Note for budget travel in Tokyo (p1): 3 planning tips for saving

Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. If visiting Tokyo has been on your bucket list, please do not worry but plan carefully. Because planning means saving. I’ll share my planning tip for budget travel with full of experiences. I stayed in Tokyo in 5 days.

#1 Booking 

Yes, it’s simple but necessary. Boking soon is a typical tip for a budget traveler, especially for flight ticket and accommodation. We all know that the earlier you book the cheaper price you get. In my case, I booked the flight ticket and homestay 4 months before I travel.

However, with other services, booking early sometimes means risky. Kimono rental, for example, some website they do not allow you to book too early. So my tip is that If you need to book some experience service (such as day tour, restaurant, clothes rental), just book before your flight 2-3 days. Because those services may depend on the weather or your situation on that day.

#2 Choose your visit spot, keep your eye on free-entry places


It’s impossible to discover every attraction at one time. So plan and choose where you want to go first. The transportation fee may be huge if you do not have a clear plan. Just base on where you stay, choose the destination, then the way you go. The metro (or subway) system in Tokyo is the best and cheapest way to get around the city. Taxis can be expensive, but the metro is relatively cheap. The only problem is that there are actually different companies that run different lines. So, at times you might have to exit one train system and buy a second ticket for another train line to get to your destination. You need to pay attention to where you are going and what train lines go where. Most of the signs are in English, which is also helpful.

Tokyo offers endless opportunities for those who want to see it for free. A stroll down Takeshita-dori or the famous Shibuya crossing is an eclectic feast for the senses and an experience in its own right – you don’t actually have to buy anything to enjoy it! If you want to escape the chaos, visit one of the Tokyo’s many gardens and parks (I recommend Ueno) or do a bit of temple hopping – a lot of temples (such as the famous Senso-ji in Asakusa or Meiji Shrine) are free to visit!


I was lucky enough to travel to Tokyo during cherry blossom season, which runs for about two weeks around the beginning of April, make some Japanese friends, and have a traditional ohanami (“flower viewing”) picnic. That’s means I enjoyed the sakura for free even in the street or near my homestay. 

#3 Set budget for meals

It may sound strict, but if you can follow it, you will control your money better. With the budget, you will set a standard for your self when looking at the menu. 

I had checked many websites, blog, Tripadvisor, Yelp before selecting restaurants. I used 3 conditions: Distance from where I’d been, Price and Review.  I chose the price range from 500 yen to 1200 yen for a meal and spent about 500 yen for water and snack. That means I have 2500 yen per day for eating. I think it’s affordable and still helps you enjoy the delicious food.

And there you have it – who knew visiting Tokyo on a budget could be this easy! I’ll share more tip about eating next time.

Do you have any budget tips of your own? Feel free to share in the comments.


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