5 Ways to Save Money in Tokyo

Worried that you won’t be able to afford Tokyo living? Here are some easy tips that will save you HUNDREDS of dollars on living expenses while living in this fancy metropolis!

1. Don’t live in the busy areas

When it comes to housing options, common sense rules. Living in less crowded places away from busy places like Shinjuku/Shibuya will definitely save you money. And if you can get a place that’s right next to a train line into town you won’t mind the distance.

2. Share houses

As of writing this blog post, I pay about $1000 for a month to month apartment in a convenient part of town that’s close to the busy areas. Not the cheapest option. Instead I would highly suggest using a share house.

To be clear, a share house is not the same as a hostel. Lots of Japanese people live in share houses because they’re affordable. It’s like dorms for adults! Often you don’t have to have a room mate, and by sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living area with others you can significantly cut down on costs.

3. Convenience stores

You can get a lot of relatively healthy/wholesome food at convenience stores. While most of it’s junk food, you can often find fresh produce and easy (relatively) healthy meals. This is definitely not a “preservative and GMO free” meal solution, but it’s cheap and you can eat fairly well! Way better than your options in the US.

One of my favorite conbini meals is two onigiri (rice balls) and some miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed. Miso is the ultimate instant food, learn to love it!

4. Get a bike!

Japan is extremely bicycle friendly, and you can get a cheap bike for about $100 at many places, perhaps cheaper if its used.

5. 100 Yen Shops

One of my favorite places in to go in Japan are the 100 yen shops (aka the “dollar stores”). You would not believe what you can get at these stores for just 100 yen, and everything high quality too! Anytime I needed household goods, stationary, bins/organizers, cleaning supplies, etc, I would hit up the nearest 100 yen shop. Seriously, they are the best!

Did I miss anything?

There are lots of tips to save money in a city with so many choices. Do you have any tips you can share?

Share your knowledge in the comment section below!