Japan Budget

Another trip, another budget…my favorite. And surprisingly, that last sentence doesn’t have a hint of sarcasm in it. This time I will be going trough our Japan budget. Unfortunately, with Japan we about had a heart attack when we went over the final numbers. This isn’t because it’s astronomically expensive there, it just feels that way compared to what we spent for longer stays in SE Asia. I would say that Japan is by far the most expensive country we have visited and the most difficult to budget for. But don’t let that stop you from going! It is one of our favorite countries to visit for both it’s beauty and rich history.
This budget is for 4 days and 4 nights, 3 cities and reflects the cost of both my husband and myself.
Japan Budget
Tips to keep it cheap in Japan
Take the slower train or even over night bus.
There are several different options in Japan for traveling such a planes, trains (fast and slow speed) and buses. Slower trains and buses will take much longer but if scheduled at night it will be essentially where you stay that night and save you in the cost of a hotel room.
Find alternative meal options.
Eating at shopping centers, grocery stores and train stations are a great way to find food for cheap. Trust me when I say that you can get great food in these places for a fraction of the cost. We did this on our first trip to Japan and were able to save money so we could eat somewhere nicer later on. Also, this time we tried a sushi train restaurant and were shocked at how cheap it was! We fed four people for just $17 and we were all stuffed at the end. Other places to try are street vendors and small restaurants on the street which offer a wide selection such as ramen, dumplings Japanese curry and udon noodles. Japanese food can be expensive but there are definitely ways to still enjoy it on a budget.
Take advantage of the free attractions.
Sure, everything else is more expensive in Japan but its the least amount of money we’ve spent on entertainment since majority of historical sites such as shrines and tempes are either free or just a few dollars to get in.

Be flexible with travel times.

Just like anywhere else you can save a lot of money depending on the time of year that you go and your flight options. Multi city airlines tickets and during peak season are going to be the most expensive and unfortunately what we did this time around. Just going a few days earlier or later, or choosing to arrive and depart from the same city, tickets were half the price.

 

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  • gfa01

    Love the bracelet.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      best of luck to you!

  • http://www.kayliwanders.com/ Kayli Schattner

    I LOVE budget posts, mostly because I like to keep things organized and laid out like you do! It does seem like a lot, but I’m sure you had the best time! :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’m glad you like them! i like putting these together and have a few more on the way. it makes me feel better about spending money when i know exactly how much we are actually spending rather than just guessing!

  • Kathy

    never been in Japan…maybe in the future… 😉

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      you would love it! definitely a place to visit!

  • Ashley Bree Perez

    Awesome giveaway! I have entered :) Thank you!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      best of luck to you!

  • http://inkandadventure.blogspot.tw/ Jamie

    I’m impressed how cheap your trip was! we’re going to Tokyo Disney for my [first annual] 29th birthday in the spring, so I’m expecting we will spend more than you did. BUT I am interested in hearing what free stuff you did around Tokyo or any recommendations, I think we will have 2 free days around the city. compared to our trips to Thailand and the Philippines, Japan is going to be pricey!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      whaaat?! there’s no may you’re 29! dang you look young lady! haha and i like that it’s the first annual ; ) pick a good age and stick with it! we were unfortunately only in tokyo for a little more than a day. so a lot of it was walking around shibuya and harajuku areas. along with visiting the meiji shrine (also in harajuku) which was free. in kyoto is where we had free sites since most of the shrines and temples there are free or just a few dollars. japan is definitely more than SE asia but it’s so worth it! you are going to love it!

      • http://inkandadventure.blogspot.tw/ Jamie

        well, I’m only 28.5 now 😉 I always hated looking young but now it’s starting to be a plus! I’ve heard a lot of good things about Kyoto and Okinawa… maybe we will just have to go back for a more budget-friendly trip later on.

        • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

          isn’t it funny how that happens : ) i would DEFINITELY go to kyoto! i have been three times and it’s still one of my favorite cities that i’ve been to! there are so many great historical sites and things to do there!

  • Casey

    I find this really interesting because for us, most of our trips are to Europe and I’ve never really thought it was super expensive, but seeing this and your other budgets, makes me realize how expensive trips to Europe really are compared to Asia. I’m really interested in seeing our expenses for India/Cambodia because I think we’re going to be shocked!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i would LOVE to see your budget in europe! it’s a place that jeremy and i have not traveled to together (and when i went it was with school or family) so i would love to know what to expect when we do make it there eventually. i have my budget for cambodia coming up, SUPER cheap place to visit, you will love the country!

      • Casey

        I should put together a budget for our upcoming UK trip (although this trip we used a lot on points)! Good idea :)

        • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

          you should still do it! you could even put the price of things and then put a side note of what you used points on

          • Casey

            Yea totally! I was just thinking that. I will definitely do it when we get back! :)

  • Erin

    I honestly expected it to be MUCH more expensive than that! I love your trip budgets and the breakdown- it’s seriously so helpful. Gives me hope that my husband and I will be able to travel more than we thought! :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thank you so much erin! i appreciate the feedback! i have two more country budgets coming up in the next month or so. and from what we spend, you could definitely spend more or less than we do. traveling CAN be affordable! you just need to decide priorities in budgeting and decide what to splurge on and what to save on while in the country!

