Friday, October 31, 2014

Japan Expenses: 7 Days, 4 Cities, in less than 22K

People say Japan is one of the most expensive places to travel to. I've talked to several people and asked how much they've spent in Japan and responses I got were between 50,000 to as high as 100,000. So we took on the challenge to experience Japan on a low budget while still enjoying the same quality of experience during our travel.

Here's what we've spent for EACH person (for 7 days, 6 nights, 4 cities):

We spent total of 40,000 which is similar to what others' spent, but this is already all in including airfare, travel taxes, visa, shopping, and accommodation!

If you remove all these, here's what we've really spent on daily expenses:


Our total daily expense in Japan is 21,723 pesos each. This already includes 6 nights of accommodation, visits to 4 cities (Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo), expenses for 6 days on food and transportation, entrance fees (including Disneyland Ticket and other tourist spots). This is a bit similar (or even cheaper) than what we've spent in Korea which is a much cheaper location. Read on my Korea expenses here: 2012 Korea Expense and 2014 Korea Expense.

How did we do it?
1. Don't book round trip tickets in one city. Book airline ticket going to Osaka and book return flight to Manila from Tokyo. This will save you tons of time and money as trains are extremely expensive.

2. Don't get JR Pass (worth Php 13,000 for 7 days unlimited) unless you plan to go to several cities (apart from those we've mentioned). Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe are nearby so it does not cost a lot of money to go to each places. Osaka to Tokyo will cost you more than Php 4,000 one way if you ride the bullet train but if you ride the sleeper bus, it will cost you around Php 1,760 and will save you one night of hotel fee. Bullet trains do not have night time travel so you need to pay for hotel plus bullet train fee. If you will ride the bus, book it online as you can get web discounts. Our total transportation cost is only about Php 7,000 total for 7 days including visits to 4 different cities.

3. Get unlimited 1-day bus pass in Kyoto worth Php 420. This is almost all you need to go around entire Kyoto. We went temple hopping (around 5) with this bus pass (and a lot of walking!). If you don't get an unlimited bus pass, each bus ride will cost you Php 100, and you'll be riding buses more than 10 times if you want to go around the city.

4. Book the cheapest accommodation. We literally booked the cheapest of all: Php 833 for both of us per night in Osaka and Php 2,430 per night in Tokyo. We also saved 1 night hotel due to the sleeper bus when we went from Osaka to Tokyo, and we also saved by NOT booking in Kyoto as hotels there are much more expensive than Osaka.

5. Never ride the Taxi! Not even once!!!

6. Eat heavy! Food prices in Japan are similar regardless if it's in Food court, convenient store, restaurants, or even street food and they are all generally expensive. There is no way to save on food cost aside from eating less frequently but with more quantity. We still selected specialty food that we want to eat (like Ichiran and Sushi dai) but we only ate 2-3 times a day and did not get tempted to always buy snacks. If you plan to go to Disney, eat a lot of food prior to going there because food is very expensive.

7. Water is Gold!!! So bring water bottle anywhere you go. There are refilling water fountain in some train stations and a lot as well in Disneyland. We saved thousands of pesos by not buying water because water bottles costs at least Php 50 and imagine how much it will cost you if you keep buying water for 7 days.

8. Wifi stick is not needed. A lot of people say you absolutely need wifi in Japan. However, we did not get wifi sticks because it is very expensive. The internet that we get from the hotel and also in some shops were enough for us to research and post our pictures. However, you'll definitely need to get wifi if you did not research prior to your trip.

9. Most important - research!!! Make sure you fill up your itinerary to maximize your day and spend less on transportation. We initially planned to go to Kyoto for 2 days, but we completed everything in 1 day which saved us a lot of cost on transportation and it allowed us also to visit Nara with the same budget. Each train ride even if it's only 1 station costs Php 50-100. So make sure you walk from one place to another even if it's a bit far and plan your itinerary in a way that it follows a logical flow based on proximity to each other. Research also on things you can skip doing or entering (ex. some temples are not worth entering including famous tourist spots like Osaka Castle and Skytree). 

