One of our favorite resources is the Japanese National Tourist Organization. Not only is the website one of the best guides to traveling in Japan, but it also offers special deals for tourist. Including a great bargain for budget travelers. Not only can you figure out prices, but you can also find discounts on tourist attractions and transportation.
Before leaving home, check out the JNTO’s deals on rail passes — we had ours Fed Ex’d when we discovered, three days before leaving, how much time and money we would save by buying the pass in advance.
Another key deal for budget travelers are “Welcome Cards”:
Welcome to Japan! There is an exceptional variety of truly interesting cultural heritage sites and sightseeing attractions in Japan, and shopping and dining out are experiences not to be missed. In order to make your visit to Japan as exciting and worthwhile as possible, some special cards have been created for your use in a number of cities and areas. These cards come with a guidebook for overseas visitors to Japan to enable you to get discounts and special services at art galleries, museums, sightseeing attractions, shopping areas, restaurants and transportation facilities. Although called the Welcome Card, there are also places where you can receive discounts by presenting a website page printout instead of a card. Welcome Cards are our way of saying thanks and extending our greeting to you as our overseas travelers who have made your long trip to Japan.
The cards and web deals are good for a variety of places throughout Japan (see accompanying map) and cover cultural events, food, hotels, and transportation.