It's a very simple trick that anybody could think of when budgeting, but I think our greed gets the best of most of us. I was like that before my wedding: All or nothing. You really can't think that way when on a budget or setting a budget for yourself. You really need to try and work with what you have. Yes, it may ruin your original, dream-like idea but at least you're getting to go to Japan like you wanted. The trick is knowing what you care about the most.
Like I said, seems simple, right? It can be this simple if you are willing to let go of this perfect image you have of this Japan trip. Just like my wedding, there are somethings that were more important to me than others. You need to decide that for yourself in the long run, but I'm going to help you figure it out.
Let's talk about the flight first, since that is kind of set in stone. Unless you win some raffle with a free plane ticket to Japan you're going to have to bring out your wallet. If you live in a city that has a direct flight to Japan you may come across some discounted tickets through special websites. If you live in cities that don't have direct flights, you'll be paying the standard amount. A flight from New Orleans to Japan with one stop in another city that has the direct flight to Japan costs about $1,400.00 to $1,700.00. The price will vary depending on the season and the demand for flights. Try to book your flight on a Wednesday, as I'm told that is a better chance for a better price. This is where most of your money is going. Click here to learn more about flights to Japan.
|On my flight, ready to go to Japan.|
If you feel you can up the budget on your lodging a little more, another great alternative is Airbnb. They can be found all over Japan for an affordable price you just have to keep in mind that you will be staying in someone else's apartment, so be on your best behavior (I can already all of you saying, "Ok mom!"). For more information on Airbnb click here to read my blog post about it.
And of course you have your standard hotels and ryokan if you are looking well off with your money. Watch out though because if you are going for cherry blossom season or autumn the prices will be ridiculous.
|Staying at a Japanese ryokan in Nagano, Japan.|
If food is not your priority on your Japan trip don't feel bad about it. Convenient stores and grocery stores will be your best friend. I know friends who lived off of these places while in Japan. You can get affordable meal for low prices. Definitely check out the grocery stores after 7pm when they make down most of there already prepared foods. And you can even go to conveyor belt sushi where most of the standard sushi is only $1.00 per plate! Japan even has their own fast food chains such as Mos Burger, Yoshinoya (beef bowl chain), and Coco Ichiban (curry chain). Click here to learn about more fast food options.
|Beef bowls, cheap and delicious. Great for late night dinners. They also do breakfast!|
If you don't plan on traveling much and just staying in about one or two cities in Japan, then the rail pass is not worth it and neither is taking the shinkansen. Just use the regular train, it won't cost you too much. Like I said before, subways and buses are a cheap option for in city travel.
|Using the Kyoto subway ticket machine. It's very affordable.|
If you are not worried about bringing home a bunch of things from Japan and don't want your budget focused on material things, but would still like to bring some things home, here are a few cheap suggestions of mine. Bring home yen coins; they are very unique and make great souvenirs. Another affordable option are charms you get from shrines. They are colorful and give good fortune (who wouldn't like that).
|Uniqlo store in Osaka, Japan.|
As always, thank you for reading my blog! For more Japan related content or to just chat about Japan follow me on my social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Until next time, じゃーね！