budget travelling to japan?

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jellybeano
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budget travelling to japan?

Post by jellybeano » Oct 29th, '06, 06:39

does anybody know the budget for travelling to japan for one person? like on a budget trip that time. maybe to tokyo, kyoto or osaka etc... (: thanks. :-)

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Oct 29th, '06, 06:44

Budget depends on how many days, airline ticket, where you say at (high end hotel, hostel, guest house), how much shopping, night life, etc etc.

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skachild
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Post by skachild » Oct 29th, '06, 06:54

lets say... 7-10days.... :unsure:

nezuzim
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Post by nezuzim » Oct 29th, '06, 08:49

Hi there,

Where do you intend to go?

I'm going on a budget trip next year to tokyo, osaka and kyoto regions for 3 weeks.

Rough estimate about SGD$3500+, accomadation, three meals, JR Pass and some buffer.

Acommadation is either ryokans or youth hostels, food wise it depends but roughly about $30-$45 a day.

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Oct 29th, '06, 13:33

Are you traveling by yourself?

I think a 15 year old showing up by themselves at the Immigration desk at the airport will probably raise a few flags.

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Post by jellybean » Oct 29th, '06, 19:01

^ hahhaha yeah, you're quite young so it wouldn't be wise to go alone and on a budget...

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skachild
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Post by skachild » Oct 30th, '06, 04:48

SGD$3500+.. wow... :O :O :O :O
is this include you flight ticket..? :blink

Lonely Soldier Boy
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Post by Lonely Soldier Boy » Oct 30th, '06, 07:15

I went from Montreal to most of Japan with about 2500-3000$.

Ticket: ~$1000
Train Pass: $700
Eating/Living: $50 / day (Possible, especially if you stay in Hostels)

Hit me up if you wanna know anything :cheers:

nezuzim
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Post by nezuzim » Oct 30th, '06, 13:16

Yah it includes flight ticket..Haha that's what my friends and I calculated. Roughly about there.

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Post by JimmyChoCho » Oct 30th, '06, 14:06

Do you plan to stay at a hotel/ryokan or hostel? Hostel's tend to be a lot cheaper and are pretty well maintained, I stayed at one in Azabajuban district of Tokyo, it was around USD$30-40 a night. If you're going to stay in one city, then it shouldn't cost too much though what cost the most for us was transportation: subways and taxi's etc (it cost about USD$2-3 just to go ONE WAY to the popular districts of city's). If you're planning to visit multiple places (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto etc, which I wouldn't really recommend since you're only there a week) you should get a JRail pass. My friends and I went around japan and the J-Rail pass saved us tons of money even though it cost a couple of hundred bucks (that was for a 2 week pass, I do believe they have a 1 week pass). Food there wasn't that expensive, you'll find lots of places that sell great food (mostly curry and ramen shops) for $5 and under, sushi is a a bit cheaper than in the states but it's still easy to run up a tab. My friends and I stayed there for 17 days and we spent around a total of $3000 each(EVERYTHING included). But we did go clubbing and buy drinks etc etc and bought a lot of food and snacks and spent tons of money on drinks since those drinking vending machines are EVERYWHERE. One word of advice, since the Japanese coins range from 1yen to 1000yen (1000yen is about 10 bucks) we were spending lots of money because we had the mentality that coins aren't of much value, and it's very easy to spend 10 bucks a day on soft drinks alone so be careful.

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Post by ephesus » Oct 30th, '06, 14:13

If you pay more than $800 for a round trip ticket, you're probably paying more than you have to. For example, a quick check of his-usa.com shows tickets for 2 weeks from Dec 28 at $758 round trip Chicago-Tokyo. I'm not sure where you're from of course..

The big secret to saving money in Japan however, is staying with Japanese people and not at hotels. Call up that random exchange student who you talked to only once 3 years ago, and ask them if you can crash there. You wont pay rent, and the odds are they will feed you.

Then hitchhike to save money on trains. It's slower, but WAY more fun.

nezuzim
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Post by nezuzim » Oct 30th, '06, 15:23

ephesus wrote:If you pay more than $800 for a round trip ticket, you're probably paying more than you have to. For example, a quick check of his-usa.com shows tickets for 2 weeks from Dec 28 at $758 round trip Chicago-Tokyo. I'm not sure where you're from of course..

The big secret to saving money in Japan however, is staying with Japanese people and not at hotels. Call up that random exchange student who you talked to only once 3 years ago, and ask them if you can crash there. You wont pay rent, and the odds are they will feed you.

Then hitchhike to save money on trains. It's slower, but WAY more fun.
Haha did you manage to do that? Lol I don't really wanna go disturb them. But it's true, my friend crashed at her friend's houses and stayed in Japan for only $1000+...

