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    Disregard females, acquire currency.

    So true ^^



    Ahh I love this thread!
    I’m travelling to Japan on April (already bought the flights and so~)

    About the money… I have a part time job. And in Spain they don’t pay you for being an university student… Lucky you, マーク・ウェーバー ;)
    I’ll be in Japan for around two weeks and the money I plan will be spent (including everything, everything) is about 2500€ ~ 3000€ . It depends on how much I buy there lol. Flights was the most expensive part.

    I am stil thinking which things I can’t miss, places I have to go, things I have to eat, etc. I will be staying in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and places nearby to those three.



    I think I may have to sell my soul in order to afford the trip I want to do… I work full time, but unfortunately living in London on crappy entry level TV company wages means I can’t even pull myself out of my overdraft at the moment, let alone save up thousands for a holiday.

    Maybe it can be a retirement visit… :(



    So I’m planning a trip to Japan, intending to stay for one month (at least). No touristy stuff, I wanna immerse myself in the daily life over there (insofar as a visitor can, anyway) and get my first real taste of life in Japan.

    I’m shooting for November of this year, if not sooner. I’ve planned to save up as much as I can, with a goal of (hopefully) around 4,500-5,000 USD (minimum 2,000 USD). I do intend to shop a bit while there (and of course, I’ll need to eat once in a while over the course of a month), but I’ll be traveling light, so I won’t be buying very much.

    It’s my first time traveling on my own, so I’m very green at this. My questions are, is this a realistic amount of money for a one-month’s trip? What should I keep in mind for my stay? How can I cut costs as much as possible?



    Depends on where you stay I think. Someone who has probably been to Japan would probably know. Im figuring the same amount that you are thinking but for about 2 weeks so you might wanna double that for an entire month. I mean, I’m gonna be staying at multiple friends houses while I’m there so it helps alot but…..also remember that around 1/5 of that money is just gonna be used for the roundtrip plane ticket. Taking account the fact that the yen is much stronger than the dollar right now, its probably safe to say that $5000 is not enough for one month unless you find the the cheapest lodging, cheapest plane ticket, and eat cheaply.


    I just booked two tickets for two weeks starting May 11…planning on about 150,000円/person. We’ll have 7-day JR Passes and roundtrip airfare (was about $1200/person from Kansas) outside of that. I’ve been building a list of hostels and cheap みんしゅく to stay at to attempt to keep lodging costs below 6000円 per night…at least while we aren’t in Tokyo. (Although, if I book here, I should be able to do that even IN Tokyo.)

    Basically, we’re looking to do it as inexpensively as possible, but still see a nice big swath of the country. My camera will get the workout of its lifetime.



    Leaving for Japan on March 27 until April 17: 3 weeks! Plan to start in Tokyo, head up to tashirojima for a day, stay the night somewhere around there, go down to Nagoya for a few days, before going to Kyoto for another few days. The last few days will be spent somewhere in Shikoku. Can’t wait!



    Your biggest costs will likely be transportation and lodging.

    Every time I have gone traveling in Japan, I have cut my costs by staying in hostels or internet cafes. (about 2000yen/night) and using train passes where I could.

    Also, your food could also add up quickly depending what you want to eat/experience. When I went traveling, I had onigiri and coffee every morning. Noodles for lunch and bento on the train for dinner on my way to my next destination. This was cheap. But if this is your first time to come to Japan, there is so much great food to be had here. Everything from sashimi, to yakiniku and shabushabu and nabe (depending on the season) okonomiyaki, etc, the list goes on. Needless to say, for most, food is a big draw to Japan and shouldn’t be avoided.

    In terms of peak travel times, try to avoid the 3 main holiday periods in Japan. Golden Week (End of April-Beg of May), Obon (Mid August) and Oshogatsu (New Year’s). Generally travel will be more expensive (sometimes train passes aren’t available) and everywhere will be much busier than normal.



    @ Missing and KiaiFighter, cheers for the info, mates.

    That’s a pity though. I thought I’d have enough. Not sure if I can scrounge up 10 grand in time…

    Though, I really don’t mind being spartan about it. The main objective is not so much a holiday as it is a “hardcore immersion” trip of sorts. If I have to forgo souvenirs and stick to only food/transport, then so be it. As for lodging, I don’t mind hostels or anything really cheap. I’ll be out and about most of the time, so all I need’s a bed to sleep on.

