Free sample chapter from my awesome new book!

The new Super Cheap Japan book is the ultimate guidebook for those traveling to Japan on a budget. Available across the world at retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository, it is a painstakingly researched book aimed at those who worry about spending too much money in the Land of the Rising Sun. To show off how awesome this book is, I thought I’d post a sample on the blog! As you can see below in the Shibuya chapter, everything is included for budget travelers, such as cheap places to eat, free spots to visit, low-cost places to stay and so much more:

Shibuya (渋谷)

Outside Shibuya station, looking towards the pedestrian scramble

One of Tokyo’s most lively and colorful neighborhoods, Shibuya is most famous as a youth fashion hotspot and the busiest road crossing you will ever see. Originally the site of a castle belonging to the Shibuya clan, since the introduction of the Yamanote Line it has become one of the main clubbing, shopping and entertainment areas in Tokyo.

The station is a real maze, so use the locations on the map (e.g. Hachiko or Shibuya Hikarie) with the boards inside the station that direct visitors to the corresponding exits.

Things to do

Free activities near station

Shibuya pedestrian scramble (スクランブル交差点)

Every few minutes thousands of people walk over the world’s most famous road crossing. Make sure you bring a camera! Best spot is to head to the second floor of Starbucks. Hachiko exit • Google Maps

Hachiko statue (ハチ公)

The famous statue and meeting point in Shibuya. After his owner died, a dog called Hachiko came to the station every day to meet his owner. The dog became famous and this statue was made in dedication to him. A cute cat has also made the statue its home, so be sure to take a photo of Shibuya’s most iconic spot. Hachiko exit • Google Maps

Love hotel hill (ラブホテル坂)

Shibuya is an expensive place to live, so many people still live with their family. Many therefore head over to this prized love hotel area for a bit of privacy with their partner. This area is full of these hotels offering rooms for very cheap prices. Even if you are not staying, it’s definitely worth a walk around to see all the cheesy architecture and bright lights. All night! • Take a left after Don Quijote and walk up • Google Maps

Free sample heavens

Tokyu Food Show (東急フードショー)

A treasure chest of Japanese food, plus international stalls to spice things up. With countless stalls, you can spend lots of time just wandering around, trying out free samples as you go. 10am-9pm • Basement of Tokyu Department Store • Google Maps

Shibuya Hikarie (渋谷ヒカリエ)

A new department store with modern shops, restaurants and a nice food area downstairs. Has even more stalls handing out free samples than Tokyu Food Show, so try lots and see what you like. 10am-9pm • Exit 15 / east exit • Google Maps

Center Gai (渋谷センター街)

Shibuya’s main shopping street, also known as Basketball Street. Center Gai is full of game arcades, fast food restaurants, fashion boutiques and bars. While there are only a few stores that visitors will buy goods from, the food options are excellent and the area comes to life in the evening, with plenty of raucous businessmen and teenagers. Street with gate above it, across the Shibuya pedestrian scramble • Google Maps

Shopping around Shibuya station

Shibuya 109

Worth a walk around to see what is hot and what is not in the world of youth fashion in Japan. 109 is the place to be for upcoming brands, and regarded as a stamp of quality for them. Staff are very friendly and will help you out if you don’t know what things are! 10am-9pm • Exit 3A • Google Maps

Tokyu Hands (東急ハンズ)

Full of crazy, strange Japanese goods for you to laugh at and enjoy.  Back scratchers, weird massage chairs, crazy robot toys and some unimaginable goods. Great for souvenirs and any novelties you want to take home. 10am-9pm • 5 minutes down Inokashira Dori • Google Maps

Don Quijote (ドン・キホーテ)

Cheaper prices than Tokyu Hands, this megastore has everything from second-hand jewelry to clothes, to cheap snacks. They also have takeout sushi and other items for lunch. 10am-4:30am • Exit 3A, then down the road to left Google Maps

100 yen shops

Can Do (キャンドゥ イ) – Opposite Tokyu Hands. 10am-10pm

Daiso (ダイソー) – Another great 100 yen shop nearby. 10am-9pm

Pharmacy (ドラッグ ストア)

Matsumoto Kiyoshi (薬 マツモトキヨシ) is on the way to 109 (24h).

