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Travel

Travel Cheaper

Japan isn’t a cheap country, but there are things you could do to make your trip less expensive. Not cheap as other Asian countries, but affordable.

WORK AWAY

A great way to travel cheap! It’s also good for meeting locals and experiencing things that you wouldn’t normally get to experience on a regular trip. Check the link bellow for more info, but basically you get free housing for various kinds of work. I heard about it from a friend and have yet to try it, but planning on doing so in the summer time.

https://www.workaway.info/

FOOD

Prepare snacks to eat during the day. Find a local supermarket where you can buy things like fruit, vegetables and anything else you want. When traveling in Okayama, I ate only my dinner at restaurants. I had sandwiches, bananas, and even small bags of coffee for the morning time. Organizing your snacks/light meals for the day is a major money savor.

Speaking of coffee, small sized black coffee at almost any convenient store costs around 100 yen. If you have to drink your coffee but don’t want to spend money in coffee shops every morning, it’s a great way to save some cash. That being said, I have (almost) no standards in coffee, coffee is coffee and as long as it’s coffee, I’m in. So if you do have higher standards, maybe you will not like the convenient store coffee. Convenient stores are also a good place for snacks, or even light lunch/dinner.

For many, food is probably one of the main attractions in Japan, so eating cheap sandwiches to save money isn’t a fun choice. There are, as I already said, cheap restaurants. For example, Kaiten Sushi (rotating sushi), where sushi plates go around on a conveyor belt and the costumer can choose which plate he wants. The color of the plate marks the price, and many of these restaurants have a screen where you can order a specific dish, as well as taking the plates you want from the conveyor belt.

NIGHT BUSES

You can find cheap buses, instead of taking the more expansive shinkansen (fast train). Google maps will not show you this option, and you have to google it yourself. For example, a night bus from Kyoto to Tokyo takes about 8 hours, and the price range is between 5,800 to 12,000 yen. I took a 6,000 yen bus, was a nightmare for me since I can’t sleep on public transportation, but it’s not really that bad. Some buses have restrooms, some stop every couple of hours for a short break. I do think that taking the more expensive buses, which cost almost as much as the fast train, is pointless. It’s important to make a reservation in advance. Here are links to a couple of websites that might help you:

http://willerexpress.com/en/

https://www.kosokubus.com/en

It’s not only night buses, there are also buses for shorter destinations. 

HOSTELS

I just came back from Tokyo, where I paid 8,000 yen for 3 nights in a hostel near Ueno park. Cheap, clean, comfortable. Not all hostels are like that, but it’s rarely very bad. Don’t be afraid of hostels! It can make your trip much cheaper. Important thing is to make sure that your hostel is in a good location.

PICK THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOUR TRIP

I will write about this issue in a separate post, as I often hear people asking about the best seasons to come to Japan. Bottom line is that traveling in less touristic seasons is a good choice, in my humble opinion. Everything is less expensive, less crowded, and just as awesome.

SOUVENIRS

One of my favorite things about traveling is buying gifts and souvenirs. Japan is Souvenir paradise, and even though I have a lot of time to wait before I can meet my friends and family back at home, I’ve already bought some souvenirs for them. HANG IN THERE!!! YOUR USELESS PRESENTS ARE COMING!!!

If you have to buy many souvenirs at once, it’s sometimes difficult to do so without accidentally spending a lot of money. If you go to 100 yen stores like famous Daiso, you can find souvenirs and even souvenir food for cheap prices. It’s not bad at all, and they usually have a variety of things to chose from.

 

Hopefully, some of this tips will come into use.

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