Top 10 super cheap foods in Japan

This blog and my Japan book are all about saving you money on your holidays in Japan. Food, especially eating out, is one of the things that can really add to travel budgets, so here are the best foods to eat in Japan:

1) Cup noodles

Fill up your belly for around $1, or even less if there are sales on. Just head to a convenience store or supermarket for a host of flavors. Now famous around the would, cup noodles originated in Japan. If you want to know more about cup noodles, and want to try making your own customised version, visit the amusing Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama.

2) Beautiful bentos!

Bentos are Japanese lunch boxes. They come in all varieties, with western style options usually available. Prices start from a few dollars. Check out my top bento shops, or get my book for locations across Japan.

3) Chahan

Japanese fried rice is also super cheap. While Chahan won’t win any Michelin prizes, it’s a good way to fill up. Prices from 220 yen, which is about $2. There are many varieties, such as tomato chahan (made with ketchup!) and curry chahan (made with curry powder).

4) Convenience store sandwiches

Ok, so not really Japanese food, but the cheap sandwiches from convenience stores are good if you need a something a bit western. There are also some rather odd Japanese fillings (strawberries in a sandwish?!), so be careful!

5) Evening sushi

Head to the supermarket in the evening to get some cut-price sushi. Prices are slashed, and you can pick up a meal for next to nothing. Plus it will still be fresher than any sushi you get back home!

6) Soba and Udon noodles

If you in a large station or in a traditional area, there should be a noodle bar nearby. For only a few dollars you can enjoy simple, healthy soba or udon noodles.

7) Yakisoba

Japanese fried noodles are great any time of the year. While they are available at bento shops and convenience stores, the taste is much better if you go to a Yakisoba stall or try some in a market. From around $4 per plate.

8) Onigiri

Known in English as riceballs, an Onigiri is a great snack or part of a light meal. The most popular fillings are tuna mayo, shrimp and natto. Usually around 100 yen ($1)

9) Gyudon

Simple meal of pork on rice, with a sweet sauce. It’s everywhere in Japan, and its popularity could be compared to burgers in America. Gyudons are quick, cheap and for all ages.

10) Curry!

My favorite! Japanese curry rice starts from from $3, but it’s worth spending a little more to try some tasty toppings. All the bento shops have curry, as well as the main gyudon chains and convenience stores. But the best place has to be CoCo Ichiban Curry House, officially the world largest curry restaurant chain.

Want know where all the cheap supermarkets, shops and restaurants are? Check out my new budget travel book!

Finding these places is easy with my new book. Perfect for backpackers, budget travelers, families on a tight budget, students and those who are new to Japan.

More info

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict