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How Expensive is it to Travel Japan? | Budget Travel Tips

Transcript 0:00 I think to many people the words budget and Japan seem to be something of a contradiction. 0:04 There’s this assumption that the cost of visiting Japan for a two-week holiday, 0:08 would be enough to bankrupt dictator, 0:11 but it doesn’t have to. 0:12 In the last year’s Japan has experienced a […]

Transcript

0:00
I think to many people the words budget and Japan seem to be something of a contradiction.
0:04
There’s this assumption that the cost of visiting Japan for a two-week holiday,
0:08
would be enough to bankrupt dictator,
0:11
but it doesn’t have to.
0:12
In the last year’s Japan has experienced a boom in tourism.
0:16
From 8 million overseas tourists in 2007, to 24 million last year.
0:21
And with it it’s led to a whole new wave of hostels and hotels, rail passes, buses
0:26
and low-cost domestic airlines, that have made it cheaper to experience and
0:30
travel the country than ever before.
0:32
In fact, this year in the UK Tokyo was ranked as
0:35
the cheapest long-haul destination thanks to a fall in the value of the yen.
0:39
In this video we’ll be looking at ways that you can save money,
0:42
on transportation, accommodation and dining out and giving you a general idea of
0:47
how much you could be spending on any given day.
0:54
The boom in tourism have seen an explosion
0:56
of new hostels and hotels, opening across Japan especially in Tokyo.
1:01
But whether you’re staying at a hotel motel or holiday in,
1:04
the cheapest place to stay in Tokyo is the area of Asakusa and Ueno,
1:09
where the majority of the hostels are.
1:11
So, the absolute cheapest option, accommodation wise is staying in
1:15
a hostel in a dormitory where you can find a bed for as little sometimes as
1:19
2,000 yen.
1:20
If I’m traveling in a group, that’s usually the option we go for.
1:23
The second best option is staying in a capsule hotel which is a bit more expensive,
1:27
between 3,000 to 5,000 yen per night.
1:29
If I had to choose between a hostel and a capsule hotel,
1:32
I would usually go for a capsule hotel,
1:34
just because the beds are bigger, there’s some degree of privacy with the shutter
1:38
and you get your own TV! What more could you want?
1:40
After capsule hotels the next cheapest option is to stay at business hotel.
1:45
Where you can find a single room for about 5000 yen per night if you’re lucky,
1:49
but typically between 5,000 to 7,000 yen.
1:51
I could recommend some budget hotel chains, like “TOYOKO-INN” or “APA” hotels.
1:56
But actually I found over the last year the best way is to just
1:58
go online and compare prices for about half an hour.
2:01
And the 3 best websites are probably “Booking.com” “Japan i Can.com” and “Rakuten Travel”
2:07
and “HOSTELWORLD” if you’re booking a hostel.
2:09
you can find bargains on “Airbnb” as well, especially if you’re traveling in a group of like
2:14
three or four people, but if you’re traveling solo I tend to find
2:17
“Airbnb” works out to be more expensive. and I use it more for the experience of
2:21
staying somewhere interesting rather than to travel on a budget.
2:24
Finally the wild card option is to stay in a love hotel, where you can find a room for about
2:29
8,000 yen per night on average. Although with a love hotel
2:32
you’re paying for the room rather than people in it so if, you’re going with two people
2:37
then it still works out cheaper than a standard hotel room.
2:40
And it’s typically a lot bigger than a standard hotel room.
2:43
With things like cages, teddy bear caves and jacuzzis at your disposal.
2:48
Try and book all of your accommodation
2:49
at least three months in advance to save quite a bit of money.
2:53
And also for hostels it’s kind of essential, given that they are still a bit of a rarity.
2:57
So try and book the ball 3 months in advance not only get a room
3:01
but to get one the cheap as well.
3:02
And the last option and one that I use a heck of a lot are
3:06
“overnight buses” which leads us on to transportation
3:13
Japan’s transportation infrastructure is legendary.
3:16
Riding on trains is an effortless joy they’re never late, they’re always clean
3:20
And passengers aren’t shouting down the phone about
3:23
how drunk they were last weekend with their friends Barry and Deborah.
3:26
But it is a little bit pricey especially the bullet trains.