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Post by luckysmile20 » Oct 30th, '06, 16:01

nezuzim wrote:Hi there,

Where do you intend to go?

I'm going on a budget trip next year to tokyo, osaka and kyoto regions for 3 weeks.

Rough estimate about SGD$3500+, accomadation, three meals, JR Pass and some buffer.

Acommadation is either ryokans or youth hostels, food wise it depends but roughly about $30-$45 a day.
Wow... SGD3500 for 3 weeks?!?!?

I calculated mine which is 1 week trip to Tokyo and already reach SGD3500.....

My budget is:
ticket SGD1000 --> cheapest I think...
hotel SGD 560
Transportation and tickets SGD250
Meals and snacks SGD1000
Gifts and personal shoppings 700

adding all up will be SGD3500...

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Post by jellybean » Oct 30th, '06, 19:10

Lonely Soldier Boy wrote:I went from Montreal to most of Japan with about 2500-3000$.

Ticket: ~$1000
Train Pass: $700
Eating/Living: $50 / day (Possible, especially if you stay in Hostels)

Hit me up if you wanna know anything :cheers:
Whooaaaa - any special tips you recommend??!

I'm leaving on Wednesday so I hope you read this in time =)!!

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Oct 30th, '06, 20:30

If you are traveling Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto even for two weeks, a one week pass or no rail pass actually comes out cheaper than a two week rail pass.

For example a two way trip between Tokyo and Osaka is 13750 (x2) thats about 27500yen. A 2 week JR Pass is 45100yen, you're essentially flushing down the drain 17600yen , even with transportation within Tokyo and Osaka (JR Pass useless for transport within Kyoto) your still losing out on about 12000-15000yen, money that could be used for shopping, food, lodging..

Now if you do the trip in one week, then a One week JR Pass is very affordable and recommended depending on where you plan to travel.

Don't just go out and buy a JR Pass an expect it to pay off, I know people who do this all the time until I show them they are really wasting their money, of course It all depends on where you plan to travel and for how long to determine if a JR pass will pay off or not.

Of course you save even more money by taking overnight highway buses. Prices are pretty much half of trains.

My trips have been under $2000 USD , with airfare from the US, I usually stay in business hotels over youth hostels, business hotels are usually priced around $60-70 USD. Don't forget to sign up for frequent flyer miles on whatever airline you fly, I had so much frequent flyer miles that my last trip to Japan was essentially free.

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Post by jellybeano » Oct 31st, '06, 06:35

hahaha. nono, not going to japan on my own now. maybe 3 or 4 years later. but i would need to know how much to start saving already... (: so as to ensure that i have enough money in future. (x

THANKS A LOT! ^^ but then it can quie confusing... :blink

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Phearsome
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Post by Phearsome » Jan 1st, '07, 08:48

Lonely Soldier Boy wrote:I went from Montreal to most of Japan with about 2500-3000$.

Ticket: ~$1000
Train Pass: $700
Eating/Living: $50 / day (Possible, especially if you stay in Hostels)

Hit me up if you wanna know anything :cheers:
wow bud that is what i want to do. Me and my other two buddies wants to travel to Korea/Japan/China in a whole two months. Ive saved up already that much x5 but its just the time. If i leave then there would be no one to take care of my family business.
man i want to go badly. Both my buddies already went last summer without me :( and they plan to go again next summer. ahhhhhhhhhhhh i hate this!

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ying82
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Post by ying82 » Jan 2nd, '07, 13:45

Phearsome wrote:
Lonely Soldier Boy wrote:I went from Montreal to most of Japan with about 2500-3000$.

Ticket: ~$1000
Train Pass: $700
Eating/Living: $50 / day (Possible, especially if you stay in Hostels)

Hit me up if you wanna know anything :cheers:
wow bud that is what i want to do. Me and my other two buddies wants to travel to Korea/Japan/China in a whole two months. Ive saved up already that much x5 but its just the time. If i leave then there would be no one to take care of my family business.
man i want to go badly. Both my buddies already went last summer without me :( and they plan to go again next summer. ahhhhhhhhhhhh i hate this!
if you're staying in tokyo, try out the sakura hostel at asakusa. they were awesome and treated me well.

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Phearsome
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Post by Phearsome » Jan 3rd, '07, 06:04

ying82 wrote: if you're staying in tokyo, try out the sakura hostel at asakusa. they were awesome and treated me well.
i'll keep that in mind, been resaerching at places to stay n such.

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PJB
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Post by PJB » Jan 21st, '07, 21:43

Haha, my friend survived in New Zealand for 6 months on $10,000 including tickets. And that was without working during that time. I think that shows anything is possible with the right connections and such.

