It’s that time again! As 2014 draws to a close, we look back on the year’s most popular Tokyo Cheapo posts. With almost 10 million people visiting Japan in 2014, an impressive 26% increase from last year, it’s not surprising that most of our top articles were ones specifically geared towards tourists. And some of our very first posts from when we started the site just don’t grow old, as we’ve discovered.

1. Tokyo Cheapo 101: Beginner’s Guide to Tokyo

As awesome as Tokyo is, it can be overwhelming and confusing for first-timers, and we’re not just talking about the sensory overload of bright lights and hurried Tokyoites, but also the practical matters, such as the train system, shopping, and language barrier. There are also prevalent misconceptions, such as how everything in Japan is expensive, and that free wifi can easily be found because of Japan’s reputation as a leader in technology. This article is a good reminder that Japan doesn’t have to be expensive if you know where to look for cheaper options. As for free wifi, Japan’s getting there, but for now, this guide has an updated list of establishments offering free wifi.

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Suggested Activity
Cellular Voice and Data Plan - No Contract Required
Get a Japanese cell phone number, with voice calling and 30GB of monthly data, quickly and easily—in English—through our partner Mobal. No contract required, and flexible payment options. Bonus—the majority of profits go to charity!

2. 10 Free Things to do in Shibuya

As you’ll see, Shibuya is much more than the iconic scramble crossing, Hachiko, and fashion. The article has also been updated to add that in Halloween, Shibuya is a sight to behold, with the streets transforming into one huge party.

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3. Cheapest Transport to Get From Narita Airport to Tokyo

This is an old but ever-useful post. This is, after all, the first concern for travelers, and it’s good to know that transferring from Narita to Tokyo doesn’t have to be pricey.

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narita to tokyo
Photo by Chris Kirkland

4. Cheap Sex – Beating the Cost of Loving in Tokyo

For those looking for, uh, special companionship, here’s the article for you. Despite the title, it’s not just about sex, but also the important first step of where to get to know people, and a quick run-through of cheap date ideas. It also includes info on STI testing for responsible lovin’.

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5. Top Tokyo Flea Markets

Vintage aficionados and bargain hunters, these are the places to check out. Antiques and kimonos are just among the treasures that you can get at Tokyo’s flea markets.

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6. Using a Free VPN to Watch Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer in Japan

Forget torrenting or making a trip to your nearest Tsutaya; here’s how to get your fix of your favorite Western TV shows. All you need is a VPN.

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Suggested Activity
Official Street Go-Kart in Shibuya
Dress up in costume and drive through the famous Shibuya Crossing, Harajuku and Omotesando. You'll get a whole new view of the city. This is one of the most popular activities in Tokyo!

7. 3 Nights in Tokyo on 10,359 yen ($US90)

3 nights around town for that amount would have sounded crazy in the past, but it’s a feasible challenge nowadays. Of course, this comes with certain caveats. Read on to find out, but here’s a hint: prepare to compromise on accommodation and sleep.

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8. 9 Things you Should Know Before Visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna Auction

With the Tsukiji Fish Market auction being one of the top touristy things to do in Tokyo, getting there requires a considerable amount of planning and patience. The ability to get up early is a huge plus, too. With this helpful article, you can make your visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market worthwhile.

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9. Top 10 Picks for Best Winter Illuminations in Tokyo

While this is not a new article, it’s updated every year to reflect changing dates. These winter illuminations are proof that Tokyo really knows how to make the most of its early sunsets and long nights in winter. The illuminations have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, with the music-and-light shows increasingly adding gimmicks such as projections. Further upping the ante, the number of lights has, in general, increased as well.

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10. Where to Buy a Kimono Without Breaking the Bank

Brand-new kimonos can be expensive, but the good news is that there are secondhand options out there. These kimonos are the real deal – not the satiny, touristy, or costume-like kimonos that can be found in most souvenir shops.

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