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Budget-friendly travel hacks for digital nomads in Japan

Japan is a country that is known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. However, for digital nomads, Japan may seem like an expensive destination. But, with some budget-friendly travel hacks, you can enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore some of the best budget-friendly travel hacks for digital nomads in Japan.

1. Use public transportation

Japan has one of the most efficient and reliable public transportation systems in the world. The easiest and cheapest way to get around is by using the trains and buses. If you’re planning to stay in Japan for a while, consider getting a Japan Rail Pass. This pass allows you to travel on most trains in Japan, including the Shinkansen (bullet train), for a fixed price. You can choose between a 7-day, 14-day or 21-day pass, depending on your travel plans.

Another option is to use a prepaid IC card such as Suica or Pasmo. These cards can be used on trains, buses, and even for some purchases at convenience stores. You can also use the IC card to pay for your transportation fare, which is often cheaper than buying a ticket at the station.

2. Stay in hostels

Accommodation in Japan can be expensive, especially in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. However, there are many hostels that offer affordable and comfortable accommodation for digital nomads. Hostels are also a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends. Some of the best hostels in Japan include K’s House Tokyo, J-Hoppers Kyoto, and Backpackers Hostel K’s House Hiroshima.

Another option is to use Airbnb to find affordable accommodation. You can find a wide range of options, from private rooms to entire apartments, at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. However, be aware that some cities in Japan have strict regulations on Airbnb, so make sure to check the rules before booking.

3. Eat like a local

Japanese cuisine is delicious, but eating out can be expensive. To save money, eat like a local and try some of the street food. You can find delicious and cheap food at food stalls, convenience stores, and local markets. Some of the most popular street foods in Japan include takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).

Another option is to eat at chain restaurants such as Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or Sukiya. These restaurants offer affordable and tasty meals, such as beef bowls and curry rice, for around 500-700 yen ($5-7).

4. Visit free attractions

Japan is full of amazing attractions, but many of them come with a price tag. However, there are also many free attractions that you can visit. Some of the best free attractions in Japan include the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Another option is to visit museums and galleries on free admission days. Many museums and galleries offer free admission on certain days of the week or month. For example, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo offers free admission on the first Sunday of every month.

5. Use discount passes

There are many discount passes available in Japan that can help you save money on transportation, attractions, and food. For example, the Tokyo Subway Ticket allows you to use the subway lines in Tokyo for a fixed price. The Osaka Amazing Pass gives you free admission to many attractions in Osaka, as well as unlimited use of the subway and bus lines.

Another option is to use a regional pass such as the Kansai Thru Pass or the Hokkaido Rail Pass. These passes allow you to travel around a specific region for a fixed price, and often include discounts on attractions and restaurants.

6. Shop at 100 yen stores

If you need to buy souvenirs or other items, consider shopping at 100 yen stores. These stores sell a wide variety of items for only 100 yen (about $1). Some of the most popular 100 yen stores in Japan include Daiso, Seria, and Can Do.

Another option is to shop at second-hand stores such as Book Off or Hard Off. These stores sell used books, electronics, and other items at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

7. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi

As a digital nomad, you need to stay connected to the internet. Luckily, there are many places in Japan where you can find free Wi-Fi. Some of the best places to find free Wi-Fi include Starbucks, McDonald’s, and convenience stores.

Another option is to rent a portable Wi-Fi device. These devices allow you to connect to the internet anywhere in Japan, and can be rented for a reasonable price.


In conclusion, Japan is a beautiful and fascinating country that can be enjoyed on a budget. By using these budget-friendly travel hacks, you can explore all that Japan has to offer without breaking the bank. So pack your bags, book your ticket, and get ready for an amazing adventure in Japan!

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