“Japan is so expensive,” says mostly anyone who has never been there. I have to admit before my first trip to Japan, I was apprehensive about going there. I didn’t think I would survive four nights in Japan with the little money that I had. But I did. Here are some myths about traveling to Japan that some people believe to be true:
1. Japan is so expensive.
Perhaps it is true that some parts of Japan are expensive, but Osaka and Kyoto are not. For this trip my husband and I spent a total of Php 72,411.60 Philippine pesos (USD 1,655.91) for everything.
- 2 round trip Cebu Pacific plane tickets – Php 14,480.26 or USD331.14
- 4 nights at Hotel Claiton Shin-Osaka – Php 10,627.82 or USD234.55
- Spending money for two – Php 47,303.52 or USD 1,081.72
- Total – Php 72,411.60 or USD 1,655.90
(Peso – Dollar rate as of May 2014)
With this budget we were able to buy food, train tickets to and from Kansai Airport, two 1-day Osaka Amazing Pass, return tickets to Kyoto, two 1-day bus pass in Kyoto which we used to go to several tourist spots. We also did some shopping, bought a few souvenirs, and a lot of Japanese treats.
2. You need a pocket WiFi.
One can have access to free WiFi in major Japanese cities by downloading the mobile application Japan Connected-free WiFi. Most metro and train stations and convenience stores like 7-eleven and FamilyMart are WiFi hotspots.
3. It’s hard to communicate with people because they don’t speak English.
While it is true that most Japanese people don’t speak English, it’s so not true that it’s hard to communicate with them. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of common sense to understand what people are saying. Read their body language, their gestures. You’ll definitely figure it out.
4. A Japan Rail Pass is necessary.
If you don’t plan on visiting a lot of cities while in Japan, it’s more practical to just buy individual train tickets. For such a short stay as ours, we didn’t need the pass since the only other city we visited, apart from Osaka, was Kyoto. A loadable transportation card like Pasmo or Suica is more useful. This will save you time, and you can even use it to buy food at convenience stores. You can purchase the cards at train and metro stations.
By: Katy Concepcion-Wiggins