How to Travel to Tokyo on a Budget


Mount Fuji Tokyo

Tokyo often has a reputation for being Asia’s priciest city; it might also be the most interesting. Glitzy lights, space-age technology and hip shopping district make Tokyo a must-visit for any city lover. Keeping to a budget in Tokyo is not easy, but with this guide, you should be able to eat, see and shop for significantly less!

How to Find Cheap Flights to Tokyo

Getting to Tokyo? Forget Singapore Airlines if its fare is above S$800. However, do monitor SQ promotion when its special fares are priced around S$650. At S$650, it’s worthwhile to consider Singapore Airlines as it’s a direct flight to Tokyo with full in-flight service.

Alternatively, travel by budget airlines e.g. Jetstar or Scoot. Return fares may cost less than SGD500 if you don’t mind 1-stop connection. Use Skycanner to search for cheap flights.

Flight search made simple - Skyscanner

How to Get Around

Travel in Tokyo is famously efficient, but rather expensive. Pick up a 7-Day Whole Japan Rail Pass for about SGD340 (sounds expensive but it’s a lot cheaper than buying a ticket each time you take a train). The pass will cover your airport transfer via Narita Express to and from central Tokyo. And from Tokyo, you can use the JR Rail Pass to go to Mt Fuji, Kyoto or anywhere in Japan.

Richmond Hotel Tokyo

Where to Stay

Inns in Tokyo are an affordable and comfortable choice of accommodation. Toyoko Inn and Richmond run a chain of inns in Japan and often have special promotions, so check it regularly before settling on one. Popular Toyoko Inn hotels in Tokyo include Tokyo Inn Tokyo Shinagawa-Eki Konan-Guchi Tennozu and Toyoko Inn Tokyo Shinjuku Kabukicho. Value-for-money Richmond Hotel in Tokyo includes Richmond Hotel Asakusa.

Hostels are also popular for backpackers. Rates begin at $30 and are dotted all around the city.

Those looking for a novelty hotel should spend a night in Tokyo’s infamous capsule hotels. Rooms are referred to as capsules, tiny spaces no larger than a refrigerator. Definitely not for claustrophobics, they are popular among Japanese workers who need a place to sleep.

Tokyo Tower

What to See

Most tourists rave about a trip to Tokyo Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city. However, at S$18 a ticket, it isn’t for the budget traveller. Head to the Shinjuku Twin Towers instead. These office towers boast just as good a view and are, thankfully, free.

Cherry blossoms are the hallmark of Tokyo’s beauty. We’re in the middle of cherry blossom season, which ends sometime in the middle of April. Head to Aoyama cemetery, where a straight road is lined with these beautiful trees, making for a picture perfect moment.

Tokyo Ramen

Where to Eat

Food in Japan is affordable if you eat Japanese, which, thankfully, you will be doing lots of. Don’t bother with big name restaurants; small eateries serve just as good ramen, gyuudon (a bowl of rice topped with beef) and sushi for less.

What to Do

Japanese are known for their quirky fashion, which is often deemed ‘cool’ around the world. The best place for budget shoppers to head to is Harajuku, which is similar in style and pricing to Singapore’s Far East Plaza. Style conscious Japanese teenagers flock here after school to look for a good buy.

Maid Cafe Experience at Maidreamin Tokyo - Klook

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