Estimated Budget for Japan Trip

Sika Deer in Nara Park

How much pocket money do you need for a decent travel to Japan?


A lot of my friends have been asking me about the cost of my Japan trip and about how much money they need to prepare to visit Japan, and I've always replied: it depends.

The travel cost can be sky-high or on a shoestring depending on where you want to go, what activities you want to try, how long you wish to stay, where you'll stay and the kind of food you prefer to eat. 

But to give you an estimate, I'm sharing a table of expenses and suggested itinerary below. So ready your pens in case you plan to tick Japan off your bucket list real soon! 


So you got your VISA approved (congratulations!), booked your plane ticket, the next thing to do is finalize your itineraryWhere is the best place to visit? What activities should you try? 

Usually, first time travelers in Japan want to visit Tokyo and Kyoto, the current and old capital of Japan, respectively. If you ask me which place is better, I'd say both can offer unique travel experience. Aside from these two historical sightseeing spots, however, it's important to note that there are nearby places that are equally worth visiting.

SUGGESTED ITINERARY


Tokyo – Osaka – Kyoto – Nara

You can arrive at Narita airport and dedicate the next full day in Tokyo Disneyland/ Tokyo Disneysea. Take a train to Tokyo the following day and spend a photo walk around the city. Take pictures in Akihabara, visit Ueno park, observe the cityscape from the SkyTree observatory, eat and shop at Tsukiji Market or Ginza, visit the Imperial Palace, drop by the historical Tokyo Station... At night, you can board on a Yakatabune or Japanese Houseboat, drink and dine with your friends while cruising in Tokyo bay. If night photography is your thing (or you don't want to go on a cruise) you can opt to watch romantic night views from the top of some prominent buildings in Tokyo.

I'm telling you the first 3 days in Tokyo can be real packed but fun, you better ready your feet and foot wear!


You can also try other popular tourist spots in this map
photo from JR EAST website

On the fourth day of your trip, you can take a Shinkansen to go to Osaka or if you are feeling frugal and you want to take things slow, take a night bus. You can stay in Osaka and travel by train to visit neighboring prefectures like Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo, Shiga, etc.

See the cute school kids on the left? This is in Otsu City in Shiga

Trains in Japan are very convenient because they're always on time. In fact, you can depend on the arrival time to know when to get off. I found this life-saving especially when I couldn't read the map or understand the train announcement/ electronic prompter. But basically everything is translated to English so you need not worry. 

Upon arrival to Osaka you can visit the Dotonbori, take a picture with Glico man, eat soba (in a bowl that's as big as your head) and then go to Osaka Castle.

I still feel I could drown in this bowl in case. . .

On the fifth day, you can begin very early and take a train to Nara. Visit the Todaiji Temple with the biggest  Daibotsu, feed the deer, check out Nara Museum, trek Mt. Wakakusayama till dusk and spend some time in the summit. The view from Mt. Wakakusayama summit at night is spectacular because of the bright city lights.

You can also spend a day in Kyoto. Visit (a friend in) Kyoto University. Dine at a famous tonkatsu restaurant nearby the university. Take the bus to Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji. Visit Fushimi Inari in the afternoon and try to finish hiking the 1000 toriis before midnight. Have dinner at the busy big Kyoto Station then head back to your hotel in Osaka.

If you still have another day to spare, you can go to USJ or spend a day walking in some parks, visiting manga cafes, shopping in Namba or Shin-saibashi.

Kobe Port Tower

Try to squeeze in a visit to Kobe and Shiga in your itinerary. You can go to these beautiful places within a day too.

On the 9th day you can check out of your hotel, go to the airport and travel back to Manila.

Kinkaku-ji


ANOTHER ITINERARY


OSAKA – MIE – NAGOYA – YAMANASHI – TOKYO

You can also choose KIX (Kansai International Airport in Osaka) as your point of entry. You can spend a day or three in Osaka before heading to Mie.

In Mie, you can visit the Nagashima Spaland or Nabana No Sato in Kuwana. You can spend two days in Mie. Visit unique theme parks - try the Steel dragon 2000! You can also take a lift to Mt. Gozaisho.

