Travel Cheaply in Tokyo with "Motto Tokyo"
If you're living in Japan, you have most likely heard about the Go To Travel campaign, through which the government is subsidizing your holidays by giving you 35% off and additional spending coupons. Did you know there are also other campaigns going on right now? There is:
JR East: JR East is offering 50% off shinkansen bookings if you book 20+ days in advance and travel a certain distance. This applies to JR East areas which is around Tokyo and most Northern places. This is good if you're planning a trip to Tohoku.
JR East Welcome Pass: This is applicable to all foreigners living in Japan. For 12,000 yen we can travel for free on any JR East train for 3 days.
Go To Event: Eligible places and events will offer a 20% discount of the ticket cost, plus 20% of the ticket fee in coupons to spend. You can use this for places like Universal Studios Japan, or for concerts and sporting events.
Staycations: Many luxury hotels within Tokyo are offering their own package discounts for weekday stays in their hotel. Expect to pay quite a lot despite the discount, but if you want to experience a luxury stay at a cheaper rate, it is a good opportunity.
And the one we will cover in more detail today - starting last week, Tokyo Prefecture offers the Motto Tokyo Campaign. Designed to attract people to travel within Tokyo rather than going further afield, this campaign can be used in conjunction with the Go To Travel campaign. That's a double discount!
What is it?
You can receive 5,000 yen per night, per person discount from overnight stays. You can receive 2,500 yen per person discount from day trips and tours.
How do I book?
You can contact any registered travel agent who can arrange everything for you. You can also book directly with the hotel, but if you want to combine the hotel with tours, activities or transport then it's best to go through an agency in order to utilise Go To as well. This campaign will run until March 31st but has a limited number, so it's best to book as soon as you can. Each agency and hotel was given a limit to what they can sell, so not all hotels will be eligible if you book late.
How do I use it with the Go To campaign?
In order to use Motto Tokyo and Go To Travel together, you need to spend at least ¥9,000 per person for an overnight trip. If you are only using Motto Tokyo, you need only spend ¥6,000 per person. With day trips the minimum spend to use Go To + Motto Tokyo is ¥4,500, or ¥3,000 if you're just redeeming the Motto Tokyo discount.
Can I see an example of how it works?
Let's use Izu Oshima as an example. It is one of Tokyo's islands that can be reached by ferry. Let's imagine you will take a 2 night trip with 2 adults.
The regular cost: (2 people, 2 nights)
Ferry return trip: 32,000 yen
Hotel: 30,000 (imaginary price)
Total: 62,000 yen
Now let's apply the campaigns.
First we'll apply the Go To Travel campaign.
Total (-35% discount) = 62,000 - 35% = 40,300 PLUS 9000 yen worth of coupons to spend on the island.
Then we apply Motto Tokyo. That is 5000 yen per person per night. So two adults receive a 20,000 yen discount. Let's apply it. 40,300 - 20,000 = 20,300 total.
So two people take a two night trip to Izu Oshima and received 41,700 yen off their trip price.
Where can I go in Tokyo?
Anywhere in Tokyo is eligible. You can pamper yourself with a stay in the city, or go further afield. Let me recommend a few out-of-the-way spots.
The Tokyo Islands - Also known as the Izu Islands, these are the most remote and exotic places on the list. You can reach them by plane or ferry. The nine Tokyo islands, listed by distance from the shore, are Oshima, Toshima, Niijima, Shikinejima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurajima, Hachijojima and Aogashima. While you can reach Oshima in less than two hours, some of the more remote islands will require an overnight ferry trip, so please check yourself or inquire with an agent like Omakase Tours in advance. On the islands are volcanoes, hiking, fishing, swimming, diving and more.
Hinohara - Hinohara is Tokyo's oldest remaining village. It is located in West Tokyo on the very edges of Tokyo. The forests are lush green and the land is fertile thanks to the Akiruno River running through the village. There are plenty of hiking opportunities in the area, as well as an English language tour to learn about the history of the area and ride an old-fashioned logging monorail. We offer a one-day Hinohara tour which can also be used with the Motto Tokyo campaign discount. If you stay the night, you'll also have time to visit the amazing Akikawa Valley Seoto no Yu onsen.
Okutama and Mt. Mitake
The Okutama area is also out West and is a natural area filled with lakes and nature. It's a good place to go to experience the different seasons properly without leaving Tokyo. The area can be done on a day trip, but an overnight stay would give you more time to enjoy the nature while taking advantage of the generous discounts available at the moment. Lake Okutama offers a popular 12km hiking course over and around the dam, while the Hatonosu Ravine is said to be extremely picturesque during the winter snows. Mt. Mitake is also well known for offering many hiking courses complete with waterfalls and lush moss - you can spend the day there hiking then retire for an evening hot spring and meal. You can even go canyoning in the Tama River!
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
This one is located in Central Tokyo, in the Odaiba area. It's quite touristy and well-known as one of Tokyo's biggest hot springs, but it is not only a day hot spring, but also offers Edo-themed hotel rooms. You could spend the day trying out the entertainment on Odaiba Island (such as Team Lab Borderless), then relax in the onsen at night.
These are some ideas, but there are more hidden gems in Tokyo to be found. If you would like us to arrange you a cheap trip combining Go To Travel and Motto Tokyo*, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to contact us. Day trips and tours are also eligible, so check out all the options here!
*Please note that we are unable to offer the accommodation for the Tokyo Islands as part of the Motto Tokyo campaign as we did not receive allocation for this area, however we still recommend the area so will include it in this article. Day trips and boat tours are okay.