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milleu87
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Post by milleu87 » Jan 25th, '07, 04:20

urm anyone can helps on me finding cheap tickets from malaysia to japan in june? i'm having a headache trying to find the tickets

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Post by Phearsome » Jan 25th, '07, 06:42

PJB wrote:Haha, my friend survived in New Zealand for 6 months on $10,000 including tickets. And that was without working during that time. I think that shows anything is possible with the right connections and such.
Whoa must of been the most ghetto vacation ever. haha i would do that though.

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PJB
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Post by PJB » Jan 27th, '07, 08:49

^ Not at all, a comfortable time. I think with friends, good information about places to stay... you really can do amazing things. He just went back a few days ago too on the same amount of money after saving up. This time he got a job and plans to stay forever... :cheers:

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Jan 30th, '07, 02:13

Its harder to do something similar in Japan. Especially since you can't work in Japan on a tourist status. Not sure about New Zealand but I'm pretty sure you're friend must have a change in visa status to start working, unless he's doing it illegally under the table.

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nivek
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Post by nivek » Jan 30th, '07, 11:30

It's not impossible to live $1K a month and still see it all. I went nuts and spent $7K over all of last summer, but my friends spent around $4.5K, and they enjoyed it just as much as I did. I just went shopping a lot more. If you're on a budget, and going to be staying long term, you should definitely look for a homestay. I was living in a guest house with my friends for 2 months. Campus housing was $1K total for one month, but the guest house was $250 for the next two. Isn't that lovely? I spent more because I rode the trains instead of biking, and bought a ton of stuff....that's why it was $7K. Otherwise it would've been $4.5K as well. (And yes, my friends did shop for electronics too)

The easiest way to see Japan like this, is to have merit---be an exchange student. You'll experience more as someone who's talking to people on a daily basis instead of being a tourist without any of the real day-to-day events and encounters.


--
Actually, let me give you a rough breakdown of that $7K so you get a real feel of how much you guys don't really need to spend:

Roundtrip fare (economy) New York <-> Tokyo (Narita), Narita <-> Osaka (Itami)
$1050
Accomodations: $460 (1 month campus, 2 months homestay)
JR Rail Pass: ~$200 (used heavily in Tokyo, went from/back to Osaka by Hikari shinkansen)
Transportation: ~$500 (buses, monorail (EXPENSIVE!!!), commuter rail, subways)
Food: Probably $1500~$1750. That was likely the second most expensive part of the trip. I did a bad job of that because I tended to eat out a lot and not look for sales, so that's primarily my fault. Also, it was the summer so I bought tons of drinks. Gotta keep hydrated!
Every day life needs: $100 -- toothbrush, toothpaste, skin lotion, powder deodorant!!!
Shopping: $1.5K - Spent on books, electronics, and clothes.
Shipping: $200 - EMS is not cheap.
Travel: Tokyo ($340 for 6 nights at a business hotel, $30 on transportation that wasn't covered by JR), Kinosaki/Miyazu: $300, lab trip, so subsidized.
Souvenirs: Probably about $150.

And last but not least!
Game Centers: $200 - when DDR SuperNOVA came out there, I was one of the first to start playing...and I think I gave the game a good rep because otaku weren't watching me...pretty good looking women were. They were of course only interested in how fast I can go, not me. :whistling:

--
You'll be surprised how stuff will work out if you can get the right accomodations---that likely won't be the most expensive thing in your budget.

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Apr 16th, '07, 00:37

Im going this july for 19days
I made a reservation today for my flight LONDON - TOKYO via HK for £562 of which £153 was taxes :/
Its on Cathay Pacific so I get to stopover in Hong Kong both ways to visit my cousins there.
Trying to find accomodation at asiarooms.com at the moment, im looking in the Ikebukuro area coz last year i stayed there at Sunshin City Price but this time im going to go for something cheaper, didnt know there was cheaper hotels last time, i thought Sunshine City was going to be poor lol
This is the cheapest I can find:
http://www.asiarooms.com/japan/tokyo/ik ... annex.html
Ikebukuro Hayashi Hotel Annex Tokyo
£29 per night so 14nights comes to £406
anyone stay there before? or have a better recommendation for me?
the other 5days i plan to stay in Kyoto at a friends

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Riee109
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Post by Riee109 » Apr 16th, '07, 13:51

Hero wrote: anyone stay there before? or have a better recommendation for me?
the other 5days i plan to stay in Kyoto at a friends
I think that I'll stay there:
http://www.oakhouse.jp/eng/house/kamiik ... index.html
But I have no idea wether you can stay there for only 14 nights or not.
By the way, I'll also be in Tokyo this July :)

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Post by elisan » Apr 16th, '07, 14:14

The cheapest way to find accommodations is to go without any pre-bookings. Whenever you arrive in a town (should be before 7 pm!) go to the information booth at the station and ask for -Minshiku-

Those are little pensions and private rooms let at a very reasonable price. Often this is just a spare room a family has to offer because their children go to University, so you might even get a meal and some family life with it. It is lots of fun too but usually Tatami/Japanese style bedding and if you are unlucky there can be bugs (happened to me once ;-) )

I really enjoyed staying in them and paid between 1500 and 3000 yen per night depending on where they were located. A little Japanese is helpful though ...

