Exploring Tokyo on a Budget A Guide to Affordable Travel

Exploring Tokyo on a Budget: A Guide to Affordable Travel

Tokyo- which is the lively capital city of Japan, is famous for its vibrant culture, modern technology and mixture of tradition. Touted as an expensive city, however, let the concept not prevent you from visiting this fascinating place. Tokyo can be budgeted with a bit of planning and choosing smartly, and in such a case you get to enjoy the best of the city without hurting your pocket.

Whether you are a budget-minded traveler or just want to save some cash while you venture, you can find several pointers, and hacks that will help you get the most out of your time in Tokyo without sacrificing anything. We have a frugal Tokyo guide that covers everything from cheap accommodation to activities and dining.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tokyo can be enjoyed on a budget with some planning and smart choices.
  • There are affordable accommodations available, including capsule hotels and budget-friendly hotel chains.
  • Utilize prepaid rechargeable IC cards for budget-friendly transportation.
  • Explore cheap dining options such as izakayas, chain restaurants, and convenience stores.
  • Save on airfares by traveling during low seasons or considering connecting flights.

Daily Costs in Tokyo

When planning a trip to Tokyo on a budget, it’s important to consider the average daily cost of expenses. The amount you spend each day can vary depending on your accommodation choice, dining preferences, and activities. To give you an idea, here are estimated costs for common expenses in Tokyo:

ExpenseCost Range
Bunk in a capsule hotel$30 – $40
Basic hotel room for two$60 – $80
One-day public transport ticket$5 (not all trains included)
Conveyor-belt sushi$20 – $30
Pint at a bar$7 – $10
All-you-can-drink menus$20
All-you-can-eat menus$20
Mid-range dinner for two (with drinks)$100
Average daily cost$120

These estimates can help you plan your budget and make informed decisions about your expenses in Tokyo. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the neighborhood and specific establishments you choose.

With a clear understanding of the average daily costs in Tokyo, you can plan your budget accordingly and make the most of your visit without overspending. By being mindful of your expenses and making smart choices, you can enjoy all that Tokyo has to offer while staying within your budget.

Saving on Airfares

When it comes to traveling to Tokyo on a budget, one of the biggest expenses to consider is airfare. However, there are several strategies you can use to save money on flights and secure cheap flights to Tokyo.

Fly in the Low Season

Prices for flights to Tokyo tend to be higher during peak seasons like spring and fall. To find low-cost Tokyo airfares, consider traveling during the low season. Winter and the mid-June to mid-July rainy season are typically less busy periods, offering more affordable fares.

Consider Connecting Flights

Another way to save on airfares is by considering connecting flights. By opting for a connection, you may be able to find lower-cost fares compared to direct flights. Consider connecting through the Middle East or central Europe, especially if you’re a traveler from the UK.

To help you plan your budget-friendly trip to Tokyo, here is a table showing sample airfare prices from various destinations:

Departure CityLowest Airfare (Round Trip)
New York City, USA$800
London, UK$700
Sydney, Australia$1100
Toronto, Canada$900
Paris, France$750

These prices are subject to change and may vary based on the time of booking and other factors. Keep in mind that booking in advance and being flexible with your travel dates can help you secure the best deals on airfares.

With these tips and tricks, you can book low-cost Tokyo airfares and make your dream trip to Tokyo a reality without going over budget.

Affordable Accommodations

In Tokyo, there are several options for budget-friendly accommodations. Whether you’re a solo traveler or exploring Tokyo with friends or family, these affordable choices can help you save money without compromising comfort. Here are some options to consider:

Capsule Hotels

If you’re looking for a unique and inexpensive experience, capsule hotels are a great choice. These compact accommodations offer individual sleeping pods equipped with basic amenities. Rates for capsule hotels can be as low as $20 per night, making them an affordable option for budget-conscious travelers.

Popular Hotel Chains

Well-known hotel chains like APA, Dormy Inn, and MyStays also offer budget-friendly options in Tokyo. These hotels provide comfortable rooms and convenient amenities at affordable rates, making them suitable for travelers on a budget.


Another option to consider is booking through Airbnb. This online platform allows you to rent apartments or private rooms directly from hosts, often at better rates than major hotels. By choosing Airbnb, you can enjoy the comfort of a home-like environment while staying within your budget.

Comparison of Accommodation Options

Accommodation OptionAverage nightly rateLocationAmenities
Capsule Hotels$20Central locationsBasic amenities
Popular Hotel Chains (APA, Dormy Inn, MyStays)$60-$80Various locationsComfortable rooms, hotel amenities
AirbnbVariesVarious locationsApartment or private room with amenities

When choosing budget-friendly accommodations, consider factors such as location, amenities, and your personal preferences. By selecting the option that best suits your needs, you can enjoy a comfortable stay in Tokyo without exceeding your budget.

Budget-Friendly Transportation

To save money on transportation in Tokyo, we recommend using prepaid rechargeable IC cards like Suica or Pasmo. These cards provide a convenient and affordable way to travel around the city. With a single card, you can access all city trains, subways, and buses, making your travel experience seamless and hassle-free.

Not only do IC cards eliminate the need to purchase separate tickets for each journey, but they also offer discounted fares compared to buying individual tickets. This can result in significant savings, especially if you plan to use public transportation frequently during your stay in Tokyo.

Another budget-friendly transportation option in Tokyo is walking. The city is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets and well-connected neighborhoods, making it easy to explore on foot. Walking can be a great way to save money on transportation costs for shorter journeys, while also allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way.

tokyo budget travel

By using IC cards and incorporating walking into your itinerary, you can enjoy affordable and efficient transportation in Tokyo, allowing you to make the most of your budget while exploring the city.

