Japan is often thought of to be an expensive place for visitors. Whilst this is certainly true to some extent, it is possible to save money by eating cheaply when travelling around this wonderfully diverse and interesting country. Do what the locals do if you are trying to eat on a budget in Japan; avoid the pricier restaurants that are mainly geared at the tourist market, and try some smaller joints, as well as markets, street vendors, food halls, and supermarkets.
Follow these tips for eating in Japan on a budget to make your Yen go further:
Fill up at Breakfast
Some accommodation has breakfast included. Make sure that if there is a time limit that you make it to the dining room before breakfast finishes to avoid having to buy something to eat whilst you are out and about. It is well worth filling up at breakfast time as this will stop you from snacking throughout the morning. It sets you up well for the day as well as saving you money. Remember, you’ve already paid for your breakfast in your room rate, so you might as well get your money’s worth!
Check Out the Supermarkets
There are sections devoted to take out food in the supermarkets, and you can find a great variety of readymade meals for a fraction of the cost in a restaurant. You will be given plastic cutlery to eat with, if it’s not already attached to the pot, so you don’t need to worry about making a mess! Choose from cartons of noodles, sushi, rice balls, and more, or take a few to share between a group for a mini little outdoor feast! It will be easy to find somewhere to sit as you are wandering around, although, of course, this is dependent upon the time of year and the overall weather conditions.
Sample the Japanese Street Food
Street food is delicious, filling, clean, and cheap! It is a great evening option, with many stalls setting up to cater to the needs of those seeking sustenance at the end of a busy day. You will find a terrific selection of traditional foods, including things like noodles, dumplings, fish, pancakes, and fruit. You could also think about getting a few extra things for snacks later on in the evening in case you feel peckish, or for breakfast the following morning if your hotel does not include a morning meal.
Step into Standing Room Only Establishments
If you don’t mind eating whilst standing, these bustling places can be just the job for you. Mainly found in places frequented by workers, they offer quick and cheap eats for those in a hurry. Enjoy noodles and curries in true Japanese style, and save yourself money in the process. A real no frills option, it is perfect for those travelling on a budget.
Don’t Overlook Fast Food Joints and Bakeries
As well as being great for those trying to eat in Japan on a budget, fast food restaurants here also serve a great selection of Japanese meals in addition to the fried stuff that you get back at home. It is possible to enjoy a good meal for a reasonable price. Bakery goodies are also a great option, with numerous pastries, cakes, and savoury items to keep you going.
Eating in Japan need not cost the earth when you follow these tips for eating in Japan on a budget.