Japan Rail pass is a great option too, only too bad that it cannot be purchased in Japan

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Apr 16th, '07, 14:23

Riee109 wrote:
Hero wrote: anyone stay there before? or have a better recommendation for me?
the other 5days i plan to stay in Kyoto at a friends
I think that I'll stay there:
http://www.oakhouse.jp/eng/house/kamiik ... index.html
But I have no idea wether you can stay there for only 14 nights or not.
By the way, I'll also be in Tokyo this July :)
Cool that good. so its about 58,000yen plus 9450yen for electricity. about 68,000yen for 1month thats less than £300
Maybe i shud stay there as well for 1month but be away for a few days when im in kyoto, works out cheaper than £400 for 14days.
hmm i had never thought about renting. do they allow anyone to rent? like holiday makers etc?
well i still have 10days before i need to issue my ticket so i can change dates still
thanks for the info

anymore would be greatly appreciated

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 16th, '07, 22:04

I never stay at guest houses, but yes I'm pretty sure if you have the loot anyone can rent. However remember, extending a 19 day trip to a full month, you are adding some 11 days, of paying for food, transportation, sightseeing etc, so you are using up more money in the process instead of actually saving money.

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Post by Kailey1710 » Apr 17th, '07, 16:09

I personally would like to know if it's possible to travel a trip from the US with around....
3000.00 $ for 1 week? I would be traveling with my mom, so thats not a big deal, and we really dont care if we stay in hostels or cheap hotels or whatever. I am planning this trip for Febuary of 2008, and since I didn't want to create a whole new thread just for me I will ask some questions, and maybe someone can answer me :-)

1. I understand very little Japanese. I can understand simple words like thank you and cute and sorry, but will this post a HUGE problem for me? I heard english is commonly spoken in Japan, is this true? If not, are people friendly enough to help me?

2. Could anyone give a rough estimate of Yen conversion to US dollars? I would appreciate that, as I'm making a budgertfor the trip and will probably want to buy soveniers and stuff, but I want to know how much extra money i should bring, etc.

3. Sine the trip is roughly a year away, we haven't figured exactly WHERE we want to go yet. If anyone has any suggestions of good cities to visit that would be appreciated. We would like to visit a bigger citie with lots of attractions and stores, but maybe not one as big as tokyo.

Arigatou for the help! I am trying very hard to plan this trip well, and any help is appreciated :lol

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 17th, '07, 18:06

personally would like to know if it's possible to travel a trip from the US with around....
3000.00 $ for 1 week? I would be traveling with my mom, so thats not a big deal, and we really dont care if we stay in hostels or cheap hotels or whatever. I am planning this trip for Febuary of 2008, and since I didn't want to create a whole new thread just for me I will ask some questions, and maybe someone can answer me Smile
$3,000 USD for one person or totally for two people? For one person its more than engough for 1 person, with air fare, hotels etc. With 2 people it depends on your air fare.
1. I understand very little Japanese. I can understand simple words like thank you and cute and sorry, but will this post a HUGE problem for me? I heard english is commonly spoken in Japan, is this true? If not, are people friendly enough to help me?
Its easy to get around the major cities without knowing Japanese. Its better if you did know some. Never assume anyone speaks english, even though you run into people who might, never assume so.
2. Could anyone give a rough estimate of Yen conversion to US dollars? I would appreciate that, as I'm making a budgertfor the trip and will probably want to buy soveniers and stuff, but I want to know how much extra money i should bring, etc.
A quick internet search will give you an answer, exchange rate is always changing, everyday, but it can be anywhere from 1usd = `105 -120 yen, right now its hovering around 1usd = 116 yen.
3. Sine the trip is roughly a year away, we haven't figured exactly WHERE we want to go yet. If anyone has any suggestions of good cities to visit that would be appreciated. We would like to visit a bigger citie with lots of attractions and stores, but maybe not one as big as tokyo.
Go to Tokyo. It has pretty much everyone you mentioned. Tokyo itself is not a city, but rather a large metropolis with different cities, towns, mountain ranges, hiking trails etc etc.
Arigatou for the help! I am trying very hard to plan this trip well, and any help is appreciated Laugh
Pick up a copy of Fodor's Japan, time out Japan or any of your big name travel guides from the book store.

