Tokyo budget trip: How low can you go?


DisneySea in Tokyo

Japan has been overrated as an expensive destination, but we have discovered some ways you can maximize the value of each buck without compromising too much.

Read this entry on how you can pull off a 9D/8N cheap travel to Tokyo. Since we published this post, people have asked how a budget of less than Php 16,000 for 9 days is possible in Tokyo. The key, as every budget traveler knows, is to plan ahead and prioritize.

Each of us spent Php 15,964 in basic expenses in Tokyo, covering food, transport, tours (packaged transport and river cruise), and DisneySea. Since I didn’t return my Suica card, I spent Y500 more. See the breakdown below:

Expenses during the trip In Php*
Transport 3,592.9
Food 5,561.87
Packaged transportation to Hakone and Fuji Five Lakes, and Tokyo Cruise 4,377.6
DisneySea 2,622
Less: Suica card (Y500)
16,154* *

Beforehand, we spent Php 10,790 for our roundtrip airfare, accommodation (Airbnb), Philippine travel tax, and visa processing fee. This expense can skyrocket depending on your hotel and airline; we were lucky to chance upon a promo price nine months prior. See the breakdown of our other expenses:

Expenses before the trip In Php*
Roundtrip airfare (promo) 2,700
Airbnb accommodation (8 nights) 5,670
Philippine Travel Tax 1,620
Visa processing fee 800
Sub-total 10,790

This means that with planning and a sprinkle of luck, a budget of Php 26,944 (excluding shopping) is really possible for a 9D/8N trip in Tokyo!

Of course, shopping is a different thing. I’ve learned that Filipinos usually allot 25% of their budget on shopping. There are also unexpected expenses you need to consider. To be sure, you can then base your total budget here.

Happy traveling!

*Note: Y1.00 = P0.38

**Rounded off

19 thoughts on “Tokyo budget trip: How low can you go?

  1. Pingback: How to enjoy 9 days in Tokyo for less than Php16,000 (42,100 yen) | WorkaLife

    1. Paolo Abellanosa

      Hi Corinne! This is Paolo, one of the blog’s authors. We took Cebu Pacific. The experience with the airline, though, is another story!


  2. Cali

    800 visa processing fee….which travel agency processed it?
    For the accommodations, is that the total price of the room or subdivided among you and your friends?
    where can you buy those train and bus cards?
    how about wifi? how much and where to avail?


    1. Hi Cali, for our Visa Processing we went to Discovery Travel and Tours at Sagittarius Bldg along H.V dela Costa in Makati. AirBnb Accommodation is per person. Train cards/pass are available at the train station. We bought our traincards at a JR line nearby. But if you would like to visit nearby places (ex Nikko), there’s also a 3 day pass which can be bought at the airport (appx 3,000++) . For the tour packages for Hakone and Mt Fuji, there are booths selling tickets at Shinjuku Station. If you prefer to ride the bus there’s a bus ticket office near the trainstation as well.


    2. Paolo Abellanosa

      Hi Cali, 800 pesos is the standard processing fee among travel agencies; you can even get discounted processing fee during travel shows such as the TravelTour Expo every February (as low as 500 pesos during the show in 2015). The Embassy of Japan, though, does not charge anything but requires all visa applications to be processed through accredited agencies. As for the price of the room, it was that low because it was subdivided across three people. You buy the train day passes in the stations. And for WiFi, there are free access points around Tokyo, but you can rent portable WiFi devices.


  3. Pingback: First time in Tokyo? 6 day trip itineraries you should try | WorkaLife

  4. Kevin

    Hi! May I know what AirBnB place you guys took? 5670 is really cheap! Also, did you guys do your visa on your own or did you have an agency do it? Do you think it’s too early to have the visa done now if I have a trip coming up this April?

    Sorry for the many questions!

    Thanks to your posts btw! Great help!


    1. Paolo Abellanosa

      Hi Kevin! The accommodation cost was that cheap because 3 of us shared in one room. You can find a lot of affordable Airbnb in Tokyo, but the cost will essentially be a factor of how many you’ll share this with. As for the visa, we went through an agency since the Embassy requires all applications to go through accredited agencies. I believe there are no other alternatives. And yes, applying now can be too early for an April trip; you may check the visa application website for the ideal time! Hope this helps


    1. Paolo Abellanosa

      Hi Andrew! The packaged transportation to Hakone is actually the two-day pass you can get at the Odakyu ticket booth in Shinjuku Station. The Fuji Five Lakes pass you can buy at the JR East Travel office also in Shinjuku Station. The Tokyo river cruise can be availed at their stations; for us we bought a ticket at in Asakusa (once you get out of the Metro train station). Cheers!


  5. Jhaq Jumaquio

    Hi! About the Hakone Freepass – is this includes the cable car, ropeway, train and the cruise or you have to pay for each? thank you.


  6. Gina

    Hi Guys! This is a great article. I’m currently working on an itinerary for my trip as well.
    Needless to say, you don’t recommend getting the 7-Day JR Pass here in Manila? I’m staying for 8 days in Japan, entry thru Narita but exit thru Osaka. Thoughts?



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