To recap, you can still maximize and enjoy your trip to Japan by paying less. Click here to see what we've done over 7 days with only Php 21,700 of daily expenses. :)

Photobucket

56 comments:

  1. Very informative post, Tin! I didn't know that entering Skytree and Osakajo is not worth the buck. Can you cite some more based on what you have researched? Looking forward to more posts about your Japan trip. Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Becky, thank you! :) Sky Tree is just an ordinary tower with nothing really to do. It's good to look at and take a picture but that's it. For Osaka Castle - it's worth the visit because it's a huge compound with a lot to see but we don't recommend you going inside the castle museum since it's an old museum that's not maintained well according to our friends. Will share these in more details in my next blogposts. :)

      Delete
  2. Been waiting for your post! Haha. We got our visas already and I've been finalyzing our itinerary. I'm surprised to see Skytree as not worth the visit since I'm really going all out with that place. Haha. And I'm planning on skipping Osaka Castle as well, since we're probably going to visit the Imperial Palace anyway. Plus I think I read somewhere it's under renovation...? Can't wait for your detailed posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi pseudoai, thanks hahaha! Yes, if I were you skip Skytree top part and the Castle museum. It's okay to visit that place pero going up not worth it. I'm working on the detailed posts haha mejo madami kasi e :) Do check back once in a while! When are you leaving for Japan?

      Delete
    2. First week of December, whole week na yun. :) Included ko both sa itinerary but I might cancel out altogether yung Osaka Castle, since ang target talaga namin sa Osaka is HP and Dotonburi lang. The castle is a filler before checking in so baka ibang place na lang, like Temple?

      By the way kumusta ang temp dun nung vist nyo? Kelan nga kayo pumunta?

      Delete
    3. Ahh I see! weee lapit na din ilang weeks nalang haha :) naexcite ako for you!!!

      Temperature in the morning malamig as in Baguio level times 2 haha but it becomes hot by noon and drops temperature by 6pm. No need for thermal clothes underneath your long sleeves and jacket. A thick jacket will do or 1 thin bubble jacket :)

      Delete
    4. Hi.. Permission to comment about the temp there kasi December ang punta nila and winter just started.. According to my Mom malamig na dun ngayon.. :)

      Delete
    5. Hi Yang, I heard nga temperature starts to drop na :)
      Thanks for sharing!!!

      Delete
  3. Hi! I would just like to know kung san kayo bumili ng overnight bus ticket? :) I looked online pero they are quite expensive na :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Online lang din po, I'll look for the link I forgot na sorry.

      Delete
  4. Hi there! Your blog is very informative! =) Quick question though, I read somewhere na may Kansai Thru Pass. Is this the same with the unli bus pass that you guys used in Kyoto? according to the Kansai Thru Pass site pwede din daw siya sa Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, and lets you visit Nara, Wakayama and Koyasan as well. And pati buses. I'm quite confused with all the passes in Japan. Andami! haha! TIA! =) - Diane and Arnel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diane and Arnel! thanks for your kind words :) regarding your question, I am sorry because I honestly am not aware of the Kansai Thru Pass. Let me do some research too and I'll ask around ;) In case you already know the differences, please do share it here again :D Thanks!!!

      Delete
  5. nice info, i just wanna tell you that i'm doing blog walking, keep posting guys,,,and please visit my site too at http://goo.gl/mKk0is

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very nice and informative blog. I'd like to know kung dun sa entrance fees na 7600 yen is inclusive of all temples and disneyland?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not bad! It's not as expensive as I thought. I'm going to try that route when I go to Japan next year. Enter na lang sa Osaka and flight pabalik is thru Narita so I won't have to buy the JR pass. Thanks for the insight! ^_^

      Delete
    2. Hi Chris, yup not so bad right? surprisingly kaya magtipid pala in Japan haha :)
      Thanks for dropping a message!