3:30
And the first conundrum most foreign travelers have when coming here,
3:33
is whether or not to get the Japan Rail Pass.
3:35
Where for about 46,000 yen you can
3:38
travel the country freely for two weeks on Shinkansen and local trains and save
3:42
quite a bit of money and have peace of mind along the way.
3:45
To give you an idea of how much you could save, if you came to Japan for a two-week trip,
3:49
visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. The cost of catching bullet trains and a round trip would be
3:54
around 43,000 yen. If you take into consideration other costs such as
3:59
subway trains and buses, that would likely add up to another 10,000 yen.
4:02
At the minimum you’re saving about 6 thousand yen, but probably more!
4:06
And more importantly, it’ll save you the time and stress of standing around at ticket machines every day
4:11
for 2 weeks buying train tickets and bus tickets, and that alone is a good enough reason to consider it.
4:16
However there is an even cheaper way of traveling the country.
4:20
Some friends recently visited and we traveled the same route from
4:23
Tokyo to Kyoto and Hiroshi Shima. Instead of using 3 bullet trains on the roundtrip,
4:29
we used 2 night busses and a domestic flight from Hiroshima back to Tokyo.
4:34
On top of that, we probably spent another 10,000 yen traveling around the cities on the subway trains.
4:38
That gave us a total of 34,000 yen!
4:40
Which is quite a bit cheaper than getting the Japan Rail Pass.
4:44
If you’re traveling Japan on a budget, let night busses be your secret weapon!
4:48
because as well as being half the price of a bullet train, if you travel through the night
4:52
you’re also saving on accommodation as well. For example…
4:55
We traveled on the night bus for 2 nights and thus saved 2 nights of accommodation,
4:59
which would have been around another 8,000 yen.
5:01
that said if you are traveling by night bus there are a few additional costs. For example…
5:05
You’ll need to spend at least another 600 yen,
5:08
on a bottle of wine to make sure you’re fully knocked out for the duration of the trip.
5:12
I’d say 50 % of the time, I’m able to sleep on the night bus. And the other 50 %of the time…
5:17
I arrive at my destination a broken man, cursing the day that buses were ever invented.
5:23
The 2 best websites for booking are…
5:25
Willer Express and Japan travel bus.com. Which are both in English and nice and easy to use.
5:30
in recent years though, Japan’s also seen a steady stream
5:33
of low-cost airline carriers popping up. For example to fly from Sendai to Osaka,
5:38
cost as little as 5,000 yen with “Peach Airlines” far cheaper than by train
5:43
and even by bus. And if you still want to know if the Japan Rail Pass
5:47
is worth it or not, you can use the Japan Rail Pass
5:50
calculator on the Japan guides website. where you can input the length of time
5:54
you’re staying and your itinerary to get a rough idea whether or not it’s worth it.
5:59
And if you want to save even more money there’s an even cheaper way than by traveling by bus.
6:04
You can travel by…
6:05
“skateboard”
6:08
No seriously! I’m not even trolling you, I know it going who travelled all the way from
6:11
Sapporo Hiroshima on a skateboard. It took him 33 days and he saved at least
6:17
5,000 yen which is the cost of traveling by plane. The only question that remains is…
6:22
How budget are you willing to go??
6:24
Yeah I would have… I would have…
6:26
just flown it…
6:31
The cheapest style of restaurant to eat out in Japan are
6:33
the fast food restaurants. The three main ones are…
6:36
Sukiya
6:37
Yoshinoya
6:38
and Matsuya
6:39
Which can be found on most city streets across the country. And all of which sell the
6:43
same style of rice bowl dishes covered in toppings the most popular being
6:47
Gyudon, which is thinly sliced beef.
6:50
So you got rice, beef and three kinds of cheese.
6:53
All for 490 yen and without the cheese…
6:55
It’s 350 yen which is disturbingly cheap!
6:58
It’s not something you’re going to write home to your family about…
7:02
probably but it is very filling.
7:04
After you’ve had this, the next six hours you’re soaring.
7:07
Also it comes with Tabasco. This isn’t product placement.
7:09
It’s not just randomly there, they give it to you with the bowl to give it some flavor.
7:13
Although be careful because you do get Tabasco all over your hands and it does look like…
7:17
I’ve committed murder!!!