    Eating cheaply is the plan, I don’t wanna visit anything remotely like a fancy restaurant. I wanna eat at convenience stores, train stations, fast food joints, etc. The point’s to get a taste of “regular life” as much as I can.

    So if I skip on the shopping, stick only to cheap food/transport, and pick a cheap hostel, what do you reckon? Could I get away with $5000 for a month (November), or might that still be too low?



    Well yeah, it depends on what you want to do. Like for me, my plan is to go to all the touristy places in the Kantou Tokyo region (池袋、浅草、銀座、秋葉原、原宿、新宿などなど)。 I know that doesn’t really seem like I’m seeing “real” Japan, but thats my plan and what I want to do so figured about $5000 for everything and a high possibility of free lodging.

    But if you’re set about doing that, then you should definitely do it. I mean, it sounds like a great idea. Though like what KiaiFighter said, probably your biggest costs will be transportation lodging. Not that I’ve been to Japan before but I can imagine it would have to be that. Where did you say you wanted to go?

    Also, can anybody here who’s currently living in Japan or has been to Japan, enlighten us about how the train passes there work? There’s like this $700 JR pass offered on the website for 2 weeks and thats kinda crazy. I know theres cards like Passmo and Suica but not really sure how that works and how much that all is.


    Yep, the JR Pass looks amazing. It’s about 28,300円 for 7 days (45,100円 for 14 days) and you can take almost any JR train, including most of the しんかんせん. (The two fastest classes, のぞみ and みずほ, aren’t covered, nor are sleeper trains.) JR busses are also covered, as is the N’EX train from Narita Airport, so you can get near just about anywhere in Japan.

    I plan on getting a 7-day JR pass and spending a week making my way south towards Hiroshima by way of Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama. By then I’ll take a train back to Tokyo and spend the rest of my trip around there.



    Well, as for what I want to do, basically just kinda wander around. It’ll most likely be Tokyo, though I’m not 100% on that (might end up picking someplace else if it’s a lot cheaper). The geek in me does wanna see Akihabara at least once, though. I probably won’t even leave Tokyo except maybe to go see Saitama real quick (it’s one of the places I’m considering living in).

    My “sightseeing” will basically consist of convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations, train stations, department stores, local hangouts, etc, and basically just soaking up the street scene. No temples, no onsens, no museums, no conveyor-belt sushi. I wanna see the “working man’s Japan”, lol.

    I first got the idea after reading Danny Choo’s story of his first trip. That seemed like such a great way to “sample” Japan for the immigration-minded, and looks like it’d potentially be a good motivator.

    What I really wish I had was some friends to stay with like Missing, though. Apart from the savings, nothing beats the immersion of staying in a proper house.



    Time to start making friends! lol

    2 of the people I want to see are people I’ve met on the internet. Although you don’t have to if you’re afraid of like stranger danger. If you really plan on making friends anytime soon, then go ahead, but probably safer if you continue considering lodging costs etc.



    So full of envy right now…

    Also, can anybody here who’s currently living in Japan or has been to Japan, enlighten us about how the train passes there work? There’s like this $700 JR pass offered on the website for 2 weeks and thats kinda crazy.

    The $700 pass is the Green pass – that’s the first-class ticket. You don’t really need that, so just get the ordinary pass, which is just three-quarters as much, and you can easily get your money’s worth with just a few Shinkansen trips. If you’re not heading outside of the Kanto region, another idea is to just get a JR East rail pass: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/

    I know theres cards like Passmo and Suica but not really sure how that works and how much that all is.

    Those are pre-paid IC cards. You pay ¥500 for the card, then put some money onto it. Then you pay just by waving your card over the sensor – it even works with the card still in your wallet. You can also use it on vending machines and the like. At the end of your trip, you can return the card, and you’ll be refunded the ¥500 plus whatever money was still on the card. Or you can keep it as a souvenir, which is what I did. =) More info: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

    If you want to see how much your rail travel is going to cost (and just plain want to know how to get to places) http://www.hyperdia.com/ is an excellent route planner, and tells you how much a ticket will be. It also lets you choose only JR trains (or non-JR trains) and lets you exclude the top-level shinkansen trains from results.



    If your goal is to experience daily life in Japan, don’t skip the onsens. It may be because of where I live, but the onsen is a weekly occurrence for many people. I’ve had some of my best conversations in the onsen too. Same for kaiten sushi, it only seems touristy because it’s not really available outside of Japan. It’s not considered a touristy thing to do by Japanese people and if your goal is to save money, it’s a way to get cheap sushi that is still somewhat decent.

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