Tokyo on a budget doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. There are countless ways to save while travelling throughout Japan. From saving money on your flight, accommodation, food & drinks, here’s how to do Tokyo for less…
Cheapest time to go: February and March
Most Expensive: July and August
When to fly: Fly out on a Thursday, return on a Tuesday
Best time to buy: On a Monday, 5 weeks in advance
Cheapest Airfare to Tokyo always found using: Skyscanner
Best Airlines: United Airlines and Air Canada have the lowest fares.
Am I getting a good deal? Good deals for this route are priced below $1030.
Hostel Prices: Dorm for $35-45 USD/person using Hostel World (no booking fees!)
2-3 star hotel prices: $130-200 USD/night using Hotels.com.
4-5 star hotel prices: $200+ USD/night using Hotels.com
Easiest: Limousine bus direct to major hotels, ~120 minutes (subject to traffic), ¥3,100.
Fastest: Skyliner (Keisei Electric Railway) to Nippori and Ueno Stations, under 45 minutes, ¥2,400; Narita Express (East Japan Railway Company) to Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yokohama, 55 minutes and ¥2,940 ( ¥1,500 starting January 7 2014) to Tokyo Station. Japan Rail Pass valid for Narita Express.
Cheapest: Keisei Limited Express/Access Tokkyu trains to Nippori/Ueno, 60-80 minutes, ¥1,000-1,200 (Access Tokkyu trains also serve some subway stations); “Super Shuttle” Bus to Ueno and Asakusa, ¥1,000.
Most expensive: Taxi to the city, more than ¥30,000; flat-fare cabs approximately ¥17,000-19,000.
Taxis: Taxi start $7.00, + 1 mile $3.
Public Transportation: Tokyo has a world-class train system. The Yamanote Line hits all the city’s spots and an all-day ticket can be purchased for $9 USD. The bus is another great way to explore the city, and bus stops are clearly marked. It costs $2 USD when you board, or $16 USD for an all day train and bus combo ticket.
Food & Drinks:
Fast Food Meal: $2-10 USD/person
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20-30USD/person
Mid-range 3 course meal: $50 USD/ person
Beer: $4.00 USD each
Cocktail: $8-10 each
Groceries for the week: $30-45 USD per week