Surviving Tokyo on a Student’s Budget

Tokyo is an exciting and vibrant city. It is also one of the most expensive cities to live in. For international students, it can be quite a hurdle especially if you want to take in all the exotic new sights and visit beautiful places in and around the city.

You can still enjoy Tokyo, the many new places, experience the culture of Japan, and still be on budget by keeping a few tips in mind:

Know where to eat and how to eat cheap

There are numerous options for a delicious meal in Tokyo.  There are restaurants offering a wide range of prices to fit anyone’s budget. Eating out can seem inexpensive at first but later on it all adds up. There are other cheaper options for a delicious meal to enjoy. Cooking at the dorm is one of the best options to cut back on meal costs. Supermarket bento boxes or other ready-made meals also go on sale in the evenings.

Bento. | Mun Keat Looi

Going out with friends

Hanging out with friends can get costly especially if you go to restaurants, bars or cafes often. There are many other ways to spend time with your friends that won’t cost as much such as a picnic at the park, a simple get together at the dorm or even checking out various sights as a group. There are so many free places to discover in Tokyo!

Save on transportation

Tokyo has one of the best train systems in the world. They are reliable, comfortable and convenient, but it can also be costly for students on a budget. To save on travel costs, make use of your student I.D. for discounts. Biking is also a great option to get around in the city.

Train platform, Tokyo. | Timothy Vollmer

Go on a frugal shopping spree

Being in an expensive city such as Tokyo doesn’t mean there aren’t any cheap places to shop in. It’s just a matter of knowing where the bargains are. Shopping in Tokyo can be fun and frugal at the same time by going to some of the popular places for shopping such as Shimokitazawa also known as shimokita, is a neighborhood of streets surrounding Shimo-kitazawa Station where Odakyu Electric Railway and Keio Inokashira Lines intersect. The district has long been known for hosting live performances and is the place for stage theater and music venues.

Shimokitazawa. | Shibuya246