Traveling to Japan doesn’t need to be expensive. This article focuses on some of the travel cost you need to expect when going to Japan. Please note that some prices listed below are in Philippine Peso while some are in Japanese Yen.
1. Applying for a Japan Visa – Before anything else, you need to apply for a Japan Visa. Depending on which agency you want to submit your visa, the cost might differ. I submitted my visa application at Reli Tours & Travel Agency. Their handling fee is Php 1,200.00 for a tourist without a guarantor. (If you’re looking for a Japan Visa Application Guide, you may visit this link.)
2. Buying an Airline Ticket – Some airlines offer promos. A famous example of this is Cebu Pacific which normally holds promo fare during holidays. I bought my ticket during Cebu Pacific’s Piso Fare. Piso fare does’t mean that you will be charge exactly Php 1.00 only by the airline. There are still other costs like the fuel surcharge, etc. A round-trip airline ticket from Manila, Philippines to Osaka, Japan costs me Php 7,686.13 inclusive of the seat selection fee, additional round-trip baggage allowance of 20 kgs. and travel insurance.
3. The Travel Tax – Don’t forget that you still need to pay a travel tax at the airport so it would be convenient to bring extra cash. The travel tax for the economical passage is Php 1,620.00. (You may check this link for a more detailed list of the travel tax rates.)
4. Terminal Fee – After checking-in your baggage, you will be required to pay the terminal fee. The terminal fee at NAIA 3 for international flights is Php 550.00.
5. Hotel Accomodation – Japan standards are high. You don’t really have to look for an expensive hotel in Japan just to ensure that the hotel room will be nice and comfy. During my trip to Osaka, my friends and I stayed at Hotel Kinki at Umeda. The room has 3 beds, 1 toilet and 1 bathroom and is very clean. The room costs us only ¥ 51,600 for 4 days and 4 nights. (Note: We booked our room approximately 5 months in advanced so the price listed above is a discounted price. We also didn’t have our room cleaned during our stay so the staff gave us a reimbursement for it.)
6. Transportation – A round-trip limousine bus from Kansai International Airport to Hotel New Hankyu is ¥ 2,760.00. A train ticket can cost ~¥ 200.00 depending on where you want to go. You may also purchase an unlimited rail pass on some area if you’re sure that you’ll be able to utilize it well.
7. Eating – Based from my observation, the average cost of a decent fast food meal at Osaka is ~¥ 500.00 – ~¥ 1,000.00 per person. This include fast food restaurants like Sukiya and Curry House Coco Ichibanya. A meal at a really good restaurant can easily cost way above ¥ 1,000.00 per person. My friends and I were able to spend up to ~¥ 5,500.00 each on 1 restaurant for a grilled kobe beef. But I must say that the price is certainly worth the food. Some snacks along the way will probably cost ~¥ 300.00 per person.
8. Touring – I can’t really put a price on this one as this greatly varies on where you want to go. Some tourist spots has an entrance fee, while some don’t. The good thing is many of the tourist spots’ entrance fees at Japan can be Googled.
9. Pasalubong – This one is actually optional. Keychains at Japan costs ~¥ 300.00+. An instant ramen from 7-eleven costs ~¥ 200.00+. A box of mochi or cookies or chocolates can cost ~¥ 1,000.00+ depending on its size. Stuffed toys are pretty expensive at Japan. A small stuffed toy can cost ~¥ 1,000.00 – ~¥ 2,000+. A big stuffed toy can cost ~¥ 2,000.00 – ~¥ 3,000+. Also, some shops offer a tax refund to foreigners, so don’t forget to bring your passport always.
Overall, I spend ~Php 55,000.00 (inclusive of ~Php 35,000.00 pocket money) for my 4 days and 4 nights trip to Osaka. Majority of my money went to food (as I love to try out different foods) and stuffed toys (for my personal collection). If you’re not planning to eat that much or buy any pasalubongs, a pocket money of ¥ 70,000.00 should be just enough for 4 days and 4 nights trip to Osaka, Japan. But then again, this depends on how much you wish to spend.