Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cheap Eats

I think if you are not that particular about what you eat, eating for below RM15.00 (350yen) per  person per meal is extremely doable. You can enjoy ramen and curry rice at about 300-400yen. (No ramen or curry rice for us though!) Of course it is easier to find cheap stuff when one has no issues on what to avoid.

Yoshinoya's beef bowl and curry rice will only set you back for about 280-330yen.
Or if you have eat like a bird, just like our son, an onigiri (rice ball) cost less than 200yen a piece.
A cheap bento place. Everything on sale for less than 250yen a pack. Cheap, no frills meal to keep the hunger pangs away if you somehow blow your budget. xD
Ekiben (bento sold at train stations) can be rather expensive with an average price of 1,000yen per box but konbini (convenience store) or supermarkets bento can be quite cheap. Buying them later at night (say around 9.00pm) you can get discounts off them too. But you may have to fight for them with the "obachan" next to you!

Set meals can be affordable too, with outlets offering set meals at less than 1,000yen.

There are many cheap eats restaurants out there as those in Japan can attest to. Us visitors to be more adventurous and venture out to look for them and not be afraid to poke around and ask questions. Unless of course, you totally don't mind eating at posh places and hotel restaurants while you are vacationing in Japan, that is (or you are travelling with a tour group and all meals are already taken care of).

Why would you want to eat instant noodles brought over from home there in Japan when you can eat other stuff there?

What's your favourite affordable eatery in Japan? Share, please!


  1. We found a place called Korakuen in Shibuya which served ramen, fried rice, gyouza & eggs so cheap and tasty. We also loved depachika so we could try a little bit of everything. Bakeries were fantastic as well. I'm hungry just thinking about it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information - useful for visitors in these belt tightening times!

  3. Japan on a budget can be done and can cost you as little as USD$5-8 a meal if you eat at budget Japanese restaurants like Yoshinoya, Sukiya, and CoCo Ichiban Curry House.

    Japan Australia

  4. @Lisa,
    Oooo I love to visit the bakeries there too. Those pastries, cakes are not only delicious they are a work of art!

    Though we got to be careful to avoid anything with lard. :(

  5. @Jenny,
    and I hope more readers will share their budget tios here to for us all to benefit. ^^

  6. @Japan Australia,
    Yup. That's definitely true.

    Japan can be quite affordable or it can be expensive. Just like visiting any other countries.

  7. Hey there..yes yes it is I, heheheheh, got a chance to catch up on your blog and boy have i missed out on alot..will read the past blogs much later :-) Reading your blog just proves me point that it is still worth it to visit Japan. I simply cant stand that typical line 'Its so expensive' but reading your blog, it shows that there are affordable places to go in Japan. Ooooh you're going off there soon aren't you and at such a beautiful time of the year too ! Im envious ..

  8. Of course they are rice balls.Sometimes it's sandwich.

    Occasionally it's kaiten-zushi(or rolled sushi) . :D

  9. cheapest meals? lols...when hosts belanja! ^^ I felt so bad that I actually mustered up some nasi goreng for them and they love the packet perencah! good thing I brought a few there ^^

  10. @cuteandcurls,
    Hi dearie! How are you and baby? Doing well, I bet. :)

    Japan can be expensive. Japan can be quite affordable. Living in Malaysia, we are faced with the same issue too. Either eat at a nice posh restaurant or go eat at the Mamak - it's our choice. With some research, Japan (and any other country) can be affordable.

    RM12,000 for 3 for a two weeks' holiday is rather a bargain, right? That's our yearly budget for our Japan trip. (Shopping excluded though. Hahah)

  11. @cocomino,
    All great food with cheap prices. :)

    Another tip - eat a lot during breakfast if your hotel give complimentary breakfast and skip lunch. xD

  12. @Glo-w*,
    Hahaha true! Hosts' treat saves money.

    And I'm sure they'd appreciate if we whip up some local treats for them too.

