Japan Trip

Old May 5th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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Japan Trip

We're just throwing around the idea of heading to Japan for 2 weeks in June. Can you give me some overall ideas -especially on the cost of things: hotel, food, etc. I'm wondering how much money we would need to allocate for a 2 week trip visiting a few places in japan. We've already found a pretty good price on airline tickets. Thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Hotels - rooms from 7000 yen to 100,000 yen. Low price gets you a business class hotel with tiny room (likely smelling of cigarettes) with a tiny unit bathroom and just enough space to walk between the door and the bed to access the bath. More money gets you more. Booking directly gets the best rates. Asiahotels.com, asiarooms.com et al...they cons
istently list hotels at double or triple the direct booking rate.

Food - McDonalds set meal - 500 yen
Sandwich from bakery - 200 yen
Breads (many, many varieties) - 100 - 300 yen each
Lunch set of udon/soba - 500 - 1000 yen
Restaurant dinner (not in a high end hotel) - 1000- 5000 yen per person no drinks
High end dinner - 10,000 yen per person and on up.
Drink from a drink machine/store - 500 ml 150 yen

Transportation - check hyperdia.com for train fares..the total price is what you pay. Check into a JR Pass; it may save you money.

To be comfortable, I'd recommend 20,000 yen per day (for hotel, transportation, food, entrance fees, souvenirs, etc). You may spend less, you may spend more...it largely depends on what kind of traveller you are, where you go and how much you do.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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I meant 20,000 yen per person.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Hey, guess what? I'm batting about the same idea, too--although I'm aiming at an early-October departure date. And I'm looking for similar information, so I hope you don't mind if I piggy-back onto your post a bit.

One thing about which I'd be particularly interested to get some advice is the issue of traveling alone. I'm not so much concerned with the safety aspects; everything I hear and read tells me that Japan is abundantly safe, even for a young, single female such as myself.

But what I'm curious about is this: I really, reeeeeally want to stay in a traditional ryokan, or Japanese-style inn. But I've read that the innkeepers can be hesitant to book rooms to singles, as they charge per person, and not per room (more people, more profit).

Does anyone have any experience or advice on this?

Ooh, and also, I hear that ryokans book up mighty fast. Will the several months between now and October give me sufficient time to sercure reservations (if they'll even let party-of-one me in)?

Any insight is much obliged!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:36 PM
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I just returned from a two week trip as a solo female and had no problems booking a room or getting about. Like anywhere, it's going to cost a bit more when you can't share expenses. You just book a single room. I stayed at minshukus and the site I used http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm
definitely has single roomsavailable in a range of prices and locations.
The business hotels are good value to and the small rooms aren't so much of a problem when it's just you.

Kim Japan's budget sounds spot on to me. 20 000 yen per person can be done very comfortably but you could certainly spend more and could probably do it for less.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 12:23 AM
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Singles no problem. You have plenty of time to book...in fact, many places haven't opened bookings yet past August. I'd book for an October trip in July. You shouldn't have trouble booking for one person...In 11 years here, I've never heard that singles were a problem.

A night in real ryokan would be a real treat...count on spending 20,000 yen for that night at least, including dinner and breakfast. Though there are cheapish places that call themselves Japanese style, or "... Ryokan", these low end places are more like pensions if they are nice, and just horrible if they aren't nice. In any case, the low price will get you the experience of sleeping on a futon on a tatami floor and wearing toilet slippers...but it won't give you the service and style and unique experience of a ryokan in the true sense of the word.

Japanese Guesthouses website is a good starting point and they do the booking for you. Their descriptions are pretty accurate and their photos pretty good. They list only a tiny fraction of what is available, but it is a good sampling.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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My wife and I went to Japan in May last year. I have posted a trip report with pictures and links on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/japan_tokyo.htm Maybe you can get some useful information there. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Stavanger, Norway
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Old May 6th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. And encouraging advice it is; I guess I haven't anything to worry about.

And as for the Japan Guest House site, eigasuki, I'm so glad you brought it up: I'd stumbled upon it earlier in the evening and found myself quite impressed with its services. Thus, I was eager to get some feedback on whether it was legit or not, and I'll take your mentioning it as a vote of confidence.

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