This is part of a series about eating on a budget and I've titled the series, "Japan Cheap Eats". Many people think Japan is expensive, but I'm here to prove them wrong! We found many budget options and I wanted to share them with you!
Earlier, I posted about cheap eats in Japan and promise that I would post more. Markus and I knew that Japan was gonna be the last international trip that we would make for a year or two, so we wanted to make the most of our trip there. We had one problem, we couldn't spend as much as we liked. We saved quite a bit of cash while working as ESL teachers in South Korea, but we didn't want to go overboard. In a country like Japan, it's SO easy to spend all your money. Markus and I knew that we would probably never have a chance to fly to Japan for free, so we took full advantage of the opportunity.
It's a pretty well known fact that Japan is expensive, but if you know the tricks, it's surprisingly affordable. When Markus and I travel, we try to be smart. We don't do everything on the cheap, but we try to spend our money wisely. One of the ways that we made the trip affordable was eating cheap. Thankfully, Japan has many economical options and many of these options are really yummy.
Our main go to place for budget eats were the marts or convenient stores. In America, most people in their right mind would not eat a meal at a convenient store. In Japan and even Korea, it's a popular place to get cheap and yummy eats. In Japan, there are so many options and on our first night we really pondered our selection. One of my favorite snacks in Korea was samgak kimbap. It's also known as onigiri in Japan. Basically, it's a triangle of rice that is mixed with a vegetable or protein and then wrapped in seaweed. We ate every version available in Korea and in Japan, there were even more offerings. The best thing about samgak kimbap? They're so cheap. The cost varies between $1-$2. For our first cheap eat, we got two kimbaps, a fried chicken patty, a huge U.F.O. ramen and a Suntory beer.
As for the taste of everything? I would say average and quite good. It was filling and it didn't taste bad at all. The kimbap were okay. We got one with a weird root vegetable and one with fish eggs. I loved the fish egg one, but I love fish eggs. The root vegetable wasn't my favorite and it tasted like salty rice. The ramen was pretty yummy and had a nice flavor. The fried chicken patty wasn't anything special and tasted like you expect. I've always wanted to drink something by Suntory, ever since I watched Lost in Translation. One of my favorite scenes is when Bill Murray is shooting a commercial for Suntory. It's great and I made it a life goal to have a Suntory drink in Japan. The beer itself tasted like a pale ale. Nothing really special.
Overall, I enjoyed our first cheap eat in Japan. Although, between the ramen and the fried chicken, I was feeling a bit heavy. I love ramen, but the sodium content is really too much and this meal completely lacked veggies. By the end of our trip, we were mart experts and had it down to a science. I can't wait to share more Japan cheap eats with you!
Samgak Kimbap: 240 yen
U.F.O. Ramen: 300 yen
Fried Chicken Patty: 350 yen
Suntory Beer: free with chicken purchase
TOTAL: 890 yen or $8.71