Japan is a country that is known for being expensive. Everything is expensive there, ranging from accommodation, transportation, food, etc. The average person on a vacation to Japan is around 15-20 million. But believe me, when I went to Japan in July 2019, I spent around 10 million to go to Japan for 7 days. It’s all-in with plane tickets, visas, shopping, etc.
Tips #1: Find the Cheapest Ticket to Japan as cheap as possible
The plane ticket for me was very crucial. Usually when I travel, I am definitely looking for the cheapest flight ticket possible. Because if you buy an ordinary promo flight ticket, the difference with promo flight ticket can be 1-2 million. Not bad right, saving 1-2 million? So in my dictionary, airplane tickets are divided into 3 types: normal price airplane tickets, promo price airplane tickets, cheapest promo airplane tickets.
For example, a plane ticket to Osaka is usually around 5-6 million. If it’s a promo to Osaka it’s around 4 million. At that time, I found another promo, the price was 3.4 million. Does it feel the difference? 😉 It was on a Singapore Airlines flight. For those who want to know how the story can get that price and my experience riding Singapore Airlines to Japan, you can read it here.
Tips #2: Staying in Cheap Accommodation in Japan
Me and my friends are arguably Flashpacker. When looking for lodging, we look for cheap and comfortable ones. Usually if we are looking for lodging on Airbnb. Look for a budget that is around IDR 150,000-IDR 300,000 per night per person. Because in Japan the accommodations are expensive, we have a little trouble finding a comfortable airbnb and getting into the budget.
Why airbnb? Because airbnb there is a discount for first user for $ 33. Not bad right? At that time, in order to get this discount, a friend of mine came up with a new account. LOL: D Finally, we found an airbnb in Kyoto at Rp. 275,000 per night per person. For airbnb in Osaka, we get the price of IDR 268,000 per night per person. The price has all been discounted.
Tips #3: Don’t too Often Move From One City to Other City
As we already know, transportation in Japan is expensive. Transportation within cities is usually already expensive, especially between cities. Yes indeed there is a JR Pass that can cover transportation throughout Japan. But JR Pass is also quite expensive. At that time coincidentally because I got a plane ticket to Japan, which was a promo to Osaka, so I decided to go around Osaka and Kyoto instead.
Some of my friends want to go to Tokyo too. But Tokyo is far from Osaka. With limited time and budget, I also suggest that we focus on traveling to Osaka and Kyoto. Not only that, while in Japan we also walked more frequently than by transportation. On average, the MRT ride was around Rp30.000. Quite expensive right? Because of that, I was able to save on my transportation budget. My total expenditure for transportation in Japan (Osaka and Kyoto) for 7 days is around Rp. 970,000.
Tips #4: Find Free Attractions or Attractions Ticket Promo
In Japan there are so many tourist attractions, some are free, some are paid for. As much as possible I prefer to go to tourist attractions that are free. Fortunately, in Kyoto, most tourist attractions are all free, for example Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and Yasaka Shrine. If must be paid, it must be a tourist spot that is really worth it to visit, for example Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Osaka.
Well, but for the paid tourist attractions, I’m looking for a ticket which has a promo. I usually check at Klook. There are many interesting promos from Klook, there was a Buy 3 Get 1 Universal Studios Japan promo. Then after buying a USJ ticket at Klook, I was given a coupon code to get a 3% discount at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. This Klook knows that we also want to go to the Osaka Aquarium, so we are given a 3% discount 😀 We also bought Osaka Aquarium tickets at Klook again. Oh yes, I also bought an ICOCA Card transportation card and a train from Kansai Airport to Kyoto on Klook. Not bad, so it’s more efficient 😀
Tips #5: Buy Meals at Convenience Store
You could say we were quite wasteful when it comes to food. The average meal at a Japanese restaurant ranges from IDR 100,000 – IDR 200,000. But we usually eat once a day, which is the luxury, or 2 days. The rest, just buy it on the roadside. Even on my last day in Japan, at that time I only had about 600 yen left (aka around Rp. 80,000).
Because the food at the airport was expensive, I finally bought a meal at Lawson which cost 450 yen. I also bought chicken satay at Lawson (this is really delicious!) Which costs 130 yen. Food at the Convenience Store in Japan is delicious too. I really like the chicken satay, it’s a must try when you are in Japan. Very recommended! : D
Tips #6: Buy souvenirs at Don Quijote
Don Quijote is arguably a shopping paradise in Japan. Whatever is here. The shop is spread everywhere in all cities in Japan. There are even in Singapore. In Osaka, I went to Don Quijote at Dotonbori and Namba. Don Quijote is very interesting because not only is the item super-complete, but the price is also very cheap. I myself have checked goods at drugstores or other stores, it turns out that Don Quijote is really cheaper 😀
Plus they like to offer physical and digital discount coupons. The discount is 2,000 Yen for spending min 30,000 Yen. There is also a discount of 500 Yen for spending min 10,000 Yen. Because at that time I rented a Japan wifi modem from Passpod, and this Passpod cooperated with Don Quijote, so I was given a physical discount coupon from Don Quijote from Passpod 😀 Not only that, I can also access Don Quijote’s digital discount coupon on the Promo web of Passpod. But at that time I only used the physical discount coupon.
Those are 6 budget tips that I did in order to be able to reduce the travel budget in Japan. Even though I am a flashpacker, I can still save on the cost of a vacation in Japan but still prioritize comfort while in Japan. These budget tips you can try also for your version of a budget holiday in Japan. Feel free to share about other budget tips 😀