Japan on the cheap-possible?

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Mar 27th, 2005, 06:04 PM
  #1
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Japan on the cheap-possible?

Is it possible to see Japan "on the cheap"? We got a great deal on Qantas frequent flier for departure mid May to Tokyo and are now panicking at some of the prices we've seen quoted here, for accommodation.

How can one see Japan on a tight budget? I speak Japlish very well and hope to negotiate our way around for 19 days!

Any tips, much appreciated. Did a search here and have some great info-just way over my budget! Many thnaks to those who bother responding!
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Mar 27th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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here is what i have.. cos i am also going in May

Nikko:
Hoshinoyado Konishi from Tocoo! website
$3840per person J style

Fukouka:
Hakata Green Hotel
$9000 for 2.

Kyoto:
1. K's House Kyoto
$2900/person
2. Toji-an Guesthouse
$2300/person

Toyko:
1. Tatami Guesthouse
$3400 yen for 2
2. Juyou hotel
From own website, print out coupon to enjoy $5960/person
3. Hotel Mikawaya
$12k for 3.
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Mar 27th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Hi elffie-thanks for the info. Will check out these places. Much appreciate your input!
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Mar 27th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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lyndie; what is japlish????
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Mar 27th, 2005, 09:23 PM
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Japlish is Japanese/English! My Japanese is a bit rusty so I speak Japlish! Have fun!
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Mar 27th, 2005, 09:33 PM
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naruhodo. okini very much! you also have fun in nippon!!
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Mar 28th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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kuranosuke-such lovely words "naruhodo. okini".....pls tell me what they mean. Cannot remember those two words.....flat out recalling "o'tearai ni ikimasu!" Most important phrase for me!
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Mar 28th, 2005, 08:09 PM
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BTW.... Priceline to the rescue for reasonable hotel prices in Tokyo....Crowne Plaza Tokyo US93 plus tax equals US110 per night for 4 nights. It's more than we wanted to spend, however still cheaper than the very awful Crowne Plaza, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
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Mar 28th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Hi Lyndie. Definitely do negotiate for hotel rooms. I asked for a better rate in Hakodate and Hiroshima and got discounts of 20 or 25% from the walk-up rates last May.

Some inexpensive (by Japanese standards) lodging can be found here:
http://www.itcj.or.jp/indexwel.html

I got the Crowne Plaza Metropolitan in Ikebukuro through Priceline, too. It is something like the HI Silom but with smaller rooms (actually, that is probably not a valid comparison since I'm comparing the tower club room in BKK with a standard double in Tokyo).
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Mar 28th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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tks a lot mr wunrfl for the hotel bargaining info and the website. 20%-25% off is good stuff!

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Mar 28th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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lyndie; sumimasen, naruhodo means i see/i understand. okini is osaka slang for thank you. can't blame you for not understanding it. i wouldn't be surprised if alot of japanese people don't understand it.

btw, you are being too modest, your phrase of going to the bathroom/restroom is excellent.

have a good time in japan, and if possible, post a report, as i too, like to travel on a budget.

btw, if you are into good kaiten sushi, and cheap delicious ramen, let me know.

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Mar 29th, 2005, 12:16 AM
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Hi Ooishi san,

Just for the record, ookini (kansai DIALECT - not SLANG - to be exact in my understanding of the term slang and dialect) is a very popular word so I would be more surprised to find any Japanese who does not understand the word. I espcially like the intonation with which women say ookini (that I can't tansfer here in written form.)
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Mar 29th, 2005, 02:16 AM
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Lyndie - Aside from Tokyo, where else do you intend to travel in Japan? I just finished planning my accomodations, and I'm quite pleased with how little I'll be spending for some places and how reasonably priced my other accomodations are. For my first three nights in Kyoto, I am spending around 5500 yen/night. And, it's well recommended, so I don't think I'm making a mistake there. This low rate justifies my spending a little more at other places.

You can definitely find nice budget accomodations, you'll just have to look a little more diligently in some areas. In other areas, the accomodations are just less expensive. I'll be staying at an inn in Magome, which looks just lovely, for around 8700 yen for one night. This includes dinner and breakfast.

I too was shocked when I first started planning. I contacted a travel agent and told her that I needed to keep everything as low budget as possible, which she seemed to understand. She told me that her "ground operator" said I would need a driver and a guide for all of the places that I wanted to go to, which for eight days would run me around $15,000 USD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really did not know how I would go about planning it on my own until I came across this board, which has apparently saved me a little over $14,000 on this trip alone!!! Thanks everyone!!!!!!!

