Travel with budget in Japan

December 13, 2011 in Japan

Note: this is an article i wrote for R U Ready campaign, but instead of the general one, today i’m posting one that is specifically for traveling in Japan because many people requested for it! Hope you like it! :D

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One of the most commonly asked question on my blog is, “Cheesieeeee!! How do you afford to travel so often and where do you get all the money?!”

Well, i have traveled to more than 10 countries this year alone, so that part is true. And about the money part, of course it falls from the sky, drop from the trees and spurting out of the fountain in my backyard.

No not really. :X

The only advise i can give you on the money part is work hard, and save hard!! However, there are plenty of tips i can share here about is budget traveling. I’m kind of an expert in that field :D I guess that’s the reason why i can afford to travel as often as i wish, if i plan carefully!

Well, let’s take Japan as an example, shall we? Since i will be going there next January and i have been wanting to write a post like this for a long time!! :D

1. Travel Buddy

Your travel buddy is super important! Make sure that you guys are on the same wavelength on spending, to ensure a happy and argument-free trip! It won’t be very fun if your friend insist taxing taxi to every single attractions and pay for expensive entrance fee, while you just want to wander in between narrow streets taking photos.

Luckily Audrey (whom i’m going to Japan with) and i are both the super kiam type, we’re perfectly happy with budget hotels, convenient store food, walking a lot and just save all the money for shopping :D

2. Plan early


This is probably the most important tip to budget traveling. Although most of my trips are spontaneous and i’m always very lucky to get good deals, trust me, it will save you ALOT ALOT if you start planning your trip early. Subscribe to airline newsletters, sometimes you might just catch a deal so good it is unbelievable. We bought our upcoming flight to Osaka for RM746. RETURN. Yes i’m serious.

3. Budget Hotels

There are so many options available!! I’m sure you know plenty of online discount hotel booking sites (like agoda.com, hotels.com). Everyone is intimidated by the hotel prices in Japan and think that they can never ever afford to go there. Not true!

Two years ago i managed to find a decent business hotel in Tokyo for about 5500 yen a night for two person. So that’s only like RM100 per person a night. Not bad, right? The trick is to make advance booking online. When we tried to call the hotel for booking, they actually advised us to make the booking on their website. The price is almost 50% cheaper!

Also, always choose not to have breakfast included in the hotel package, as they can cost alot more!

There are also plenty of good hostels/guest house around, and normally extremely clean. Try searching for 旅館 (Ryokan style hotel), the prices start from 3000 yen.

There’s also another tip that not many people know. Love Hotels are a great choice if you plan to move around alot. It’s the best way to stay in a fancy hotel at an extremely affordable price. The only drawback is that you will have to self-check in everyday since there isn’t a reception.

4. Phone and Internet

Unfortunately Japan is not an extremely wifi friendly place, so the best bet is to rent a local phone. It is still expensive, but i guess it would be better than having a heart attack when you receive your next phone bills. Try to stay in business hotels as they normally provide free wifi or cable internet.

5. Transportation

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Probably the heaviest and most inevitable expenses. You can save a lot on stuff like hotel and food, but you still need to move around and see things! Taxi is out of the question. Unless you travel by a group of 4 and share the fares. A single Subway ticket cost around 160-290 yen in Tokyo (up to RM12), so the only way to save is to know where you are going, and plan all your activities in one single area at once to avoid moving back and forth too much.

Also, the stations are normally very close to each other. I normally like to just walk and walk and walk (for example Shibuya to Harajuku is just 15 minutes by foot, so that saves you some money already!)

Go back and rest early, unless you really want to experience the night life, as the last train is normally around midnight. So if you go back after midnight you will have no choice but cry over your credit card bills on taxi fares.

5. Eating and Shopping

If you need to get any personal items, 100 yen shop is always the answer. You will be amazed what kind of things they sell there for just RM4.

I always like to eat at ramen or udon shop on the street as they are usually the cheapest (and taste just AS GOOD). If you want snacks and drinks, get it from 100 yen shop or a supermarket instead of a convenient store.

Also i like to carry an empty bottle and fill it up (tab water is safe for drinking, of course), because canned drinks are extremely expensive too. Sometimes without knowing i could spend 1000 yen a day just on drinks from auto-vending machines.

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I can’t help much on shopping since i myself am a prey for all the nice Japanese things, which are generally pricy. And Japan rarely have sales of discount. So if you want good bargain maybe you can try out a second hand clothing store. Or just go during Japanese new year where they have Fukubukuro (lucky bags) that have items worth usually 3-5 times the selling price.