Lake Kawaguchi

On the 6th day you can take a train to Nagoya. Attend a Christian Church near Sakae Station.Visit Nagoya Castle. Take a night bus to Yamanashi and go to Kawaguchi Lake or Fuji Q highlands.

After that you can head to Tokyo and spend 2 or 3 days there. On the 9th or 10th day you can take your flight back to Manila.

Dinner with Japanese firends


ESTIMATED BUDGET


Here is a table of expenses (in Philippine Peso) to help you finalize your itinerary.

I included the converted cost of accommodation, transportation, food, and activities I tried in Japan. Check the items that you wish to include in your travel list and do the math.

Exchange rate is JPY 1.00 = PHP 0.35

(AGAIN, YOU CAN USE THIS TABLE AS REFERENCE. PLEASE DO THE MATH FOR YOUR TOTAL EXPENSES.THIS IS JUST A ROUGH ESTIMATE)



Cheap
Average
High


Accommodation (per night):





Dorm-type (/pax)
750
900
1000


Hotel
1000
3500
20000








Plane Ticket:





(RT) Manila - Osaka/ Tokyo
3500
8500
20000


(ONE-WAY)
Tokyo - Osaka
1000
5000
7000


(ONE-WAY)
Tokyo - Sapporo
1500
3000
10000








Food:





Meal
100
350
1000


Snacks
35
100
200


Milk Tea
35
100
200


Unlimited buffet dinner
700
700
1000


Green Tea (Pack)
70
250
800


Kitkat Chocolate
74
100
350


Coke in can
46
46
46


Beer in can
60
70
120


Ramen bowl
135
350
500


Sushi (2 pcs)
70
120
300


Mcdonalds value meal
35
100
350


Takoyaki
125
175
203








Bus Fare:





Osaka to Tokyo
1200
1200
1200


Unlimited day pass around Kyoto
175
175
175


KIX to Umeda
550
550
550








Train Fare:





Subway
65
65
350


Normal Train
50
50
312


JR Osaka station to JR Kyoto Station
196
196
196








Shinkansen:





Tokyo to Osaka
4200
4200
4200


Aomori - Tokyo
7700
7700
7700








Activities:





Tokyo Disneyland
2500
2500
2500


Temple Entrance Fee
245
500
500


Zoo Entrance Fee
300
500
500


Universal Studios
2600
2600
2600


Karaoke
175
500
100








Souvenirs:





Ref Magnet
250
300
500


Shoes
250
500
1000


Clothes
350
500
1000


Capsule Toys
35
70
150


Bag
350
700
1000


Cosmetics
100
350
1000


Perfume
750
1000
3000








Locker
35
145
250








Coin Laundry:





Washer (/4.5kg)
105
105
105


Dryer (/30min)
100
100
100









You see, with proper budgeting, your trip to Japan can be economical, fun and productive. In fact, based on the table above, you can enjoy 10 days in Japan with less than 20,000.00 pesos. 

Thanks to the current foreign exchange rate, you can do a lot with your Peso!

(READ: Where to buy Japanese Yen in Manila)

MORE THINGS TO DO


You can shop durable and fashionable shoes in Namba in Osaka~

I bought a pair of boots from this shop! It was 750 JPY

You can eat plates of sushi in revolving sushi restaurant~

Sushi per plate is JPY 100 in Sushiro Kaiten Sushi Restaurant

Or dine at a local restaurant and try authentic Japanese food~


...if you wonder about what to eat~


You can also shop for clothes~

End of season sales are the best... I got a pair of pants with  90% discount

...again if you wonder about the cost, here are the tags! Most shops in Japan conduct clearance sale so you can purchase items with about 40-90%  discount!


You can also survive laundry~


After a full meal breakfast in your hotel~


Yo can buy some flowers~


and take the flowers to some shrines~

You can enjoy Japan (and any trip) to the fullest without breaking the bank. It's just a matter of proper budgeting.


I hope this article helps. If you have questions, I am always glad to help. Just leave a message on the comments section below. Thank you for your time!

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