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Post by Kailey1710 » Apr 18th, '07, 15:04

^-^ Thanks so much for the suggestions! We have around 3,000 right now for us both, so we're looking at airfare right now and seeing what the cheapest is. I'll also try to pick up the books you recommended. :-)

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Apr 22nd, '07, 21:53

To anyone going in July how much are you paying for your flight?
In the end my parents didn't want me to be away for 6-7weeks (4weeks HK and 3weeks Japan) so I am going to have to cancel the £562 ticket since it hasnt been issued yet, and change it for a ticket which departs in July for £831 ($1600USD) :/ sooo expensive... thats on JAL to Tokyo and HK (10days HK, 20days Japan)

My parents said i should just maybe go to Japan instead and skip HK, but the cheapest July depart flight i could find was on Air France for £714.50 return to Japan only (20days Japan)

With only a difference of £130 i going to get the JAL one instead since £130 would be a bargain for a return to HK from Japan.

thing is though, i can't just use the £562 flight and return early, because my friend in Japan doesnt break up for summer hol until August 1st so i need to be in Kyoto when she is free to take me around kyoto, osaka and kobe, plus i will get free accomodation at my friends place in Kyoto and only have to pay for a hotel in Tokyo.
whats your views on my decision...

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 22nd, '07, 22:49

If you ask me you're flying to/from 3 different countries (from the UK I assume) is a bargain at the price you are paying.

Of course if you don't go to HK thats 10 days of not either paying for food or lodging or transportation. SO you save even more. But go with whatever floats your boat and your schedule and what you can afford.

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Apr 22nd, '07, 22:57

spacecommand wrote:If you ask me you're flying to/from 3 different countries (from the UK I assume) is a bargain at the price you are paying.

Of course if you don't go to HK thats 10 days of not either paying for food or lodging or transportation. SO you save even more. But go with whatever floats your boat and your schedule and what you can afford.
Cool thanks for the quick response, makes me feel better about the price...im go for the £831 ticket definately then.
thanks again

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Post by Hero » Apr 26th, '07, 11:46

Hero wrote:
spacecommand wrote:If you ask me you're flying to/from 3 different countries (from the UK I assume) is a bargain at the price you are paying.

Of course if you don't go to HK thats 10 days of not either paying for food or lodging or transportation. SO you save even more. But go with whatever floats your boat and your schedule and what you can afford.
Cool thanks for the quick response, makes me feel better about the price...im go for the £831 ticket definately then.
thanks again
Well i got the ticket issued now. When i was booking it, they told me that Japan Airlines only allows you to stopover in Japan for a shorter period than in your distination (in my case HK) so I decided to reduce my stay in Japan to 16nights so that I could go to HK as well.

Im really looking forward to it all now, Kansai seems to have so much to see and do and a really cool airport, I will be staying in Kyoto at my friends old free apartment :) whilst im there. Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, i don't think i will have the time to explore Nara as well, which is nearby.
And when im in Tokyo, i plan to spend a day visiting Yokohama and another day in Hakone, with the other days in Tokyo.
Is Yokohama nearly as big as Tokyo? I heard that it is Japans 2nd biggest city.
Did a search on wikipedia and it seems osaka is as big is tokyo...
thanks :cheers:

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 29th, '07, 23:10

Technically speaking Tokyo isn't even a city, its a large metropolis with many cities and special wards etc. But yeah its a defacto city so Yokohama is 2nd in Population. But thats because its right next to Tokyo. There are things to do in Yokohama, but the signs and things to do is not as grand as Tokyo.

Osaka is Japan's second city (not in populaton, but in commerce, and regional influcence etc), there is much to do in Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe where you can skip Tokyo all together.

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Post by SSJSubgeta » Apr 30th, '07, 00:00

If you are in the US use this link http://www.cheapoair.com/ for airfare tickets. By far the cheapest I've seen online.

I got my one way from Chicago to Japan Narita airport for $600. I saved up 7k thats not including airfare to travel. All tho my situation is different since I'm moving there with in two weeks.

I went to visit Japan last year to get a feel of life and how it would be when i come to live there. I went for 2 weeks so some stuff or rates i was quoted might still be in effect.
I would recommend staying at capsule hotels since they aren't expensive or at small self owned hotels the most you pay for a night would be $30 to 60 bucks a night. If you pay more then $70 forget it look somewhere else. Remember it doesn't have to be a fancy place since your only traveling and want to get the most use for your money.

Now if your really into doing stuff the real cheap way, some restaurants around the night clubs remain open through out the night. Since some club heads miss the last train home. They order a small meal and stay and snooze the hole night. Till they open the station for the first train. It might seem crazy but people i know have done it, including myself. :|

But I also seen some crazy gaijin take some small camp gear, like a one person tent and camp out in parks.

