“How much did your Japan trip(s) cost?”
I get this question a lot.
I decided to write my usual answers in a post. Basically so I can just link to it when someone asks because 25 messages back and forth isn’t fun for either party. And though I really don’t like discussing money, I understand why it’s asked.
Honestly, I find the question difficult to answer.
Because unless you live in Washington DC, stay at the same hotels for the same length of time buying similar stuff and eating similar foods and times that by 2 people (the perils of married life) our budgets will likely look quite different.
Airfare is the most costly part of my trips to Japan. DC to Tokyo is on average $1,200 round-trip per person. My flight takes about 20+ hours.
Hotels vary greatly. For Tokyo I prefer staying on the edge of Shinjuku. There’s a 12-hour time difference between DC and Tokyo so I like the plethora of late night & 24hr places located in Shinjuku for when I’m awake at 2 or 4am. Keio Plaza Hotel & Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku are examples of places I’ve enjoyed staying at while in Tokyo.
I budget more than I expect to spend.
If I think I’ll probably spend about $2K on shopping I make sure I have $3K set aside. It’s a safe buffer for unexpected purchases or fees like parking, luggage, room service, etc.
For budgeting I always start off with what I want to do on the trip.
Pretty obvious, huh? I’ll have stores or cafes or day trips already in mind and I budget around those ideas for metro fare, food costs, bus fare, taxis, etc. I also usually know what I want to shop for be it makeup, beauty item, or clothing.
I like to recommend Good Luck Trip to help spark ideas. They do have sponsors so they may recommend the same touristy place over & over. But I did find Ainz Tulpe through them which helped me get most of the beauty products and makeup I wanted in a single store visit!
You can budget down to the exact fare you’ll need for day trips just by using Google Maps and choosing the rail directions. It’ll display the fare for each stop or transfer. You can also check rail fares and highway bus fares online too.
Because of all these variables I don’t think mentioning my exact costs is useful. I’ll just say that for us, our tax return roughly covers the cost of one trip (2 people.)
Entries about my Japan trips are all tagged “Japan trip” and show some of what I did, where I went, and what I bought while there. I’ll say that my 2008 trip was the most expensive because we traveled to Mt. Fuji and stayed at a ryokan with a private onsen and ofuro connected to our room.
It really depends on what you do, where you eat, where you sleep, how long you stay, and how much stuff you wanna buy.
I’ll end this entry by saying,
“How much would a trip to Japan cost you?”
Probably a few thousand.
Jenny posted on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013
Tags: japan trip, travel
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