While writing this I’m sitting on the couch in my appartment, feet on the table in front of me, wrapped in a blanket and with a scarf around my neck. Fall has officially started in The Netherlands. We had a bit of a ‘second summer’ the past few weeks but that definitely changed. The sunshine looks great and all but definitely fools you, temperatures have dropped to around 10 degrees celcius during the day. The only thing I like about fall are the pretty coloured leaves. I also like sitting on the couch warpped in blankets, holding a hot cup of tea while watching a movie and having candles burn all around. Especially when I’m cuddeling up to someone, but you know, I dont have boyfriend lol. – Forever alone please date me – Now what I don’t like about fall, is basically everything else: the cold, the wind, the rain, the early darkness, the sun in my eyes, the fact that my home is freezing because I don’t have central heating. And winter still has to come.. how am I going to survive that?
So as I was sitting here on my couch, trying to come up with a blogpost to write and complaining about fall, I started thinking back about all of the wonderfull vacations I’ve had this year. All of the great times, the lovely hot weather… I definitely miss it. The travel bug has grown since my last vacation! For some reason, Japan is the one that always pops up in my head first. I went with my sister, which was great. The weather was wonderful, the country amazing and the food lovely. We saw impressive things and had a lot of fun. It’s not that I don’t love any of the other holidays I went on, or any of the other people I went with, but Japan was extra special since it was the #1 thing on my bucket list, and I ticked it off.
If you’re wondering what else is on my bucket list, click here!
If you need some motivation to start ticking off your bucket list as well, check out this blogpost!
Thinking about Japan made me want to write another blogpost about the country. One that would be helpful for everyone going there, especially if it’s your first time going there! So I started thinking about all of the information I was looking up myself after we booked the flights…. what would I have loved to know?……
How much money will I need to travel to Japan and survive there?
Yup. This is probably the subject I researched the most: on other people’s blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube. I wanted to know as much as possible about this. I always thought Japan was pretty expensive, but didn’t want to make the vacation any more costly than needed.
If this is something you’re also researching, this is your lucky day! I’m going to be sharing with you exactly what I spent in 10 full days in Tokyo and Osaka!
The first part of the question was answered pretty quickly after doing some research online. I just searched skyscanner for the cheapest returnflights to Japan and it said to go either soon, or in February or something. So we went with ‘soon’ 🙂 And that determined when we went, which in our case was the end of June. The return flights were about 800 euro per person. I also did a lot of research on how much money to bring for day to day life in Japan, like food, transportation and entertainment.
Basically everything I found on the internet was telling me that Japan was a rather expensive country, but if you tried hard enough it didn’t have to be THAT expensive. Turns out, Japan really isn’t that expensive at all. It’s just about the choises you make. Which might seem kind of obvious but to be honest I thought restaurants overall for example, were going to be more expensive than they turned out to be.
Why is Japan not as expensive as you might think it is? I wrote a whole article about it, going deeper into the costs of food, transportation, etc: Is Japan really that expensive?
Here you go guys, this is what I spent in Japan and what it was bugeted for!
Quick disclaimer: to me €1 is the same as 100 yen. I know this is not completely accurate, but it is almost the same and makes it easier to calculate stuff and also it’s how we calculated the Yen to Euro while we were in Japan. The things we booked in advance obviously were payed in € and therefore those price are perfectly correct.
Let me start off by saying we booked the flights, two of our acommodations and our nightbus on advance and thus payed for it in advance. We also booked the third of the three places we stayed in in advance, but it got cancelled by Airbnb thanks to Japan’s change in Airbnb regulations and so we got a refund and had to pay in cash after arriving at the Airbnb. The owner was kind enought to let us stay anyway. Read about how we basically illigally stayed in this Airbnb here.
The return flights were about 800 euro per person. We flew to Tokyo, Haneda Airport, and the returnflight left from Osaka. The two hotels we booked in advance were cheap ones, but just fine. We didn’t need much and wanted to not spend too much on a room we were only going to spend a few hours in each day. Therefore we were looking to spend a maximum of 30 euro per person per night.
