Japan, the little island with so much to see in culture and nature, always on the bucket lists of wanderlusts worldwide. But, there is a big but, it’s too expensive, the bias that stuck in our head all the time has stopped us from exploring this beautiful country. The reality is, you CAN visit many cities in Japan on your tight budget if you plan well, let’s us brief you a little.
Time to visit
Cherry blossom is extraordinary in Japan, so no doubt, Spring is the best time, that is March to May, but avoid the golden week around the end of April and beginning of May.
Next best time is, of course, autumn, September to November in Japan. Finally, for winter lover, who enjoy the snowy cold, book your flight to Japan between the December – February time, again, avoid the peak at New Year or Christmas.
Of course, if you are an avid traveller and has an excellent profile on Couchsurfing, you can cut off the cost of accommodation intensively. Sadly, not everyone is lucky enough or comfortable enough to crash overnight at stranger’s house, so here come a few suggestions for accommodation:
There are plenty of budget options: (around $20 – $40/night): hostel, dorm or capsule hotels are among the top choices for shoestring travellers. All these places are facilitated with shared shower, toiletries and kitchen. Around this range, you can also make use of internet café, where you can buy the pass for 5 hours or so, with shower, the internet, snack, drinks, not bad at all.
Travelling with a friend? Opt for business hotels, as you pay the same price for hostel option, but being much more comfortable and private.
A few more tips to save extra on accommodation: make use of the 24 hours’ bath if you are only transiting in town, and opt for the comfortable overnight bus to save on the hotel cost.
Japan has it all that will suit your budget requirements comfortably. From the bus, train to flight.
Once decided on the destinations you love to visit, check out the bus or train pass, which gives you the best deal for intercity trips. One of the best public wide coverage bus passes you can reserve online is Willer Express, where you can enjoy three non-consecutive days pass starting at 10000 Yen (about $90). The site even offers an illustration on how this option benefits you, check it out, and you will be surprised that at least you can hop to 5 major cities in Japan with the 3 or 5-day pass.
Another incredible deal you can get if you travel in Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Wakayama, Shiga, Hyogo) is the Kansai Thru pass (about $50). The single use pass works for bus, subway and train, non-consecutive day and also comes with several discounts at major tourist spots.
Compared to the seven consecutive days pass JR train at nearly $300, the bus pass is a better option for budget concern folks with the extraordinary flexibility.
Tight on time? Don’t worry; Japan is incredibly convenient when it comes to purchasing a flight pass, check out at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2364.html for the most suitable pass.
If you fancy noodles, fantastic! Follow the locals and enjoy your cheap, delicious ramen meals, which is typical around $4-5. If you are not that into the local food, the pre-packed meals from the supermarket, convenience stores or kiosk at train stations are also very economical while still delicious and nutritious. Finally, don’t forget to hit the street markets and Japan’s vending food machines for the variety of options that won’t break your wallet.
Tips: make lunch as your main meal, as many restaurants offer the cheaper lunch set menu, starting around $9 or take away at $5. While take away the meal from groceries in the evening will help you to save a few more bucks. Another way to save is to pay attention when booking your accommodation that may offer 1 or 2 meals per day.
What to do
Regardless if you are a museum people, nature wanderlust, photography hobbyist or a technology geek, Japan has plenty to offer for free. Make sure you research well at each destination, there are always a mix of experiences you can try for free and get the authentic tastes of Japan, like watching cherry blossom if you come during Spring time, stroll around the famous temples or time your visit right and get free entry to museums.
Finally, bear in mind that planning in advance is the best way to keep your budget in control, as being such popular tourist spot, several services in Japan got booked out several months.
So, I hope after this article; start planning your Japan trip without worrying about the cost, after all, it is entirely worth it to visit a country where the beauty of tradition and nature has well blended with the most advanced modern technology.
Or leave all the planning to us. There is always a travel plan to suit every budget and lifestyle. Just firstname.lastname@example.org.
June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.