People used to think that going to Japan is expensive. Believe it or not, that is not true. I went to Japan in 2014 and I spent less than $2K for 2 person for Hotels, Food, Transport and Shopping! (Flight not included) I am not so much into shopping, so that kind of save me from spending too much. Managed to snag myself a few tops and souvenirs though.
As for any other trips, I would suggest you buy your flight tickets waaaayyyy in advance for a cheaper deal. I got mine on promotion. $300 for a return flight per person on Scoot.
I manage to save some money on lodging as I have a cousin there and we crashed at her place for 2 nights. If you are the adventurous type you can try couch surfing. This is where strangers open up their home to couch surfers and you can stay for free. You can go to this link to know more.
So here are some tips that I want to share with you.
- I always bring extra cash when I travel (not converted) just in case I need more. The key word is just in case. I usually pretend that the cash is not even there. ATMs there can withdraw but minimum amount to be drawn is JPY 10,000 (SGD122) Don’t forget to activate your card for overseas usage with your bank!
- Language is going to be an issue as majority does not speak English. So have your translate app ready or just use sign language. Don’t be afraid to ask around if you are unsure. They won’t bite.
- Being a Muslim, I am quite careful on what I eat. Depending on where you are, halal food is quite hard to find. Their 7-11 have an interesting variety of things that you can buy for food. Hard to read the ingredients though because it is all in Japanese. You can visit this website for halal restaurant around Tokyo. Halal Restaurants in Tokyo I would suggest bringing canned food or instant food or whatever if you want to save more money for shopping.
- Bring extra baggage because you WILL return with more stuffs as per other normal holidays. Japan is affordable believe it or not. Places to shop is Harajuku and Shibuya. Harajuku is street fashion place where you can see many weird/cute costumes. (remember not to stare! hahaha..) whereas Shibuya have normal stores like H&M, Forever 21 etc.
- Although I stayed with my cousin for the first 2 nights I arrived, I do not want to bother her further so I booked a hotel called Sakura in Ikebukuro. A place a little away from the main Tokyo. It is cozy, comfortable and clean. Go to Booking.com or Agoda for the current rates.
- To go DisneyLand from Ikebukuro is a 50 minutes journey by train. Quite easy actually. For your reference, you can check out this link. Train Map from Ikebukuro to Disneyland Train fare is about the same as Singapore. OK maybe just slightly more. But not much. When taking the train, please make sure to ask the station staff if you are not sure as they have A WHOLE LOT of different trains going different places. Click here for your Tokyo Train and Subway Map Pocket Guide (You can print this and bring it along for your trip)
- Mount Fuji is one of the MUST GO places when you’re in Japan. To get there, you can take the train to Shinjuku (refer to the train map above) and then take a bus. To save time and hassle you can book your bus tickets online. Bus to Mount Fuji I only stayed one night in Fuji so I did not get to explore the place much. I heard there is so much to do.