Japan is an amazing country in which there is a place for those who love antiquity and modernity. A trip to Japan can cost quite a lot, but with proper planning, you can avoid spending a lot of money and enjoy the trip.
Plan your trip in advance
One of the best trips to battle a midlife crisis in men is to see the world. A plane ticket costs a lot of money, but its cost becomes significantly lower when booking for several months. Tickets are most expensive in April and May, and in March and in the rainy season (June), tickets will cost half the price. Compare prices for flights with landing at Narita and Kansai airports – they differ.
Buy a special rail pass
This pass is available only to people with a tourist visa and should be bought before arriving in Japan. Such a travel card implies an unlimited number of trips by rail for one, two or three weeks. A weekly pass costs about $300-350 for ordinary carriage and $450-500 for green carriage. A green carriage is a luxury wagon, but the difference between these two types of wagons is small, and it will be convenient for you to sit in an ordinary carriage.
Rent a bike
This can be done at almost any railway station, and rent costs about $15-20. If you want to see the whole city, traveling by bicycle will be cheaper and more convenient than by bus or metro. However, if you find yourself in Japan in the rainy season, it is better to forget about the bike in favor of public transport, but you can also buy an inexpensive raincoat and rubber boots.
Take along a good guide to Japan
A guide will tell you where to find the right accommodation in the city you want to see. The guide will show the average prices, which will allow you to see all the low-cost options. Besides, in such a book you will also find information about popular restaurants, attractions, and other interesting places. Remember that housing in Japan is of two types – Western and traditional. Spend at least one night in a hotel decorated in a traditional style (ryokan) – this will allow you to plunge into the atmosphere of real Japan, even at a higher price in comparison with ordinary hotels. The room rate in such a hotel usually includes breakfast and lunch. If you decide to stay in a traditional hotel, follow all the Japanese rituals, otherwise, you may offend the owners.
Try staying at a capsule hotel or internet cafe
This option is suitable for those who travel alone or with a small group of thrifty people. Capsule hotels were invented for Japanese businessmen who needed to spend the night somewhere until the first-morning train if they didn’t have time for the last evening train home. All you have is a long cell with a mattress, but such housing is very cheap. To get into the capsule, you need to move the door, and there is no room inside to sit or stand upright.
Stay at a hostel
In Japan, there are a lot of hostels for young people, and all of them are suitable for tourists who are short of money. The disadvantage of hostels is usually their location: as a rule, they are located in remote places. So you have to spend more money on travel, but it will be cheaper in any case than living in a more expensive hotel.
Buy food at grocery stores
A large number of various intermediate goods are sold in stores, which will cost less than a trip to a cafe.
Try out Japanese vending machines
They are almost everywhere, and they can buy both food and drinks: snacks, green tea, coffee, beer, and more.
Check out familiar fast-food restaurant chains
In Japan, there are McDonald’s and other well-known networks. Stop at Mosburger, a Japanese chain of hamburger fast-food restaurants.
Do not buy alcohol or clothing
You have probably heard that everything is expensive in Japan, but if you decide not to buy clothes and alcohol, you will see that the prices for everything else are quite acceptable. However, in Japan, you should definitely try sake. Just don’t go to the bars every night.
Make a list of free or cheap entertainment
There are many ways to get to know Japan without spending a lot of money on it. Here are some suggestions:
Visit Akihabara in Tokyo. This area will surprise you with new products in the field of consumer electronics, and even a superficial acquaintance with this world will be enough for you to leave with lots of great memories. Visit the beaches of Japan. There are beaches both on mainland Japan and on the islands of Okinawa. With good weather, the beach is a great place to relax. Take time to see the beautiful architecture. Find out which festivals take place in Japan during your visit. The festival will make an indelible impression on you and will become one of the most vivid memories from your trip. Visit temples and monasteries. Visit Japanese gardens.