Good luck :thumleft:

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 30th, '07, 02:33

In all my years of travelling to Japan I would never recommend a capsule hotel. Its something overhyped by the media and travel guides. Nothing like sleeping near some stink drunk salarymen who missed their last trains home.

Better off staying at a hostel, or dorm if you are really on the cheap.

The next step up is business hotels which run from 6000-8000yen, not a bad price, its a hotel just rooms are smaller so you still have your privacy.

SSJSubgeta
What are you moving to Japan for?

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Post by SSJSubgeta » Apr 30th, '07, 03:02

I was only offering those since some people here ask if they can survive on a $3000 dollar budget.

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I'm relocating to japan since the company I applied for required me to do so. I work in the Game art and design field. So the opportunity came up and decided to take it. I have a zest for life :thumleft:

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Apr 30th, '07, 18:24

spacecommand wrote:Technically speaking Tokyo isn't even a city, its a large metropolis with many cities and special wards etc. But yeah its a defacto city so Yokohama is 2nd in Population. But thats because its right next to Tokyo. There are things to do in Yokohama, but the signs and things to do is not as grand as Tokyo.

Osaka is Japan's second city (not in populaton, but in commerce, and regional influcence etc), there is much to do in Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe where you can skip Tokyo all together.
COOL i only plant o have 7full days in the kansai region...o well if its not enough i can always go back next summer i guess

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Post by Jaradcel » May 5th, '07, 04:08

As requested by spacecommanduplink:

Merging my thread with this one

Hey all! /delurks

I've just read through the various other threads relating to staying and travelling in Japan and there's a whole bunch of conflicting reports. I was hoping maybe we could start a discussion/help on something that's been bothering me about accomodations in Japan.

Here's a short list from what I've seen and generated:

Manga cafes

+ Dirt cheap
+ High speed Internet access
+ Unlimited drinks (Although I hear some cafes now charge 500 yen for the cup)
+ Showers
+ Privacy
+ 24/7 availability
+ No curfew
- Where do you store your stuff?
- Space constraints
- You can hear your neighbors
- Not exactly comfortable
- Some Japanese required



Capsule hotels

+ Relatively cheap (A step up from manga cafes)
+ Showers
+ Secure storage of goods in lockers
+ No curfews (I assume?)
- Tight and tiny. It's called a capsule for a reason
- Drunk salarymen are your newfound best friends
- Some Japanese required
- No Internet likely


Dormitories/Backpackers hostels

+ Cheap
+ Showers
+ Are likely to speak English
+ Other guests can be fun
- Other guests can be nightmares
- Where do you store your stuff? Especially during the day when you go out and don't intend to carry everything with you
- Curfew periods (?)
- No Internet likely



Guesthouses

+ Cheap
+ Showers, maybe even your own private one
+ Are likely to speak English
+ Can store your stuff even on checkout
+ Likely to have Internet (at least a shared spot or Wi-Fi)
+ Homely atmosphere
- Curfews (Most of these are family run, so I understand?) If there are any without curfews, DO LET ME KNOW!!!


Business hotels

+ Mid-rate
+ Many of the benefits of a "normal" hotel including private bath, showers, bed, TV, aircon etc
+ No curfews (as befits a hotel)
+ Size is "just right"
+ Secure storage of your goods
+ Internet in your room
- Some Japanese required
- Bookings need to be made in advance (?)



Hotels (Regular)

+ Standard services include private baths, room service
+ No curfews
+ Size is bigger then "just right"
+ Secure storage (Maybe even MORE secure, including a safe in the room for valuables)
+ Internet in your room
+ Staff likely to speak English (or someone who can)
- Definetely requires booking in advance
- Price can be sky high out of reach of most budget travelers





After examining those, it seems like budgeters really should be aiming for something on the level of Guesthouse or lower. I'm wondering if that's really the case? (Take out the possibility of a homestay or gatecrashing your penpal/exchange student friend's house in Japan from the equation. That's cheating Tongue)

I'm intending to fly to Japan in December (My July window has already, sadly, closed) for my second trip, this time going by myself. I'm flying from Singapore, and one of the things I realized when I was there last year (also in December) was that I really liked the nights as the time for me to do things that seem like "normal living" in Japan - Things like shopping at a konbini, going into a Don Quixote/100 yen shop that opens late, eating dinner/supper (dinsup?) at family shops, washing my clothes at a coin-operated laundry shop....

So! I've been looking for places that offer no curfews due to my penchant to go out early in the morning and stay out as late as I possibly can before going back to crash into bed. Naturally, I've been looking for a place that's likely to

a) Keep my stuff secure and
b) Not have a curfew.
c) Be cheap

Seeing that, it seems like guesthouses came out for me... but I seem to be having trouble finding any that explicitly state anything about curfews. Does anyone know anything/have any information about it?

