1. Plan who are you going with
Travelling is certainly not for everyone. If the person you are about to travel with loves the luxury lifestyle, then we are sure RM5,000 is not enough.
The best number of people to travel with is either 2 or 4 as its easier to rent a apartment or a home-stay.
However, this post is written and the cost are calculated for 2 travelers. We are pretty sure the cost will be cheaper if you are travelling in a group of 4.
2. Set a date and purchase the flight ticket EARLY
Plan the trip early – We have to admit that we Malaysians love to “talk cock sing song”. But when it comes to this is either you do or you don’t. If you do, then plan it like at least 4 – 5 months in advance so that you could save a lot of money on flight tickets. If you don’t, I don’t know lah!
Purchase a round trip ticket instead of a one way ticket and that’s because most airlines usually charge more for a one way ticket
There are many app nowadays where you can purchase your flight ticket for a very cheap rate. On top of that, airlines like AirAsia always have random promotions which you can take advantage of. Based on our experience, we actually purchased a round trip ticket from KLIA – Tokyo at a discounted price that cost us RM1,100 each.
If you are purchasing your ticket from the airline itself, then always remember clear your cache and cookies on your computer so that airlines will not have a clue what you were searching before. If you do not clear your cache and cookies, the flight ticket will be more expensive day by day.
- You can also get a cheaper rate for flights by downloading all this well known mobile applications (E.g – Expedia).
3. Plan which part of Japan you want to go
Based on our experience, our suggestion for you is to land and stay in Tokyo first as the transportation from there is much easier. From Tokyo we traveled to six different regions in Japan including Nagoya, Osaka, Takayama, Gifu, Fukui and Kanazawa.
4. Accommodations – Since it’s a budget trip, make sure you pick a place where you can sleep comfortably, not luxuriously
In the 10 days of traveling in Japan, we stayed at three different places which cost us RM2,300 in total. But of course the cost of the accommodation is divided by two as there are two of us.
Accommodation is one of the reason why it’s important to plan which part of Japan you want to go as mentioned in the 3rd point.
Once you have planned where to go, use apps and sites like Airbnb to book your place to stay as its affordable and also convenient.
5. Transportation in Japan
Purchase the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass in Malaysia before you leave to Japan because the pass is simply not available for purchase in Japan. You can purchase it at any of the stores/travel agencies in this link (Malaysia).
The price of the pass will cost you about RM340 but the good news is that it allows you to take unlimited rides on several railway lines and buses which will safe you a lot of money.
6. Japan is not all about Disneyland
Going to tourist-infested place like Disneyland will eat up your budget in no time because the ticket entry, food and souvenirs around the area will be expensive. We suggest you to travel around the outskirts of Japan because therein lies the true Japanese culture. On top of that, FOOD and SOUVENIRS are more affordable in the outskirts area.
7. Speaking about food
Similar to Malaysia, there are many street stalls and fish market in Japan. Many says that the food in Japan is expensive, but if you know where to eat, you are basically paying the same price as how you would here in Malaysia.
We suggest you to explore all this street stalls, supermarkets and even convenience stores. That’s right! Unlike in Malaysia, the convenience store and supermarkets in Japan sells ready-to-eat dishes which are affordable and the portions are worth it as well (E.g. – Fresh Grilled Salmon priced @ RM11).
We are not saying that you can’t dine at Japanese restaurants. You can, but not all the time with this budget. Either way, we prefer street stalls and supermarkets anytime of the day.
*We will breakdown the cost at the end of this article and show you how much we spent on food in that 10 days in Japan.
8. Shop till you drop
You can buy yourself almost anything you want in Japan because its the most developed nation in Asia. So here is some of our suggestions on what to buy and where to:
Don Quijote A.K.A Donki : This discount chain store is almost everywhere in Japan. Imagine Daiso, BUT WAY WAY BIGGER!
Takeya : Takeya is touted as Tokyo’s oldest and most famous discount store, with its crazy total of 42 floors all stacked with surprisingly low-priced goods. Whether you’re after an Armani suit for 80% off its normal price or a family-sized bag of osenbei (rice crackers) for 140 yen/RM4.60, this shop has it all.
ABC Mart : If you love shoes then this is the place to be. It is basically a chain of shoe stores all over Tokyo that sells trendy men’s and women’s shoes at a decent price.
GU : Here you can find t-shirts for 490yen/RM16, polo shirts for 990yen/RM32; and good deals on shorts, jeans, underwear, boxers and everything else.
9. The Moment of Truth
- Flight ticket – RM1,100
- Accommodation – RM2,300 / 2 = RM1,150
- Transportation – RM340 + RM800 (Additional travel expense: outskirts of Japan, etc.) = RM1,140
- Food Expense – RM80/day (Excessive snacking) X 10 = RM800
- Shopping – We set aside RM600 for shopping and we spent it all (Including souvenirs)
- Total = RM4,790
*Note: The cost will be cheaper if you decided to travel in a group of 4.