Thursday, April 27, 2017

Japan Trip on low budget-77k for 6 days all inclusive

Japan doesn’t appear in the list of preferred destinations when we think of a holiday. We check Europe,  Middle East and South East Asian countries, but not usually Japan. Even holiday packages advertised by prominent travel agencies usually focus on Europe, America and Singapore/ Malaysia/ Thailand. Why not Japan? I don’t know. May be everyone thinks there’s nothing unique in Japan or they think it is far and expensive not worth going. But after my short trip to Japan, I am very much pleased with this country and strongly recommend you give Japan a consideration for your next vacation.
For those of you worried about budget, below is a sense of what various things cost in Japan.

Yen to rupee conversion factor: 100 YEN= 60 INR
Approx Cost
20k to 50k per person, return
Try booking during a sale for best deals
Japan Local travel
18k INR for JRPass (1 week, Ordinary), another 3k to 5k for travel expense not covered by JR Pass
Purchase before travel
May not be needed if visit is too short or focused on one city only.
1800-2000 YEN onwards
A proper meal (2-3 items) in basic/mid-range restaurants
Water bottle-550ml
100-130 Yen
Cheaper in supermarkets, little expensive in vending machines
590-610 YEN minimum fare (1.5kms)
1000 Yen for about 2.5 kms

100 Yen (small, supermarket machine coffee)
300-350 Yen in coffee shops

Cheapest options- Capsule Hotels- around 1900-2500 YEN per person per night

Bus Ride
230 YEN per ride, any no of stops

Train Ride
210 Yen onwards, depending on distance/no of stops

Bullet train cost
Sample: Tokyo to Osaka- 15000 Yen in Nazomi- with seat reservation fee
Tokyo to Osaka – 9000 Yen on slower bullet trains without seat reservation
Assuming you’re not buying JR Pass or want to try faster Nazome bullet train not covered by JRPass
Check Google Maps or Hyperdia
Attraction Entry fee
Usually between 500 to 1000 YEN per person
Tokyo SkyTree 2060 Yen, Disneyland/ Univ Studio even more

100-120 Yen per piece

Around 350 Yen per piece

Visa Fee
INR 440 for Embassy, VFS fee extra if you can’t submit direct.

300 Yen- Small size
500 Yen- Medium size
700/1000 Yen-Large
Per day per lock (till 2 AM next day is 1 day)
Small size can take mid size backpack
Sim card
2600 YEN
(1 month, 1 GB limited voice call SIM)

Typical daily expenses in Japan: (intercity travel and flight not factored)
  • 1 Full meals: 2000 YEN
  • Around 10 different local train/bus rides: 3000 YEN
  • Some snacks, Coffee water etc at convenience store: 600-1000 Yen
  • Entry fee to 2-3 of attractions  during the day: 2000 Yen approx.
  • One or two taxi rides: 2000 Yen
  • Hostel stay: 2500 Yen
  • Other miscellaneous  expenses: 2000 Yen
  • Total: Approx 13000-15000 Yen per person per day or INR 8000-9000.
Below is what my 1 week trip cost me
I could save significantly on flight because of Air Asia sale- booked it in March 2016. Check this post on how to make the most of AirAsia sale
20497 INR

17700 INR
1 week ordinary
Stay expense 6 nights, budget hostels/capsule hotels
Osaka: 1900
Hiroshima: 2400
Kyoto: 3100
Tokyo: 4680 (for 2 nights)
Osaka 1 night: 2700
14780 Yen

Entry fee to various attractions
Ranges between 300-1200 Yen per attraction, total 12000 approx.
Tokyo skytree most expensive at 2060 Yen

Accurate to +/- 10%
Travel not covered by JR Pass
7000 Yen approx

Local sim card
2600 Yen

Food expense for 6 days (meals, snacks, coffee, water n fruits purchase)
20000 Yen approx.
Accurate to +/- 20%


Locker storage cost
600 Yen

Misc (newspaper, deer cookies, fridge magnet shopping etc
1500 Yen

Inflight meals purchase
86 MYR total

Bank fee for withdrawing local cash using debit card
400 Yen

Chennai home to airport and airport to home

Local train + bus + walk
Interest lost on ticket booked 1 year ago (at 8%)




