We always hear that Japan is very expensive to travel to. That is a myth. Traveling Japan is even cheaper than Europe and New York. So Japan is one destination on your bucket list, keep on reading.
Flying to Japan (any airports) averages 10 – 14 hours from Calgary International Airport, Canada. It costs from CAD$800 for a round trip ticket. More deals on Cheapoair.com, Flighthub.com and tripadvisor.com when you booked with hotel packages. You will get more saving which you can add up for your pocket money.
The last time we traveled to Osaka with my 2 kids, on a Christmas Season, I booked with agora.com and we get a room for just $84 USD by the Osaka Train Station. Not bad huh.
Presently, airbnb.com is offering $65 CAD for 2 adults. You have your private entrance, a kitchen – includes plates and cutleries, microwave and refrigerator. Free WiFi and a TV. Laundry washer and dryer, hangers and iron. Two beds, hair dryer, 1 bath and shampoos. Airconditioner and heater plus indoor fireplace. Location close to train stations and playground, great if you have kids.
Capsule Accommodation is a must try in Japan, It looks like as it sounds. For $67 CAD per day for two adults, you will have an opportunity to enjoy Capsule! With this price, it is located close to train station and shopping areas. There are public baths, separate for men and women, and saunas. WiFi is free and you have a flat screen TV and a power outlet. Lounges with comics, lounges with classic video game consoles, coin-operated laundry machines and designated smoking rooms. Guests can enjoy a variety of massage services at a fee on site. The on-site restaurant serves Japanese set menus as well as à la carte dishes. For breakfast, Western and Japanese set menus are available. There is a 24-hour front desk with luggage storage at the property. For your convenience, the capsule hotel provides lockers and safety deposit boxes as well. That is cool huh, besides you will only experience this in Japan so far.
If you are traveling alone and want to meet other travelers, Hostels are most affordable accommodation you might consider. Starting from $15 CAD a night, it will not hurt your pocket. Free WiFi, clean and close to parks and temples. You can cook in the kitchen with new friends or may want to eat on restaurants nearby.
As for traditional Hotels, Agoda.com is offering Book Now pay later deals with 25%off on room accommodations. Amazingly affordable, $25 CAD per night for 2 adults! Free WiFi, clean rooms with TV and more amenities included.
Aren’t you excited so far?
Trains, Buses and Taxis are the main transportation in Japan. With all my travels, this is the only place I experienced a very accurate time tables when it comes to transportation. This is one of the things I really love in Japan.
There are six major Railway Companies and a LOT of major, minor and other private railway companies. This simply means, train is the most accessible transportation. Example is the JR Pass. It is the ideal travel solution and the best way to discover Japan by train. It is very economical and simple to use. JR pass gives you access to the JR network nationwide and is a lot cheaper than buying individual train tickets. Japan Rail pass is only available to non Japanese nationals, tourist who has a “temporary visitor visa” staying not more than 90 days and any short touristic purposes.
If you have enough free time, want to see surrounding places and likes to save money, bus is the best option. Japan has the most well-organized bus system. You may have the option to pay per ride (IE. in Osaka, fare is flat rate of $1.96 US) or take the convenient discount tickets which includes bus, subway and trams (IE. pay $28 US for a ticket worth $31 US with no expiration).
Taxi cabs in Japan is gold. So I would say, not unless it is an emergency I don’t advise cabs. In Osaka for example, the first 2 km starts at 660 Yen ($6.20 US) and Y80 ($.75 US) per additional 296 meters.
Food and Dining
Of all the places that I traveled, I consider Japanese foods as the healthiest and balance foods. In a week they have sea foods, chicken, beef and pork menus alternately served during their meal. With it are vegetables and miso soup. During cold afternoon, I like to drop by a convenient store to buy an onigiri (it is usually a triangle shaped rice with different flavors wrap with a dried seaweed) for like a $1 US and pair it with my favorite Nissin Seafood cup noodles around $1.50 US. I then sit in a park and enjoy my $2.50 US meal.
Popular soup such as Ramen cost around $6 US a bowl. It usually goes with white rice and or salad. Sushi and sashimi’s are really worth having it but it cost a little more. You can scout for places where you can get it for the least price like Kaiten Sushi Restaurant (conveyor belt sushi) price ranges from $1 US to $5 US per plate. You can choose the kind of sushi you like. Plate color designates its price.
Gyudon or beef bowl is also very popular in Japan. Yoshinoya is my favorite restaurant and is usually open 24 hours. Gyudon s a popular domburi dish consisting of beef and onion served over a bowl of rice. The meat and onion are cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake giving the dish a sweet, salty flavor. It is usually served with pickled red finger, soup and an option of raw egg. Prices vary from different branches but trust me, it is so affordable and worth it.
MC Donald’s and KFC’s are also available if your prefer Western food. I remember a regular burger for a $1 once they are on specials. On a typical restaurant, burgers, spaghetti may cost a little more expensive.
In Japan streets, you will also find burger, pizza and hot soup vending machines. I used to take a bicycle and at night when I feel cold, I love to drop by a vending machine for a hot corn soup. It is so convenient and so helpful when your hands are frozen because of the weather.
Attractions in Japan is not that expensive. Some are even free.
Temples are one of the most visited attractions in Japan. Admission fees are so minimal ranging from $1 US to $7 US. ln Kyoto you can purchase a package price for all temples.
For activities and events you can visit Japan Guide. Festivals are very interesting to watch in Japan and you will have the chance to try local street foods during the events.
You want to see the whole City of Kobe, you can go up the 24th floor of Kobe City Hall which is open every day until 10 PM except for New Year. Admission is free.
Japan has an image of the most expensive country in the world. That is if you will stay in a 5 star hotel, eat in a fancy restaurant and travel with first class trains, then you might spend more than $100 US a day.
By buying a budget rail pass, taking most buses, eating cheap, staying in hostels or cheaper accommodation and visiting few cheaper or free attractions, you might be spending only $50 US a day. And the tips I just gave you will help while you are still enjoying your trip. The best part is you have reach Japan or Nippon known as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.
Hope this tips will change your view of traveling to Japan. Any comments and suggestions or you had been delighted with this topic, I would love you to leave a comment below.