    I haven't had the chance to cook local food for any Japanese yet. ^^

  13. I like eating red beans dorayaki found on the street!:D They always remind me of Doraemon!

  14. @ristinw,
    And I like to buy the doraemon ningyo-yaki (either with red bean or custard fillings) to bring back as souvenirs for kids. :)

  15. Hmmm.... that's true, no allergies and no pickiness have their adavnrages...

    I've never been to Japan yet so can't share...:=)

    Hopefully soon enough I can see the place.

  16. @WebbieLady,
    I hope you will. :)

  17. I so love how you have planned, set aside the budget for your trip, now thats what I like. I'm learning from you :-) 12k budget eh for a family of 3 that includes accomodation, transportation and f&b?
    Life as a first time Mommy, all i can say, makes me feel so nervous, worry and much more but Im loving it, i just wish there is a manual that comes after popping out the munchkin hehehe ive been shrouded with problems of poo and baby eczema and sometimes i wish i could understand why she kicks up such a work out when shes sleeping ..overall my baby is good just these stuff that i tend to worry over. Say just asking who is your baby boy's paedatrician?

  18. @cuteandcurls,
    Yup, all inclusive in that 12K except each shopping lists, and that's counting the airfares too! ^^

    Poor dear. It's hard for you especially when you are on your own here. But as new mommies, yeah, we tend to worry a lot over our little bundle.

    Last time, Raimie visited the Paed at Tawakkal Hospital. Then when we moved to Balakong, there's a specialist paed clinic at Batu 11 Cheras. Both a bit too far for you lah.

    Anyway, take care and stay healthy - both of you. *hugs*

  19. Kombini bento is cheap and tasteful. When I go hiking,I would buy the bento usually.

  20. LOL... nvr been to Japan, no idea wht is cheap and wht's not!>_<

  21. @minor,
    bento is great! But of course, after having bento for a few days, a hot meal would be nice too. ^^

  22. @Alice,
    No problem. You can read other comments here for future reference. ;)

  23. If someone like to bring instant noodles from home to eat there all the time, might as well they stay at home and watch Japanese show on TV :)
    Japanese food is a must try!

  24. @VanillaSeven,
    So true! But I've known people who'd brought over those in fear of expensive food and food that they can't eat in Japan. huhuhu

    And yeah, once in Japan of course we must try and eat Japanese food!

  25. Useful tips you have here plus those from the commenters. Thanks.

    Which part of Japan are you heading to this year? I'm already excited for you. LOL

  26. @HappySurfer,
    I love that commentors also help to give more info on any post. Don't you? Makes the post more lively with discussion. :)

    I'm heading down south this time. Kyushu (for the 3rd time) and Shikoku (for the 1st time), Osaka and of course, Tokyo plus maybe Tochigi if we have time. ^^

  27. excited for your next post on Japan!

  28. @Filipina Ini,
    Worry not! It'll come up soon. :)

  29. i could just live on konbini nikuman every day!

  30. @reesan,
    I'm sure you can! xD Though I'd pig out on nicer meals afterwards. heh heh

    Eating a lot of them, now that the season is cold? ;)

  31. So will you be splurging on food in Japan this time? Or keep to a tight budget? : )

  32. @foong,
    Food is important. SO there is ample budget for food. Just not much budget for my "yearly" wardrobe update this year. I usually only do my clothes shopping while on vacation. huhu

  33. Lot's of interesting tips. I avoid convenience store food for meals other than when I need breakfast for a long morning trip on a train/bus. I prefer going to a bento shop like Origin or Hotto Motto. Not as cheap as 300 yen, but at least it's fresh. Still an average of 500 yen or less.

    Other tips, I find convenience stores don't discount much at all, especially 7-11. Department stores usually discount food at 1:45pm and again around 6:45pm. Supermarkets usually have better food than a convenience store and their discounts usually start around 3pm and 9pm. Izakaya are a great way to go out drinking and still save money. What usually costs $30/person in Canada can be about 1000 yen. But you can't compare bar food. :)

  34. @Dru,
    Thanks for the tips! I saw a few bento shops around the neighborhood of the hotel we stay in, maybe I should check them out while we're there. ^^


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