7:19
Fast filling and without the same sense of guilt
7:22
that comes from eating at a western style fast-food restaurant
7:25
is the ideal place to drop into for any budget traveler, or just people like me
7:30
who are lazy! And can’t be bothered to cook at home.
7:33
Slightly healthier than Western fast-food, although if you’re like me and you
7:37
smother your food in 3 kinds of cheese you are going to lose those a
7:40
groundbreaking health benefits.
7:44
Another good cheap fast food option are the standing restaurants, dotted around train stations.
7:49
Where you can order a bowl of soba or udon,
7:51
from the vending machines for as little as 400 yen.
7:55
And if I’m in a hurry around lunchtime, I’ll quickly dive in and grab a bowl of
7:59
“Mushroom Soba” Tastes surprisingly good as well!
8:02
But then again even if you’re a budget traveler,
8:04
You probably didn’t come all the way to Japan just to eat
8:07
a bowl of rice with 3 kinds of cheese for 2 weeks.
8:10
Or maybe you did!?
8:11
But fortunately there’s a really easy way of saving money if you’re going out for the evening.
8:15
There are a few Japanese words you really need to know before you visit.
8:18
And one of those words is “Nomihoudai”
8:21
which means all you can drink!
8:23
It’s the holy grail of a cheat night out.
8:25
Where for around as little as 1,200 yen,
8:28
you can drink as much as you can from the extensive drink menu, for up to 2 hours!
8:40
It’s pretty good for 1,500 yen,
8:43
you get all the alcohol you can drink and all the meat you can eat.
8:47
OH MY GOD!! (chuckling)
8:50
It’s less of a barbecue, more of a… just a general…
8:54
general FIRE!!
8:56
Some types of restaurants also have “Tabehoudai” all you can eat.
8:59
Particularly at “Yakiniku” grill meat restaurants such as this one.
9:04
Just be careful who you leave in charge of the barbecue…
9:07
His food is on fire!
9:19
If you do some research online,
9:20
finding bars and restaurants with “Nomihoudai” is pretty easy to do.
9:25
If you’re not a big drinker, but still fancy a beer though the cheapest place
9:29
to buy alcohol is at the supermarket or convenience store.
9:32
One really good thing about Japan is you can actually drink alcohol out in public.
9:37
which you can’t do in the UK.
9:39
So you can come in here you can grab your your ah…
9:42
“One CUP Sake”
9:44
which is basically just a kind of a jam jar filled with cheap sake.
9:48
And go off down the park and have a bit of fun!
9:51
That said, it’s not that great so…
9:53
probably avoid that unless it’s your first time drinking sake.
9:56
Because then you won’t know, you won’t have anything to compare it to.
9:59
It’s also a great place to pick up breakfast or lunch,
10:02
such as onigiri rice balls or cheap ready meals.
10:06
Soba noodles, 348 yen pretty cheap!
10:10
The perfect thing for like a picnic or a light snack.
10:15
Finally to give you a rough idea of the price of certain popular dishes,
10:18
here’s a full price breakdown with meals such as sushi and yakitori,
10:22
unsurprisingly being amongst the most expensive.
10:25
And “Wagyu” beef being so expensive I didn’t even bother putting it on the list.
10:31
So there you have it! Traveling Japan on a budget!
10:34
This video was made in collaboration with the “Japan National Tourism Office London”
10:38
If you’re looking for ideas and advice on traveling to Japan, you can check out the glamorous website
10:43
at “seejapan.co.uk” which is one of the best resources for
10:47
planning your trip to Japan. And if you’re not a native English speaker,
10:51
the JNTO website comes in 15 languages which you can find at,
10:54
jnto.go.jp
10:56
I’ve also put a link to their Facebook page in the description box,
10:59
if you’re looking for more ideas for your trip.
11:02
But for now many thanks for watching guys,
11:03
and if you are watching this in preparation for an upcoming trip to Japan,
11:07
just want to wish you an awesome trip!
11:09
Have a good one!!
11:10
Oh, I really shouldn’t wink like that at the end…
11:12
It just… just looks a bit creepy
11:14
and awkward…
11:15
Maybe I’ll give a friendly SMILE.

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