Small ways to save money while living in Japan

Interning in Japan can be an amazing opportunity that not too many people get the chance to experience. The only issue with that is that since most internships do not pay, it is smart to be conscious of how much money you are spending in your everyday life. Japan is quite amazing and has many fun activities, places, and food that you can try! However, sometimes if you are not careful, it can add up quite quickly.

If you are planning on living in Japan or you already live in Japan these tips on how to save money might be helpful to you!



As you probably have noticed, Japan can be very a convenient country. However, that convenience comes with a price. Sometimes if you take a little bit more time in doing things you might be able to save a significant amount of money.

For example, check out your local grocery stores, drug stores, or mom-and-pop shops. They all have different prices between items and are much cheaper than convenience stores in Japan. Even though, they might not be as convenient as Lawson, 7/11, Family Mart, and other convenience stores, they can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Cooking your meals can also save you money. Since you can start shopping at a supermarket, the foods that you buy might be more for cooking. Which yes, it does take a bit more time, however, there are plenty of recipes that are very simple, and you can make in just a few minutes, this will save you money and most likely be healthier, since you know what ingredients you are using. Also, if you don’t have much time to cook. If you go to your local grocery a bit before closing, you might find many different types of foods that will be on sale since they want to sell them before they close the store. So checking those out, will also be beneficial for you.


Point Cards

Point cards in Japan are quite popular. If you shop at a certain shop often, try to check if they have a point card since it can save you lots of money. By scanning it every time you shop you can get the weekly sales that the store might have, as well as accumulate points that you can use instead of money later on when you might need it. So, don’t forget and always check if you can use your point cards while you can!

Point cards can also be available digitally. So, check at restaurants and shops if they have point cards through the app Line or their individual apps, which can have extra coupons and also accumulate points.


Secondhand shops / 100-yen shops/ End of season sales

Shopping at secondhand shops can be also very convenient. If you go to thrift shops that are in not so popular areas, you can get many good deals in cute clothes that you won’t find anywhere else. Thrift shops in Japan tend to be really clean as well, so if you are worried about cleanliness, that shouldn’t be an issue.

100-yen shops (Dollar stores) can also save you a lot of money. In these shops you can find almost anything and everything that you might need for your apartment or share house. You can buy cleaning supplies, food, stationary goods, things for each part of your apartment like bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedroom. You can find pretty much everything you need for one dollar. So, make sure that if you need anything always check the dollar store first, because most likely you will be able to find it there.

And last, if you need clothes or want any other seasonal goods. Every time at the end of the season, most stores have pretty big sales where you can find many articles for quite cheap and new! So always go and check out if there is anything you like!

We hope that these tips were of some help to try to save some money while living in Japan.

Enjoy your stay and we wish you the best!