Cheap Eats in Tokyo – Matsuya

I often remembered how my parents’ generation will often say that “Japan is too expensive”. However, now that Singapore is the top of the list of the world’s most expensive place to live in, I hear stories from my aunt that Japanese tourists find Singapore too expensive.

Anyway, with that prior impression I had in my mind, I did not really eat much Japanese food during my first trip in 2013, and only do selected restaurant to sample certain interesting Japanese cuisine. However, in this recent trip, with the help of my friend Dolphin-san, his tips led me to some interesting places to eat.

Nevertheless, I really took on the courage to just walk into places with menu that look interestingly enough.


Matsuya Store Front

Matsuya Store Front

I stumbled upon this place, just because first, it was right next to my Airbnb place, second, it was pretty decently priced, third, it looked like a fast-food chain. Seeing that I was not in any hurry to go anywhere, I decided to leave my wifi dongle to charge in the room and head down there for a nice breakfast.

YUP, I did say breakfast.

Matsuya Menu

Matsuya Menu

Honestly, I stood in front of this menu for awhile trying to FIND a non-beef item and luckily, it has ENGLISH WORDS!!!!! I found one dish I wanted to try and looks delicious: Extra Green Onions and Sliced Pork Bowl~~

Check out this link that I found out later on:

Purchase machine

Purchase machine

Majority of the food outlets in Japan operate with one of these payment purchase machines which pretty much works like a vending machine, only that it dispenses tickets and then you present it to the staff near to the kitchen.


Condiments on the table

Condiments on the table

Almost every table has this set of condiments, cutlery and sauces on the table. I have absolutely NO CLUE what most of these sauces were, except for one… the far right bottle with the word 七味 which I knew is a kind of mixed spice powder that I am familiar with back home in Singapore.

The staff will first serve you a small glass of cold water. I realised that they always serve their water cold, no matter which food establishment I went to and I wonder why it was that way. I never got to ask them because… 😛 , I rarely speak a word of Japanese.




Here are some closeup of my breakfast:

Soft boiled egg

Soft boiled egg

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

Extra Spring Onions and Ginger Pork Bowl

Extra Spring Onions and Sliced Pork Bowl

I enjoyed my pork bowl very much. Although it is not some expensive restaurant or some must-try food, but I must say the taste is definitely authentic and really tasty. I love those extra spring onions (I love spring onions) which really give an extra punch to the chewy pork and the fluffy white rice underneath it all which also has been catching all the extra sauces that was poured down from above.

Mixing in the soft-boiled egg into the rice

Mixing in the soft-boiled egg into the rice

I secretly did something I often do when I am back home in Singapore. I took the soft-boiled egg which I had additionally ordered aside from the pork bowl set, and mixed it into the fluffy rice and the onions, then topped off every mouthful of eggy-goodness rice with a slice of pork.


Receipt Stubs

Receipt Stubs

Prices are definitely good for value too. Come to think of it, I don’t think we can get such a decent delicious pork bowl in Singapore for this price!


So how much I spent?

Extra Spring Onions & sliced pork bowl + miso soup = 450 Yen
Soft Boiled Egg ============================== 230 Yen
Total ====================================== 680 Yen
Converted to SGD (based on 0.0122 rate)========= SGD$8.32

Not bad, right?


Where to find Matsuya?

They have many location across Japan. You can use this link
to locate a store in the area you are in.


If you want to head to this exact store I went to, here’s a map to show you where it is:


They also have other subsidiary brands of F&B outlets, which I have not tried yet, but I would be sure to look out for them when I am in Japan again.



Off for another yummy adventure!





38 thoughts on “Cheap Eats in Tokyo – Matsuya

  1. Amanda Love

    A friend and I are actually planning a trip to Japan next year so this post really helped. I’m all about eating out cheap and this would be perfect, and the food looks great.

  2. Danessa Foo

    I agree with you, one does not need to spend a bomb to find good eats anywhere for that matter! Thanks for sharing this… it would be useful should one day my family visit Tokyo. Gotta visit Disneyland there someday 😉

  3. Bhushavali

    My biggest trouble in far Eastern countries is food. I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat egg too. During my China visit I realized that even veggie food was cooked in fish oil much to my dismay!!

