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Japan expensive?

Posted on February 2, 2012 by Comments are off

According to quite some of our competitors, Japan is expensive! They offer 17 day holiday packages, excluding airport tax (We include it), staying in different hotels (we do too), offering 2-4 dinners you may not even like in out of the way presumably great restaurants (we don’t, but we do know some great restaurants!) and offering additional transportation on private rail-roads and some buses for about 3700 EURO. We don’t! We offer a similar holiday for around 2000 EURO, but we include airport tax, which would add another 200-250 EURO to the package of our competitors. We also offer 24 days instead of 17.

Instead of endless bus travel for hours on end, we offer extremely fast high-speed trains for free on a 3 week JR Rail pass. Figure the following, a trip from Osaka to Hiroshima will take you about 8 hours by bus. You’ll go there, check in to a small ryokan, have time to see the peace memorial, visit the bomb museum and go to bed, because you need to get up at 6 the next morning for yet another endless bus trip. With us, you’d stay in Osaka, you got to go to Hiroshima by train in 1.5 hours, see the peace memorial, the bomb museum, travel to Miyajima island for one of the 3 greatest views in Japan, go back by train to your comfy apartment in a comfortable way and do not need to pack up everything yet again for that endless bus trip.

The selfsame competitor claims pricing of 60-150 EURO for hotels per person per night. According to us, it’s more towards 35 EURO per person per night. Having said that, some people think Japan is expensive, but, aside from the journey there and the 25 ~ 40 EURO per night in accommodation, Japan can be rather cheap. It totally depends on what you do and how you do it. Eating western food in High class restaurants, is really expensive. Eating Japanese food in the same restaurants will be too. However, eating Japanese food, one street behind the fancy restaurant, you get the same quality, a more informal atmosphere and 1/10th of the price of the food.

All in all, it is cheaper or costs the same to eat outdoors in Japan. Eating outdoors in Japan can be considerably cheaper then in The Netherlands. It is also true that some staple products are more expensive in Japan then they are in The Netherlands. Fruit and crisps for example. However, if you live in Japan, you will have the time to find specialist stores and discount stores for almost all produce. This way, you can buy cheap meat, cheap soft drinks and basically cheap everything to make supermarket pricing in Japan and The Netherlands almost equal.

What is expensive then?

Well, if you want to live in Tokyo instead of a suburb, you will need to pay a humongous fee, usually, also for a parking space for your car. Since we don’t actually live in Japan but are just there for a holiday, it is simple enough to survive on 2000 ~ 3000 YEN per day (20 ~ 30 EURO)

But all those people can’t be wrong, can they?

Well, Japan is certainly more expensive then say, Thailand. But, for our Western standards, Japan is absolutely not as expensive as people want you to believe. Then why do they claim it is the case? Our guess is, mostly because of ignorance. Also, possibly, to give you a reason why their holiday packages are so absurdly expensive. In all fairness, we do have to say that, our holidays would also be a lot more expensive if we needed to be paid to guide you all. Still, the increase in price would be about 400-500 EURO per person, not the 1500-2000 EURO the other people claim.

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