Before I went to Japan few years ago, I heard many information about this country. “You have to bring lots of money if you want to go to Japan because everything in there are so expensive”, “Don’t ever think to take a taxi while you’re in Japan. It will finish your savings”, “The foods are very expensive. It’s better to buy the raw ingredients from the supermarket and cook by yourself”, and many information that made me think whether this country only offer the expensive goods for tourists and their citizens? Then, I dare myself to go to Japan and proving those information.
In this post, I will share my experiences how to cut the expenses on foods and beverages while I was in Japan. I organized that on my travel itinerary before I started the journey. However, when I arrived in Osaka and Kyoto, I found that the foods and beverages were not too expensive as long as I know what was the strategy that allow us to consume delicious foods with cheap prices. Here some tips:
- Sharing Foods – Based on my experience, the meal portion in many restaurants in Japan was so large and it was too large to be consumed by one person. I had tested by having one full portion of meal just for me and it ended up in the trash can for the leftover foods. Then, we decided to order one portion of meal and shared. We would buy another portion, if we still need more foods. It would be more efficient and there was no leftover foods. If you feel akward to ask for plate, don’t worry because the waitresses in Japan were very welcome to give the spare bowl or plate for sharing.
One of the example is when we ordered the tofu with rice meal in Kyoto. It served with a small cup of soy sauce and some pickles in another cup. We thought that the portion was already perfect for one person when we saw it in the menu. However, we ordered only one portion and we shared. Then, we felt that the half portion was fit enough for one person. By doing this, it will save the traveling expenses.
- Buy Foods and Beverages after 6PM – In Japan, some mini markets and supermarkets offer special prices after 6 PM everyday, which disounted by up to 50% for most of their foods and beverages. I love this promotion so much! I bought the onigiri and a bottle of coffee every night for breakfast in the next day. The onigiri itself was so packed with the ingredients, which then one was enough for breakfast. Don’t worry about the quality of food if you buy them late at night. Because the food quality was still good and the ingredients were still fresh.
- Buy 2 bowls of rice and 3 side dishes – We can say that it is a sharing moment as well but we shared only the side dishes. Based on our experience while in Gion area, Kyoto, we only find the ellegant restaurant and the only word that we can think was EXPENSIVE. However, we didn’t have any other choices but to enter the restaurant by guessing about the prices. Then, we just realise that the fine restaurant will offer a little higher prices but we can share. We only just to order 1 food for 1 person for the minimum order. The foods were so proper and we easily get full.
We ordered the Okonomiyaki. It is a Japanesse Savory Pancake with the cabbage as a main ingredient. The thickness was proper enough and we were also allow to heat it in the stove in our table.
The most interesting part was when I ordered an ice white coffee. And it served as the ice black coffee in the cocktail glas with a milk and liquid sugar in small cups. It was too big portion for me though and the taste was unique.
- One price for all foods – There was a restaurant that offer the same price for all foods. I didn’t know the name of the restaurant though, but you can see the signage exactly the same as the below picture. The price was 299 Yen for each side dish and the portion was enough for one person. I like to had dinner in this restaurant because the environment was so comfort, the foods and drinks were delicious and it spread through in many spots in Osaka and Kyoto. This restaurant also close late at night. There were still many workers have dinners or drinks with their colleagues at 11 PM. The waiters were so polite but there were still the language barrier. And one more thing, if you asked for a chilli powder, they will give you the green powder. It wasn’t spicy at all. They didn’t have the chilli things.
The prices of foods and drinks in Japan were affordable for me. However, it depends on how you choose the restaurant and how you eat it. It’s gonna be cheap or expensive.
Hopefully, this tips are helpful. Thanks for reading..