Contrary to popular belief, Japan is not the exorbitantly expensive destination many perceive it to be. While it may not qualify as budget-friendly outright, it’s certainly on par with or even cheaper than several Western European countries. Moreover, there are numerous strategies you can employ to economise during your stay, including late-night shopping and utilising daily transportation passes.

For international visitors, it’s crucial to bear in mind certain essentials you’ll need to have on hand to facilitate this, with your passport being paramount for exploring Japan on a budget.

Navigating Japan on a Budget: Saving on Transportation with Discount Passes

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Transportation

Japan is well-known for its dependable and fast train network that spans the nation. The country boasts an outstanding, efficient transportation system that effortlessly connects you to nearly every destination in comfort. Complementing the trains, there’s also a commendable metro and bus network.

While transportation prices typically offer good value for the quality of service provided, here is a list of excellent deals available to help you save money:

1. Tokyo Furii Kippu (Tokyo 1-Day Ticket)

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Furii Kippu

This one-day pass grants unlimited access to all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines, as well as buses, trams, and JR lines within Tokyo.


  • Adult: ¥1,600
  • Child: ¥800

Where to buy: Available at JR stations, major subway stations (e.g., Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza), and sales offices for Toei buses and trams.

2. Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokunai Pass)

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokunai Pass)

Credit: Japanbird

This pass allows unlimited travel on all JR East lines (local and rapid) within Tokyo city limits for one day.


  • Adult: ¥750
  • Child: ¥370

Where to buy: Available at major JR stations (e.g., Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya)

3. N’EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket

How to Travel Japan on a Budget N’EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket


A round-trip ticket for savings on the Narita Express (N’EX), a convenient way to travel between Narita Airport and major Tokyo metropolitan area stations (e.g., Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Omiya, Yokohama, and Ofuna) with no transfers. This discounted ticket is only available to visitors from other countries (passports will be inspected).

Passengers may transfer to other JR East trains at any JR East station within the designated Tokyo train area after boarding the N’EX. The ticket cannot be used for re-entry after exiting a ticket gate.

Validity period: 14 days


  • Adult: ¥4,000
  • Child (aged 6-11): ¥2,000

Where to buy: Available only at the Narita Airport T1 and T2 JR Ticket Offices (Midori-no-Madoguchi) and JR-EAST Travel Service Centers.

4. Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway

Credit: Japanbird

This ticket allows one day of unlimited travel on all Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro lines.


  • Adult: ¥900 yen
  • Child: ¥450

Where to buy: Ticket vending machines are at all Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro stations.

5. Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Metro 24 Hour Ticket

Credit: Japan Station

With this ticket, you get unlimited rides on the Tokyo Metro for 24 hours after the first use. Tickets can be purchased up to six months in advance or on the day of use.

Validity: Valid for 24 hours following the first use within six months of purchase.


  • Adult: ¥600
  • Child: ¥300

Where to buy: Available for purchase at major Tokyo Metro stations.

6. Tokyo Subway Ticket (24-Hour, 48-Hour, and 72-Hour)

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Subway Ticket

Credit: Tokyo Metro

Unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines. Valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours after first use, depending on the ticket’s expiration date.

Only foreign tourists and domestic visitors residing outside of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Yamanashi are eligible.


  • 24-hour Ticket – Adult: ¥800, Child: ¥400
  • 48-hour Ticket – Adult: ¥1,200, Child: ¥600
  • 72-hour Ticket – Adult: ¥1,500, Child: ¥750

Where to buy: Available to overseas passport holders at Narita Airport T1 and T2 1F Arrival Lobby Keisei Bus Ticket Counters and Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal 2F Arrival Lobby Tourist Information Center.

7. One-day Pass for Yurikamome

How to Travel Japan on a Budget One-day Pass for Yurikamome


 Allows unlimited travel for one day on the Yurikamome Line.


  • Adult: ¥820
  • Child: ¥410

Where to buy: Available at vending machines inside Yurikamome Line stations.

Shopping in Japan on a Budget: Taking Advantage of Tax-Free Benefits

How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tax Free process

Spotting a sign or sticker that reads “Tax-Free” when visiting Tokyo is pretty common, even more so now that travel restrictions have finally been lifted, restoring COVID-related immigration restrictions to their prior status. In order to invite even more people to come to Japan on a budget, a continuously growing number of stores and malls offering tax-free shopping are popping up around the country, notably in Tokyo, as the country is seeing an influx of tourists and foreign visitors.

You can tell if a store is tax-free if it’s got the mark shown below, usually near the entrance next to the logo.

Shopping in Japan on a budget comes with some considerations. Before heading out for your shopping spree, it’s important to keep a few things in mind, as there are some exemptions and rules regarding who are eligible for this benefit.

Who cannot shop tax-free in Japan?

  • Those who entered the airport through an automatic gate without receiving an admission stamp.
  • Those who have spent more than six months in Japan.
  • Those who are currently employed in Japan.
  • Those who do not meet the exemption threshold for purchases.

What is the minimum purchase amount to avail of tax-free shopping in Japan?

The total amount of goods purchased at one retailer on the same day for ordinary items, including clothing, household appliances, bags, and watches, must be at least ¥5,000.

Consumables, such as food, cosmetics, and medicines, must be packaged specifically so they cannot be consumed in Japan. The total purchase value must fall within the range of ¥5,000 to ¥500,000 in a single day at a single retailer.

