Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tokyo Cheapo

Looking for more suggestions on ways to save money while visiting Tokyo? Check out www.tokyocheapo.com for information on visiting or living in the Japanese capital city without going broke.
The site is geared to true budget travel, listing mainly hostels for lodging, but it has good ideas even if you prefer to stay in hotels. There is an interesting post on how to spend three days in Tokyo for $125 that involves eating very cheaply, staying all three nights at a comic book store that becomes a type of hostel at night, and landing at Haneda, the closer-in of Tokyo's two airports.
Japan is known for innovative hotel options, including the coffin-like capsule hotels that cater mainly to Japanese businessmen who are too drunk to make it home. Very few of these hotels accept women or foreigners, thank heaven. However, shops that convert to hostels at night were a new one for me. The latter even sell six-hour or nine-hour packages of sleep time.
Japan's scarcity of land means that many Japanese live in places that Westerners would find claustrophobic. However, the country's high level of economic development and strict social norms mean that even very small or somewhat dingy places are likely to be very safe. Unless you get drunk or otherwise go looking for trouble, you have little to worry about in terms of street crime.
The TokyoCheapo site suggests bringing most of the cash you expect to need with you from home, where exchange rates are likely to be better. And because of the culture, you need not be concerned about walking around with a lot of cash.


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