Round off Japan trip expense: 77000 for 6 days, everything inclusive
Tips to reduce expense during Japan Trip
  1. Select a hotel/hostel within walking distance from a train station- preferably one serviced by JR line if you’re buying JR Pass. This will save precious time and Taxi expense
  2. Plan your trips in multiples of 7 days, so that you can make full use of JR Pass (issued for 7 or 14 days)
  3. There’re many vending machines all over, but I find that items like drinking water are cheaper in supermarkets (Family Mart of Seven i) than these machines.
  4. Daily pass for metro/subway/bus or combined are useful and convenient. While buying daily pass check if it is valid for 24 hour from first use or for the calendar day. Kyoto daily pass is for the calendar day while Tokyo Subway/Metro pass is for 24 hours from first use. If it is for a calendar day, avoid buying it in the evening
  5. Avoid taxi where possible. Walk or take train. A short ride of 2-3 kms will set you back by 1000-1500 Yen
  6. Some attractions like Universal studios/Disney land/Tokyo skytree may not be really worth the time and money. Check if you really want to spend on these
  7. Check opening and closing hours before visiting- most shrines close by 5 PM
  8. Assuming you will be spending 5-7 days and will be visiting at least 2 to 3 cities, buying JR pass in advance makes sense. If you will be stationed in just one city then do the maths and figure out if JR pass is still economical.
Reading a bit about the attractions or checking photos online will help. Not every garden, shrine or castle is really worth visiting. Check photos online, reviews and check if you really want to visit the attraction or skip it. For example, attractions like Tokyo skytree are expensive at about 2060 Yen per person, plus demand lots of waiting time. If you’re not very keen for view of the city, you can skip it.

I have few separate posts lined up on my Japan Trip itinerary.

Similar: Andaman on budget * Philippines on budget
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rupam sarma said...

Great, Very useful post. Thanks for sharing.

Aravind GJ said...

Useful information. Japan is in my backlog for a long time. Your posts help a lot in planning.

Yogi Saraswat said...

Informative as well as useful post . Domo arigato

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Jogi, Aravind and Rupam

Nisha said...

That's very detailed and informative post. I'm sure going to bug you when I plan for Japan. :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sure Nisha.. Congrats on the new jumbo passport

Siddhartha Joshi said...

This is super fantastic! I also need to go there and the budget seems very doable :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

best wishes for your trip Siddhartha

Sapna said...

Ohhh.... I simply loved your post. Very informative and to the point.
Superb !!!!!!

docdivatraveller said...

Super informative post! Japan has always been high on my list! Thanks in advance. PS the Cherry blossom captures are lovely!

vignesh said...

Japan is my dream country since childhood. I am interested to see some reviews on capsule hotel. Was it comfortable?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Vignesh- Yes, detailed experience on capsule hotels coming up

@Doc- thanks. more cherry blossom pics in future posts!

@Sapna- thanks

Reshma Narasing said...

Finally, I was able to read your post after having bookmarked for so long. My concern is the budget of course, and Japan is one of the places that I have been wanting to visit. Your post convinced me to be hopeful about Japan! Probably with a planning like you did, I could visit Japan soon! Thanks for this detailed cost breakup! Good to know that not all the shrines are worth visiting. :)

VIP K said...

Thanks for the details of Japan. Indeed one of the best countries in the world. I wanted to know did you happen to go to Mt. Fuji?
Also I've read JR Pass doesn't cover few sectors. Does JR Pass also cover the buses in various cities?
Me being a vegetarian, I wanted to know did you see vegetarian options available?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, JR Pass doesn't cover everything. You will have to spend a few K more on sectors not covered by JR

Being veg, it is not impossible to manage, but not very easy either. Either plan your visit n stay around Indian/veg restaurants, or be ready to manage for a day with fruits and coffee etc

I didn't go to Mt Fuji, just saw it from train

@Reshma-Glad to be of help. Have a great trip.