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  • Esther

    I love your budget post… But I think it would be much higher for us to go there from my country. :( I would love to go there one day

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thanks so much! i’m glad that you like them, i hope it’s of some use! and unfortunately tickets are always the most expensive part of a trip! i hope you get to make it there one day!

      • Esther

        I really love travelling. Unfortunately, money is the problem. By paying for the air tickets is already making a big hole in my purse. Haha!

        • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

          i feel ya. that’s why we’re trying to take advantage of traveling to nearby places over here while we can! these places we’re going to would be SO much more expensive if we flew from back home!

  • Megs H

    Such a stunning competition!I need this bracelet!!! Thus, this
    has “Megs” written all over it! Hello!? I love shopping and all things girly…so please
    please pick me ♥ Tweet about giveaway and liked your on Facebook!
    Fingers crossed :) xxxx

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha i’m glad that you like it! best of luck to you! i’ll be announcing the winner on this page next week! (and if you don’t win, check back anyway because i have another surprise ; )

      • Megs H

        Oh..La…La…sounds exciting!!! Can’t wait to see what the surprise is too 😉 Much love xxx

  • http://sweetsmores.com/ Mallory

    I love reading all your budget posts! It gives different perspectives on where to save money!

    When going to Osaka, I saved $15 by taking a slower train, but it was terrible haha! I accidentally bought the wrong tickets and a 2 hour journey ended up taking 6 hours. I told myself that the extra $15 was worth it. But, I think most of the time, taking the slower train is worth it! And I totally agree, convenience store and grocery store food is a really great way to go if you don’t want to spend money at restaurants. I think if you look hard enough, you can find less expensive restaurants. I’d take a bowl of ramen over any fancy meal any day :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      awe thanks! i’m glad you like them! i have a few more coming up in the future! and i have to say, there are some things to save on, some things to splurge on while traveling : ) especially traveling to japan with my in-laws there were so many times that if it were just jeremy and i, we would have gone with the cheaper option, but when you have people experiencing it for the first time, you want to show them the best time and not skimp on everything.

  • Vaida Tamošauskaitė

    this is adorably amazing bracelet! I’m absolutely in love ! :) Thanks for this giveaway, Chelsea! :)
    And oh – what a great tips for travel! You’re so kind as usual! :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’m glad you like it! i saw it and literally bought all that she had! they so simple and beautiful! best of luck to you!

  • http://treasuretromp.com/ Nicole @ Treasure Tromp

    okay, I hear you on saving money by taking a slower train, but the Shinkansen was/is SO cool!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i agree! that’s why we bit the bullet and did it! and if you stay longer like erin said below, the rail pass is a great option! i think it includes the shinkansen but not sure on that one

      • http://traveling-techies.com/ Erin @ Traveling Techies

        It does – we were cruising on the Shinkansen all over the place. Sometimes we’d go somewhere just so we could jump on there. :)

        • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

          perfect excuse to stay a few extra days in japan ; ) ‘but honey…at least we’re saving money with the rail pass!’

  • travelingtechies

    Awesome budget – you two are so good at having a blast, staying within a budget and keeping it classy all at the same time – you’re travel role models. :) If you go again and you’re staying for longer, it’s worth it to get the Japan Rail Pass – you can travel all over Japan for 7 days with this pass so that takes care of all of your train tickets (including the one to the airport). It’s pricey but it’s great if you’re going to travel to several spots during your trip. The trick is that you have to get it in advance…you can’t get it when you get there!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      awe you’re so sweet : ) we definitely need to take some more trips together! you guys are such a blast on trips! and ‘I KNOW’!! about the rail pass! we look at that every time we have gone but we’re never there long enough for it to be worth it! next time… ; )

  • http://sometimesztakespictures.blogspot.com/ Z K

    I love all your budget posts – I’m frustrated I didn’t think of doing this while studying abroad!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thanks! i’m glad you like them! i’m seriously so glad i started keeping track of budgets (i also have thailand and cambodia coming up) it helps when planning trips in the future too!

  • The Wondernuts

    how very cute is that bracelet! I want to win! =D

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      best of luck to you! and if you don’t win, i have a surprise coming up next week ; )

  • Caroline L.

    I’ve recently been talking about how Japan is very high up on my To Visit list. It’s not a very popular destination to talk about with my family though – my parents are from Nanjing originally, and there’s some bad blood there. But I say let bygones be bygones, and let me go have some quality sushi!
    http://perpetuallycaroline.blogspot.com

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s a shame because it’s such an amazing country to visit! this was my third time there and each time there are more things that i want to do and see! i hope you get to go!

  • http://www.scatteredseashells.com/ Chantal

    Cooooool!

  • http://alexfahey.blogspot.com/ Alex Fahey

    Oh my gosh! This is perfect. We are going to Japan this January. Thanks for this.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      you.will.LOVE it! seriously, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!

      • http://alexfahey.blogspot.com/ Alex Fahey

        What hotel did you stay at in Kyoto?

        • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

          we actually stayed in a traditional house. since we had six people with us it turned out to be a pretty cheap option for us! do you want the info for it?

          • http://alexfahey.blogspot.com/ Alex Fahey

            Yes, that would be perfect! We just booked our tickets tonight!

          • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

            i should add that the price i put in the budget reflected just my husband’s and i’s share of the total price. i believe the total price for the two bedroom house was around 250. here’s their website:

            http://kyoto-tsumugi.com

            i hope you like it!!!