Hi welcome to my blog, if you been always wanting to plan a trip to Tokyo Japan and need some tips and advice on how to go there at the cheapest possible way with the most value this detailed article is going to help you save a lot of money!
If you ask any tour agency for a Japan tour it would easily cost you SGD$2000 to SGD$3000 per person for a 6 days 5 night tour. Which are not only expensive in my point of view but I hate it whenever you reach a destination you are only given 1 hour to explore 🙁
What if I told you I was able to spend the same amount of money at SGD$2500 for 14 days free and easy, that include flight and hotel for 2 person not one!. If I wanted it to be only 6 days, 5 nights it is also possible too at estimate SG$1500 for 2 person too 🙂 Want to know how read on further 🙂
Free & Easy plans does not include food and transport but later you will find out it’s so much cheaper by free and easy because you can eat daily for as little as SG$15 per day lunch and dinner with a drink it’s possible in Japan 🙂 Transport at about $100 is more than enough per person if you just travel within Tokyo 🙂
The 1st thing you want to know is, never go on a package tour because you actually pay a lot more for hotels and places that might not be interesting to you. And frankly everything is so accessible there by train it’s not hard to plan your own trip 🙂 If you not good with planning this FREE Japan website planner can help you a lot 🙂
I been to Tokyo free and easy 5 times so I going to share with you many places ,& tips you can explore right in Tokyo itself has lots to see.
Arriving In Tokyo Japan – Always Arrive In Haneda Airport
There are two airport in Tokyo, one is Narita Airport & Haneda Airport. While most of the time flights to Narita are cheaper than Haneda but what MANY people do not realize it takes 1 Hour 30 Minutes from Narita to reach to the city in Tokyo! Where as, if you landed in Haneda it’s only 30 minutes.
One thing you must know is that trains and buses in Japan are expensive and they are complicating.
Narita Airport To Tokyo Station – Map Link https://goo.gl/pxV8ny
- Narita Airport Limousine Bus – ¥1,000 – 1 Hour 30 minutes ( cheapest way )
- Narita Express – ¥3,020 – 57 minutes+
- Skyliner Train ( Normal Train ) – ¥2,630 – 53 minutes ( saves a bit but have to change train a lot 3 times! )
Haneda Airport To Tokyo Station – Map Link https://goo.gl/fYgJxw
- Keikyu-Kuko Line – ¥580 – 28 minutes ( fastest cheapest way )
So as you compare the two above, even if flights to Narita might be cheaper by $50 to $100 but you will notice above the time to the city from Haneda is shorter by a lot with less transfers and cheaper train fair.
Always Get Transport Card For Easy Payment For Bus and Train
Generally there are three types of train/bus tickets you buy
- Regular Train Tickets that you can buy from train stations
- IC Cards ( highly recommend if you travel only within Tokyo )
- Rail Passes
For me personally I never use regular train tickets because sometimes at some stations the queue just to buy them is so long you waste a lot of time waiting and queuing up to buy them. So I highly recommend always to get IC Cards instead.
If you are planning to travel the whole part of Japan like Osaka or other parts of Japan than buying the Rail Passes makes sense but they are very expensive
- 7 days – 29,110 yen
- 14 days – 46,390 yen
- 21 days – 59,350 yen
more information about the nation wide rain passes and can be found here
About IC Cards & Which To Buy – PASMO IC CARD
The above IC card is the PASMO IC Card, it’s a hassle-free card that you buy from machines at the airport which you can top up cash to use for trains / buses and even for shopping in Tokyo. You can read more about Pasmo card here
It is recommended before you go to the train station to buy this PASMO card from the airport as it is very hard to buy them when you are in city. The cards are refundable once you reach the airport station area you can refund them 🙂 Below is a video I found online to guide you where to buy them
Best Apps For Travel In Tokyo
Note it is highly recommend you must have a data plan when you travel free and easy in Tokyo. That is because you can get lost very easily 😛 Here are some recommended apps for navigation in Tokyo.
