Budget Travel to Japan seems impossible for most of us. It’s a common notion that Japan has a high cost of living, thus it’s expensive to travel here. But, The Madaldal Kid was able to prove this wrong. You can travel to Japan with a limited budget and still enjoy its beauty! We only spent 12,000 pesos ($260) for a 4-day trip!
So, here you go- I’m sharing with you my Budget Itinerary for Japan! Go, try it out, or you can even customize it according to your own interests. You can reapply the tips that I’ve shared for my Korea Budget Travel (click here) too! If you have any questions- feel free to comment below so i can help you!
Japan Budget Itinerary by The Madaldal Kid
Note:This excludes airfare and airport fees. Cheapest roundtrip Manila- Narita or Osaka ticket I’ve seen is 4000 (~$100) pesos.
Also, to help you more, I’m sharing with you 5 Budget Travel in Japan Tips that you can use for your upcoming travel!
1. Buy your bento boxes in groceries-especially 6pm onwards, and try Streetfood!
Bento boxes in Japan are one of the cutest things you can ever taste of. A set usually comes with few pieces of sushi, sashimi, and meat ( usually Chicken Karaage or Beef Misono).
It’s usually priced at 300-500 yen. BUT, if you buy 6pm onwards, these products are usually on sale ! (~50%). Reason is that Japanese people really want fresh food so they put it on sale at night.You can also check some of the streetfood options while in Japan. They are all tasty!
2. Have your Udon fix at express noodle shops
Express Noodle Shops are small stores selling udon. They usually have a vending machine as a counter/cashier where you will purchase your order, then you will get the coupon in exchange. (Refer to Day 2 of my Express Noodle Shop Udon experience in Kyoto).
They sell really good Udon- clean but flavorful soup, fresh udon, and crunchy toppings! A bowl of noodles usually comes with a rice cake, and this combo is usually in the range of 400-500 yen! Not bad for an authentic noodle right? This can be a perfect brunch before heading off towards your budget friendly destinations.
3. Say NO to amusement parks
If you are not a roller coaster fanatic, or you just simply hate long lines for rides, or you have experienced the theme park in another country(i.e. Hongkong Disneyland), then better say NO to amusement parks. This is usually one of the itinerary components that eats up a big amount of budget- 6980 yen for Universal Studios Osaka, and 6400 yen for Tokyo Disneyland.
Practically speaking, this amount can help you fund 1-2 days of your trip already. This is highly applicable for people who are quite fed up with Amusement parks. But of course, if you are with your friends, and want to have fun with thrilling rides and just simply want to be a child again, no one’s stopping you to go to these amusement parks (especially Harry Potter studios in Osaka- that I’ve visited on my Nov 2014 Japan trip -click here). There are just exemptions you know. Just like me- I will surely visit Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I go back to Osaka this November.
4. Stay in hostels
There are lots of hostels ( or Ryokan) in Japan. A night will probably cost you 1000-2000 yen for a decent and clean private room with own Toilet &bath. Personally, I’m not a fan of dormitory style rooms because I want to have my own bathroom and at the same time privacy to feel at home when I’m back in the hostel.
I highly recommend Hotel Chuo Oasis and Hotel Chuo Serene for a budget hostel in Osaka. The rooms are nice, clean,comes with free items, and has English speaking staff that can help you navigate. One of my friends also told me that Grampus Inn Osaka is a good place to stay in Osaka. In Kyoto, if you want to experience staying in a capsule hotel, I really recommend Capsule Ryokan Kyoto because of its cleanliness and proximity from Kyoto station. In Tokyo, Hotel Horidome Villa is a good place to stay as well based from our experience last Nov 2014, but I find the location quite far from the center of activity in Shibuya/Shinjuku.
If you are a big group ( 3 or more), then you can also try booking an apartment or room via Airbnb. We tried this several times and it’s a good, safe, and cost-effective experience. You can click here to redeem of my discount coupon for your first booking!
5. Prepare your itinerary, and know your destinations
When creating your itinerary in Japan, all you need to do is know your target destinations and the nearest train or bus stations to it. You can also leverage some existing passes within the Kansai region like Osaka Pass (click here), JR Pass (click here), or even avail some tours within Kyoto (click here).
You can use Hyperdia (link here)(for Kansai region which includes Osaka and Kyoto), to route your trip, know the trains to ride, the best price, and duration of the travel. This helped us a lot to navigate around Japan.
Also, when you are in Japan and on a budget travel, remember that you are expected to walk/bike. Walking will help you save money . Instead of riding the bus or taking the taxi, you need to walk back to the train station nearest to you. Nonetheless, always remember that walking is a form of exercise-so in way you are helping yourself to be better while saving money!
If you have any questions on how to use it, feel free to comment below.
So, that’s it, enjoy your Budget Travel in Japan! Read more about my Budget Travel in Japan Adventure series!
In case you are looking for ready made tours in Japan, you can check KKday for budget but reasonable offers (click here).
Read more about my Budget Travel Osaka Adventure:
- Part 1- Japan Travel like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Personal Tips and Notes
- Part 2- Day 1-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Tenryu-Ji Temple, and Umeda Sky Building
- Part 3- Day 2-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Osaka castle, Tenma, Pokemon Center Osaka, Dotonbori
- Part 4- Day 3-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Kyoto, Kinkakuji Temple, Botanical Garden, Osaka Castle, Denden Town
- Part 5- Day 4-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos -Namba, Dotonbori, Ichiran,Shinsaibashi
- Part 6-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos-Itinerary and Budget
- Japan Travel in a Budget:Osaka-Nikko-Kyoto-Tokyo Autumn Highlights
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Japan Experience
- How to Apply for Japan Tourist Visa
Tokyo/Kanto Budget Travel posts:
- Budget Travel Itinerary for Japan 10 days- Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo-Nikko
- Hitachi Seaside Park – Japan’s Best Autumn Spot
- Chureito Pagoda, Shimo-yoshida- Great View of Mt. Fuji
- Fujiko Museum (Doraemon) in Kawasaki Japan Experience
- Aoyama Flower Market – Tea House Relaxing Afternoon snack
Recommended Hostels in Japan:
- Hotel Chuo Oasis in Osaka
- Hotel Chuo Selene in Osaka
- Hotel Horidome Villa in Tokyo
- Capsule Ryokan Kyoto
- Grampus Inn Osaka
- Try Airbnb for other good places to stay in japan (Discount Coupon here)
Recommended Tours in Japan
Going to Japan soon but don’t know where to start? Try to avail of my customized budget itinerary to learn and be able to tour Japan alone! Just click here.