Food in Tokyo

Note for budget travel in Tokyo (p2): Eat well with small money

To travel on a tight budget, you need more consideration in everything you wanna try. And I create some rules which help me to figure out what I really should pay money for it and I applied them on my Tokyo trip.

Food in Tokyo varies widely. Western food is popular, but traditional Japanese food is abundant.

Food in Tokyo
Sushi urchin

So my first rule is just to only try Japanese food for an authentic experience. My eating list included typical Japanese food such as sushi, ramen, and katsu (fried cutlet – usually pork or chicken). There’re many ramen shops and katsu shops spread across the city. You can find a decent ramen shop in almost any train station.

Food in Tokyo
Skew of mochi

The second rule is always ready to eat outside. I mean really outside the restaurant. Because most restaurants will charge you for serving. Just choose take-away and find a seat in the park then enjoy your meal. Remember to check the price: include or exclude tax.

Food in Tokyo
Udon with roe and seaweed

Big meal for lunch, small one for dinner” is my fourth rule. It comes from the fact that the restaurants will charge you more for dinner. You can find that they offer a different price range for day time and night time.

The fifth rule may sound weird: Do not eat in a convenient store. If you compare value and money you will see how it work. Many people said that eating in 7-11, or Family mart is cheaper. It’s the truth but it’s a lie at the same time. Let think a mochi in 7-11 cost about 100yen, bread or cake may be 150-300 yen, micro-oven cooked meal is about 300-500yen without water. You will find it true if you don’t mind to eat instant food which you can eat in everywhere in the world when you stay in Tokyo – the capital of food. while you can have a fresh meal in cheap restaurant chains such as Tenya Tendo with 520yen or a set of tempura and saba just 790yen and they offer free water for you. Even some stores in the street can sell a bento box with 520 yen. 

Food in Tokyo
Tempura and soba set in Tendo Tenya (790yen for 2 people)

One more thing about the convenient store is that they always sell fruit expensively. So if you want to have some fruit but don’t know how to bargain, just go to a supermarket. You can find a better price.

The last thing is that you should bring something for your breakfast or snacks. Japanese often have breakfast at home so it’s harder to find breakfast food outside in the morning time. So bring your own and save some money.

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

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