Tokyo may seem like a very expensive city to visit, but it will prove you otherwise. In this guide I will tell you the perfect itinerary to spend a day in Tokyo for only 7000 yen including all meals, snacks, drinks, sights and sleeping arrangements. In this guide I will tell you exactly where to eat for the least amount of money and what places to visit to make your day worthwhile without having any regrets later on.
Also... I do not compromise on experience! I have added a few snacks and experiences which I believe you have to do as a tourist, so I have included these as well, because having real Japanese experiences will make your trip even more fun!
Breakfast (650 yen)
The 7/11 is your best friend, when your hotel does not offer a breakfast deal or asks way to much. I have spend multiple mornings eating my 7/11 breakfast. For only 100-200 yen each you can buy yourself some onigiri, 100 yen bread variations and even for 200-300 yen some more extensive options with boiled eggs etc. A nice tea or coffee from a vending machine nearby from 200 yen makes a perfect little breakfast. However, if you feel like having breakfast in a cafe instead, some cafes offer meals for around 500-700 yen as well... But I always find myself having too little motivation to search for eating places in the morning, so I stick to the 7/11.
Sights (400 yen)
In the morning, go and explore the Asakusa district of Tokyo and is one of the traditional districts of Tokyo where the ancient atmosphere is still present to date. Start the day by visiting the Kaminarimon gate with the big latern in the middle and continue up to the Sensoji Temple by walking and browsing the shops of the Nakamise dori!
If you already feel like having a few sweet, buy yourself some in the Nakamise Dori. I recommend the Agemanju (fried buns with delicious flavors around 150 yen each. I’d buy 2!
Explore the Sensoji temple and buy yourself a 100 yen Omikuji (fortune). Afterwards check out the old fashioned neighborhoods of Asakusa and endulge yourself in ancient Japanese culture.
End the morning at Sumida Park, which gives you a nice view of the Tokyo Sky Tree and the Sumida River.
Lunch (700 yen)
Even though I prefer to eat a few pieces of streetfood to serve as lunch, I can imagine people to love to have an actual lunch. Therefore this section is included.
Head back to Asakusa (this is where you have to take the public transportation anyways, and find yourself a small restaurant/café. Asakusa is full these small shops and because they offer a menu on the window most of the time, you can find a perfect lunch meal within your budget. For as little as 700-900 yen you can find a nice place selling all kinds of lunch dishes, ramen, meat, soba etc.
Sights (200 yen)
Spend the afternoon exploring Harajuku where traditional meets modern. Head over to Omotesando station. Visit the Omotesando area where expensive brands can be found. Afterwards visit the famous Meiji shrine located near the Harajuku station. The temple grounds are free to enter.
Spend an hour to an hour and a half at the temple grounds.
Afterwards visit the Takeshita Dori street and take some purikura (200 yen). This area is famous for the little shops and boutiques with the latest Japanese fashion trends. Spend another hour.
Before sundown, head to Shinjuku and stroll around the metropolitan area. Visit the central park and be amazed at the huge buildings located in this area. Be sure to pay a visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-Shinjuku as well. The admission to the observatory is free and gives you an amazing view of the Tokyo skyline.
Snack (600 yen)
At Omotesando, pick up some street food sold near the end at Meji Jingu. Buy some Okonomiyaki or Takoyaki for 300 yen and refuel yourself during your afternoon stroll. Also buy yourself a drink from a vending machine for another 300 yen.
Or, if you feel more like eating a crepe, try the little bit more expensive crepes at the end of the Takeshita Dori street. They sure are delicious.
Dinner (800 yen)
Shinjuku is a great place to have dinner, since it offers a lot of different foods for a reasonable price. Udon and Tempura are greatly represented in the area, but I always prefer to have other dishes. Stroll around the area and look for the small restaurants with the plastic displays of food. Prices are usually placed next to the plastic food and you can easily find some great nutritional dished like curries, katsu’s, grilled fish etc for as little as 800 yen.
If you do not feel like looking a great deal, head back to the main Shinjuku station. Around and inside the station are usually some cheap places to eat as well; the food might not be as good as the more specialized small shops you will have to keep your eyes out for, but the food is still of a very decent quality.
After dinner sights (600 yen)
Take the train to Shibuya station and find yourself emerged in modern Tokyo. While visiting the famous Shibuya crossing and the Hachiko statue you will be amazed at the amount of commercial banners are lit with neon lights during the night. Stroll around the area for some time, have a cold beer or a nice cup of coffee, before heading to the hotel to get some rest.
Spending the night (2000 yen)
For as little as 2000 yen you can spend the night in a capsule hotel. These small capsules may be small, but they're clean and comfortable. These capsules are the perfect solution for the budget traveler.
A Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket costs 600 yen and offers 24 hours of unlimited rides on the subway network. If you want to walk from one area to another, separate tickets will be even cheaper.