6. Entrance tickets

Please be alerted that for some amusement parks/attactions, you can only pre-purchase the tickets over a ticket machine (which you can find in convenient stores like Lawson). An example would be the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. Find out early and it will save you from a wasted trip!

I guess that’s all for now! If you would like to have a whole new traveling experience in Japan, maybe you can also consider trying out homestay programs (example, from titanplanet.net). I have done it three times in three different places in Japan, and i must say it’s one of the best travel memories i’ve ever had.

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Have fun and save on the kaching kaching!!!

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Cheesie’s Slumber Party!

I will be hosting a slumber party some time in mid January, and i’m opening the party to all my readers! Exclusive invites are given out for Cheeserland’s readers! There will be lots of games, prizes and a chance to meet a hunky celeb!

So please leave a comment with your email and tell me if you would like to join :D

Stored in Japan | 101 Cheesed

101 people cheesed “Travel with budget in Japan”

  1. Ooo can you tell more about love hotel? coz the 1st impression i got was erm…by the hour kinda thing *blush*

  2. btw, do u mind telling us the total spending on the trip excluding shoppings? :) thanks in advance. ;-)

  3. :lol: Thanks for posting!! I want to go back to Japan again really soon <3

  4. Homestay parts are so sweet ;-)

  5. Hi Cheese,

    If you visit different cities within Hokkaido state e.g. Otaru, Wakkaya, Hakadate and Sapporo, is it advisable to purchase JR Hokkaido Pass or normal-single train/bus ticket?

  6. Hi cheese,

    I was so happy to read your this post, and i’ve got a lot of question to ask. lol
    if u dun mind to answer me :grin: lol
    Bout the homestay program part, is there any requirement that you must know Japanese language?
    and register for homestay izit merely for study there or allow you to work there as well with the homestay program?
    …. etc ~

    SOrry nehx, if this bothered you :oops:

    AnnHui

  7. Hey, I’d like to ask in the end, how much did you spend (approx) on the trip to japan? Like, without the shopping, how much will it end up to? Also, the tix to museums etc which are needed to be bought at Lawson stores, does the tix machine come in english or do we somehow have to figure it out?

  8. What if there’s no travel buddy? :blush: Is it less economical, less safe? I’m planning on going next December

  9. Hey Ringo,

    I’d love to join the slumber party. My email add is melmonica02@yahoo.com

    Cheers! :D

  10. I WANNA JOIN :D

  11. I’m interested to join the slumber party! :D

  12. HI CHEESIE! :) I would love to go for your slumber party. This is my email : pearl-lyn@hotmail.com. Do get back to me! :)

  13. I feel like joining but then I don’t even know if I can go if I am that lucky to join. Haha. But still trying my luck!!

  14. I want to join this party!

  15. Cheesie, I’d love to join the slumber party! My email add is edisy_pyh@hotmail.com :)

  16. I want to party with you!

  17. I would like to join in the party ! wilee_t@hotmail.com

  18. Hello Cheesie!Thank you for the tips ^^
    I went to Japan in June and it was awesome.GAP in harajuku was on sale unfortunately not Liz Lisa but still bought my items there,can’t resist!
    My hotel was really cheap too~
    Can’t wait to go back next year !
    Oh!I would love to go attend your slumber party!I want to meet you in person ><
    My email: bkqnatsu@live.com

  19. I would like to join the slumber party! :lol: *pray hard*

  20. ok ok i want .. pls pls pls… burnog@yahoo.com

  21. Hi, I would LOVE to come to your slumber party!!my email is violet_putri89@yahoo.com

  22. Hey cheesie, I have a brief question that I hope you’d answer ;-) Usually for trips, how long before do you buy your flights. What is the latest I can buy without missing out on promo prices etc? Thanks~! :)

  23. Me wanna experience slumber party heehee *jakun puppy eyes* racheltan88@gmail.com =P

  24. So wanna be apart of the cheesleepover! Secretsundaes@gmail.com

  25. Would love to join the slumber party! Email : smiling_eyes1510@hotmail.com

  26. Hi there :) would love to join the slumber party ^.^

    Email: evejen23@gmail.com

  27. Me wanna go slumber partay!! So exciting!!

    mmay.mayhem@gmail.com

    ^.^

  28. HI CHEESIE ! i would really like to join your slumber party ! my email is sabrinayong25@hotmail.com, i’ve been your daily reader for some time now and i really wanna meet you ! =))

  29. Would love to be at the slumber party teehee!! : ))

  30. oh and my email add is caryn.kong@gmail.com! thank youuu

  31. Omg slumber party i want! Lol

  32. i would love to join! :DD

  33. I’m interested for the slumber party!! ashedoll@gmail.com

  34. Love this post. *bookmarked*
    Would like to know more bout the slumber party too! ;-)

  35. slumber party!!!!

