How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

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How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget cheaply (articles)

Post by Winston »

@Yohan what do you think? Is it possible to travel Japan on a budget? If so, to what extent? Will those articles above make much of a difference?
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Yohan
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Yohan »

Living in Japan since more than 40 years, I can say Japan is not a cheap place for travel, not for locals and not for foreign visitors - and many visitors from China and similar Asian destinations are coming in large group tours to make the trip cheaper but not everybody is happy to travel in a group.

An individual has also some choice to travel through Japan and avoid unnecessary spending, but I wonder how comfortable this trip could be and if it is worth to visit Japan on a low-cost budget.

While Japan is not so expensive with daily needs, like food, restaurants, laundry etc. but the problem is about accommodation. Do not expect to find a nice - but still narrow - hotel room for less than USD 70 to 100,-. Hotels are often fully booked, reservation in advance is necessary.

Japan is a country without tips - never give tips. You might use night-highway bus services, which are much cheaper than trains and airplanes to get around on the Honshu Island (largest island), might save you some hotel-nights if you sleep in the bus.

Rent-a-car sounds to be cheap, but you can hardly avoid highways which toll is expensive and also high parking fees in the cities.

You might save some money if you avoid to visit small islands, ferries are not cheap - and if you stay away to visit some special exhibitions, temples etc., as entrance fees are often high.

Travel as a couple is the same hotel rate as for a single person. If you have a friend coming with you sharing the cost of accommodation will save money for sure.

If you have any question about Japan, please let me know.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

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I didn't read those articles, so maybe they also pointed this out, but you can travel cheaply in Japan if you sleep on the floor of Buddhist temples. You probably are expected to do a little cleaning or repair work in return. You can only stay one night at each temple, I think. I assume they have squat toilets and buckets for bathing and washing clothes.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

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If you've never been to Japan and don't mind being in a tourist herd, there are plenty of cheap Japan tour packages operated by Chinese/Taiwanese operators.

If you live in places like Los Angles or cities with a lot of Asians, go visit Asian travel agencies and ask what's avail, and let them know that you don't care if the tour guide is speaking some other language ("I'll figure it out myself").

You'll end up staying at old/run down hotels/resorts and eat pre-packaged/set meals, but it'll be cheap.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Contrarian Expatriate »

Because the flight is so long and expensive, Japan is a place that I tend to visit in conjunction with my other travels not so far away.

My secret for keeping accomodation costs low is I pay the hotels in points so that I never pay full price (if anything at all). Spending a month in a 5 star hotel would be unthinkable without that strategy.

Accumulate all your points in the cheap countries, then use them in the expensive countries like Japan.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

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Does Japan have any hostels? A person can room with a few strangers and only spend about $15 a night in many places. Just there's no privacy and a shared bathroom with many people.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Yohan »

Shemp wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 7:58 am
I didn't read those articles, so maybe they also pointed this out, but you can travel cheaply in Japan if you sleep on the floor of Buddhist temples. You probably are expected to do a little cleaning or repair work in return. You can only stay one night at each temple, I think. I assume they have squat toilets and buckets for bathing and washing clothes.
Maybe you mix this up with Thailand or Laos or Cambodia?

I don't know from where you get this, but in Japan only a few temples are offering accommodation. It's not so cheap either but
fairly good - for example in Tokyo
https://tsukijihongwanji.jp/enjoy/lodging/

The huge majority of Buddhist temples in Japan are privately owned cemeteries which are also function as ceremony hall for the deceased person before being sent to the crematory. They also function as meeting rooms for relatives when coming together years later for commemoration - in general no outsider can stay there overnight.

In the place where I am living, in Okayama, Sogenji is known to welcome foreigners.

https://www.visitwestjapan.com/sightsee ... monastery/
There are dozens of Buddhist temples in Okayama Prefecture but very few monasteries. Sogenji may be the only one that specifically caters to the needs and sensibilities of foreign-born practitioners of Zen Buddhism and those who simply want to learn about it.

