🔖 3 min read

Life moves fast in busy Japan, especially for overseas students looking for extracurricular fun. Higher education institutions in Japan are renowned for turning out well-rounded individuals, particularly in the technological sectors.

The society there is primarily urban, which presents a variety of difficulties. The capital city of Tokyo is where the great bulk of foreign and local students are concentrated. Students are under pressure to adapt to changing trends that occur virtually every day.

The youth in Japan, like young people from other parts of the world, seek to be fashionable trendsetters, which drives up the cost of living dramatically. But fun and luxury come only after the necessities have been met; let’s explore how an average student, with no additional support, can make ends meet monthly on a student food budget in Japan.


Good Old Vending Machine

Walking around major Japanese cities, you will find various types of vending machines installed all over cities. When compared to other nations, Japan has a lower prevalence of vandalism and petty crime, which contributes to the wide adoption of vending machines there.

Not having to pay for human workers to do the task, the machines have evolved into a practical and economical way to obtain practically anything and everything, including hot meals, countless types of snacks, and even ready-made soups.


Right Means of Transportation

Students can travel around more easily and efficiently in Japan because of its highly effective train system.  Additionally, students receive a little discount while taking the commuter train, which lowers the cost of transportation. The best case scenario, of course, is if you find a flat near your college and bypass the need for transportation altogether, but that’s not possible; trains are the way to go.


Shop Like a Native

Japanese neighbourhoods feature a variety of convenience stores and open-air markets. Interspersed within congested cities, these local businesses usually offer much lower prices than supermarkets, as the products they offer are manufactured domestically. As to the quality concerns, their food is usually fresher and less chemically meddled with. Open-air markets in Japan are the most well-rounded places for food shopping, offering an endless variety of freshly made delicious meals and ingredients at affordable, student-friendly prices.


Cook at Home

Students do not enjoy a lot of spare time, so cooking at home is not a particularly popular choice, but buying raw ingredients instead of ready-made meals can save you considerable money. If you think you can sneak in three meal preparations in your schedule, cooking for yourself can be as enjoyable as it is cheap. Then again, you can opt to cook in bulk and freeze for later to buy some time. 

Studying in Japan is notoriously tough. High-intensity curriculums and strict approaches can drive a student crazy. .


Eating Out

Cheaper as they are, ready-made meals get boring, so you will occasionally eat outside. You can eat at very affordable eateries and yet have decent meals. Restaurants serving udon, in particular, are recommended. Self-service in Japanese restaurants is becoming more and more prevalent. You just select the size of the bowl you want before adding your preferred toppings and side dishes. This is Japanese fast food, so it’s quick, inexpensive, and still tastes nice.

Although, you might not have a lot of options for what to eat in particular restaurants, which is a drawback. The lack of diversity may also result from the institution’s need to control costs. It’s unfortunate if you suffer from allergies since you might require a backup plan.


Final Thoughts

Students are notorious for constant cash struggles. This is a time when you want the most but have the least, so students need to be wise with their limited resources and minimize wasteful spending. As we have shown here, with a bit of snooping around and reasonable choices, it is possible to live frugally while ensuring a bit of joy and a healthy lifestyle.