  36. Please elaborate on the ‘Love Hotel’ cos I think I’m thinking of the wrong kind LOL

    Slumber party sounds interesting! ^_^ deariesx@hotmail.com

  37. I would love to come the slumber party :D and I like the idea of a home stay. Sounds like you’ll get a better overall experience from it :grin:

  38. slumber party in mid jan?? O.O

    I want I want I want.. I’ll be flying from Kuching for the weekend in mid jan.. hohoho.. :D

    Love your tips on budget travel .. thanks for sharing :)

  39. just wondering, do you have any significant places that you’d go everytime you visit Japan? :)

    oh, I would love to join the slumber party! sounds fun!
    heartlockmisa@hotmail.com

  40. Hi Cheese I wanna join the slumber party! hwa7094@gmail.com

  41. Thank you so much for posting this! My boyfriend and I are going to Japan next summer and we have no idea what to expect (except for emptying our bank accounts). This will definitely help!

    I’m interested in the slumber party! vanilla.night@gmail.com

  42. Hi Cheesie I really interested in that party but … i think i’m too young :neutral: 14 wtf yes i’m your reader i’m serious hahah :razz: I’m malaysian living in KL ^^All i could say is YOU’RE A GOOD BLOGGER SUMMORE YOU MALAYSIAN *SO PROUD* AHAHAHAH. :twisted: yileng1710@gmail.com

  43. hi cheesie! another one of your avid readers here. was wondering if you have the time to reply my queries. so BASICALLY, i’m gonna be spending about 10 days in japan, end of february to early march (so short wtf). and i was wondering if you could advise me what i should wear (sorry i’m damn vain -.-v) and what are the places in tokyo, osaka and [maybe] kyoto i should visit.

    the minute i heard i was going to japan with my family, i immediately thought of you and your insane amount of trips to japan and SOUGHT YOUR ADVICE. (ok i lied i went bonkers with excitement first then decided to leave a comment)

    i’m already damn excited for things like the ghibli studio and stuff. SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.

    so i’d reaaaalllllyyyyy appreciate it if you could email me [zen.8d@hotmail.com] or maybe just reply my comment.

    THAAANKKKK YOUUUU.

    lub lub, a malaysian reader.

  44. Cheesie-chan,
    I wanna really wanna so wanna truely wanna super duper sincerely wanna join ur slumber party.
    Please cheese me invites to ur party!
    My email is: iamginny.com@gmail.com

  45. I really would like to go . . . but I’m from Germany -.-

    Greetings,
    dealystar.blogspot.com

  46. I wanna go to your slumber party:)

    Breahnnaa@yahoo.com

  47. Hi Cheesie,

    I wanna join the party…my email is appletik@yahoo.com ^_^

  48. wow i’m interested :3
    is it only open for people where you are? i want to join/watch online LMAO
    /i’m lame

    mail; janicepychen@hotmail.com

  49. Cheesie, i’d like to join the party.:) Im currently studying outstation so am not sure if i’ll be able to 100% make it. But mid jan is when my hols start! so am crossing my fingers X
    :)) here’s my email: abigailgesueljans@gmail.com

  50. I would like to join your slumber party!!! miss-hermes@hotmail.com :twisted:

  51. Id looove to join the slumberparty~! where will it be held? Japan? if so i really wanna go, im staying in Yokohama right now :D

  52. Me wanna go slumber party!

  53. I want to join Slumber Party. My email is yyseow[at]gmail[dot]com

  54. Slumber party after CNY pleaseeee? Rarely come back to Malaysia so that’s my only chance :oops:

    michelleyong89(at)hotmail(dot)com

  55. I wanna join n meet u in person but I need to know when will b the slumber party…anyway, just try my luck. My email is cupidstar_c@hotmail.com

  56. ur just awesome.thanks for the tips :)

  57. omg my email is ena_sexysweet93@yahoo.com i’m a hugeeee fan of you!!!! please invite me!!