Transportation OptionAdvantages
Prepaid IC cards (Suica or Pasmo)
  • Convenient and seamless travel across trains, subways, and buses
  • Discounted fares compared to individual tickets
  • Free mode of transportation
  • Opportunity to explore and discover hidden gems
  • Promotes a healthier lifestyle

Cheap Eats in Tokyo

Exploring Tokyo on a Budget Guide to Affordable Travel

Tokyo offers a wide range of affordable dining options for those on a budget. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Japanese dishes or international cuisine, there are plenty of budget-friendly restaurants to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of our top recommendations for cheap eats in Tokyo:


Izakayas are Japanese-style pubs that serve a variety of small dishes, perfect for sharing with friends or family. These establishments often offer all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat options at affordable prices. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and sample a wide range of Japanese dishes without breaking the bank.

Chain Restaurants

If you’re looking for a quick and affordable meal, consider visiting chain restaurants like Matsuya, Yoshinoya, and Sukiya. These establishments specialize in gyu-don, a popular Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced beef simmered in a sweet and savory sauce served over rice. With prices ranging from $5 to $10 per meal, these chain restaurants offer a budget-friendly dining option for those on the go.

Convenience Stores

When you’re in need of a quick and budget-friendly meal, look no further than the convenience stores scattered throughout Tokyo. Stores like 7-Eleven and Family Mart offer a variety of pre-packaged meals and snacks at affordable prices. From onigiri (rice balls) to bento boxes and even sushi, you’ll find a wide range of tasty options to choose from.

With these cheap eats in Tokyo, you can satisfy your hunger without breaking the bank. Explore the local cuisine and enjoy delicious meals without straining your budget.

RestaurantCuisinePrice Range
IzakayasJapaneseAffordable all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink options
MatsuyaJapanese$5-$10 per meal
YoshinoyaJapanese$5-$10 per meal
SukiyaJapanese$5-$10 per meal
Convenience StoresVariousAffordable pre-packaged meals and snacks


It is possible to visit Tokyo on a budget with the help of careful planning and wise choices. Follow our cheap Tokyo travel tips and save your budget, but enjoy this great city. From choosing affordable accommodations to dining on cheap eats and making use of cheap means of transport, you can have a budget-friendly Tokyo trip in lots of ways.

For lodgings, one should think about using the so-called capsule hotels which are a very special and low-cost accommodation. Besides, do not forget renowned hotel chains such as APA, Dormy Inn, and MyStays as well as budget-friendly alternatives. Another amazing option is to use Airbnb where one can get cheaper deals as compared to the expensive traditional hotels.

To cut down on transport charges, utilize prepaid rechargeable IC cards such as Suica or Pasmo. With these cards you can travel with ease on all city trains, subways and buses. Furthermore, when it comes to short distances, do not avoid walking through Tokyo since this is a great way of discovering hidden treasures and at the same time, saving money.

Tokyo provides a variety of inexpensive dining choices when you are hungry without burdening your pocket. Kindly try izakayas and enjoy their all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink menus at reasonable prices. Several popular chain restaurants such as Matsuya, Yoshinoya, and Sukiya equally offer budget-friendly meals, among them the tasty gyu-don (beef rice bowl). You can also pick up a cheap and cheerful bite at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Family Mart.

Keep these Tokyo travel budget tips in your pocket and enjoy all the best that Tokyo has to offer without breaking the bank. Then, prepare your belongings and schedule and enjoy an exciting and wallet-friendly adventure in the beautiful city of Tokyo.

For even more insights and tips to maximize your Tokyo journey while keeping your expenses in check, we invite you to visit our comprehensive guide at Global Tripster’s Tokyo Travel Tips. Embark on your next adventure with confidence and make your dream trip to Tokyo a reality, all within budget.

FAQs about Tokyo on a Budget

Is Tokyo an expensive city to visit?

Tokyo is often seen as an expensive city, but there are ways to enjoy it on a budget. With careful planning and conscious choices, you can explore Tokyo without breaking the bank.

How much does it cost to stay in Tokyo?

The cost of accommodation in Tokyo can vary depending on your preferences. Options range from capsule hotels with rates as low as per night to basic hotel rooms for two starting at to per night. Popular hotel chains and booking through Airbnb can also offer affordable options.

Are there any budget-friendly transportation options in Tokyo?

Yes, Tokyo offers budget-friendly transportation options. The use of prepaid rechargeable IC cards like Suica or Pasmo allows you to travel seamlessly on city trains, subways, and buses. Additionally, walking for shorter journeys is a great way to save on transportation costs and explore the city.

How can I save money on airfares to Tokyo?

To save money on airfares, consider traveling during the low season or taking a connecting flight. Prices tend to be higher during peak seasons like spring and fall, so traveling during winter or the mid-June to mid-July rainy season can offer more affordable fares. UK travelers can also find lower-cost fares by connecting through the Middle East or central Europe.

What are some affordable dining options in Tokyo?

Tokyo has many cheap places to eat. Izakayas offer all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat options at affordable prices. Popular chain restaurants like Matsuya, Yoshinoya, and Sukiya serve budget-friendly meals, including gyu-don (beef rice bowl). Convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Family Mart also offer cheap and tasty meals, perfect for a quick and budget-friendly option.

How much does it cost to visit Tokyo on a daily basis?

The average daily cost of visiting Tokyo can vary depending on your choices. On average, you can expect to spend around 0 per day, considering accommodation, transportation, meals, and activities.

What are some tips for saving money while traveling in Tokyo?

To save money while traveling in Tokyo, consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations, using prepaid rechargeable IC cards for transportation, and exploring cheap dining options. Additionally, planning your trip during the low season and being flexible with flight options can help save on airfare costs.