Monday, September 18, 2017

How much will it cost? Cheap and Unique Accommodation in Tokyo (Japan Budget Tips)

        A major part of our spending in Japan is under accommodation. but what if I tell you that nice accommodation options in Tokyo aren’t necessarily expensive? To cut down the cost of the trip, you can:
Japan hotel

1. Stay at a capsule hotel

Lodging starts from 5000 Yen. 
        Staying in a Capsule hostel is a uniquely Japanese experience. Although there are a lot of capsule hostel budding out all around the world, come try the original!
       How did this Capsule concept even started? According to one of the Japanese friends, the idea started when office workers missed the last train home, and thus these basic place just to spend a night were in demand.
Recommendations: Capsule Hotel Ogikubo, Shinjuku, Akhibara, Oriental, Ikebukuro Plaza

2. Stay at a guesthouse

Lodging starts from 4000 Yen. 
       Like a budget hostel, guesthouses nowadays aimed towards backpackers. Here are some recommendations: TRACE, Komagome, Japanize
Tokyo Guesthouse

3. Stay at a youth/themed hostel

Lodging starts from 3500 Yen
       I guess I don't have to describe this. Normally party hostel offers the cheapest dorm rate, but maybe you'll have to put up with a little noise. I recommend checking out some hostels with a fun theme.... for example, this Train Hostel.
Other recommendations: Emblem, Base Inn, 1980, Planetyze.
Japan hostel

4. Couch surf

Lodging starts from sincere friendship. (I hate to think that CS is free. )
       Couchsurfing is a website that allows travelers to connect with locals, who want to hang out or offer their couch/ empty room in exchange for your friendship. While most people on Couchsurfing are kind, I highly advise users, especially ladies traveling solo to take safety precautions because I found out that some creeps had been using it like tinder. So, be careful.

5. Stay at an Airbnb room/ apartment

Lodging starts from 1110 Yen.
       Options are aplenty. You can rent a room from the Airbnb website, or rent the whole apartment. If you want more privacy, then renting the whole apartment is a good choice. If you are here to create memories and meet more people, then rent a private room where you can meet other tenants.

Japan hotel

6. Stay at a Super Sento bathhouse 

Lodging starts from 3000 Yen. 
       This is an interesting option. I’ve seen Korean dramas that when the characters run away from home, they would go to a Jimjilbang to get cheap lodging and food. I never thought that in Japan there are similar establishments and there are indeed people who sleep in huddles and sofas.
       But unlike Korea, this culture is even more subtle. Not all Sento communal bathhouses offer overnight stay. Only those that called "Super" sentos offer overnight accommodation (surcharged). You are going to wear a yukata inside and all valuables have to be checked into a locker.
Note: However, don’t stay multiple nights. It's simply not allowed (they need to clean the place).

7. Stay at a manga kissa/internet cafe

Lodging starts from 1300 Yen. 
       Overnight packs offered by 24-hour manga/internet cafes may be your saving grace if you run out of money in Japan. Normally, they’ll give you a small cubicle with a PC/manga library and a sleeping area, it can be a reclining sofa, paired seats, or tatami. Some packages include luggage storage, showers, free flow drinks and soup.
Note: However, I don’t recommend staying more than a day (it’s only good for experiencing youth culture in Japan.

8. Love hotel

Lodging starts from 6500 Yen
       An overnight stay at a love hotel can be an unforgettable experience… oops don’t get me wrong, some rabbu hoteru are well known for their over-the-top interior designs. Also, it is increasingly common for love hotel rooms to have their own karaoke machine.... so it's time to release your inner Adele.

9. Stay at a temple

Lodging starts from 6000 Yen.
       A long time ago, most temples and shrines wouldn’t mind travelers crashing under their roof to economize on their trip. However, now that some of these travelers had caused problems, many refuse to travelers in.
      Nowadays there is a program called Shukubo, which allows travelers to experience the life of a monk, staying in temples. Usually, you'll be invited to join their morning prayers which will last about 30-60 minutes.
Note: However, I don’t recommend staying too long (it’s only good for the experience. )
Japan temple stay

10. Doze at a 24-hour chain restaurant. 

Lodging starts from 150 Yen (for a cola drink)
       Basic courtesy, if you're there for a long time at least order a meal. I know you may think I am joking... but I've done it in a few countries in some case of "emergency"... back passed hostel curfew, missed train etc.
       There are possibility that the staff will ask you to leave if you are there for a very long time... but I'll say that it's still an option if you are out of choices.

11. Utilize highway buses (night buses) 

       Most of my friends love the Japanese buses, especially the Night intercity buses. Not only that this is the cheapest ways to travel long distances in Japan, taking a night bus enable tourists to save big on accommodation. The overnight buses offer luggage space and a nice reclining seat with an overhead hood to cover your face while you sleep. The journey from Tokyo to Kyoto takes 7 hours, just enough sleeping time for normal adults.
       There aren't many websites that provide information in English... so how to book a seat? We've talked about it in this article.

12. Camping

Lodging starts from 500 Yen. 
       There are some good places to car or tent camp in Japan. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan has more than 3,000 campsites dotted across the country.
Japan camping

13. Stay in a hotel, but...

Lodging starts from 5000 Yen
       If you insist on staying in a hotel, check for deals at least 2 months prior to the trip. You might get some pretty good early bird deals. Other than that, avoid weekends. Price for a room usually spikes up due to increase demand. There are some Japanese sites that offer better room rates, such as Rakuten Travel, Jalan, Rurubu, or Meitetsu Kankou.
Recommendation: Meigetsu
Japan hotel

Want some tips to Kansai? Read more: 
Traveling to Japan soon? Don't forget your manners:
Wanna know about Japan Hidden Gems? Read more: 

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Thank You for Reading! This post is based solely on my personal experience. If you have more tips,  feel free to share your knowledge with us by commenting below

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