Cheap Food for Backpacker at Japan.

Japan had been set by me to be my top destination in East Asia after visited Hong Kong, Macao and Shenzen a year earlier.

For a backpacker who concerns with a budget like me, Japan becomes an expensive place that needs some tricks to spend minimal budget for 4 days exploring its magnetism. Japan magnetism has made every traveler are impressed to Japan.

For minimizing hotel budget, I got a free overnight stay at Kansai International Airport and also got a cheap dormitory at Yadoya Guesthouse (in Nakano area) and Kaga Hotel (in Osaka city).

Transportation budget was also helped by Tokunai Pass in Tokyo and One Day Pass in Osaka.

Well, I will tell how I chose some ways to got cheap food in Japan for saved budget. I did it because I has to save a lot of money for visiting another countries in the world to realize my long backpacker mission.


When arrived at Narita International Airport on 11:15 then lunch was something that couldn’t be delayed anymore. It wasn’t possible to waited for lunch in Tokyo downtown. After searched it around Narita’s Arrival Hall, I just found some expensive price at food court, I finally pushed  my steps into Lawson. Indeed many cheap onigiris, but single onigiri certainly wasn’t enough for lunch. Finally it was the best option that I took for my menu:Lunch at Narita

Two onigiris with some companion menu for 248 Yen made me enough satisfied.


My thinking way is simple when being backpacker. I will eat on time to avoid sickness during trip. And wherever is it and when eating time comes then I will try to find the cheapest food around me. I don’t need to go back to a certain place for eating. Just calm and eat something as soon as possible.

My dinner happened when I was enjoying Ameyoko (Ameya Yokocho) Market hubbub near Ueno station. When hungry wasn’t unstoppable I finally started to looked for food around it. A lot of Turkish was opening kebab stall, but it seemed less for my portion.

Dinner at 4 degrees Celsius weather would be better if ate hot noodles like it:

Dinner at Yokoco

Spent for 398 Yen and got a bottle of ice water …. made me could sleep so soundly


I had a breakfast near Yadoya Guesthouse in Nakano where I stayed during visiting Tokyo. Walking around home-based restaurant, I just found a relatively expensive menu. Finally I found Family Mart there. 10 slices of onigiri was being my dish

Breakfast Nakano

Simply paid 298 Yen

Menu in Amerikamura, Osaka

A day later, visiting Amerikamura required me to buy a lunch menu before moved towards Namba Parks.

So hard to found cheap food here, but finally I bought a menu at a home-based Japanese restaurant which selling Thai food.

Here was my choice:

Lunch Amerikamura


Slightly expensive to spent for 680 Yen. Because of no other options. But the portion was very much for Indonesian liked me ….. I couldn’t breathe because of satiety.

Well for you who have a minimal budget, don’t worry  for visiting Japan. There is always a solution as long as we tricky faced all condition there.

Let’s visit Japan, friends ……

28 thoughts on “Cheap Food for Backpacker at Japan.

  • If you are in a city, usually a department store will have a “food court” either on the top floor or basement. I found cheap eats there. In Oita, it was in the main department store on the top floor. 30 years ago when a bowl of ramen usually cost 550Y, I could get one in the food court for 100Y. It wasn’t as tasty as a ramen restaurant, nor did it sport as many veggies and meat but hey, it was very cheap. There was hamburgers and other foods at the various vendors up there. It’s very noisy there though because parents drop off their kids while they go shopping on the other floors.

      • yeah, almost every city has a department store and it’s been my experience many of the big department stores I’d been to, even in Tokyo, had the food court.

      • It’ll be cool to hear about your traveling around Japan. It’s been awhile since I’ve been back.

      • Yeah….very organized country there. I think you are adventurer too….I’m Indonesian from the Capital City (Jakarta)….Where are yo from? Nice to following your site

      • I’m from the USA. I live in Tucson, Arizona, USA now. But when I was younger, I taught English in Japan for a few years. I liked living there. People were nice.

  • I hope I can visit USA sometimes….the dream for very traveler in the world…America for us as Indonesian is very strict to be visited. That is my interesting challenge

  • Ah nice blog! I loved my time in Japan, I was lucky not to have to worry too much about the cost back then. I was touring with a theatre company so we got to visit many places in Japan. We were performing Shakespeare, I don’t think anyone understood a word of what we were saying though! Great blog, looking forward to reading more!

  • convenient stores or food courts would be the choice. And even some restaurants offer lunch combo for 500 yen or so. Just for lunch but still good.

  • Airports, stations and convenience stores are expensive.
    However, in Japan, security is good, “drink water in restaurant” is free, and chip and bribes are not needed, but,everything may be expensive!!
    Please come back Japan,again!XD

    • Hi Nasuko…..Very happy for visiting your country….very Organized and Helpful people there…very modern city of Tokyo and Osaka. About food….are nice everywhere….yess, I hope I can come to Japan again. I want to Kyoto and Okinawa next.

  • Larger Lawsons offer a pretty impressive spread of affordable food. I actually have pretty fond memories of getting a different dessert each night from them during my Japan trips. LOL.

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