Good cheap food in Japan. I can’t get enough!

Like this post? Help us by sharing it!

Many people have the misconception that Japan is an expensive place – Wrong!

Those who have spent time in Japan, know that the country is generally cheaper than the UK for many things and especially eating out. This blog has already seen comments made on Okonomiyaki which is one of my favourite foods in Japan and very cheap to eat. In fact, you may have noticed that there has been plenty of references to Japanese food, but that is because it is SOOO tastey and we miss it!

In the city, towns, villages, mountains and on the coast, there are usually plenty food options on offer and this is definitely the case in Tokyo which has an estimated 60,000 plus restaurants. There is plenty of choice whatever your taste buds are tingling for. The food doesn’t cost much, it is pretty good quality for the price and it is usually brought to you with the speed of western fast food burger joint and the quality service of a…… well, not a western fast food burger joint. I thought I would mention some of the popular eateries that you will find throughout Japan to get you tempted.


I love my sushi. I didn’t particularly fancy the idea before I went to Japan but soon got hooked. My palate has acquired a taste for a quality bit of sushi, personally preferring a good bit of Hamachi (Yellow Tail), Hotate (Scallop) and a nice bit of Toro (fatty tuna). There are plenty of high quality sushi shops but also lots of high street equivalent kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) shops selling sushi from as little as 105 yen a plate (60/70 pence). One such chain is Kappa Sushi represented by the mythical creature which looks a bit like a bit like a Mutant Ninja Turtle.

The branch in Kyoto is great in the fact that it has good cheap sushi, but you receive your food in a slightly different way . You order your sushi on the screen next to your table and within minutes your order will arrive at your table delivered… Shinkansen which runs on the tracks around the restaurant. Yes it is gimmicky, but it’s brilliant. If you are not keen on the gimmicks, there is also an excellent old kaiten sushi restaurant just opposite Kappa sushi where the sushi master will serve you your food in the old fashioned way…by hand. Sushi is only 120yen a plate and very nice.


Another favourite cheap snack in Japan is Gyudon (bowl of beef on rice). This can be found just about anywhere all over Japan in shops such as Yoshinoya and Matsuya and from as little 290yen (less than £2) a small bowl which is an absolute bargain. Once you are in these shops then you start discovering other decent quality dishes at cheap prices such as Pork on rice with a bowl of soup and an egg at 430yen、a plate of curry rice for 350yen and (an IJT favourite) Bibinbadon; a rice bowl with beef, spicy kimuchi cabbage and been sprouts amongst other things for 430yen (less than £3)..mmmmm


A well known Japanese dish in the UK is Tempura. This is another popular dish in Japan consisting of lightly battered fish and vegetables and is usually served with rice and another favourite hunger stopper for me. Again, there are plenty of places all over Japan but one of the chains that you will see all over the country is Tenya. The restaurants signature dish is Tendon consisting of various bits of Tempura sitting on a bowl of rice costing massive….well about £3. You can by Tempura with miso soup and udon noodles for about £4! An absolute bargain again.

These are just 3 areas of quality, affordable food I have covered and could go on referring to other types of restaurants specialising in particular dishes, or family restaurants or various Izakaya. I really could go on, but I will just hungry. I think that you have got the idea that Japan is not an expensive place and provides an array of quality eating options for just about everyone. Don’t listen to the people that say “Japan is an expensive country” or “They only eat raw fish over there” because that just isn’t true and I am sure if you go to Japan, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Like this post? Help us by sharing it!