  4. Alina Popescu

    Looks like a delish breakfast! I would have probably stared at the menu for a while too before deciding what to have 😀 Love the vending machine concept, I imagine it makes everything fast and easy.

  5. Lori

    Useful tips – as we all need such recommendations for our travels. And the dishes look great too – not only affordable!

  6. hannah gee

    Oh this is really helpful, we are heading their at the end of the year…and I am already panicking what I will be able to eat and it
    is so different from the UK. Great post, thankyou x

  7. Barely Vegan

    That price is not bad at all for the amount of food you got! Sometimes it’s fun to eat at a random restaurant and take a risk ordering something you’ve never had before! I’m glad you enjoyed the meal. Money well spent!

  8. Shub

    It is great to save some bucks on food so that I can spend more on shopping! Will keep this place in mind on my visit to Tokyo.

  9. Saminu Abass

    It is not necessarily important to spend too much or be exorbitant in order to enjoy a meal. Japan is expensive too

  10. Franc Ramon

    Their price are reasonable. It’s also nice that they make it easy to order even for non-Japanese customers. Their food looks delicious too.

  11. Claire Algarme

    Yey, another post about Japan! My friends and I are planning a trip later this year. We are just watching out for the discounted fares. Hopefully, we will be able to make it as we have been talking about Japan for two years already. I’ll bookmark this as reference for our trip.

  12. Elizabeth O.

    I don’t know much about Japan and the restaurants there, but I’ve heard so many good things about their food. It’s definitely worth the trip, if it’s to taste all that they can offer. It doesn’t really have to expensive food, sometimes, a country’s street food is more enjoyable than the ones that they serve at their high-class restaurants.

    1. Pingerrain Post author

      Its a battle of tastes really. However, i do stand by the theory of earing what the locals will eat so that you will know what exactly is gourmet and not following the hype.

  13. Leke Awonuga

    Who says spending a fortune relate to a quality healthy lifestyle. Glad you enjoyed yourself, the food really worth the amount charged. Very affordable and also a vital tips to keep in mind.

  14. Fred

    We just came from Tokyo last March and we also dared enter places to try out food. It is good to discover that generally their food is very good, even if they are less than Y500!

  15. Erica

    This post got me excited for Japan! It’s been a long time wish of mine to go and I think it’s time to make it happen. Of course, the food is something I’m excited about!

  16. Rosey

    Everything looks great. I have heard it’s cost prohibitive, but I know that’s not always the case anywhere that rumor is attached. )

    1. Pingerrain Post author

      Japan is still expensive for the trade off for quality and security but there is always this side to ponder how the local survive it all?? Thus finding such cheap eats was something I started to look out for and stopping in front of every other store that looks decent.

  17. fred erick

    Wow! Yes I also have heard that saying about Japan is too expensive. I am glad to see something like this. $8.32 is 394.04 Philippines pesos. The meal is a little pricey where I come from but judging from your pictures. The food looks worth it.

  18. Tiffany Yong

    I STILL do think Japan’s food expensive! Haha, even though I haven’t been to Japan, I think with the type of food (I only like sushi) range, it will be difficult for me to survive there!

  19. Debbie

    Japan has been on my bucket list for a while. Yet due to my love of food i know i will want to try literally everything. Good to know there are some more budget friendly good places to dine.

  20. Sunshine Kelly

    Oh yes! I have tried it and there are quite a number of such small eatery whereby we order and pay through the vending machine. I like the system and its so organized. The food is also not too bad for the price we pay in such a big metropolitan city.

  21. Nicole

    $8 is cheap! A typical dish in singapore would have cost close to $15. No doubt, we are one of the more expensivr cities to live in, in the world.

  22. Lorane Rhoden

    I’ve heard of Matsuya from a few other Bloggers and I like that it’s cost effective … I’ve never had soft boiled Egg but the presentation looks good

  23. Sher

    I love Japanese food but jap food in Singapore costs at least $20 for a good meal!! Japan is definitely on my travel bucket list.

    1. Pingerrain Post author

      Yeah, imported ingredients plus high overheads results in higher prices in Singapore. There are lots of good eats in Japan. You should try it when you are there!

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