How to Travel Japan on a $40 Budget - Day 1

Can you travel Japan on just $40 a day? We have 1 month in Japan to figure that out. Follow our blog to see how we travel Japan on a tight budget.

Where are we today? 

Tokyo, Japan. 

After our longest 12 hour flight, we arrived at NRT around 1400. We took the shuttle from the airport to the train station nearest our hostel, from which point we walked a comfortable distance to check in and get situated.

Where to stay in Tokyo?

First day out we stayed in Little Japan Hostel. Booked a few days in advance on Hostel World, it was an amazing stay central to local sites.

What did we explore today?

Ueno Park

We started off the day with a stroll through Ueno Park in Tokyo. Containing several temples and shrines within its vicinity, it offers a glimpse of Japan's rich history to all.

Nezu Shrine


Located near Ueno Park, the Nezu Shrine in particular provides individuals a chance to witness the rich cultural history embedded within the city.

Tokyo Metropolitan Building


Instead of paying an entrance fee for the Tokyo Tower, we opted for this building as it boasted views of the city just as incredible for free.

Youogi Park


After checking out the Tokyo Metro Building, we wandered across the street over to this park. The shade provided by the trees made it a great spot to lounge and relax before we continued onward for the day.

Shibuya Crossing


We witnessed this bustling intersection in action- hundreds of people navigating throughout the street simultaneously, in a form of controlled chaos. It was impressive how everyone navigated so swiftly and calmly throughout such large crowds.

Imperial Palace


Although claimed to be a must-visit destination in Tokyo, we were very unimpressed. The architecture of the palace is indeed amazing, but we would not recommend spending money on the entrance fee, for the splendor can be observed just fine from outside.


How much did we spend? 

Food: ¥2709 / $24.07

After a long flight we delved into some nutritious meals.

Transport: ¥310 / $2.73

Trains are cheap to get around in Tokyo, but we didn’t need to use them too often anyway.

Lodging: ¥1725 / $15.25

Hostels are clearly the way to go!

Sightseeing: $0

All of the sights we saw were free. That’s how you make the budget work.

Other: $0

Total: ¥4763 / $42.35

Did we make our budget of $40 today?

Not yet under, but just near the line--so we say yes. First day was a success!

To see more of our travels, be sure to subscribe to our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Until next time…