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Best travel deals and hotel discounts in Tokyo and Japan

Whether you’re looking for a staycation in Tokyo or travel offers across Japan, these deals will get you more for less

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Like many countries right now, Japan has mostly closed its borders to foreign visitors. While that's bad news for overseas tourists, it's certainly got those of us living in Japan looking to spend our free time exploring the lush nature and peaceful shrines and temples in our own towns and neighbouring cities.

Although the Go to Travel campaign won't come back anytime soon, there are still quite a few domestic travel deals and discounts residents can take advantage of to explore Japan without any tourists.

To help you out, we've rounded up some of the best travel deals in Tokyo and Japan – just remember to social distance, wear a mask and stay safe. Be sure to check back often, because we'll be updating this list when new promotions are announced.

Also see: Domestic travel guidelines and guide to social distancing in Japan 

Deals in Tokyo

Deals across Japan

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JR Hokkaido will also be offering a discounted seven-day transport pass for a limited time. The Hokkaido and Higashi Nihon Pass (¥11,330, children ¥5,660) allows you an unlimited number of rides on any local JR Hokkaido line, local JR East line (except for shinkansen, but including Bus Rapid Transit), Aoimori Tetsudo line, Iwate Ginga Tetsudo line and Hokutetsu line trains for seven whole days. Do note that the pass doesn’t include travel on the Hokkaido Shinkansen between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate Hokuto stations – for that trip, you’ll need to purchase a separate limited express ticket.

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East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has announced that it's offering 50 percent discount on selected shinkansen and limited express train tickets. The promotion is currently running until September 30 2021, with the generous discount available on selected JR East shinkansen and limited express lines. Do note that this half-price deal only applies to tickets purchased through the official JR East website between 20 days and one month prior to your departure date.

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One of the most enjoyable ways to see the country, Japan’s train and shinkansen passes offer significant savings as well. However, they are mostly available only to foreign travellers who enter Japan under a tourist visa, much to the envy of foreign residents living in the country.

Good news, though, as this is about to change. Starting April 1, JR East will make its two of its most popular passes – Tohoku area pass and the Nagano, Niigata area pass – available to anyone with a foreign passport regardless of visa type.

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Looking to make use of all the domestic travel deals? JR East has you covered with the extremely good value unlimited Weekend Pass. For ¥8,800 (¥2,600 for children), you get unlimited rides on JR East lines on a consecutive Saturday and Sunday.

The JR East trains covered include local lines and even shinkansen. However, there's a surcharge for the latter. Do note that the Tokaido shinkansen, which connects Tokyo to Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, is unfortunately excluded from the promotion. Nevertheless, there's still lots to discover as you can use this pass to travel to Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka and more.

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There are currently plenty of staycation plans and hotel deals around, making weekend getaways that much more attractive and affordable. However, a new service called The Worke is giving out bigger discounts if you’re looking for something more long term. The virtual concierge offers long-term accommodation plans ranging from six days to a whole year, which you can use as a workcation stay, an extended holiday or an Airbnb-style second home.  

The hotels found on the website are scattered across Japan, ranging from  Tokyo to Kyoto and Hokkaido to Aomori. Unlike cramped budget hotels with little to see and do, many of the featured accommodations are on the luxurious side with five star listings like the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, among others...

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