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What is the cheapest way to travel around Japan?

I am studying Japanese and want to travel around Japan for a couple of months visiting Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka, and various other places. However, travelling in japan always seems to be very expensive when I google it. I am a student (in the UK) and therefore on a tight budget. Where are the cheapest places to stay/eat? Cheapest flights and domestic travel?

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15 Responses to “What is the cheapest way to travel around Japan?”

  1. Luella B said :

    Hitch hiking? lol

  2. The Last Ranger said :

    buy a used bike

  3. Matthew M said :

    On foot, and by train when you need to travel a long distance.

  4. SWC said :

    I would say walk around a lot and if you need to catch a cab.

  5. John23 said :

    Hitch a lift from Godzilla

  6. iwillmocku said :

    Train or bus. Or if you’re a hot white girl, almost any old japanese man will happily drive you around ANYWHERE.

  7. Senen :] said :


  8. apryl l said :

    rental car to get around… get a cheap small one…. eat at the places around town or go to the markets and haggle… prices at the market are not set in stone…

    the most important part…

    KNOW THE CURRENCY … if you dont you will get taken advantage of everywhere you go

  9. Beejee said :

    Bullet trains for distant travel ought to be inexpensive – Google that mode.

    Mopeds in the cities, or bikes.

    Heaven forbid you should need ‘shanks mare’, especially if you will be against the clock. Excuse me…meaning ‘pressed for time’.

    (Does Japan have hostels? Check it out.)

  10. Jerry BO said :

    The cheapest way to travel, is the “shoe leather sedan”

  11. TokyoE said :

    If you want to keep it cheap don’t stay “for a couple of months”, every day you stay the money spent adds up.

    Food is cheap, ramen places, noodle places, mom and pop small restaurants.
    Cheap lodging, hostels, guest houses, park bench.
    Flying domestically is not cheap. Overnight highway bus is reasonable price, but very tiring. A more expensive high speed train might take 2-3 hours to cover a route that takes a bus 8-9 hours.

  12. vancouver_syndicate said :

    hostels in japan can be a great deal. i stay in many throughout my travels.

    i have to agree with the person who said bike. surprisingly i met a lot of people biking from one part of japan to another when i was travelling.

    my friend even did it from tokyo to sendai all within a week.

  13. luddite said :

    I did this a few years ago and had a wonderful time.
    Travel: do not use domestic flights in Japan, they are really expensive. Buy a JR Rail Pass before you go, you will save a fortune on fares and you can use it on ferries and buses too. You can also use it on all but the fastest bullet train (shinkansen).
    There are plenty of cheap hostels in Japan, you can book them online.
    Food is cheap and nutritious, as long as you avoid the fancy hotels and restaurants. Just go where the Japanese go.
    Don’t expect anyone to speak English, learn a bit of Japanese. Find out about customs and how to behave in social situations before you go.
    Take cash. Japan is still a cash society.
    Do NOT try to hitchhike. Do expect to be stared at. Exercise the same caution and safety measures as you would at home.
    Have a great time.

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