Budget food

Budget chain restaurants on map

1) Tenka Ippin (天下一品) – ramen. Ramen from 700 yen • 11am-3am

2) Matsuya (松屋) – rice bowls and curry. Gyudon bowls from 290 yen • 24h

3) Ootoya (大戸屋) – Japanese set meals. Sets from 750 yen • 11am-11pm

4) Hidakaya (日高屋) – ramen and gyoza dumplings. Ramen from 390 yen • 10:30am-3:30pm

5) Yoshinoya (吉野家) – gyudon and curry. Bowls from 330 yen • 24h

6) Sukiya (すき家) – gyudon and curry. Bowls from 360 yen • 24h

7) Tenya (天丼てんや) – tempura. Bowls from 500 yen • 11am-11pm

8) Wendy’s First Kitchen (ファーストキッチン) – cheap soups, burgers and pasta. Pasta from 580 yen, burgers from 370 yen • 5am-1am

Local budget food

Best spots along Center Gai, in order from the station.

9) Yanbaru Okinawa Soba (やんばる 沖縄そば) – Set dishes and soba from Okinawa. Noodles from 650 yen • 11am-11:30pm • Google Maps

10) Yaro Ramen (野郎ラーメン) – Large sized ramen, sure to fill you up. Ramen from 500 yen • 24h • Google Maps

11) Kamukura Ramen (どうとんぼり神座) – Big menu, with English explanations on how to eat it and vegetarian options. Ramen from 680 yen • 9am-8am • Google Maps

12) Shakey’s Pizza (シェーキーズ) – All-you-can-eat pizza restaurant, with Japanese and seasonal themed flavors. Lunch time: adults 930 yen, teens 600 yen, under junior high school age 380 yen. Dinner time: 1540 yen, 1030 yen, 510 yen • 11am-11pm • Google Maps

13) Okonomiyaki Mura (お好み焼 むら) – All-you-can-eat Japanese pancakes, called Okonomiyaki. 90 mins for 1980 yen or Okonomiyaki from 780 yen • 4pm-2am • Google Maps

Cheap supermarkets (スーパー)

Life Supermarket (ライフ渋谷東店) is a 10/15-minute walk away from Shibuya station on Meiji Dori, to the south and along the narrow river (9am-1am).

Free wifi locations

Shibuya Free Wi-Fi provides a good service all over Shibuya. To access, you need to show your passport and get a password from any information desk at a department store or the Shibuya station tourist information center.

How to get there and away

From Shinjuku station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya station (6 mins, 150 yen). From Tokyo station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya station (24 mins, 190 yen). Also on Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin, Hanzomon and Ginza lines. Recommended rail passes: Tokyo Subway Ticket, Tokyo Metro 24-hour Ticket, Tokyo District Pass

Tourist information (観光案内所)

Inside Shibuya station (in the Tokyu Line and Tokyo Metro Line area), on the second basement floor and near Miyamasuzaka Center exit (10am-7pm).

Budget Accommodation

Hostels and Guest Houses

Khaosan Hostels

This well-known guesthouse chain has a variety of cheap and clean guesthouses in central locations. They all have their own unique theme, so they are a bit nicer to stay at than a dull YHA hostel. Dorms from 2200 yen, private rooms from 3400 yen •

Tokyo Central Youth Hostel

A clean, reasonably priced hostel (especially if you are a Hostelling International Member) right bang in the center of Tokyo. Great for large groups. Dorms from 3360 yen • Above Iidabashi station (JR and Metro lines) Google Maps

Love hotels (adults only)

Shibuya Love Hotel Hill

Head to Love Hotel Hill (ラブホテル坂) for a bewildering range of love hotels. Take your time to compare prices and facilities available. No need to book in advance as there is so much choice here. ‘Rest’ (2-4 hours) from 1500 yen, ‘Stay’ (overnight) from 6500 yen Google Maps

Capsule hotels

Capsule and Sauna Century Shibuya (カプセルホテル渋谷)

Cheap capsule hotel right in the center of Shibuya. Capsules from 3500 yen • West side of Shibuya stationGoogle Maps

Internet cafes

Head down Inokashira Dori for a good selection:

Bagus (バグース)

Large choice of comics, clean showers and good selection of free drinks. Night pack (ナイトパック) available from 9pm: 6 hours (6時間ナイトパック) from 1150 yen. 9 hours (9時間ナイトパック) from 1800 yen • Google Maps

Manbo (マンボー)

Japan’s largest chain. Free showers, comics and drinks. Night pack (ナイトパック) available from 7pm: 6 hours (6時間ナイトパック) from 1300 yen • Google Maps

Media Cafe Popeye (メディアカフェポパイ)

Modern net cafe with free drinks, showers and printing services. Night pack (ナイトパック) available from 6pm: 6 hours (6時間ナイトパック) from 950 yen. 12 hours (12時間ナイトパック) from 1380 yen • Google Maps

Like what you see? The Super Cheap Japan guidebook is now available at retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository.

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict