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Skyscanner’s Guide to Visiting Japan on a Tight Budget

Have you always wanted to visit the Far East but weren’t sure how to travel to Japan on a budget? I will tell you how to find the best flight deals, when to book your accommodation and where to get affordable and delicious Japanese dishes.

Tokyo, Japan

Why Visit Japan?

Can you imagine a more alluring and non-conventional place than Japan? With a population of over 13 million, Japan is home to the world’s biggest mega-metropolis on the planet: Tokyo. A city of colour, jumbo ads and funky fashion trends, Tokyo is a mesmerizing city, which is sure to steal your heart and make you addicted to its food.

As you might have guessed, Tokyo doesn’t come cheap, in fact, for many years the Japanese capital has been known to be one of the most expensive places on Earth. Worry not, there are tricks and tips on how to travel to Japan on a budget and really make the most out of your trip.

When to get cheap flights to Japan?

Shibuya Tokyo, Japan

To get cheap flights to Japan, you have to avoid visiting during peak seasons. This means avoiding the cherry blossom festival (sakura) in early April and the autumn foliage (koyo) in mid to late Autumn.

Early December and late May are great options for a trip to Japan. Not only you get cheaper prices, but fewer tourists around too. It’s good to remember that December can get cold, but really beautiful as the country starts getting ready for the winter celebrations. Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional way, which means the shops are not more packed than usual and there is no holiday rush. In fact, December in Japan is serene and beautiful, with a chilled atmosphere and beautiful lights throughout the city.

May can get a bit rainy, but hot. As summer approaches, Japan becomes humid, so if high temperatures are not your thing, better to plan for the winter.

Search Whole Month to find the cheapest time to visit Japan

There are so many places to visit in Japan, and depending on what type of traveller you are, you can find something to suit your needs. Tokyo is vibrant, culturally alive and full of character. Kyoto, Japan’s old capital city, runs at a much slower pace, being more zen, spiritual and food-focused. For the hiker, Nikko is a fabulous option, with cheap prices, great trails and photographic opportunities at every corner.

Mt Fuji

Where to book accommodation in Japan

Once you get your cheap flights to Tokyo, it’s time to create an epic itinerary which involves affordable accommodation. Make sure to book your hotels at least three months in advance, because places fill up fast and they become very expensive.

For the money-conscious, capsule hotels can be an interesting option. This is because more budget travellers opt-in for a capsule, as opposed to a hostel, due to the guaranteed privacy for the same price. The trick to finding great accommodation in Japan is to rent something close to a metro station but a little further from any main neighbourhood.

This also applies to Kyoto, where for money saving purposes, you should avoid the Gion district. Planning a trip to Japan often involves taking a train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Since you are on a quest to travel to Japan on a budget, make sure to order your JR Pass in advance. You will need it before your departure, so allocate a few weeks for your voucher to arrive in the post.

How to get great food deals

Budget Eats Japan

You trip to Japan must include a lot of food. Tokyo has been named the world’s kitchen and Kyoto is the epicenter of traditional dishes. From sushi, through street food, to pork katsu, Japanese food will blow you away. Although Japan is home to more Michelin star restaurants than any other country, remember that you can eat for cheap as well. Aim for buying street food when at all possible, because not only it’s delicious, but it saves a lot of cash. Train stations are also a great place for train sushi restaurants and lunch deals.

Want a great tip? Before closing, there are lots of sales in the food department stores in all major train station. How would you like a bento box for less than $3? That’s dinner sorted.

So, are you ready to start planning a trip to Japan? Don’t forget to get your Flights to Japan and make sure you enjoy your well deserved vacation on a budget!

Fushimi-inari Tokyo Japan

Cory Varga // You Could Travel

Cory and G are the happy British couple behind You Could Travel, a website geared towards inspiring others through information-packed articles that revolve around travel guides, recommendations, and tips. You Could Travel specialises in soft adventure travel, off the beaten path destinations and culinary affairs. Cory and G strongly believe that a nomadic lifestyle is possible regardless of background, cultural beliefs or financial means and their aim is to motivate and encourage these experiences through storytelling and photographic essays.