Also, if you have any other information to add about the groups I've written about above, please feel free to contribute! I'm still far far away from ever even scratching the surface of Japan (I joined the race to learn more far too late at the ripe old age of 1Cool so yoroshiku! Smile

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Post by Riee109 » May 5th, '07, 07:43

Jaradcel wrote: Manga cafes

+ Dirt cheap
+ High speed Internet access
+ Unlimited drinks (Although I hear some cafes now charge 500 yen for the cup)
+ Showers
+ Privacy
+ 24/7 availability
+ No curfew
- Where do you store your stuff?
- Space constraints
- You can hear your neighbors
- Not exactly comfortable
- Some Japanese required
have you actually spent a night at a manga cafe?
I have (but only because I missed my last train) and I would never recommend it.
Plus it isn't that cheap -> compared to a stay at the dormatory of guesthouse.

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Post by Jaradcel » May 5th, '07, 08:05

Nope never have. Like I said, I cribbed it from reading the various threads found here so far.

How bad is it?

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » May 5th, '07, 17:10

Like i said in the other thread:
MangaCafes: not all are 24/7, not all provide privacy or private booths, many are just like your local library, you have shelves and open computers, little if none at some privacy, not all have free drinks/snacks, not all have showers/baths etc, can be noisy, sitting in a chair or even their laydown type chair is not the same as a bed, or futon. Generally not a place you would want to make your stays at.
Do some people do it as a means of lodging yes, but its not meant for that purpose, I mean there are 24 hr mcdonalds that in theory you keep purchasing something from the 100yen menu you stay all the live long night, some homeless people do that.

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Post by Jaradcel » May 5th, '07, 19:42

Manga cafes were never a serious consideration for me, although now that I know more about them from guys I'm guessing it's going even further away from anything remotely interesting on my list (Besides of which, why would I spend my time going into a 'net cafe filled with manga when I'm in Japan to shop my mind out? If I wanted manga I could stay home....)

Thanks :)

So between a guesthouse/dormitory and a smaller inn, which would you think would be better for someone like me looking for my conditions? Or be more likely to find really. I don't mind paying a *little* more if that's what it takes for the curfew

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » May 5th, '07, 20:56

Difficult to know without knowing what your budget is. Please convert into Yen, I have a hard time figuring out when someone says "dollars", US dollars, Canadian Dollars, Austrialian dollars are all different, please use denomination when writing things out, USD, CAD AUD etc.

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Post by Jaradcel » May 6th, '07, 04:21

Around SGD$2,500 which translates to Yen$197,662.74 from www.xe.com This doesn't include the plane ticket, but does include transport, food, shopping and accommodations for 10 days.

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » May 6th, '07, 06:30

Japanese yen doesn't use the symbol $ (only dollars do).

But anycase, for that amount you can easily afford business hotel level accomodation at best (upwards of 72000 or so totally, leaving roughly 125000 leftover divide by 10 gives you 12000 yen a day for transport, food and shopping, considering the average person doesn't spend that much in a day unless you are going overboard, you should be fine.

The price becomes offset if you plan on crisscrossing all over Japan in 10 days, in that case transportation costs become much higher. Maybe take of 30000yen if you plan on doing that, cheaper if you do slower budget options over the bullet train, assuming you plan to criss cross all over the place. If you just plan on staying in one Metropolitan area, then you should be in good shape.

Business hotels are a good option between guesthouse and full service hotel. I've flown first class to Japan before (and those tix are expensive) and stayed in Business hotels, certainly getting my monies worth in my opinion.

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Post by Jaradcel » May 6th, '07, 07:32

Yeah... a 6 hour flight in economy with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur (Singapore -> KL -> Narita) plays hell.... a first class ticket though. Hmm... I'll have to glance at the prices.

I'm intending to stay in Tokyo for the majority of the trip, barring a quick jaunt to Hakone for an onsen (Which isn't cheap either, am I correct? Seeing as how onsen's are usually 2day1night packages with big dinners? Maybe I'm watching too many Japanese food shows...) so I'm thinking of grabbing PASMO. I can handle the subways with the trusty English/Japanese version of the map I picked up when I was last there, but a PASMO seems much more convenient (and I can pay for stuff in konbini's with it too, correct?)

I'll look into business hotels dotting the area then. It'll be a little more impersonal I Guess, but seeing as how I'm intending to spend a lot of time in them that may be fine.

PS Yeah I know it's the yen sign, but I have no clue how to input that on my keyboard *laughs*

Thanks again for the speedy replies :)

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Post by spacecommand » May 6th, '07, 16:23

Doesn't matter if you have Pasmo or Suica, they are pretty much the same exact thing , just they have different names.

