After another trip to Japan, we have six more tips that can help keep your expenses down while holidaying in The Land of the Rising Sun. You are free to mix and match them to suit your style of travel, your interests, and your budget.
Ditch International Roaming, Get a Rental Pocket Wifi Device
International roaming is pretty nifty to have, but it’s really expensive. One of the cheapest ways to stay connected to family and friends in the Philippines is to rent a pocket wifi device from a Japanese service provider and use messaging services like LINE, Viber, or FB Messenger. The pocket wifi device will also help you stay connected to navigate around unfamiliar places, translate signs from Japanese into English, or book accommodations on the go!
Get A Japan Rail Pass for Multiple City Stops
Although fifteen days isn’t enough to explore Tokyo alone, it’s also great if you could get out of the city and explore other areas. To make the most out of your limited time, you should take advantage of Japan’s shinkansen bullet train system. But tickets can be expensive, so try to save money by purchasing a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Coupon while you are still in the Philippines. Japan Rail Passes let you travel on all JR operated lines in 7, 14, and 21-day blocks — including JR local trains, JR bullet trains, JR buses, and JR ferries.
But be warned: you can only buy JR Rail Pass Exchange Coupons outside of Japan! They are not available in Japan — even in airports, train stations, and travel agencies. We get ours from our favorite travel agency Attic Tours, but they are also available from HIS, Universal Holidays, and the Japan Airlines ticketing office. Also, be careful with your JR Pass — if it is lost, stolen, or soiled, it is considered void and no refunds will be given.
Pre-purchase Your Tickets
When you’re on holiday, every minute is precious — so why waste time waiting in line for tickets when everything you need can be purchased online? From theme parks to musicals, buying your tickets online can significantly reduce your aggravation. Sometimes, there are also online-only offers — such as discounts, free meal vouchers, and free merchandise!
Get a Night Pass for Major Theme Parks
If you don’t relish the idea of spending an entire day at a crowded theme park, but there are one or two attractions just too good to pass up, try getting a night pass! Night passes can be up to 50% off original ticket prices, with entry timed at 3:00 PM onward — so there is still plenty of time to do stuff before they close the park. Tokyo’s Disney Resorts call theirs Starlight Passport, while Osaka’s Universal Studios call theirs Twilight Pass — so give it a try, it’s great value for money!
Go Outlet Shopping
People complain a lot that shopping Japan is expensive — and it is, unless you know where to look. We like to go outlet shopping a lot — especially in Tokyo’s famed Odaiba district. Unlike outlet shopping in the Philippines where the discounts are measly and sparse, outlet shopping in Japan really feels like you are getting a great deal! Take our visit to the Nike outlet in Venus Fort Odaiba: we scored three pairs of Nike trainers for just JPY 10,000 or roughly PhP 3,700! ❤
Make Don Quixote Your One-stop Souvenir Shop
Although most other blogs and sites recommend going souvenir shopping in Daiso 100-yen stores, there is another store that is seemingly untapped by Filipino tourists (but not to Chinese tourists hahaha): Don Quixote. Don Quixote is a department store that offers crazy selections, deep discounts, long store hours (sometimes 24 hours!), and Duty Free purchases for foreign tourists. At Don Quixote you can score home electronics (Zoujirushi rice cookers are hot items), Japanese cosmetics (even high end brands like Shiseido and Shu Uemura), and uhm Tenga.
Do let us know if our tips have helped, or if you have some tips of your own, via our Comments section 🙂
See also: Our Top Six Japan Travel Tips.