Our first place to sleep was the Airbnb. This cost us €196,54 in total, including the cleaning fee which I think was about €30. So that’s about €98 per person. A little more than we wanted to spend, but Shinjuku is a pretty expensive area and we could not find anything cheaper. This place turned out to be a wonderfull choice: even pocket wifi was included! The second hotel we stayed in was an APA hotel. Let me just tell you there are SO MANY APA hotels in Tokyo! Could not believe it. They are cheap, but great actually! For three nights we payed €191,81, which is €31,99 per person, per night. Finally we stayed in hotel Links in Osaka, which cost us a total of € 214,14 for four nights. One night we spent on the night bus from Tokyo to Osaka, which cost us €40 per person.
Let me just quickly summarize it (per person) for you:
- Return flights: €805,50
- Airbnb in Shinjuku per night: €33 (which we payed while in Japan)
- Hotel in Asakusa per night: €31,99
- Hotel in Osaka per night: €26,77
- Nightbus one night: €40
Let me also just quickly state the amount I spent while in Japan: €641. What I spent it on? Keep on reading!
As I stated before, we had to pay for the Airbnb in cash because of the cancellation. Meaning, €98 of that total amount spent, was for the Airbnb that we would normally not have had to pay for while in Japan. So actually, I only spent €543. Not too bad for 10 full days, right?! 🙂 This is what I spend it on:
While we were in Japan we obviously had to spend money on food, transportation and entertainment. We had a pretty strict buget for food: €25 per person per day. €10 for both lunch and dinner and €5 for breakfast. I thought this was going to be a bit difficult, but it definitely wasn’t! After about 1/3 of the vacation we noticed we had been spending less on food than we had planned for (even though we had been eating gooooood) and thus we started allowing ourseleves some treats like ice cream every day. We we staying in Japan for 10 full days, and since 10×25=250 – can you believe I didn’t even use a calculator for that? – €250 was the amount we both put in our special ‘food wallet’.
€543 – €250 = €293 left to budget
For entertainment we honestly didn’t really have a set budget, apart from the fact that we wanted to go to Universal Studio Osaka, which was going to cost us about €74 (7400 yen including tax). I also really wanted to rent a kimono, so I set aside money for that as well. It ended up being €20. For the rest of the days (so 8) I wanted to keep it at around €10. Some days were a lot cheaper than that and some were more expensive, obviously.
€293 – €94 – €80= €119 left to budget
Of course we were going to use the metro/subway to get around so initially we put €20 on the card, of which about €5 was a deposit that we would only get back after handing in the card again. – We didn’t get it back because turns out you can’t hand in the Pasmo card at Osaka airport – We ended up putting more money on the card as we went on, I think I put about €30 more on it. We also used a bus to get from Haneda Airport to our Airbnb in Shinjuku, which cost €12,30 per person. Total for transportation: €62,30, which is €6,23 per day. Not bad! I was hoping to keep it closer to €50, but we ended up not walking as much as I thought we would. If the bus hadn’t been so expensive and if we had managed to still hand in the passmo card, that buget would have actually still pretty much worked out!
€119 – €50 = 69 left to budget
Of these €69 left, I obviously spent a little (€12,30) on transportation, you know, since I had to put more on the card than expected. But the rest of it was spend on souvenirs, clothing and typical Japanese food. And it was more than enough. I’m not a big spender or a big shopper anyways, so this budget worked out just fine. I got the clothes in the sale actually, which was perfect! The items I got were I think around 21 euro total. I spend the rest on funny looking food 🙂
Let me summarize it again (per person)
- Food: total €250, so €25 per day
- Entertainment: total €174, because €74 for Universal, €20 for kimono rental and €10 per day for the remaining 8 days
- Transportation: €50 (which turned out to not be enough so I spent €62,30)
- Remaining to spend on whatever: €69
All together I spend €1480,26
All in all we had an amazing time in Japan and managed to do so on a pretty nice budget, if Imay say so myself. Of course the flight is going to be cheaper in other months of the year, as well as the hotels. But considering we went during summer, I think we did great! I’ve spent the same amout of money, the €543, during 5 day holidays in Rimini, Italy for example…. so yeah, Japan is not only more worthy of this money, I also managed to spend it wisely.
Without having to compromise, without having so skip doing fun things, without worrying. I hope you’ll have the same experience! Let me know if this was helpful 🙂
If you liked this article, you might also like: Never been to Japan before? This is what you need to know!
You might also want to read my Japan travel diaries: Travel diary day 1&2: We’re off to Japan!