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Trip Report Budget Trip to Tokyo,March 2011

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I am going to enclose a few budgets tips from my trip to Tokyo this past March.I stayed two weeks and that was also the time of the Earthquake.After in the comments section, I'll post some of my observations of the Quake when I returned home in March

Tokyo has a lot of great sights and most of the tourist sights are covered pretty well in the guide books.I'll try to add my recommendations and also add some budget tricks that I didn't find listed in the guidebooks.

The National Museum,Tsukiji Fish Market and Auction,the Metroploitan Government Building are big tourist sights ,but still well worth seeing.The auction is still great with the tour.I walked there in the morning. ,The Rikugien Garden is also very nice.I noticed most sights had very reasonable admission prices.The Government building is free and I got a clear view of Mt. Fuji from it one day.

I have a recommendation that is not in the guidebooks, but well worth an afternoon.Tokyo Race Course,a horse track right off the Monorail line makes for a fun day.They sell some pretty good food there as well.The entrance fee is 100 yen and minimum bets are also a hundred yen. I asked people to help me with some of the betting slips and had some great conversations and met some great people. I found the track crowded with people of all ages. Horse racing is very popular in Japan,unlike most of the US. The fields are large.I saw 15 horses in most races.I really found it a great place to interact with local people.

I couldn't of been happier with booking.com.I stayed at one hotel room in Tokyo with a bathroom ,that was $42.00 a night which included taxes.They also gave out free ramen soup in the evenings.The room even had a small kitchenette.

For me the metro day passes worked the best.I used the metro a lot and if I went outside the area ,there was only a slight fare adjustment.

My favorite food site,bento.com was great.I found some neat places with good fixed price meals. Their reviews were great and the menu prices they gave were accurate.

I also noticed that Seiyu (The Japan Walmart) and Costco were very popular in Japan and had a lot of inexpensive food choices.They are a good place to buy drinks and other food that you normally might get at the 7-11 or Lawson, but at a good savings.

What I was really impressed with was the Japanese Cake and Candy stores within the department stores.I am normally not a cake eater ,but I enjoyed looking at the great presentations at the different booths.

One thing that I learned the hard way is to bring Advil from home.I had a tooth ache on my plane ride over and forgot Advil at home.When I arrived ,I asked where I could purchase some.I found out that only pharmacies sell pain medications,so I was out of luck until the next morning.

The 7-11s still work great for Atm withdrawls.Pay phones are all over the place and actually work.The accept 10 yen coins if you have to make local calls.

I found Tokyo really inexpensive with a little planning ,even with the horrible exchange rate.

And March is a great time to go,although I hope that's the last of the big earthquakes for me.I saw some of the Cherry blossoms beginning and the weather was clear and only a little chilly.

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