- Japan Travel – App
- Tokyo Subway Navigation
- Google Map is ok too but not as accurate compared to above two
Where To Stay In Tokyo Japan That Is Cheap
Alright so we have covered on the transport and airport, I going to talk about places you can stay in Tokyo that is cheap. Generally most hotels in Tokyo are expensive but thankful today now we have people in Tokyo that open up their houses to stay
A good place to hunt for affordable good places to stay is the use of AirBnb which you can find many houses to rent cheap from SGD$40 to $60 per night! Click here to search for houses in Tokyo on AirBnb
Generally there are two types of houses I recommend to stay for AirBnb, one of them are Entire Place or Private Room types of houses. Normally the private rooms are cheaper but the different is you have to share toilet with others. Whereas the entire place, you basically rent the entire house to yourself. Also most AirBnb houses provide a FREE portable mobile wifi which is a added bonus because you will need the mobile data when you are traveling around in Tokyo by train.
The disadvantage of staying in AirBnb no one will be cleaning your room daily as this is not an hotel but they are generally very clean and affordable! The last trip I went to Japan was at this AirBnb owner , which was not only a good location near the train but at an affordable rate of only SG$80+ per night 🙂
If stay at people house is not your cup of tea, you can consider staying at Inns which I found one recently at a good deal at SG$94 per night at Keikyi Ex Inn.
Just for your information, a typical hotel stay in Tokyo can range from normally SG$120 to $300 per night so to be able to find places to stay below SG$100 is consider a steal.
Getting Cheap Flights To Tokyo Japan
For booking of budget air flights I recommend using these two search engines to compare
It is possible to sometimes find non budget flights to Tokyo from Singapore for as low as SGD$500 which I recently booked by Philippines Airline.
For budget options, I recommend AirAsia that flies to Haneda Airport. Ideally, if you have the budget fly by ANA has the best service which can be bought at special promo at around SG$750 per pax during promotions. Japan Airlines is not bad too but personally I find ANA service is far much better in service!
Places To Go In Tokyo
Alright I covered all the admin part, now are the best parts. Where to go in Tokyo. My wife and I are the shopping type of tourist so we going to share the places you must visit when you are in Tokyo. You can also download the official Japan App here
Top Places To Go In Tokyo
- Tsukiji Outer Market – unique fish market ( not smelly )
- Akihabara – cheap electronics and many anime stuff
- Asakusa – nice place for eating and shopping
- Shibuya – city shopping lots of them
- Shinjiku – another shopping area
- Harajuku – teen shopping area
- Odaiba – it’s a bit far but great for Gumdam fans
- Tokyo Disney Sea & Disneyland – a must go 🙂
- Fuji Mountain!
For a full list of places and guide to go in Tokyo you can click here for more information
For a summary of places to go check out the video below 🙂
Affordable Cheap Place To Buy Cheap Snacks & Gifts
If you are looking for gifts to buy for friends, DO NOT BUY them at airport instead plan a trip to this place below
Find this store at Ameyayokocho ( ameyoko ) it’s a whole sale place to buy all your snacks at almost 30 to 40% cheaper than at airport 🙂
Affordable Cheap Places To Eat In Tokyo
Food in Tokyo can get expensive but it can also be very affordable it depends if you know where to find them and not being very picky 🙂
Currently the cheapest place to eat in Tokyo are the 24/7 store like 7/11 and the best part the bento boxes normally have discounts after 9pm+
Below is an example of some of the food I bought at the supermarket that is actually very decent and fresh and nice!
And at some supermarkets, that are budget you can get milk & coffee that is as cheap as SG$1.20 too as shown below 🙂
Here’s more pictures of food and bread that you buy from the 24/7 stores that is cheap and great!
For the best Ramen in Tokyo , I recommend you check this store out at Tokyo station below 🙂 But I have to warn you first the queue for it can take up to 1 hour but IT’S worth it go find this store shown below at Tokyo Station found along the Ramen Street area in the station.
Below is a nice summary video of places to eat that is affordable at about SG$5 to SG$7 🙂