I'm leaving next Thursday and cannot wait to get on that plane!
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Mar 29th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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kappa-san, genki? thanks for the correction. now that you mentioned it, i remember that usually women use ookini, right? boy, did i make a mistake.

your contris have always been helpful to me. domo.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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This a good site for short overall of various areas. http://english.itp.ne.jp/content/dis...kyo/index.html
Highly suggest Hakone but plan for two days - there is so much to do there. The open air art museum is fantastic ! Yokohama and Kamakura are good day trips out of Tokyo also. Mt Takoe is a great day trip also - nice hiking and great view once you get to the top ! Beautiful area. If you crave American food while there here are some inexpensive but good places: West Park Cafe in Akasaka, Wolfgang Puck Jr (sorry for this one ! chain but.. it was good), Hobgoblin is a nice British pub for a pint. Sorry for offering 'American' food but I was there for over two weeks and craved a burger or chicken Be sure to visit the fish market in Tokyo too... quite interesting and great sushi ! I found a great book "Fodor's Citypack Tokyo's Best". Probably THE best book I have ever had. It had tons of good info and the "Top 25" things to do in Tokyo were actually wonderful - the only one I didn't do nor care for was Disney ! Great book with a map and both will fit in your back pocket ! Have a great trip !
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Mar 29th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Sorry to Lyndie because this is off topic but, kunanosuke-san, I should rather have said, every Japanese knows what ookini means as they know kuranosuke's family name is ooishi (not to be confused with oishii). Cheers!
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Mar 29th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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You might see if you can find the book "Tokyo For Free" by Susan Pompian. It was recommended to me not just for "cheap" but also for "good". One feature that worked great for directions is that the places include the Japanese character name as well as the English name, so you can show to a taxi driver or subway attendant to get you in the right direction. There are chapters for all interests, museum, gardens, temples, martial arts, sports, art galleries, music. Like all big cities, Tokyo has many things that can be enjoyed without a lot of money. Also, for cheap and quick eating, do something I would never do in the US and eat the sushi sold at 7-11 and their equivalents all over Japan. There are also similar items like a cross between sushi and a sandwich (omiogi?) that is a triangle about the same size as half a sandwich but is really a bundle of rice, wrapped in the same seaweed wrapper as sushi but with a sandwich-like filling (we liked tuna salad best). They also have good old fashioned ham and cheese sandwiches if you get tired of Japanese food. It is all good and healthy, not at all creepy like here at a US 7-11. Enjoy planning your trip!
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Mar 29th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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To piggyback on Laurie Ann's comment re: 7-11 - the same is true for the food that you can purchase at the subway stops. Incredible selection. The 'top 25' things to do in the book mentioned in my previous posting contains many 'freebies' also ! Cheap food is great and plentiful there ! If you like sushi you will be surprised at how good and cheap it is. Also, if you are not aware - there are no street numbers used in their address. The concierge at my hotel was a lifesaver - they had a huge drawer of folders with map/directions to every place I inquired about - even the Harley Davidson shop ! I took for granted there would be street names/numbers but I was surprised !Luckily, I did read that before departing so I was somewhat prepared.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 10:33 PM
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Wow-domo arigato gosaimasu/okini to everyone for the great information posted here. Much appreciated!

kuranosoke-I love sushi, sashimi,tonaktsu,ramen,shabu-shabu, agedashi tofu etc. Worked for a Japanese company for years so got to love the food. The co. owned 2 restaurants, among other businesses and for my farewell my boss gave me siz months free eating at one of them! Sushi is one of my fave foods! Pls let me in on your tips!
Linda05-would you pls post some feedback here during/after your trip? How long are you in Japan?

We are planning to stay in Tokyo for 4 nights then hop a train or bus to Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya then fly to Beijing for a few days. We've been told Hokkaido may be too cold in May so thought we'd see some of the south for 10 days. All up we're planning 2 weeks in Japan and a week in Beijing/Xian. We've visited Shanghai and are keen to see Beijing.

Flbronc and laurie_ann-much appreciate your valuable input. People here are full of wonderful knowledge and it's great to have these magic tips from all of you. Happy travels & if anyone wants to add anythin, pls go right ahead. All info, much valued!
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Mar 30th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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Hi Lyndie
I thought it was about time that an Aussie replied..at least we do have a bit of an idea about how expensive it is for us given our Aussie dollar against the yen or even the US dollar!! Anyway, we were there in September and had a fantastic time .. you could have a look at my report for some ideas. Every now and then I look back at this site. The people on this site were really helpful in terms of their advice and so I like to give some help back as well as salivate about some of the memories the various questions engender. Maybe we might go back...? Anyway, in terms of accommodation try the Toyoko Chain. They usually have a hotel in every major city. They are business hotels which mean that local Japanese business men use them. They are quite small but they have the basics!In Kyoto I did try and book at the Tour Club which sounded great but they did not have room. Eventually, I booked through Hotel.com (I'll have to check) a room which was on special at the Kyoto Tower Hotel (again I'll have to check). It was almost on the Kyoto station and fantastic value. The Granvia was way beyond our budget!!!
I would strongly recommend that you purchase a JR pass if you intend to travel. We did our sums after and we would have paid double if we had not used them. Having the JR pass was very very convenient!! We could also use it on the subway system in Tokyo. Enough for now. Will check back every now and then...
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