In fact Sogenji hosts students monks from all over the world who come to the monastery in search of awakening and realizing their full potential. Some stay for a day and others never leave. It is that flexibility that makes Sogenji so attractive to visitors from overseas.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Yohan »

Neo wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 1:22 pm
Does Japan have any hostels? A person can room with a few strangers and only spend about $15 a night in many places. Just there's no privacy and a shared bathroom with many people.
There are,
http://www.jyh.or.jp/e/

https://www.hostelworld.com/hostels/Japan


and there are also capsule hotels, at least some privacy.

expensive ones,
https://blog.hotelscombined.com/15-best ... -in-japan/

cheap ones,
https://jw-webmagazine.com/6-best-value ... d78f53f2e6
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Shemp »

Yohan wrote:
June 21st, 2019, 10:53 am
Shemp wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 7:58 am
I didn't read those articles, so maybe they also pointed this out, but you can travel cheaply in Japan if you sleep on the floor of Buddhist temples...
Maybe you mix this up with Thailand or Laos or Cambodia?
Yes, probably something I got confused.
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by OTB »

Winston my man! Thanks for posting this. I've been on the fence about Japan due to hearing how expensive it is. It's my goal to get to Asia this year. So I'm between Thailand and Japan. But prefer Japan as my first Asia trip. It's cheap to get there, now that I live in SoCal, but once there lodging is more expensive than Thailand. Even staying in a hostel. Not too expensive; $22+/night compared to $10+/night in Thailand. I checked Airbnb and found a nice hostel in Tokyo for a good price; Nest Inn $16/night as well as a few others.

Also I hear food is really expensive. However, I made a comment on a YouTube vid a couple of weeks ago and one guy replied saying outside of Tokyo rent and food is cheap.

I don't have to stay in all the main tourist areas nor go to all the main attractions. But of course I want to see a few temples/shrines and some of the main attractions. I really want to observe Japanese culture, the GIRLS, the landscapes, etc. I'm looking to go for two weeks in Oct. or Nov. I could stay in Tokyo for 2-3 days then move to another city. Cities that are cheap but interesting.

Would $1500 be enough for two weeks?
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by flowerthief00 »

OTB wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 5:44 pm
Would $1500 be enough for two weeks?
Yes. I do capsules myself, which are slightly more expensive than hostels, and I can keep within such a budget. If you stick with the trains; they're a bit intimidating when you're new, but in that country they're the only way to travel (not literally).

The girls are super cute, but as a foreign visitor you can do little more than look.
Do not talk to the black African guys who come up to you on the streets of Roppongi or Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho posing as pimps. They are scam artists who prey on lonely English-speaking men.

In fact, I wouldn't bother seeing those two areas on a first trip. Do see Shibuya tho.
2-3 days in Tokyo will not be enough. It is an immense city with more ever-expanding shopping, dining, and entertainment options than even the locals can keep up with. But you'll want to see Kyoto too, right?
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by OTB »

Oh definitely Kyoto! That's a must. My buddy was telling me Kyoto is absolutely amazing. As far as the girls, I hate when you see cute girls you want to chat up but you can't. It's annoying. I have to deal with that here. Japan is like the US is terms of the social atmosphere. That's one reason I want to hit up Thailand/SE Asia. The social atmosphere is warmer. Similar to Latin America. I like to feel like I can talk to girls. However, Japan is such an amazing country. It has so much to offer I can overlook that. Hey..you never know. I might meet a girl or two. I have to have my own experience.

For transportation, by train, can be expensive. I checked out Nomadic Matts transportation breakdown. I have to write up a plan and then calculate everything. Then make my decision.

But thanks my man for responding. I appreciate it!

OTB
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Winston »

Wow check out this capsule hotel in Hiroshima. It looks very spacious, comfortable and cozy, all for only $22. That's cheap. At rates like that, if you can find them, you can save a lot of money in Japan. This one looks much nicer than the capsule hotel I stayed at in China. Rock told me Japan is not like China, in Japan they go the extra mile to make you comfortable.

https://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/co ... an-budget/

Image
Capsule hotels are cheap, tiny, and surprisingly comfortable. This one in Hiroshima was $22 a night and so cosy!
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Re: How to travel Japan on a budget inexpensively (articles)

Post by Winston »

momopi wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 10:45 am
If you've never been to Japan and don't mind being in a tourist herd, there are plenty of cheap Japan tour packages operated by Chinese/Taiwanese operators.

If you live in places like Los Angles or cities with a lot of Asians, go visit Asian travel agencies and ask what's avail, and let them know that you don't care if the tour guide is speaking some other language ("I'll figure it out myself").

You'll end up staying at old/run down hotels/resorts and eat pre-packaged/set meals, but it'll be cheap.
Yeah that's how my parents visit Japan, they use those cheap tourist packages you can get in Taiwan. Asians tend to like to travel that way, in groups, with a schedule, with everything pre-arranged. Plus on the Japan tours, they do not rush you from place to place, so you do not have to walk fast to keep up with the group. That's better for elderly people. I guess the Japanese are particularly respectful and considerate of the elderly's needs.
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