Tokyo is expensive. I’ve been lucky enough to have friends offer places to sleep on quite a few occasions. Other times I stayed in the cheapest accommodations available; internet cafes, hostels, and even bumming it on the metro. I’ve managed to eat a few free meals, but usually have been dining at the most economic restaurants. Most of the attractions visited were either free or fairly cheap. Yet this city finds away to drain my wallet faster than I can feel comfortable with. At least I’ve had a great time, stayed active and thoroughly entertained.
In part I blame the transportation system. The Tokyo Subway and JR Lines are extremely efficient and by far the best way to get around town without a motorbike. However, they are also fairly expensive. Hopping from one side of the city to the other on a regular basis has ripped my budget apart. I also blame the vending machines. They are everywhere imaginable, offering a selection from ice cold electrolyte water to hot coffee in a can. It is too easy to succumb to whim and drop a dollar here and there to satisfy instant cravings. Yet, after all I still managed to stay longer than anticipated. [read on]