You can use Pasmo anywhere Suica is used, and vice-versa. Just a comment, Pasmo cards are in low stock, so they are only selling commuter pass versions at the moment, you might just get a Suica card (available at JR east stations), but again, its practically the same thing.

Airplane "First Class tickets" are EXPENSIVE, I was only using it as an example of how even someone with a high budget can be somewhat satisfied with business hotels.

If you plan to make a day trip into Hakone, there's a pass called the "HAKONE FREE PASS" it costs roughly 5000yen from Tokyo, it allows for 1 roundtrip from Tokyo to Hakone (from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo), then in Hakone it allows unlimited uses of the buses, cable car, ropeway, and lake boat tour. Plus various discounts to attractions in the Hakone area, it is a fantastic pass to have when traveling to Hakone. As I note it is valid for one roundtrip from Tokyo into the Hakone area, but you can stay in the Hakone area overnight, before returning to Tokyo, once you return to Tokyo the pass is no longer valid.

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Post by Jaradcel » May 7th, '07, 04:14

That would imply I'd be doing alot of travelling/walking around in Hakone if I want to make full use of the card though, correct? Would that mean something like... take the morning train to Hakone, explore like crazy, check in to the onsen resort at around 4 or 5pm and then spend the evening chilling?

Do you happen to know what's the difference between the Day Pass and a normal two way ticket between them? Considering I'm going in December it would mean there's only light rains and nice cold air to worry about - No sweating, so it's possible to hike. But if the distances are great, then I'll see about picking up the pass instead... hmm....

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » May 7th, '07, 04:49

Hakone isn't some small district, its larger than some cities, so yes the distances are huge, in a hilly, mountainous and open area at points.
That whats makes the pass useful, because to actually get into the Hakone area, you have to use multiple options such as bus, cablecar, ropeway, and even a boat on a lake.

Then once you're in, you can hike etc around at various stops on the bus/cablecar/ropeway etc.

I can't say how much difference there is, but it would be more if you paid individually each time you got on a bus, ropeway, cablecar, or boat in the area. The pass is a great value because again it offers one roundtrip from Tokyo to the hakone area, once you are in the Hakone area, you can stay up to 2/3 days before making the return to Tokyo (Shinjuku station).

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Jaradcel
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Post by Jaradcel » May 7th, '07, 05:31

Hmm that may be a good way to pad out my visit to Tokyo then. I'll see into it. We do need to make advance reservations for onsens in the area right?

Thanks for the speedy reply :)

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Namasta
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Post by Namasta » Jun 20th, '07, 15:52

The price of a plane ticket is extremely expensive, almost 1500€ in France..O_o

I guess I will have to wait!!

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Riee109
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Post by Riee109 » Jun 20th, '07, 16:00

Namasta wrote:The price of a plane ticket is extremely expensive, almost 1500€ in France..O_o

I guess I will have to wait!!
It isn't! Air France can actually be quite cheap... A friend paid about 750Euro (round trip) to go from Duesseldorf-Paris/Paris-Tokyo and back. You just have to book a few month before your trip.

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Post by Namasta » Jun 20th, '07, 16:28

Air France? Cheap? It sounds strange! :mrgreen:
Thanks for the advice

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Hero
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Post by Hero » Aug 25th, '07, 20:40

I just got from Japan about a week ago.
Whilst there i was in search for the 100yen shops to get some bargains but i found them very difficult to find,
I saw massive signs in Ikebukuro and Shibuya "Yen Shop" but it said it was located on the 6th floor of a building or something, i went up one in Shibuya on a dodgy elevator and there was just a desk, phootcopier etc in a small room...wtf...anyone know what these Yen Shops are?

anyway i finally found an actual 100 yen shop in Shinjuku.

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Post by apartofmylife » Sep 1st, '07, 14:44

Hero wrote:I just got from Japan about a week ago.
Whilst there i was in search for the 100yen shops to get some bargains but i found them very difficult to find,
I saw massive signs in Ikebukuro and Shibuya "Yen Shop" but it said it was located on the 6th floor of a building or something, i went up one in Shibuya on a dodgy elevator and there was just a desk, phootcopier etc in a small room...wtf...anyone know what these Yen Shops are?

anyway i finally found an actual 100 yen shop in Shinjuku.
Ohhhh..
I think, Yen Shop (¥shop) you mentioned is a quick-loan outlet ^^;
It's so confusing sign^^;
Anyway, glad to hear you finally found an actual 100 yen shop :D

Two links of famous 100yen shop for next time :wink:
http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/(Japanese ... se/French)
http://www.cando-web.co.jp/ (Only Japanese)

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