Japan cheap travel

A complete guide to budget travel in Japan

 
 Boat to Kagoshima
 The ferry between Kagoshima and Yakushima
 
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Travel Overview

In general, traveling around Japan is not always cheap. But, thankfully there are excellent money saving passes for both the railways and the airlines.

Japanese Travel Passes

Choose carefully which pass is best for you. This will depend on how long you intend to stay in Japan, how much you intend to move around and how much you can afford to spend.

Investigate all the possibilities for your itinerary in order to get the cheapest and best value pass.

Trains, planes and buses

The Japan Rail Pass is great if you are staying for just a few weeks and moving around a lot.

However, if you have more time to spend in Japan, there are cheaper options than this. For example, the Seishin 18 Kippu. Another important factor to consider is the availability periods for the both the cheap Seishin 18 Kippu and the blackout periods for the air passes.

The Highway buses are a good option for single journeys. A journey on a bus or train overnight will of course save you money on accommodation. Another great option for the budget traveller.

The cheapest way to get around Japan is of course to hitchhike or cycle. We hitchhiked on shorter journeys, for example, to campsites or the start of hikes. However, hitchhiking can definitely be an option in Japan for longer distances too. We highly recommend all prospective hitchhikers in Japan should read Will Ferguson's Hokkaido Highway Blues (see books section).

A combination of Travel Passes

Since we planned to stay in Japan for three months we had plenty of time to cover a lot of ground. We found that the best combination for us was to use the JAL Airpass, the Seishin 18 Kippu and the JR East train passes (as well as a little hitchhiking for our shorter journeys).

Findings cheap flights to Japan

There are numerous online search engines for finding cheap flights to Japan. One of the best is cheapoair.com which searches multiple sources and is great if you're located in North America. Click here to search cheap airfare deals icon or click on the logo above right.