Japan is an expensive country to travel in and that needs to be accepted pretty quickly in order to enjoy yourselves, however there are a few ways to save money when exploring the most populous city in the world.
We can't recommend a stay at this boutique hostel come independent venue enough, bang smack in the middle of one of the best areas of Tokyo, it has everything a backpacker needs plus the little extra touches. Hostel prices in Tokyo can be around triple the prices of other Asian countries so with this in mind, Wired Hostel is an incredibly reasonable choice but they also offer hotel rooms and have something to suit all budgets. They offer free and informative food tours around the local area every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday as well as regular events in there contemporary restaurant and bar area. A free welcome drink each morning, the comfiest beds and some of the best showers we've had in a hostel made Wired the perfect stay for us.
Tokyo Huute offers the best priced coffee and toast in town, the perfect breakfast after a few too many cans of 'strong'. With super fast wifi and a great co-working space, you'll find it hard to leave. When lunch comes around, find yourself in one of the many 'Soba Noodle' spots. They usually have a vending machine style ordering system outside the restaurant and it will only set you back around $2 for a bowl of delicious noodles in tasty soup, topped with a veg or prawn tempura.
Japan has no shortage of convenience stores, every few metres you'll find a Family Mart, 7Eleven or Lawson and each has a wide variety of delicious meals and snacks. You can't get a bad meal in Japan and convenience store meals are no different; you can pick up sushi, Chinese buns or a variety of meats on the hot counter. Even the locals eat here often! Top tip: Family Mart coffee is delicious and cheap, perfect for on-the-go coffee around the city.
The famous Shibuya crossing lies at the exit of Shibuya Metro station, it's apparently the busiest intersection in the world and a free spot providing serious Instagrammers with hours of fun. Visit night or day and queue up with hundreds of other tourists and locals and await the lights turning green when chaos ensues.
Why pay for the pricey Sky Tower when you can can get up over 200 metres high for free at the Metropolitan Government building near Shinjuku. We recommend visiting around sunset and watch the city disappear into darkness and the bright lights appear.
The fastest and most convenient way to travel around Tokyo is via the intricate underground system where different companies unite. A single journey on the Tokyo Metro will set you back around 300yen but if you plan a full day of sightseeing, it's worth picking up a 24 hour ticket for 600yen with unlimited journeys on the Tokyo Metro or 900yen to combine it with the Toei Subway.