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JustinHammerly (Offline)
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Traveling to Japan in December - 06-23-2011, 07:01 PM

Greetings, JapanForum!

I'm planning a trip to Japan in December and I need a little help planning my budget.

I plan on flying out of Houston, TX on November 30th, and after 2 layovers, and a disturbing amount of time spent next to people I probably won't like, I will arrive at Kansai Int. in Osaka.

I've managed to find an okay hotel for the 7 days I will be in Kyoto, and I plan on staying at a fancier hotel during the second part of my trip, which will be spent in Tokyo (another 7 days). Since I've already bought my tickets and booked my hotels, my only real question is how much spending money I should bring.

I was thinking about having a good 1,000-1,500 USD, split halfway between cash and a prepaid credit card(for emergencies, etc.). I had thought that would be more than enough considering I'm smart with my money, and I don't spend it on frivolous souvenirs. But I was told by a relative who has just recently gotten back from a two week trip to Europe, that this would not be enough, and that she blew through that amount in the first week.

So I was hoping that you all could give me a better idea of how much money I would truly need, and if you could give me any tips about traveling through Japan in general I would be more than grateful!

Many thanks,
Justin H.

Last edited by JustinHammerly : 06-23-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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godwine (Offline)
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06-23-2011, 07:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinHammerly View Post
Greetings, JapanForum!

I'm planning a trip to Japan in December and I need a little help planning my budget.

I plan on flying out of Houston, TX on November 30th, and after 2 layovers, and a disturbing amount of time spent next to people I probably won't like, I will arrive at Kansai Int. in Osaka.

I've managed to find an okay hotel for the 7 days I will be in Kyoto, and I plan on staying at a fancier hotel during the second part of my trip, which will be spent in Tokyo (another 7 days). Since I've already bought my tickets and booked my hotels, my only real question is how much spending money I should bring.

I was thinking about having a good 1,000-1,500 USD, split halfway between cash and a prepaid credit card(for emergencies, etc.). I had thought that would be more than enough considering I'm smart with my money, and I don't spend it on frivolous souvenirs. But I was told by a relative who has just recently gotten back from a two week trip to Europe, that this would not be enough, and that she blew through that amount in the first week.

So I was hoping that you all could give me a better idea of how much money I would truly need, and if you could give me any tips about traveling through Japan in general I would be more than grateful!

Many thanks,
Justin H.
Will the 1000-1500 exclude hotels and transportation? If so i say you are very very safe

Just out of curiosity, why 7 days in Kyoto?
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06-23-2011, 07:19 PM

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Originally Posted by JustinHammerly View Post
Greetings, JapanForum!

I'm planning a trip to Japan in December and I need a little help planning my budget.

I plan on flying out of Houston, TX on November 30th, and after 2 layovers, and a disturbing amount of time spent next to people I probably won't like, I will arrive at Kansai Int. in Osaka.

I've managed to find an okay hotel for the 7 days I will be in Kyoto, and I plan on staying at a fancier hotel during the second part of my trip, which will be spent in Tokyo (another 7 days). Since I've already bought my tickets and booked my hotels, my only real question is how much spending money I should bring.

I was thinking about having a good 1,000-1,500 USD, split halfway between cash and a prepaid credit card(for emergencies, etc.). I had thought that would be more than enough considering I'm smart with my money, and I don't spend it on frivolous souvenirs. But I was told by a relative who has just recently gotten back from a two week trip to Europe, that this would not be enough, and that she blew through that amount in the first week.

So I was hoping that you all could give me a better idea of how much money I would truly need, and if you could give me any tips about traveling through Japan in general I would be more than grateful!

Many thanks,
Justin H.
So much of that depends on many things. You say you don't spend it on frivolous souvenirs. Are you into any hobbies that may have a strong base in Japan? Do you have any of those, "ooh, oooh my gahd! I just need to have THAT!" moments? If you do, you can be tempted in many ways there.

$1500 comes out roughly $100/day. Here are some other things to think about. How well do you want to delve into Japanese cuisine? If you want to sample what they has to offer, Japanese restaurants can be quite expensive, some plates or meals can wipe out half your day's monies.

The trip from Kyoto to Tokyo can be quite expensive ($100) on the slower Shinkansen, and that's just the ticket. If you want to reserve the seat, it's about $62 more. If you're not taking travel into account in your query, then please disregard.

These are just a few things to consider. If you could provide just a bit more info on what you expect out of the trip, we can answer a bit deeper.

Last edited by JohnBraden : 06-23-2011 at 07:22 PM.
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JustinHammerly (Offline)
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06-23-2011, 07:45 PM

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Will the 1000-1500 exclude hotels and transportation? If so i say you are very very safe

Just out of curiosity, why 7 days in Kyoto?
It will exclude hotels, but not travel. I don't have much experience with trains etc, so I honestly don't know what to expect.

And I'm spending 7 days there because I have a friend from Australia who is also taking a trip to Japan during the 2 weeks I will be there and she is staying in Kyoto the entire time. Since this will be the first time we meet(excluding the internet) I thought I would spend as much time with her as possible. Plus, I've always wanted to see Kyoto.

Quote:
So much of that depends on many things. You say you don't spend it on frivolous souvenirs. Are you into any hobbies that may have a strong base in Japan? Do you have any of those, "ooh, oooh my gahd! I just need to have THAT!" moments? If you do, you can be tempted in many ways there.

$1500 comes out roughly $100/day. Here are some other things to think about. How well do you want to delve into Japanese cuisine? If you want to sample what they has to offer, Japanese restaurants can be quite expensive, some plates or meals can wipe out half your day's monies.

