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Jan 7, 2011 07:52 PM

Less expensive dining options?

Hi everyone,
I'm just starting to plan my trip to Japan in spring 2012. It might be a little early to do a lot of planning, but I'M SO EXCITED! Especially about the food.

I've been looking through the forums and different websites and I feel so overwhelmed. I'm also nervous about budgeting. Most of the restaurants I've read about seem very expensive, and I'd rather eat cheaper and less formally if that means I can go sooner and/or stay longer. The more I look into dining, the more I stress out and worry about having to delay my trip or staying for a shorter period of time.

I would like to be in Tokyo for about a week, and am hoping to be able to spend a couple days in Osaka as well. Any suggestions for eating somewhat frugally while still having some of the best food of my life?

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  1. You should be able to eat very well in Tokyo on a budget of Y1000 at lunch and Y3000-4000 at dinnertime, and even less if you plan carefully. One suggestion is to eat at specialty restaurants (tonkatsu, tempura, etc.) at lunchtime and reasonably priced izakaya/dining bars in the evening. Department store restaurant floors often have less-expensive branches of well-known restaurants, with reasonable prices.

    Here are a couple of recent threads on budget dining, although some of the specific recommendations may be out of date a year from now.