

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Super Sento is also nice since you may try the huge bath, and in addition get a massage and sleep. Here are my favorites:

A. Laqua
Laqua is nearby Korakuen, which means it's located in the center of Tokyo. Relatively young Japanese people like going there especially after finishing their work on Friday. We go there for relaxation and to take a nap, then the next morning we go home. Website :

B. Ofuro no Osama
Ofuro no Osama which means as King of Bathing is also nice since the location is in Shinagawa area, close to Haneda Airport and Shinagawa Station. Website :


There are numerous Manga Kissa where you can stay in Tokyo. I actually don’t really know why Manga Kissa are so popular, but the reality is that they are very popular with the youth.

Photo : Steve Nagata on Flickr

Sakura House might be another good option since actually my friends stayed here, and they were really satisfied. One of the nice things is that you can use English, and you can make friends here and exchange information because most of tourists are English speakers. Yes, language barrier can be a source of stress. Thus, if you stay there, you won't have this extra stress, and then your energy can be totally used for the next day's sightseeing.

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