Enjoying Tokyo on a Budget
A city like Tokyo, with its bright lights and sleek technology, may seem like it belongs on a pedestal. Here everything soars high from its buildings to its ambitions—to the prices. It’s certainly not the cheapest city, but who says you can’t enjoy Tokyo on a budget? If you immerse yourself into the everyday life here, you’ll find that it’s not all about expensive living. There are plenty of ways and places that give you good quality and the comfort of low prices.
One of the most famous lifestyle concept stores in Japan is the 100-yen store, where everything costs that one small coin by default. From food to kitchen supplies to stationery, it’s easy to get anything you might possibly need for the home without worrying about the price. The most popular chains are Daiso, Seria and Cando, where they not only provide useful daily products but also keep their range exciting with limited edition items every season. There are also 300-yen stores—compared to their 100-yen counterparts, their products are arguably better in quality and variety at just an insignificant premium.
Seria Official site：http://www.seria-group.com/
In Japan, the real happy hour might just be lunchtime. This is the time of the day where restaurants and cafes put out their lunch deals, which are typically much lower than their dinner prices. You can often come across places offering “one-coin lunch” (ワンコインランチ) too, which refers to meals that you can pay for with just a ¥500 coin.
– Magurodon (Tuna bowl) ¥500 / Isari Ju hachi-ban (Shibuya)
– Yakitoridon (Barbecued chicken bowl) ¥500 / Sagoemon (Shibuya)
※ Limited to 30 meals
The next trick is to just look for “teishoku” (定食), the handy word for set meals. At one decent price, you can get a plate of food that usually includes a drink. These may cost several hundred to slightly over a thousand, but it’s a good way to get value for money at a nice restaurant.
If you feel like splurging a little on a budget, all-you-can-eat restaurants are the perfect way to stuff yourself without breaking the bank. Many places offer buffets at a reasonable range of ¥1000 to ¥3000, with plenty of variety to choose from.
A popular term used in Japanese fashion magazines is “puchi-pura” (プチプラ), which loosely translates to “small prices”. They’re used as a charm point of brands and shops that sell trendy clothes at low price points, allowing customers to have fun with fashion at a budget. GU is a bargain brand and sister to popular retail chain Uniqlo that has affordable and fashionable casual wear. It collaborates with popular models to produce stylish pieces that anyone can wear.
Other puchi-pura brand
How about a fun night out? One of the most popular types of social entertainment in Japan is karaoke—just turn the corner on any street and you’re likely to come across a karaoke chain (or even several, in the busy neighborhoods). One of the most affordable joints around is Uta Hiroba, where you can sing karaoke from as low as ¥145 per half hour. And that even includes an all-you-can-drink bar! If you want to spend the whole night singing your heart out, you can even do so from just ¥1,480 till 5 in the morning.
– Uta Hiroba
Uta Hiroba Official site：http://www.utahiro.com/
Other karaoke chain
– Karaoke no Tetsujin
Karaoke no Tetsujin Official site [English]：https://www.karatetsu.com/e/karaoke/
Tokyo has its expensive parts, but it also has its incredibly affordable parts tucked inside the city. There are several other tips and tricks to it—hanging around college neighborhoods, eating out at lunch or just keeping a lookout for great deals. Get the most out of your stay in Tokyo!
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