Japan – Preparations and Itinerary

Planning to go Japan on a budget but you don’t know how?

Here is a guide on how we planned our Japan Trip.

Japan is very popular travel destination but you have to be financially prepared since traveling to Japan can be quite expensive so I save and save so that I can be where I want to  be.

But, but, but you can always make your own DIY Itinerary instead of availing one from travel agencies which really costs a lot. You just have to do some research.

Finally and luckily, my friends and I managed to book a round trip to Japan (December 2016 – Winter) for only ~4850php each. Thanks to Cebu Pacific’s Seat Sale. It’s really a big help to budget travelers like us.

Since Japan is very big, our entry point was Nagoya and our exit point was Fukuoka so we didn’t have to go back to Nagoya during our flight back to Manila.

By the way, we had a 9D10N trip in Japan which is quite long that made it a little expensive since we also traveled from one region or prefecture to another.

But thanks to JR Pass we were able to do so on a budget of course. Just to give you a preview of how much is the cost of a one-way trip from Osaka to Tokyo.

14270jpy to PHP is roughly 6400php. Expensive, right? We also needed to travel back from Tokyo to Osaka on the same day. So another 6400php. So it’s 12800php for one whole day. BUT with JR Pass you do not need to consider the cost of traveling from one region to another since you will be covered for X days. You do not need to buy it if you’re just going to stay in one region. You can just buy a Day pass from there which is way cheaper like what we did during our stay in Nagoya and Fukuoka. We bought it because we traveled to Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

Click HERE (not the photo below) to get a US$3.2 discount when you sign up.



1. Visa
You can refer to this blog on how you can get your Japanese Tourist Visa.

2. Itinerary and Budget
You can download our detailed itinerary here.
You may also refer to japan-guide.com to search for more details about Japan.

3. JR Pass
You may check here for JR Pass details.
You cannot buy JR Pass in Japan as per my research. If it is available there, it is only for a limited time plus it is more expensive when you buy it there. It is usually available from travel agencies or you can buy it online which is also from travel agencies offering JR Pass. We bought our 7-Day pass for 13973php (for one person only) from one of many travel agencies located in Dusit Thani in Makati. Yes! It is quite expensive but it is worth it. SULIT!
Update: Klook offers a cheaper price. That time I did not know much about Klook. I should have booked from them.
You may also check for other rail passes that you can avail depending on your preference.

4. Hyperdia
It is a service which offers the route and the timetable of the railway and the aviation within Japan.
This will be your best buddy during your stay in Japan. You can download this from AppStore or GooglePlay which requires subscription. Or you can just go to this link and use it for FREE.
You can refer to Japan Navigation App: Hyperdia on how to use Hyperdia with consideration of the use of JR Pass since not all trains are covered by JR pass.

5. Internet / Pocket Wi-Fi
You will need internet to use Hyperdia, Google Maps and others to help get you to your destination. You may avail one from any shops or agencies that offer budget pocket wi-fi for tourists in Japan. If you’re lucky, some hotels offer free pocket wi-fi.

6. Hotel / Place to stay
Your hotel MUST be strategically placed. Your chosen one will be your starting point. Best place would be a walking distance to a train station.

7. Pocket Money
Better be prepared with cash. Japanese people prefer to use cash. Usually, only big establishments accept credit card as payment. You cannot use credit card when buying train ticket. As per my research and experience, the best place to exchange PHP to JPY is BDO. (I am not endorsing BDO, but thanks to me, BDO. LOL!) I opened only an account in BDO just for me to be able to do that transaction since it is a prerequisite. You must have an account first before you can exchange local money with another currency. Usually, they will have it prepared for you in a week.

8. Attire
Always be prepared with the weather. We went there during December, so it’s already winter.

9. Manner
Japanese people are very well mannered. Refrain from being noisy at all times especially in public places. Be mindful of the Japanese etiquette.

You may also refer to 10 Tips on How to Plan your DIY Itinerary on a Budget to help you in creating your Itinerary.

#Japan, #JapanTrip, #Budget, #BudgetTravel, #Itinerary, #DIY

2 thoughts on “Japan – Preparations and Itinerary

  1. This is great. Japan is on my bucket list, so this definitely addresses some of the questions I had about transit options and visa. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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