      Delete
  7. Hi, i lived in Tokyo for 3 years. May i know why you said its cheaper to buy a plain ticket to Osaka then take the flight out of Narita?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure if this is consistent with other airlines (kindly check to be sure) or if there is really a reason behind it but I notice in Cebu Pacific flights, flights in Osaka are cheaper vs Tokyo perhaps because tourists would almost instantly book Tokyo as a top of mind airport and destination in Japan versus the smaller cities? not sure... but it's just my observation :)

      Delete
  8. hello po!

    i just want to ask regarding the flight from manila-japan (roundtrip). Is it really 7k+ only?? kahit po from manila - osaka den narita - manila ung flights nyo? is it promo po ba? :) or dpende mo sa dates if peak season or not..

    Thank you po! :)

    -Junn

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really find your blog very informative. Thanks for taking time in sharing this. Would love to visit Japan one of these days. Hoping you'd also detail some of your itineraries. Surprisingly, COE is optional. Ang galing lang hehe.

    Regards,

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, THANK YOU for taking time to read my blog!!!! :) next time, will try my best to make my itineraries more detailed! thanks for the feedback :)

      Delete
  10. can anyone could tell me your tokyo itinerary. will be much appreciated. thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great blog! I have been around quiet long now but this is my first time to post a comment. I really find your blogs helpful especially the visa part. I travel quiet a lot but not to countries with visa, i hate being rejected. I don't think I can handle it. Hopefully next year I'll have the courage to go through that dreadful visa process. Planning to go to Japan or Korea. Keep posting! You are inspiring more people. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ..and oh I also wanna start blogging about my travels..you inspired me to do so..thank u! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Christine Joy, thank you for the kinds words :) super appreciate it! kaka flatter haha :) If you need any help or questions about visas, you can always message me here!

      BTW, go start your own travel blog!!! support kita diyan hahaha :)

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love your video! Looks like you had so much fun.The Nara deers are soooo cute! And I thought they don't allow selfie sticks, will definitely bring mine when I go back. There is really so much to see in Japan. Thanks for your wonderful blog posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha thank you :) just a tip when brining selfie sticks, place it inside your baggage because you can't bring it inside your hand carry bags.

      Delete
  14. hi Tin :) all your blogs are informative! im using all of them as a guide and inspiration sa future travels ko, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazing blog..this is by far the most wonderful, helpful and inspiring travel blog I read..I just have a question, did you use the Kansai Airport Rapid Service to get to Osaka??
    Thanks and God bless on travelling!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. very helpful blog thanks.

    tanong ko lang kung may how much ung total binayaran nyu pra makakuha ng visa? at saka kailangan ng may malaki k pera sa bank?

    nagtanung tanung kc aq at may nagsabi na
    1.) bago makakuha ng visa may interview
    2.) dun daw s interview ichecheck pera mo bank. sabi p nla nagdeposit cla 500k O.o hnd nmen kaya un college students lang kme so limited tlg budget so gs2 q mlman kung totoo un and if true may idea kb how much is the minimum?

    3.) inaalam dn daw kung may kakilala k s japan n mggng guarantor? (wala kme kilala)

    so aun puno kme ng problem ng mga kaibigan q on what are the requirements to go to japan and the methods to obtain them wla kc kme experience sa pagvisit ng ibang bansa. ggwen nmeng graduation 3p japan

    thanks for the help
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! here's mine,

      1. 800 (Discovery tour Agency for the visa processing) just pass all the requirements. NO INTERVIEW.

      2. BANK CERTIFICATE ONLY. NOT necessarily 500k that's too much for a student. I guess allowed yung sa parents if student palang. walang minimum amount. preferably around 60k above.
      3. if your applying for a tourist visa, no need.

      please read the blog of tin on how to get a visa. very informative yun. it'll help you a lot.

