- Stay at a hostel
I know it may sound scary at first but most hostels if not all hostels are super clean and nice. A good thing nowadays is the existence of booking websites where you can clearly see pictures and reviews of them by actual guests, just pay attention to the details you care more about and weight your decision on them. For example, even if a hostel has a great score/reviews about its rooftop bar but you don’t drink or hate high places maybe that option will not be your best match even though its the “best seller” of that area.
Extra tip: Many hostels include some sort of breakfast and/or have kitchen facilities which can save you a few dollars down the road.
- Know or research what you want to do
It is key to know in what area are you most interested to visit because some hostels or hotels are waaay out of the “popular touristic areas” and while most of them will offer you cheap prices you will most certainly spend a lot of money and time to travel back and forth to the touristic sites.
- Ride a bike
Many hostels offer the option to rent a bike for a few hours or the whole day, this can save you money and time and allow you to experience the city in a different way as you will be seeing more parts of the city contrary to taking the metro.
You can buy a Suica card or other similar ones to pay for many transportation vehicles. This allows you to plan how much you want to spend per day or week and if you recharged some extra money in it you can always use it to buy food in vending machines and even some restaurants! If you are not used to big metro/subway/train transportation, this can be a bit challenging especially because things are usually written in Japanese (with no English translation in some points). Try not to panic and pay attention to the free maps at your disposal also keep in mind Japanese transportation can be super crowded so prepare some extra time in case you miss your stop.
- JR Pass
Depending which city are you visiting a JR Pass can be a good ally, although the price might seem a bit high it has its perks like giving you the option to visit many cities and use some metro lines for the same price.
Many people believe that traveling to Japan is or has to be expensive but I can tell you from experience it is not the case. While of course the amount of money you will spend can vary a lot depending on your habits, I hope this can help you plan your next vacation and experience this lovely country.