  58. WILL PICK 5 PEOPLE TO JOIN! You will receive an email from Nuffnang if you are selected :D :D :D

  59. i wanna join le slumber partay tooo~ pretty pls cheesie :3

    jinyen90@hotmail.com ;D

  60. i would love to be apart of your exclusive slumber party!!! <3

    email: pamelaooi@hotmail.com

  61. Ahhhhh I’d love to join your slumber party! I bet it’s gonna be ahh-mayy-zingg! (: My email add is cheryl_yong94@hotmail.com (:

  62. bojourglow@gmail.com Whee!~ slumber party! <333 will your lenses be out by then?

  63. Some great advise and tips. Japan is a trip that can be done on a budget. We usually stay at budget business hotels like the Toyoko Inn, with prices around USD$70 for a single room and USD$100 for a double. These are comfortable business hotels, very clean and well run with free breakfast, TV, internet connection in room, computers in foyer and very easy to book Toyoko Inn hotels around Japan.

    You can also eat cheaply if you visit Japanese restaurants like Yoshinoya, Sukiya, and CoCo Ichiban Curry House. They will cost you about USD$5-8 a meal.

  64. Great tips on Japan! I’ve visited a few times myself and I usually live with friends (I’m lucky I guess!). But I’ve never considered Love Hotels cos it seemed kinda dodgy…

    Michelle
    http://mirumiru.my

  65. Interested! :)
    It will be at Malaysia or Singapore?
    bellekyliec@live.com

  66. I’d love to join your Slumber party!! *woohoo* would love to see you in person ^^ Stay gorgeous! ;-)

    love, v-tjen@live.com

  67. I bought the same cheap flight ticket too . Going in May just wanna ask how’s the weather and what should i wear?

  68. Cheesie, I would like to join the slumber party! ;-) Cathchin88@gmail.com

  69. I’m going next march yo Osaka. Can you give me some information on cheap hotels? Because I can’t find much information on hotels.

  70. Me too! I wanna join the slumber partayyyy!!!! My email add is naughtyyen@hotmail.com

  71. i would like to join..

  72. i wanna join the slumber party!! XDD whre is it where is it??

  73. aww~~ sorry. [REPHRASE] Chessie san!! i wish to join your slumber party!! my email add is buggy_n_n@hotmail.com =D onegaishimatsu ><

  74. It would be an honour to join your slumber party :)

    email: enxhi@live.com.my

  75. I would love to be invited to your party sherine_lum@yahoo.co.uk

  76. Cheesie, I’d love to join the slumber party! My email add is lee.jem@gmail.com ^__^

  77. How about the visa part???

  78. I want to go , invite me please!!! jessying@gmail.com :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  79. Pick me pick me *shy* wanna meet and join your party !!

  80. Nice post cheesie, I spent quite a lot(Rm10k ) the last time I went to japan.
    This will be a very good guide for me and my friends as we are planning another trip to jap but in a budget way.
    By the way.. I wanna join the PARTY!!!!!! victoriayinyin1407@gmail.com

  81. I would like to join your slumber party! Wheeeee! Want to see you in real person and take a photo with you. Then i can show off to my friends, ‘Hey! I got a pixie with Cheesie!’ email is : nicccchang@hotmail.com

  82. I wanna join slumber party also… Yea!!Plz invite me~~ c.nicole87@gmail.com

  83. hello~
    thanks for the info..would love to join the selamba partay~ :D
    this is my email: suzanne1705@yahoo.com

  84. omg i’d love to go for the party! but i’d like to know some details first ^^ my email is exiled_xblack@hotmail.com thank you :)

  85. u’re lucky u hv a travel buddy, as for me erghh…so hard to find..everyone wants to save money ~.~

  86. OH YAY SLUMBER PARTY! :DD i’d like to join! dilysyeak@hotmail.com

  87. yay! i’d like to join your party too! but i have to know the date to make it :razz:
    emily5258@hotmail.com

  88. i wana go your party too! but i have to know the time to make it :razz:
    emily5258@hotmail.com

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    [...]cheeserland.com » Blog Archive » Travel with budget in Japan[...]…

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  91. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous
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  92. [...] is a fashionable Malaysian blogger that also posted about traveling in Japan on a budget.  Her article may be useful, as it considers other expenses such as hotel and entrance tickets to attractions, [...]

  93. hehehehe.. reading this again ;)

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