Tokyo – the city that is constantly on the move, dazzling us with its neon-lit streetscapes as well as its love for traditional culture and passion for all things new. From the the fanciful mega malls to the high-end designer boutiques and the world’s tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo continues to surprise us with its continuous development.
It’s not surprising that travellers don’t usually head to Tokyo for a budget vacation. Although the city is known to be quite expensive in terms of hotels, meals and transportation, you’d still be able to have a great time without burning a hole in your pockets with some tips:
Visit during the winter months
Hotel rates during the months of November to February are at its lowest and the weather is comfortably mild to chilly.
Avoid the spike in hotel room prices during March and April. The spring months coincide with the cherry blossom season and although the flowers are beautiful and there would be exciting festivals, the hotel room prices reach their peak during these months.
Spend on your meals wisely
There is no question that travellers should pamper themselves with at least one high-end meal at places such as the Sushi Bar Yasuda for sushi and GO (located within the Palace Hotel) for teppanyaki.
Otherwise, you should always save on the rest of your dining costs by patronising the city’s many inexpensive fast casual restaurants. Simply check with your hotel’s concierge or travel guides such as TripAdvisor or Time Out Tokyo for suggestions of unique and authentic Japanese cuisine that won’t cost you an arm or leg.
Make the subway your main mode of transportation
Tokyo’s subway would probably be the fastest and most inexpensive way for you to get around to explore the city’s major areas, neighbourhoods and attractions. Rides begin at US$1.50 (~SG$2.05). You can also consider purchasing local and regional rail passes depending on your itinerary and schedule.
Line your itinerary up with free and affordable sights
There’s a handful of Tokyo’s top attractions that are inexpensive or can be visited for free. For example, Ueno houses a picturesque park that is free for all which allows travellers to meet some resident deers there as well as National Museums that have entry fees below US$!) (~SG$13.66).
Travellers can also visit the Imperial Palace for free as long as they make an advance booking for their trip there.
Go taxless with Japanese brands
Remember to bring your passports along when you go shopping as it allows travellers to shop tax-free at most stalls carrying Japanese brands.