BREAKING THE MYTH: Expensive travel in Tokyo

Been eyeing to visit Tokyo but only have limited budget? WHY NOT?

I listed few things we tried to budget our 7-day trip at The so-called “World’s Most Expensive City, Tokyo”. (Well, I have to agree with that though.) I found evidence. But, that doesn’t mean, we could not enjoy Japan in cheaper way. Right?

CHALLENGE: ¥45,000 For A Week (20000PHP)

In today’s typical employee’s struggle, every penny counts. Like literally! I bet you’re wondering how was it possible for a poor traveler conquered a week stay in an expensive city like Tokyo.


  1. DO-IT-YOUR OWN ITINERARY: Gear up your research skills! You’ll be needing it the most. Few weeks before your flight, research for the places that you want to visit. Trafficking your destinations efficiently will save you a lot time and money! Google maps will be your buddy during your trip. I also recommend to visit places that have FREE ENTRANCE FEE. Yes! There are actually a lot of attractions in Tokyo that you can visit without spending a single yen. Visit temples like Yasukuni Shrine. Walk around Imperial Palace and take selfies (and more selfies) with cherry blossoms or just pass by the ever famous Shibuya Crossing.
    Facade of Yasukini Shrine in Chiyoda

    Hachiko, The Akita Dog in Shibuya
  2. LEARN THEIR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM: It’s quite challenging to stroll in a foreign city without any knowledge of their places and transport system. Unlike in Philippines, Japan doesn’t have jeepneys and tricycles that you can catch in every street. Make sure to check bus and subway schedules, they have a definite time of arrival and departure. Subway lines and routes can be confusing, so be careful in reading signage. Still not sure? Don’t be shy to ask, Japanese are really accommodating and most helpful persons I’ve encountered so far.

    Subway station to Shibuya
  3. AIRBNB IS YOUR WAY TO GO: We stayed in a very nice place with nicest hosts in 7 days for only P2,500! Crazy, isn’t? That was cheaper than staying in motel in Manila! Surprisingly, we had free breakfast too. (We miss you Uncle and Auntie!)
    Morning dose of happiness
    Inside Okura’s Residence

    Us with Auntie and Uncle Okura
  4. LITTLE GOES A LONG WAYAside from hopping from destination to destination, half of your budget will be surely allotted to FOOD, FOOD AND MORE FOOD. In this case, it would be better to explore. Do not be overwhelmed to eat. If you’re traveling with a buddy, share a tasteful bowl of ramen. You can also order two different meal, it’s like hitting two birds at once. Sharing is the key. Also, better if you eat street food like Yakitori and Tamago at Tsukiji Market rather than having it in expensive restos.
    Typical day in a stall at Tsukiji Market

    King Crabs. Yikes!

Scroll for more photos. (courtesy of Gelyn Lee)

Akihabara: Mecca of cheap gadgets and anime merchandise
Akihabara: Mecca of cheap gadgets and anime merchandise
Anime inspired building in Akihabara
Street in Kaminoge
Night lights
Ninja Garbage Pickers in Shibuya
Yasukuni Fortune Blessing Papers

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