Regarding the previous paragraph about consumables, it’s very important to keep in mind that tax-free consumables are not meant to be consumed in Japan, and they come in a package that has to remain closed until you leave the country.

How can you avail of tax-free shopping?

1. Show your passport at the store

When shopping in Japan on a budget, remember to present your passport at the store. Copies are not permitted. Your photo, name, nationality, date of birth, place of residence, date of admission into Japan, and passport number will all need to be verified.

2. Product Delivery and Payment

Case (A): Pay the sales price with tax subtracted and get your products.

Case (B): After making purchases at each retailer, go to the tax-free bulk counter to get a refund for the consumption tax that was paid.

3. Show Your Passport at the Airport

When leaving Japan, ensure you show your passport to the customs official. They will need to see it as the data from the purchase record will be transferred electronically. In general, the person who bought the tax-free items must take them when leaving Japan.

    Please inform the airline workers at the check-in counter if you want to pack duty-free products in your checked luggage before doing so. The check-in counter will be visited by a customs official who will inspect your duty-free purchases.

    What are some tax-free shops in Japan?

    1. Bic Camera

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Biccamera

    Looking for bargains while shopping in Japan on a budget? Bic Camera, a well-known shopping centre, offers a wide range of goods, including electronics, medications, cosmetics, and daily essentials tax-fee for tourists. Bic Camera is your go-to place for all your popular Japanese goods needs. Consider gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch.

    2. Arcteryx

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Arc'teryx

    Though not Japanese, Arc’teryx, originally from North Vancouver, Canada, is a high-end design firm that specialises in outdoor clothing and equipment, and offers tax-free shoppping. It focuses on technical clothing, including related equipment, for climbing and Alpine sports.

    Don Quijote

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Don Quijote

    Almost anything you can imagine is available in the store, including clothing, luxury items, household appliances, groceries, technology, and sex toys. Don Quijote stores come in various forms, and sometimes you have to visit a specific one to find what you need, so you may want to explore as many as possible! Being a popular destination for foreigners in Japan, Don Quijote offers tax-free shopping to eligible customers.


    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Baccarat

    Looking for something luxurious? Baccarat, a French luxury company based in Baccarat, Meurthe-et-Moselle, produces beautiful crystal. The corporation owns both the Musée Baccarat in Baccarat and the Musée Baccarat in Paris on the Place des États-Unis, and their branches in Japan offer tax-free shopping!

    Listed above are just some of the most popular tax-free stores; there are many others to explore in the country!

    Experiencing Japan on a Budget: Unlocking Deals with Coupons

    When exploring Japan on a budget, don’t overlook the potential savings from coupons. Though they’re not always easy to come by, with a keen eye and a bit of digging, you might uncover plenty that could come in handy for various things, including food, attractions, and department stores.

    Below are some deals and coupons we’ve discovered online!

    1. Keio

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Keio

    Credit: Kakidai

    Keio, a pretty famous and big department store located in Shinjuku, caters to a more budget-conscious clientele than the more upscale options in the area. With its 11 stories, including two basements, it often hosts sales that are a hit with female shoppers in their forties and fifties.

    Remember, you’ll need to present your passport to the cashier at checkout to apply any discount codes.

    2. Tokyo Solamachi

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Solamachi

    Credit: Tsunagu Japan

    Tokyo Solamachi, situated at the base of the Tokyo Skytree, boasts over 300 shops and restaurants, making it a worthwhile visit even without Japan’s tallest tower on top. When you present your passport at the entrance, you can snag a pretty good coupon book that might score you gifts like a 10% off coupon, a free drink, or a novelty item.

    3. Tokyo Tower

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Tokyo Tower

    For breathtaking views of Tokyo, head to the Tokyo Tower, the world’s tallest self-supported steel tower. The Main Deck (150m) has been part of the “Event Discount” project, offering a 20% discount on ticket prices.

    4. Daimaru 

    How to Travel Japan on a Budget Daimaru

    Credit: Oilstreet

    Daimaru, a department store, offers a 5% discount coupon to foreigners shopping there. Remember, this coupon isn’t applicable to bargain items, food, or selected brands, and it’s only available to customers who’ve been in Japan for less than six months.

    We’ve highlighted just a few of the coupons we’ve stumbled upon online that could help you stretch your budget while exploring Japan.

    However, it’s essential to note that the availability of coupons can vary widely depending on the destination, especially those frequented by tourists. As coupons can sometimes be seasonal or subject to change, it’s a good idea to check before your visit to see if there are any discounts or deals you can take advantage of.

    Doing so could lead to significant savings on everything from shopping to dining and attractions, allowing you to make the most of your travel experience without breaking the bank.

    Unlocking Affordable Adventures: Travelling Japan on a Budget

    Embarking on a budget-friendly journey through Japan doesn’t mean sacrificing experiences; it’s about finding creative ways to make every yen count. From utilising coupons for discounts on shopping and attractions to exploring lesser-known destinations, there’s a wealth of opportunities to explore while keeping costs down. By taking advantage of local deals and planning ahead, travellers can immerse themselves in the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unique adventures that Japan has to offer without breaking the bank.

    We hope this blog post has helped you realise that Japan does not have to be expensive, and with a little ingenuity, you can enjoy all the wonders this beautiful country has to offer without draining your wallet. So, whether it’s savouring street food in Osaka, wandering through ancient temples in Kyoto, or marvelling at the futuristic skyline of Tokyo, there’s a thrifty adventure waiting for every explorer in the Land of the Rising Sun.