Life Hacks for Tokyo Students

Life Hacks for Tokyo Students

Making the most of your student status in the city


From fresh graduates to fresh-eyed freshmen, the city of Tokyo transforms into the proverbial oyster for thousands of students each time spring comes around. To celebrate the start of the academic year, our education special features a host of language institutes for any level of Japanese-language learner. We also welcome the British School in Tokyo’s new primary school campus in Azabudai Hills.

Always on the lookout for cheap deals, new hangout spots and tips to survive university life, we asked the students in our community to share tips and advice on making the most of your student status in the city in our student life hack compilation.

Wynetta, Tokyo Mode Gakuen
“There is this really cheap karaoke in Takadanobaba and Nakano called Karaoke One. It gives free all-you-can-drink, soup, ice cream and waffles already included in the fee.”

Anna, Temple University Japan
“Shop at Seiyu for the cheapest supermarket prices, especially in the evening when they reduce their prices. If you’re craving American groceries, go to Stockmart in Shimokitazawa—they resell Costco products. It’s a little more expensive than what you’d pay at Costco, but saves you in the long run since you don’t have to own or rent a car to get out to a main Costco, and you don’t have to pay the annual Costco membership fees.”

Filippo, Shinjuku Nihongo Gakkou
“Always be on the lookout for student discounts. A lot of museums and attractions tend to have discounted
prices, so it can be helpful, especially if you’re on a budget.”

photo by Hyppolyte de Saint-Rambert

Keith, Keio University
“Shibuya’s new club Enter has taken over Contact’s legacy at a new location. It’s run by the same company,
and is a new student hotspot for events.”

Sabrina, Waseda University
“Shimokitazawa’s venue Spread, which is located across from the station, showcases the local DJ scene alongside some occasional popular artists from abroad.”

Yuna, Aoyama Gakuin University
“In Japan, graduating from university is often viewed as more important than your actual grades. So avoid overworking yourself just to try and get good grades. If you’re planning to pursue further education later in life, that’s when your grades
become crucially important.”

Amanda, Sophia University
You can get a via debit card from some banks (eg SMBC, I’m sure there are others) as a workaround for students not being able to get a Japanese credit card.”

photo by 円周率3パーセント

Michael, Tokyo International University
“Spotify’s pretty essential in my life especially when I’m riding the train in the morning. Premium is ¥980 but students get a discount so I only pay ¥480 which is a pretty good deal.”

Keith, Meiji University
“If you don’t already, get a bicycle and a helmet and learn how to cycle (I didn’t as a student, to my everlasting regret). Oh, and try a customer service job at least once lol.”

Namie, Waseda University
“While you’re a student, find any internship programs, part-time work and/or research-grant opportunities
at your university or online. Not only can you gain experience that looks great on a resume, but you can also make connections that can get you a head start on your career. Websites like GaijinPot and Daijob are great for foreigners in

photo by Richard Schneider

Rei, Temple University Japan
“The Saizeria in front of Tokyu Hands in Shibuya is open until 8am. When I missed the last train and needed somewhere to crash, they let me lay down on the sofa for a nap when there were only a few customers in the early morning.”

Shana, Tokai University
“If you’re addicted to boba like I am, you can hit up Gongcha in Shibuya. They have student discounts for their drinks but make sure to bring your student ID!”