There are no adequate words to describe the amazement Tokyo will leave you with. In between a traditional society where the customs of the country and the nation matter more than anything and an avant-garde, crazily colorful and uniquely fashionable world of the young people, Tokyo is one of the most exquisite and mesmerizing cities of the world.
Yet, for many out there, it is also one of the most expensive ones as well. Just getting there from Europe or North America can be extremely expensive, not to mention actually getting around. Still, while Tokyo may not be your average budget-friendly destination, it is a place that will leave plenty of doors open to those who want (and need) to save some money on their trip to the city where the highest technology and the oldest temples blend in together in perfect harmony.
Careful With the Period in Which You Travel
Like any touristic hot-spot out there, Tokyo also has its peak periods when tourists abound in it. This will not only mean that you will have to face the crowds of people coming from all places (as if Tokyoites on their own would not be enough to scare anyone coming from a small town), but also that you will have to face higher costs. Therefore, avoid the late April-beginning of May period, avoid the New Year and avoid the middle of August for these are those times of the years where Tokyo will be flooded by tourists and high prices.
Cheaper Accommodation is Available
Of course, if you want to stay at a high-rated hotel, then there will be nothing wrong about it. But if you need to save some money, then you should learn that there are plenty of hostels available in this city. Even more, capsule hotels can be a unique way of experiencing accommodation in Tokyo, for this is probably the only place in the world where you will find this type of lodging. For a few tens of dollars (up to $40 in most of the cases), you can get a capsule that leaves you with enough space to sleep. You get to lock up your shoes (and receive shoes for the hotel only), to lie your head on clean linen and even a TV in your own capsule. Even more, a lot of these hotels offer shared bathroom facilities as well. And here is one more trick: if you want to save money, book your hotel/hostel via the Japanese sites out there because it will be cheaper this way.
Eat Cheaper Food
Although actually dining out in Tokyo can be outrageously expensive, there are some ways in which you can keep yourself nourished while travelling here. Department stores, convenience stores and supermarkets should be your friends. And if you really want to eat out and experience yet another typical Tokyoite oddity, try out those ticket machine restaurants. For about US$3.5, you can get a full plate of curry and rice and the complimentary miso soup and green tea that come with every meal ordered.
Learn Some Japanese
OK, this is definitely not the easiest thing to do, but if you plan to stay longer in Japan, this will definitely help you. Coupon sites in Japan regularly have offers on various things you may be interested in (including eating out) and you can save tons of money this way without missing out on all that fun.
Think of Souvenirs That Will Save You Money
Upon your return, you will want to bring little pieces of Tokyo with you back home and to share them with your friends. For any traveler out there, this is almost a must-do and not because of obligation, but because it comes natural.
While buying expensive souvenirs is definitely not a budget traveler’s first option, you should also know that there are plenty of things you can bring with you that will definitely say “Tokyo” and “Japan”. Green tea, Japanese ramen noodles and other similar things are all souvenirs you can buy at the supermarket at prices that are more than affordable.