How to Travel Japan on a $40 Budget - Day 28

Where did we end up today in Japan?

Osaka, Japan. 

It's a Tuesday on the 6th of November, 2018. 

Where did we stay in Osaka?  

We chose to stay for two nights at Ikidane House to get us started in Osaka. It has a nice lounge area and small kitchen - which is actually harder to find than you may think.

This is the first hostel that allowed us to check in at 1300. Usually in Japan, the check-in time is 1500, except 1600 for our Nara experience.

We only wanted to drop off our bags, but they accommodated us with no problem. That's definitely a plus!

The showers are on the 6th floor, and our beds are on the 2nd. While a bit weird, that's happened before in Tokyo, too.  So far, it's a good hostel for the price on our $40 budget, being only ¥1200 ($10.60) a night.

What did we explore today in Osaka? 

Hopping on the train from Nara to Osaka only took us 30 minutes and ¥470. What a deal!

From Tenou-ji, we set off by foot to see some surrounding temples.

We practiced guided meditation before checking out of our hostel

Getting to work for Polywander early in the morning

Getting to work for Polywander early in the morning

Waking up and easing into a guided meditation always seems to get the day off to a clear start.

From there, with ¥10 coffees back-to-back, we caffeinated and grinded on some work before everyone else woke up. Mindful habits get us proactive early in the day, and support our life direction earnestly.

If you’re wondering how to spice up your life, try some of our favorite morning rituals.

We took to the streets for some local eats before leaving Nara

Persimmon leaf wrapped sushi, a Nara specialty

Persimmon leaf wrapped sushi, a Nara specialty

Chowing down on a set lunch. We got all of this for ¥606 each!

Chowing down on a set lunch. We got all of this for ¥606 each!

Getting a meal in before traveling all day has helped keep our physical spirits in good shape. After all, how can you perform when you have no energy to do so?

Being on a $40 budget has its limits, but also its perks. It means that you get to explore around longer and find the deals that work for you.

This can be frustrating, but also kind of fun other times. Today was a good step towards modest fun as we tried new foods at a cheaper price.

Sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves is popular in Nara. Since there is no ready access to the sea, locals have taken to preserving fish (especially mackerel) with salt, and wrapping it in leaves to maintain freshness and quality. Although we prefer fresh sushi over this, it was still a scrumptious snack! Make sure to grab some if in the area.

 Pro-tip: Dodge the inflated prices of restaurants located near tourist attractions. Walk a couple blocks away, and watch the prices drop in half! 

We felt the power of Isshin-ji and the glitter in our eyes

You looking at me!?

You looking at me!?

Doing what we do best (avoiding entrance fees), we admired the statues outside the temple grounds instead.

There were strong currents of incense drifting in the air. We followed them to an area lit by candles and pairs of 1,000 origami cranes hanging on strings for all to see. Supposedly, one creates 1,000 origami cranes to make a wish that the Red Crown Crane would then grant.

We flew through Shitenno-ji under the clouds

Shitenno-ji, the official oldest temple in Japan

Shitenno-ji, the official oldest temple in Japan

The entrance fee was ¥300, which is a great price for a temple, but not one we felt like paying for today. We’d like to save our budget for the tasty delicacies that fill the streets of Osaka.

We still enjoyed walking around the area and trying to sneak a view of the temple. If you visit, we would say go ahead and check it out! For the cheap price and rich history, it seems promising.

We saw Nakanoin in its unique wonder


A rather quaint Buddhist temple right off the main road, Nakanoin contains within it a small cemetery, honoring the deceased.

We sauntered through the temple grounds and enjoyed the tranquility of the moment before proceeding. 

We followed the unwavering Tsutenkaku like our North Star


The Tsutenkaku Tower is an iconic landmark in the Shinsekai District of Osaka. Crafted over 100 years ago, these streets were designed to replicate iconic cities throughout the world, such as Paris and New York City.

The Tsutenkaku Tower has observation decks on the fourth and fifth floors, but the real sights to see are down below. Cheap restaurants and shops fill the jam-packed streets, where you can eat your heart out on cheesy corndogs and purchase endless Osaka-themed trinkets and souvenirs.

While we actually did neither of these things, we lived vicariously through everyone as they ate and shopped. The lively and vibrant atmosphere was a nice change of pace from the rural farm life we had been experiencing.

How much did we spend traveling in Osaka?

Food: ¥2793 / $24.68

Transport: ¥470 / $4.15 - Train from Nara to Tenou-ji

Lodging: ¥1200 / $10.60 - Ikidane Hostel

Sightseeing: $0

Other: $0

Total: $39.43

Did we make it today? 


With food being our major expense, we feel great. Now that we’re in Osaka for eight days, we’ll have time to cut back on moving around and sit back to enjoy the tastes of Japan. No more extreme saving on $10 a day for grub!

To see more of how we travel Japan on $40 a day, be sure to subscribe to our Facebook page and Instagram!

Until then, safe travels!