Tokyo is a city of coordinated chaos. It’s a sprawling, massive city full of people. Shinjuku is loud and full of flashing lights, much like Times Square, yet you can turn a corner and be on a quiet tree-lined street. It’s utterly confusing and so easy to get lost in. You can wander within one giant metro station for an hour just trying to find the right exit (we did!).
While there are many reasons tourist flock to Tokyo, my husband and I came for one primary reason: to eat! Tokyo is world renowned for incredible restaurants and top notch sushi. However, many of the places you read about in newspapers and magazines will set you back a pretty penny. High end sushi restaurants are generally $200 + a person, a price we were not willing to pay.
If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t suggest Tokyo as a destination, but it is possible to eat well without spending your savings.
Below are a few tips on how to taste Tokyo’s culinary delights without breaking the bank.
While there is plenty to see in Tokyo, the largest city in the world can be overwhelming at times. An escape is essential. Luckily for visitors, thanks to Japan’s extensive rail network, day trips from Tokyo are easy and most are affordable. When my husband and I visited Tokyo this summer, I knew I wanted to spend at least one day outside of the bustling city in order to get a more authentic feel for Japan. I considered going to Kamakura, a seaside town so full of temples that some call it a mini-Kyoto, or Hakone for a close-up view of Mt. Fuji and day in the mountains and onsens. But, ultimately, my love for visiting wine regions all over the world won out and I chose to visit Katsunuma.
The Katsunuma wine region is only a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo but feels worlds away. About halfway into the train ride the buildings suddenly disappear as you enter the gorgeous countryside full of lush green hills and mountains. When you arrive at the train station, you’ll immediately see vineyards ahead and will be in awe of the landscape.
My husband and I checking off three bucket list destinations this summer: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. We will spend two glorious weeks in Asia paying only $95 per person for all flights and hotel stays. Granted, once we get there we will still have to pay for food and activities, but our final bill will be drastically lower than the out of pocket dollar cost we would have paid without points. I know that the points game can be confusing, especially when you factor in credit card bonuses, so I wanted to share a few tips on how we made this trip happen so that you can do the same!