New Year’s Resolutions: 4 Tips for Being Your Best on a Budget in 2015

Adriana Paradiso

Even if you didn’t wake up early to watch the first sunrise of 2015 or visit a shrine for some good luck blessings, it doesn’t mean you can’t start your New Year off right….cheapo-style. Whether you’re living in the city permanently or just here for a more ephemeral stay, we want to help you make the most out of your Tokyo experience.

Here’s a short but sweet list to inspire your best and cheapest year yet!

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Improve your Japanese.


Learning any language can be d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t. Believe us, we know. Practice is key, but we also think some guidance from those who’ve studied before us will help ease your language-learning pains. Check out our list of invaluable Japanese language tips to achieve your linguistic goals!

You can also find free or extremely low-cost (i.e. ¥500/year) Japanese lessons offered by volunteers throughout Tokyo. There are classes in almost every ward, so take advantage!

Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network

An oldie, but a goodie—get healthy!

Stop couch potating and get moving. Nothing will make you feel better than getting fit (oh, and being completely frugal about it). Instead of signing up for a pricey private gym membership, consider a membership with a municipal gym.


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Once you’re all signed up, let’s talk food. Eating healthier doesn’t have to be bank breaking; in fact, it can be fun! Why not check out some local farmers’ markets around town to pick up fruits and veggies. Not only will you be leading a more nutrient-rich life, it’s also a great excuse to explore the city.

Learn something new.

You’ve got options to improve your body, now improve your mind! If you’re interested in furthering your knowledge on a particular subject or just learn something completely new, why not try a MOOC? What’s a MOOC you ask? It stands for Massive Open Online Course.


Many universities and organizations around the globe are offering free (that’s right, free!) online classes or MOOCs. Websites like Coursera, edX and Udacity compile courses that are free to everyone and anyone. They offer courses on a range of subjects, anything from computer sciences to film studies to law. Not only are you exercising your brain power, but you’ll be connecting with people and their ideas from all over the world.

Travel, explore and be merry!


If you’ve been in the city awhile it’s easy to get complacent with your usual routine. But if you’re resolution is to take your Tokyo experience up a notch, this section is for you. Discover Tokyo for all it has to offer by checking out any of our cheapo area guides. Explore nearby areas or get adventurous and wander out to a completely different prefecture. Branching out from your neighbourhood is a great way to ward off boredom and to reinvigorate those feelings of awe and amazement you had when you first arrived to Tokyo.

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