Travel Expenses: Japan

Japan is expensive. They do not exaggerate when they say that. It really is. But that’s not to say it’s not a good place to travel in. Japan is incredibly tourist friendly despite the language barrier, and a lot of tourist attractions have free admission (well, mostly temples, shrines and palace grounds).

Now that more budget carriers are flying direct to Japan from Manila (including Jetstar), it’s cheaper than ever to go there. The biggest expenses in Japan are the transportation, accommodation and food. A ride in the subway costs a minimum of ¥200 (around Php 100), same with buses. But if you don’t mind walking, you can make most of Japan Rail’s network to get around for free if you’re holding a Japan Rail Pass. Accommodation costs can be driven down by staying in hostel dorms or even further down by Couchsurfing with a local host. As for the food, Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores offer bento boxes of real food, so you won’t have to live on instant ramen (unless you’re really strapped for cash). Onigiri (rice ball with filling or seasoning) starts at ¥68, bento at ¥350, depending on where you’re buying.

If you’re like me who have a weakness for shopping, you’ll go crazy in Japan. They have a lot of shops that offer the cutest things and brands that we don’t get in Manila. If you’re a toy collector, prepare to say goodbye to your money when you step inside Kiddyland, Mandarake or the Kotobukiya store. Toys and figures are for most part, cheaper in Japan. But for other things, it’s about the same or it’s more expensive.

The biggest savings I got for this trip was the Japan Rail Pass. Sure it cost me Php 23,000 for a 14-day pass, but considering that a one-way ride on the shinkansen starts around Php 3,000 and I rode 6 of them and a bunch of other trains, it really is worth the investment. Of course, that’s only applicable if you plan to move around a lot, like I did. If you plan on staying in just one city, best not to buy it. I’ll be posting about this in detail in a later post.

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Japan 2012
March 26 – April 8, 2012
In local currency In PHP
Air transfers
Manila-KL (Cebu Pac) PHP 5,299.00 PHP 7,499.00 1
KL-Manila (AirAsia) MYR 388.00 PHP 5,602.19 2
KL-Osaka-KL (AirAsiaX) MYR 205.00 PHP 2,964.50 3
Add-ons MYR 223.00 PHP 3,219.82 4
Transportation
Airport transfers (Manila) PHP 615.00 PHP 615.00
Japan Rail Pass (Ordinary, 14-days) JPY 45,100.00 PHP 23,000.00 5
Subway JPY 2,510.00 PHP 1,299.39 6
Buses JPY 5,280.00 PHP 2,738.64 7
Ferry JPY 1,220.00 PHP 634.40 8
Accommodation
Osaka
Hotel Chuo (Single room, 1 night) JPY 2,500.00 PHP 1,306.82 9
Hotel Chuo (Twin room, 1 night) JPY 4,000.00 PHP 1,304.00 10
Kyoto
Nagomi Ryokan Yuu (Quad, 2 nights) JPY 32,000.00 PHP 4,137.93 11
Tokyo
Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro (Twin room, 3N) JPY 27,000.00 PHP 7,282.85 12
Sapporo
Sapporo-eki Kita-guchi (Single room, 2N) JPY 9,960.00 PHP 6,422.29 13
Takayama
J-Hoppers (Single room, 2 nights) JPY 7,000.00 PHP 3,829.00 14
Food and beverages
Manila PHP 150.00 PHP 150.00
Kuala Lumpur MYR 28.50 PHP 401.33
Osaka JPY 4,012.00 PHP 2,083.05 15
Kyoto JPY 4,830.00 PHP 2,509.59 16
Tokyo JPY 10,262.00 PHP 5,296.19 17
Sapporo JPY 7,973.00 PHP 4,135.59 18
Takayama and Shirakawa-go JPY 10,095.00 PHP 5,269.06 19
Activities
Shiroi Koibito Factory Walk JPY 600.00 PHP 312.00 20
Nekobukuro JPY 1,100.00 PHP 565.71 21
Kinkakuji JPY 400.00 PHP 205.71
Fortune JPY 100.00 PHP 51.43 22
Rotemburo JPY 2,500.00 PHP 325.00 23
Miscellaneous
Visa processing fee PHP 2,500.00 PHP 2,500.00 24
Travel insurance PHP 1,063.00 PHP 1,063.00 25
Philippine travel tax PHP 1,620.00 PHP 1,620.00
Philippine airport tax PHP 550.00 PHP 550.00
Luggage Storage MYR 28.00 PHP 394.86 26
Lockers JPY 600.00 PHP 311.86 27
Souvenirs JPY 9,192.00 PHP 4,777.36 28
Luggage Delivery JPY 1,990.00 PHP 1,023.43 29
Total PHP 105,401.00
1 One-way with 15kg baggage allowance, regular seat, and change date fee
2 One-way with 25kg baggage allowance, regular seat and one meal.
3 So much for free.
4 Includes baggage allowance (15kg to Kansai, 25kg to Kuala Lumpur), meal, and seat selection.
5 Bought from Attic Tours. Saved me lots of money, considering my route and the trains I rode.
6 Had to buy tickets separately for subway and private railways
7 Only rode the bus in Kyoto and Tokyo. The bulk of this is the JPY 4,300 round trip bus ride to and from Shirakawa-go from Takayama.
8 Sumida River Cruise from Asakusa to Odaiba in Tokyo
9 Western room. Had to stay solo for one night upon arrival. Shared toilet and bath.
10 Shared a Japanese-style room with Jill. Shared toilet and bath.
11 Stayed in a ryokan (traditional house) and shared a room with 4 people. Shared toilet and bath.
12 Shared a room with Jill. Western style with ensuite toilet and bath.
13 Western room, includes breakfast. Paid extra for late check out and video on demand.
14 Japanese-style tatami room. Shared toilet and bath.
15 Meals includes okonomiyaki, yakisoba, takoyaki, ramen, and haul from the convenience store.
16 Mostly Japanese fast-food meals
17 Includes sushi breakfast, ramen, different kinds of bento, dinner set meal from a Japanese restaurant.
18 Includes yummy hot chocolate, cakes, fresh strawberries, train meals, and scallop butter ramen
19 Hida beef in different forms: beef bun, beef skewer, beef soba, beef sushi
20 View of the factory and access to galleries.
21 Kitties!
22 You drop a 100-yen coin in a machine and it spits out a fortune.
23 Outdoor bath, cost split into four ways
24 Visa application is free, but you need to go through an agency. We had our visas processed through Universal Holidays, Inc in Dusit Hotel
25 From Blue Cross
26 So I wouldn’t have to lug it around while wandering around the LCCT
27 Coin lockers to store my stuff while I walked around
28 Mostly chocolates, including different flavors of Kit Kat
29 My suitcase was already full in Tokyo, so I opted to send it to Kansai Airport and just backpacked to Sapporo and Takayama
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Japan 2012 (.xlsx) (838)
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Great hotel deals in Tokyo via Agoda


Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 65 Comments
  1. […] = "662466b587f39e497472af48c2420b82"; ← Travel Expenses: Japan Project Japan […]

  2. […] After traveling to Japan twice already, I knew exactly what I was getting into when I was planning for this trip. I prepared as much as I can, always on the lookout for the best rates, working out a budget that would let me enjoy certain luxuries, while keeping the costs down, I’m quite happy to find out that I’m able to keep this trip way below what I spent during my first trip to Japan. […]

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