Javantea in Japan
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Costs of Staying in Japan
by Joel R. Voss aka. Javantea
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April 12, 2006 14:27 JST
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I feel that it's useful to discuss cost of a Japan trip. If you're not interested in a low budget trip or if you just aren't interested in the numbers, disregard this.

You've probably have good numbers for the plane and room. The cost of food, transportation, and entertainment are pretty important to the total cost of a stay. Food is going to cost more than rent if you plan to eat out even if you only spend 1/3 of rent on food at home.

My current statistics are as follows: 30000 yen ($250) the first week, 20000 yen ($167) the second week. A breakdown of my food, transportation, and entertainment budget can be found below.

If you use it much more, you run into what I have noticed to be expensive use of the train.
Budget for 1 Week
Summaryfood, transportation, and entertainment:30000 yen.
 
The food is terrifically cheap and is pretty good too.
per meal when I eat out16 per week.300-800 yen
per meal when I eat in5 per week.300 yen
average3 meals per day.500 yen
500 * 3 * 7 = 10500 yen.
Total~$88
Transportation is pretty cheap if you go long distance twice per day.
per trip2 trips per day average.160-190 yen
190 * 2 * 7 = 2660 yen.
Total~$22
 
Entertainment is cheap if you don't go too wild. For me so far it has been just manga and figurines. Long train trips will cost a reasonable amount although you don't really need to go.
manga3 per week.230-500 yen
hon1 per week.1000 yen
manga cafe1 per week.1500 yen
capsule figurine3 per week.200 yen
Long train trip1 per week.3000 yen
memory card1 per week.2000 yen
400 * 3 + 1000 + 1500 + 200 * 3 + 3000 + 2000 = 9300 yen.
Total~$77
Misc stuff is likely going to be large in the first week and small afterwards.
Clothes can be washed cheaply with the washer/dryer given detergent.
detergent1 per month.600 yen
nail clippers1 per month.400 yen
600 + 400 =1000 yen
Total~$8
The end cost is only $195.

Somehow I ended up spending $225. Where did the extra $30 go? I don't think I made any other purchases. This will show what a cash economy, minor purchases, and trains can do: confuse the buyer until their budget doesn't quite work.

As long as you make a note of this, it shouldn't be a big deal. A month long trip will have normal expenses of 96000 yen ($800) on top of plane ticket and room.

Since ATMs are a tad scarce, it makes sense to carry around a reasonable amount of cash. Nothing you would die without, but enough to cover a few days at least. You will want to carry spending money anyhow, so keeping a bit of money on you won't hurt. If you really want to keep as little as possible on you, you can find an ATM close to where you live and take out 10000 yen ($83) every few days (since they don't give out smaller bills usually).

Remember to to call home with a cheap voip service and not the payphones. That could have easily eaten my $30 at 100 yen/min.
Javantea Finished with a Skype call from Japan A cell phone will cost $100 (comes with 60 minutes) and will cost $1/minute also. It is very useful for getting out of rough situations and will ensure that you can meet people and get ahold of people when and where you are supposed to.

If you want, click the link below to get this same front page with the Rising Sun logo at the top.
Rising Sun Sakura

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If you are interested in traveling Japan, feel free to e-mail me.