The trip from Kyoto to Tokyo can be quite expensive ($100) on the slower Shinkansen, and that's just the ticket. If you want to reserve the seat, it's about $62 more. If you're not taking travel into account in your query, then please disregard.

These are just a few things to consider. If you could provide just a bit more info on what you expect out of the trip, we can answer a bit deeper.
I may have a few moments such as that, with say video games or something. But I can usually keep myself under control in such situations.

As for food, I plan on eating nothing but the Japanese cuisine available.

I'm not planning on doing the normal touristy stuff (guided tours, and things of that nature.) I do plan on catching a few shows in Tokyo though; A concert, an art show, and a few other things. For most of these tickets will be bought ahead of time.

I'm really just looking for say, food expenses, train/taxi expenses, that sort of thing.
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06-23-2011, 07:54 PM

Ok as John pointed out a single trip between tokyo and Kyoto would have run you 100 on non reserved, and about 150 on reserved

Food, well true Japanese food range from oden off a izakaya to expensive food like sashimi, teppanyaki, shabushabu etc, so it really depends. My average meal spending was between 1500 yen to 4000 yen per meal
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JustinHammerly (Offline)
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06-23-2011, 08:10 PM

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Ok as John pointed out a single trip between tokyo and Kyoto would have run you 100 on non reserved, and about 150 on reserved

Food, well true Japanese food range from oden off a izakaya to expensive food like sashimi, teppanyaki, shabushabu etc, so it really depends. My average meal spending was between 1500 yen to 4000 yen per meal
That doesn't sound to terrible. I spend about that much now(in USD). So it's no more than I expected really.
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06-23-2011, 08:17 PM

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Originally Posted by JustinHammerly View Post

I may have a few moments such as that, with say video games or something. But I can usually keep myself under control in such situations.
I've heard that from everyone I know who has been to Japan and most, if not all, are EPIC fails! There are things there that don't make it to the States and just look too good to be left in Japan! I hope you break that streak, but it's going to be an exercise in self-control every time!

Train travel within Tokyo can be expensive too, since you'll have to pay for JR trains as well as Private subways separately. There is no transfer fee like some cities in the US. If a trip requires you to take the Yamanote Line (JR) and get off somewhere to take the Maronouchi Line, you'll have to pay the distance fare on both lines. It can add up real quick. There are fare passes, but you don't save any money by using the SUICA or PASMO cards-they're just more handy than money, as you just swipe them through.

As for taxis, I would only use them if you're far away from your destination and it's after the last train leaves. They can be expensive. The last time I took one, it was 600 yen just to start the meter! (that's $7+!!!)

Last edited by JohnBraden : 06-23-2011 at 10:10 PM.
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JustinHammerly (Offline)
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06-23-2011, 08:36 PM

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I've heard that from everyone I know who has been to Japan and most, if not all, are EPIC fails! There are things there that don't make it to the States and just look too good to be left in Japan! I hope you break that streak, but it's going to be an exercise in self-control every time!

Train travel within Tokyo can be expensive too, since you'll have to pay for JR trains as well as Private subways separately. There is no transfer fee like some cities in the US. If a trip requires you to take the Yamanote Line (JR) and get off somewhere to take the Maronouchi Line, you'll have to pay the distance fare on both lines. It can all up real quick. There are fare passes, but you don't save any money by using the SUICA or PASMO cards-they're just more handy than money, as you just swipe them through.
Hahaha I'd imagine so. We all like to think we have more self control than we actually do. I will try my best though. (and I'll probably add a few hundred more to my total amount as well. Lol Just in case.)

Hmm, the train system has been my biggest worry. Since I have a car here in America I've never had to use public transportation of any kind.. I'm hoping that being able to speak/read the language will help to make the entire process smoother?

As for the money involved, would a fare pass be feasible? Since I will only be there for 7 days.. Do they make 7 day passes?
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06-23-2011, 08:54 PM

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Originally Posted by JohnBraden View Post
\
The trip from Kyoto to Tokyo can be quite expensive ($100) on the slower Shinkansen, and that's just the ticket. If you want to reserve the seat, it's about $62 more. If you're not taking travel into account in your query, then please disregard.
Have the prices dropped? I was used to 35,000 for round trip between Osaka and Tokyo. That's about $400.
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06-23-2011, 09:14 PM

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Originally Posted by JustinHammerly View Post
Hahaha I'd imagine so. We all like to think we have more self control than we actually do. I will try my best though. (and I'll probably add a few hundred more to my total amount as well. Lol Just in case.)

Hmm, the train system has been my biggest worry. Since I have a car here in America I've never had to use public transportation of any kind.. I'm hoping that being able to speak/read the language will help to make the entire process smoother?

As for the money involved, would a fare pass be feasible? Since I will only be there for 7 days.. Do they make 7 day passes?
I think there are only one day passes, but don't quote me on that.... The announcements on the major lines are in both languages. It's not that hard, actually. It may appear daunting, but there are many English signs and it's not that difficult to navigate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Have the prices dropped? I was used to 35,000 for round trip between Osaka and Tokyo. That's about $400.
Yeah, a one way reserve ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo is about 13000 yen.... Come to think of it Justin, are you leaving out of Narita or Haneda? Or are you going back to KIX for your flight home? It's 7960 yen for a one-way non reserved but double that and if you want a reserve seat (not totally necessary) and you're headed back to Osaka, and you're coming close to a 28,300 yen 7-day pass. And with that, you can use ANY JR train, even in Tokyo (except the Nozomi service on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen-fastest service). If you're going to go to other place outside Tokyo, and you want reserve seats, I'd think about the pass, but you have to buy it in the US before you leave.

Last edited by JohnBraden : 06-23-2011 at 10:54 PM.
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