Japan is one of those countries I dream to visit even when I was a little girl. Being a fan of Japanese anime (yes, I am an otaku), traveling to Japan has always been included in my bucket list. I have heard and read a lot of stories about how expensive traveling to Japan is, and I do agree with them, but let me share to you how we were able to travel to Japan for eleven (11) days, visited five (5) cities, enjoyed four (4) major theme parks for less than Php49,000 per person including airfare! Ooops, did I also say riding the Shinkansen was included in the cost? 🙂
We visited Japan last March and after this travel, I realized that I am no budget traveler. I am a practical traveler. By my definition, a practical traveler travels with a certain budget (not too low) and with this budget makes the most of his or her travel. So how did we (my family and I) managed to be a practical traveler?
Since we wanted to visit the world, one country at a time, we planned our Japan travel with the thought that we won’t be visiting this beautiful country in the next 10 years (because we want to visit other countries too). And so we created our itinerary in such a way that we will be able to visit as much places as we can in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Our itinerary (a detailed one will be shared in a separate post) for 11 days includes arriving at Japan through Kansai International Airport in Osaka and departing at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. It also includes visiting Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo Disneyland, and Fuji Q Highlands, where Thomas Land is also located. In between visiting theme parks, we planned to tour the cities of Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. We also wanted to see the majestic Mt. Fuji so we need to travel to a city with a nice view of it. And of course, we wanted to ride the famous Shinkansen.
So without further ado, let me share to you the breakdown of your Japan budget. Please do take note that all costs are in Philippine Peso. 1 PHP = 0.4478 JPY, as this is the conversion rate we had when we bought Japanese Yen.
Airfare: We flew to Osaka, Japan via Cebu Pacific and were able to book on seat sale. We flew back to Manila from Haneda airport via China Eastern – not a budget airline but since we used the hubby’s Delta miles, it cost like a budget one. Baggage allowance was not a problem as non-budget airlines allows two luggages for check in without cost. Airfare cost back and forth for one person: Php 5,132.57.
Accommodation: We booked our accommodations through Airbnb. We booked one apartment at Fukushima in Osaka, and another one at Nakano-sakaue in Tokyo. Airbnb is like renting your own place. The apartments we rented were both fully furnished, with beds, kitchen, bathroom, small dining area, and a washing machine. It was like living like a local. Accommodation cost for 11 days for one person: Php 9,183.00.
Transportation: Japan has expensive transportation but you will not regret paying for the cost. Trains, subways, and buses are very clean, on time, and staffs are very polite. Japan offers tourists a lot of options on how to save on transportation: JR Pass, Tokyo Metro Subway Pass, Osaka Amazing Pass, etc. We made sure to grab some of these passes. I will create a separate blog post on how to save transportation in Japan. Even with the transportation passes, we still spent a lot on transportation. Transportation cost for one person: Php 10,143.58.
Food. Japan serves very delicious foods but at a cost of course. A ramen meal would cost around JPY 1000-1500 (Php450-650). Budget meals are also available in 7/11, Family Mart, and Lawson. These meals cost around JPY 300-500 (around Php150-250). Street foods range from JPY150-700. We were able to save on food cost by cooking in our Airbnb apartment. Food cost for one person: Php 7,353.48.
Passes/Entrance Fees. Since we went to four (4) major theme parks our overall budget for passes was very high. Osaka Amazing Pass for 2 days cost JPY3000 – this has access to almost 30 attractions in Osaka (which will save you a lot on entrance fees). Universal Studios Japan admission cost JPY7600. A 2-day pass for visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea cost JPY13200. (The 2-day pass will save you a lot instead of buying separate tickets for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea as each would cost JPY7400. However, you have to visit the theme parks on consecutive days.) We were so lucky to see a flyer for a free entrance at Fuji-Q Highland as normal admission fee is JPY1500 (and you have to pay in every attraction or rides you enter). Some tourist attractions have entrance fee too, though minimal. Passes / Entrance Fees cost for one person: Php 10,926.32.
Visa/Travel Tax. Japanese Visa application won’t cost a peso but travel agencies who will process your application will charge you. Total cost of application per person is Php 1,330 including the cost of requirements (NSO birth certificate, marriage certificate, and the likes). You are required to pay travel tax when you leave the country. It amounts to Php 1,620 per person. Visa/ Travel Tax cost Php 2,950.
Miscellaneous. Since we live in a very tropical country, we don’t have warmer in our closets. We bought some before going to Japan, and good thing we did as during our visit, the temperature was down to 6 degrees in the morning and almost 2 degrees in the evening. We also spent some money in keeping our luggage in coin lockers while we were touring. Miscellaneous cost Php 2,988.65.
Overall, we spent Php 48,677.59 per person!
PS: Pasalubong cost is not included.
Now go ahead and plan your Japan travel! It is not very expensive, you just have to plan and research a lot. 🙂
PS: This was originally published last April 2017 in my previous blog: Baby Neo’s Mama.