      Anyways. THANK YOU TIN FOR YOUR DETAILED BLOG, I just followed yours. We'll be travelling this December na. excited much. Im planning to follow your korea trip as well.
      God bless you and more places to explore and share. :*

      Delete
  17. Hi Tin!

    Sobrang detailed ng blog mo. yey!! :)

    Btw, saan kayo nagpapalit Yen? :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. You have a very good site, well constructed and very interesting i have bookmarked you, hopefully you keep posting new stuff, many thanks
    couple tour packages

    ReplyDelete
  19. Awesome tour blog. thanks for the great infomation. One of the tour I will like to go is Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You have got some great posts in your blog. Keep up with the good work.
    tours of rome

    ReplyDelete
  21. Để giải quyết vấn đề sốc văn để có mái tóc dày hóa và hòa làm thế nào để được nhiều like trên facebook nhập được với môi trường mới, điều đầu tiên các bạn làm cách nào để có trí nhớ tốt du học sinh nên làm là tìm đến sự giúp đỡ của Hội sinh viên,cách làm đôi chân thon gọn nhanh nhất những người đi trước. Các anh chị có kinh nghiệm sẽ đưa ra cho bạn được lời khuyên chi tiết và hữu ích.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi! Did u avail taxfree shopping ? If yes, could you gice me some details after passing immigration in japan and arrival at NAIA? Im scared that they will tax my goods here.. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You have a very good site, well constructed and very interesting i have bookmarked you, hopefully you keep posting new stuff, many thanks
    private concierge services

    ReplyDelete
  24. I wanted to thank you for this great blog! I really enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
    cost of trip to japan

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Ms.Tin :)
    pa help naman po ako din nagbabalak mag travel someday but i'm just only 18 yrs.old
    and kakapasok ko pa lang sa trabaho..and ang stop ako this sem ng school year ko...
    can you give me some info and tips..and also the detailed documents that i needed :D
    thanks and have more power i mean have more country to travel xD :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such great images for this couple! You are so good at what you do. Everyone of those needs to be framed!
    white flats

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Tin,

    This blog post was really helpful. I read this blog when I was planning for my Japan trip.

    https://thepubliccommuter.wordpress.com/tag/japan/

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi! Your blog was really helpful during my preparation for my recent japan trip! ��

    http://gtakesontheworld.weebly.com/blog/female-solo-travel-japan-2016

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Tinco! Thanks so much for this blog. Your korea blog really helped us a lot when we travelled in Korea last July. Now, we're planning to go to Japan this september. Just wanted to ask, in your opinion.. Which is more worth it to go to, Osaka or Tokyo? We're only staying in Japan for 7/8 days and we just wanna enjoy japan without having to maximize our money! Hehe Thanks!! Pls reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gennie, if you have 7 days, I think you can go to both!!! :) just like what we did :) To save on money, I suggest you ride the sleeper bus instead of the bullet train kasi it's so expensive. I have blogged about my Osaka to Tokyo bus ride, kindly check out my post :) tnx!

      Delete
  30. hi tin my family is planning to go to japan next yr and they assigned me as their aka tour guide however im very new at this and im not an experienced traveler. i hope u could share ur complete itinerary for osaka and tokyo 7 days 6 nights? we're planning to go to same places too. thanks so much :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up.

    japan Disneyland package

    Hokkaido travel package

    Japan Walking Tour

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ate tin ok lang po ba kahit walang TIN or something like that po? and bank account since your budget money is from yours??

    ReplyDelete

  33. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me, you give me best information! Thanks, very good post.
    Honeymoon Tours japan

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Tin! May I ask what month you went to Japan? We are planning to go this August and would just like to know if the same itinerary could still work for us.
    Hope you can respond. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for sharing such an comprehensive detail of your travels in Japan!

    Get best and beautiful pictures about Japan at Travelbild. Discover our great range of Japan Stock images for all travelers. Order online now for same day delivery and easy free returns.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...