Japan: keep it cheap.

Think of Japan and you think ‘expensive’. Certainly Tokyo is one of the dearest cities in the world and one that conjures up images of a large number of people in a small space. But leave behind the cities and a different world of sacred mountains, remote islands, forests and deserted beaches unfolds, reports the Independent.

What’s more, with careful planning and a little know-how, a holiday in Japan doesn’t have to break the bank. Tip number one is to buy a Japan Rail Pass (jrpass.com) beforehand, allowing you to make massive savings on train travel and take advantage of the super-fast, clean transport system, including the Shinkansen bullet-train network.

Surprisingly, eating out can be cheap and the food is excellent. Try the tapas-sized dishes served at izakaya, Japanese-style pubs, which have red lanterns outside their doors or grab a more-than-decent snack at one of the food outlets at railway stations. They’re a far cry from their British counterparts.

Budget options for accommodation range from a minshuku, a kind of inn, where you sleep on futons on tatami mats, to a night in a temple in the Kyoto region complete with Buddhist cuisine and early-morning prayers. Or there is always good old-fashioned camping. Much-loved by the Japanese, there are plenty of sites where you can pitch your tent.

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