Estimated Budget for Japan Trip

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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! 

(Related: How to get Japan Travel Visa)

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

1000

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.


(RELATED: THRIFTY TRAVEL TIPS by Rick Steves)

SEND ME A MESSAGE IF YOU NEED HELP ON FINALIZING YOUR ITINERARY!

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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