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How expensive is Japan as a destination?

How can it be done 'on the cheap'?
11 years ago, January 10th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #99045  

Japan has gone way cheaper than it used to be...even if it more in the league of Switzerland than India. Neverthless, if you can make you way to Osaka...do a little trip to Kyoto...it's an amazing place. 15 years ago, I did it for 60usd per day...this was at the time a strick budget considering that each temple/shrine entry was each time at least 7usd every single entry.

You should do it, you can find cheap flights from HKG to Japan...just make sure you don't stay there too long.
Reply to this

11 years ago, January 10th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #99064  
30k is for the both of us, yeah. Japan will be a max of 2 weeks and right at the start when we are still 'rich'. Very glad to hear you will be including costs, sooo helpful! Reply to this

11 years ago, January 10th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #99066  
1st post.

Just read this topic and found it pretty inspiring (so much so i joined the forum). Chris sounds like you have got a cracking price. Well done!

I hope to book my flights in two weeks, then hand in work 1 month notice in April. Exciting times.

I am planning a trip for 4months from May; thailand-Japan (make own way to South Korea and back)-oz-nz and have been quoted around 1.5K for flights. With a spending budget of 1K per month, does that sound reasonable?

Bit concerned by everyone saying how expensive Japan is, I was hoping to be there for around 3 weeks flying into Tokyo. PA Leslie do you have any advice for keeping the costs down in Japan?

Any thoughts would be really appreciated... Reply to this

11 years ago, January 10th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #99071  
To keep cost down in Japan...you need to be creative...and on a diet.
To put it blantly, I went there 15 years ago when I was 21...so not sure everything is still "up-to-date".

In 10 days, in January, I did Tokyo and Kyoto. for Tokyo, I arrive late at night...and I did enjoy...a leisury walk between Ueno and Tsukuji Fish Market...they are open at 4am...if you arrive at 11pm...just save on your first hotel night...you'll sleep later.

2...dry noddles, in Japan, it works as anywhere else, and it's cheap.
3. In Tokyo, travel by metro is cheap...use your feet for everything else.
4. In Kyoto, I took a bus pass for one day to see the more remote temples, and walk the other day...we wlaked...a lot.
At the time you had night buses from Tokyo to Kyoto...a good way to save on a night...I met a friend on the Tokyo-Kyoto leg, we are still friends since that time!

Ok, I know this has nothing to do with the thread.

Guys, great you live your dreams. With low cost today, you can get around for close to nothing....and this is great!

Never took a long break...I personnaly enjoy the gap-week...every month. Different feeling, but at least I never had to suffer the post travel trauma. Wish I could take a gap-life! Reply to this

11 years ago, January 10th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #99114  
Sorry PA Leslie I couldn't disagree more,

I was in Japan in March last year (for Hanami), and maybe before the current economic crisis Japan wasn't as expensive as everyone thought. Now however it is INCREDIBLY expensive for people travelling on the Sterling. When I booked my flights in Aug 2008 it was over 200 Yen to the sterling... When we went it was 130-140. It's currently 148.

My wife and I are super budget travellers and were travelling with our 6 month old (so he was free), it still cost us around 2K for two and a half weeks (NOT including flights). Granted we stayed in private rooms for obvious reasons, but all were in hostels and we never 'splashed out' on any extravagant meals, we ate cheaply, mostly at Japanese fast food places and got food from supermarkets.

Transport was a killer, especially the bullet train, but it would of been wrong not to have taken it at least once. We did hire a car to explore the Izu Peninsula for a day, which costs.

I hope the sterling peps up a bit/Yen crashes a bit before you go Tina, that drop after I booked our tickets pretty much doubled the price of our trip.

All this aside it was INCREDIBLE.. We had a blast, our son was treated like a prince and it was worth every penny. I'd do it again tommorrow!!!! 😊

This has gone way off topic, sorry!

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11 years ago, January 11th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #99122  
Hi Michael and Faye,

When the pound hit the 2:1 ratio to the pound, everything around the world (except in the euro zone) became suddendly way cheaper than it used to be just because of the exchange rate for European travellers.

The problem is...this was an historic record, and if people start to base their asumptions for the next few year on the same level, there are on for serious dissapointment on the next few years to come.

For the Bullet train, it was already out of my budget at the time. There is only one way to do if you want to go on a train. They sell passes outside of Japan for a period of time, I think it goes by week, or two weeks. It is than way more affordable than if you buy your tickets directly in Japan.

Would like to remind my fellow travellers that the pound did it below 1.35 to the USD, and that the euro was one day at 0.84....this means that if you compare the cost of living with your own currency, some places have more than double in term of inflation in less than few years. But this doesn't translate in inflation for the same living in the country.

Japan has gone down in term of cost, and this is due to a very low inflation...even deflation at some stage. This is obviously in yen:yen bases. Reply to this

11 years ago, January 11th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #99174  
I'm just stating my own experiences... Japan WAS very expensive when I went in March travelling with Sterling. Granted it wasn't the best time to travel with the exchange rate as it was.

