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The basics
Japan: Student Finances

4 things to eat in Japan on a student budget

Studying abroad in Japan? Worried about your daily expenses? We teach how to save money on food here…

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For all of Japanophiles out there, being able to study abroad in Japan is a dream come true. You get to further your studies while living in the land of all things anime and soak in the culture! It’s perfect!

However, living costs in Japan can get quite expensive. The trick to finding affordable food in Japan is to eat these Japanese “fast foods”.



Soba is made from buckwheat. You can order them either hot (Attakai) or cold (Tsumetai) for about 300 yen, and you can add a side of curry rice, Katsu-don, or Tempura for additional 200 yen. One of the chains that you can check out is Shibu Soba. You use a vending machine to order your food, and then hand your ticket to the attendant. You will be asked if you want Soba or Udon noodles, Attakai or Tsumetai. There are many other Soba shops like this one, and if you’re on a budget, these are one of the places that you should go for a filling meal.




Gyu stands for beef and don means a bowl filled with rice. For those of you who are used to filling side dishes with either chicken or beef. This is a great option. You can get them for less than 300 yen. If you want miso soup with your Gyu-don, head over to Matsuya. If you’re an early riser, from 5-11 am the restaurants also serves sausage anf egg breakfasts which come with rice, miso soup, salad and your choice of natto, tofu or beef. All of it for 400 yen!! It’s truly bang for your buck.



If you love everything about Japan, then you will most definitely love their sashimi. You can get these for about 500 yen at a chain restaurant such as Don Maru, where the fish is fresh and the rice is good. You could also get free miso soup on a rainy day from them.


Late night grocery shopping

You probably are aware that Japanese grocery stores like to slash their prices at night so that they will have fresh stock for the next day. Be sure to head down to the market when they are about to close and grab all of your essentials at a discount.


Being on a student budget, doesn't mean that you can't get delicious meals. Happy eating!


Now that you know what you can eat to be within your budget, why not check out the courses available in Japan here!


Useful links

Tuition and fees in Japan

Three Japanese scholarships to you started

Student accommodation in Japan

Why study in Japan