It may not be that bad now but it's still nowhere near as good for British travellers as it was and who knows if it will in the future.

re. a JR rail pass.... I did all the research before we left and A Japan Rail Pass is extremely good value if you're going to a lot of travel just on Japan Railways, or even if you're just going to shuttle between Tokyo and Kyoto within 7 days, sadly we were doing it over two weeks and only going one way so it wouldn't of worked out cheaper. If people are interested, currently for a 7 day JR rail pass (11/01/2010) it's £189.96, £302.73 for 14 days.

To put things in context, we were there on a 'short' holiday, so cost was largely irrelevant, on our RTW trip 07-08, £2000 would of sustained us for 2.5-3 months in SE Asia, we had every intention of visiting Japan on that trip but it just wasn't viable.

I also want to state, that if you want to go to Japan, don't let the cost put you off as it is an incredible country with incredible people.... Just do your research and budget realistically!

😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, January 12th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #99439  
4 posts merged into this topic from: I handed my notice in today... Reply to this

11 years ago, January 15th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #99808  
N Posts: 1
I spent a month in Japan last spring, and I could count on each day running about $100 US for one person. This included the average cost of a 3 week Japan Rail Pass, typically eating at small restaurants and 7-eleven and staying at decent hostel dorm rooms. The month also included a one week stay in pricier Tokyo.

I found that transport is the main budget buster for a Japan visit. Trains and planes are quite expensive, but I found food and site entrance fee's to be quite reasonable (typically 500-600 yen for an entrance fee) and places like McDonalds to be comparable to Canada.

The other main problem is getting in and out of Japan. I found the only cheap way in and out by air was through Cebu Pacific Air, which runs regular budget flights from Osaka (KIX) to Manilla. There are also ferries to/from Korea in the South, if you have the time. Please do let me know if you find any other cheaper airlines! Reply to this

11 years ago, January 17th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #100046  
B Posts: 130
lyndenC, ive read alot of the posts above and alot of people are saying that transport is the biggest spender in japan..though when ive gone onto lonely planet etc, bus fares and metro subway seem to be very cheap! is it just the trains that are expensive?
Tokyo is my first stop on my trip around the world..obviously i dont want to rinse my funds while im there, im thinking of only staying for a couple of days, see the cherry gardens, some museums, get some good ramen and possibly do a tour of mnt fuji (though i havent researched into this one so any experience i'd love to hear about)
ive managed to find a couple of hostels for £20 a night (3000Y) which i think is quite reasonable for a capital..but maybe some of you managed to find some cheaper..? Reply to this

11 years ago, January 17th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #100047  
Abi, what I'm writting in is 15 years old, so may not be in effect today. When I went there I had addresses of cheap places, but they were all full when I turned up there....so make sure you book ahead....lot of people on budget...not many budget beds...

Reply to this

11 years ago, January 17th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #100091  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Abi,

You won't get much cheaper than 3000 yen per night in Tokyo.

If you're thinking of going to Mt Fuji I highly recommend doing the climb overnight so that you get the sunrise from the top. You can get the bus directly to the 5th station( where most people start climbing) from Shinjuku, Tokyo. Saves you a night's accomodation too :-)
Close up in daylight it's a pretty plain mountain. Reply to this

11 years ago, January 18th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #100109  
Mt Fuji on night...hostel one night...Tsukuji fish market the third night...you pay one night...you camp two....and than on the night bus to Kyoto....you may need some sleep later on.... Reply to this

11 years ago, January 22nd 2010 No: 14 Msg: #100719  
B Posts: 11.5K
Abi - which cities are you thinking of going to other than Tokyo? Reply to this

11 years ago, February 1st 2010 No: 15 Msg: #102030  
-----I cannot give you really up to date info as we were in Japan in late 2008. Started at Hiroshima, Kyoto and ended up in Tokyo.First we found hotels very expensive. We chose hotels close to train stations as we purchased a train pass for our travels in Japan.Need to allow several weeks to get a train pass as we did it all on the internet. Passes are expensive but we think worth it. That was definitely the best way to travel. We had reserved a rental car and when we saw the traffic we canceled. You can go anywhere on the trains. The high speed long distance trains are fabulous. We made our room reservations with Asia Rooms and got great rates compared to rates posted on US Hotel sites. We had to pay in advance and that is always concern when you plan your travel months ahead time. Eating cost is expensive however by eating lightly and including lots of local places you can reduce that cost substantially. Hotel restaurants were very expensive. We visited dozens of temples and religious (Buddhist) sites in Kyoto, Yokohama, Yokuska, Tokyo and the same town out the international airport. There was a fantastic religious complex at that little town. The hotel bus actually took us there and picked us up before out return flight. There are Geisha shows everywhere and we found them to be relative inexpensive. In Tokyo be sure and take in the Imperial Palace and in Kyoto there are limitless places to view gardens, etc. You will have a fabulous time. Before going, check the internet and sign up for some tourist information from the large government bureaus. All large cities have one. We still get monthly e-mail with lost of suggestions about travel. Reply to this

11 years ago, February 1st 2010 No: 16 Msg: #102076  
B Posts: 11.5K
If anyone is particularly wanting to stay in hotels, a chain worth checking out is the Toyoko Inn. They're always near train stations in the cities, are around 5,000 yen a night and quite good value. Facilities are the same in all of them. Oh yeah, they have free internet too 😊 Reply to this

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