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  • Hey guys, it's Kim Dao here. Welcome back to my channel.

  • Two weeks ago, I made a video on what I missed about Japan

  • and I mentioned that I stopped making Japan travel videos

  • for a while just because I thought it wasn't the right time

  • to do it with everything going on.

  • So a lot of you guys recently

  • have asked me to do some again.

  • And whilst I cannot travel to Japan right now,

  • I can still talk about my experiences.

  • I really miss doing chilled out videos like this

  • where I just sit down and talk to you guys.

  • And I think it got to the point

  • where I was constantly trying

  • to push out all these crazy big Japan videos

  • that would take me months to edit,

  • and I kinda stress myself out too much.

  • So I really want to maybe make this a weekly thing

  • where I just pick a topic that is perhaps Japan related

  • or anything really.

  • I made a post on my Instagram story

  • and asked you guys to send me questions

  • that are Japan travel related,

  • and I've got some really good ones.

  • There was one that I picked out,

  • which I thought would be really interesting to talk about.

  • Can you travel to Japan on a low budget?

  • The answer?

  • Absolutely.

  • And I'm going to tell you guys how I did that today.

  • So 10 years ago, I went to Japan for the very first time.

  • Man, I feel old.

  • I was 20 years old back then and I didn't have much money.

  • I was still a full-time student working part-time jobs

  • in fast food, retail,

  • the usual part time jobs to save money.

  • Going to Japan was a dream for me back then.

  • And I always wanted to go

  • ever since I was like 14 years old.

  • If you want to find out how I saved money

  • to travel to Japan,

  • you can watch my "How I Saved Money" video

  • I made like two years ago.

  • But in today's video,

  • I'm going to focus on budget trips.

  • Now keep in mind,

  • times have changed and are always changing,

  • so what I experienced back then, might not be the case now.

  • And also even though I make a lot of videos about Japan

  • and have been there many times,

  • I don't know everything about Japan.

  • So if you're planning a trip or are planning to move there,

  • sure you can listen to some of the tips I will give you,

  • but it's also very important

  • to do your own research as well.

  • So I'm going to give you guys like approximate numbers

  • on what I spent when I traveled on these trips

  • to give you guys a better idea

  • on how much you want to budget for your trip.

  • My very first trip was in 2010

  • and it was a six-week trip to Japan.

  • Overall for everything, I spent about $5,000.

  • Flights, food, accommodation, transport,

  • shopping, everything.

  • First off, flights.

  • You can find cheap flights to Japan.

  • And as years went on, flights actually got cheaper

  • because of all the competition with different airlines.

  • Of course right now,

  • it's not the right time to be looking at flights

  • but when we can, these are my tips.

  • So subscribe to emails from airlines,

  • they will notify you when there is a sale.

  • I usually like using Google Flights.

  • That way you can see a whole different range

  • of airlines, different routes,

  • how much more it will cost if I took a certain route

  • or if I wanted to visit multiple countries,

  • it's a really good way to get variety of different options.

  • From there, I will play around with dates.

  • It will tell you when the prices are most expensive.

  • There are always times that are more expensive than others,

  • such as Easter, Christmas or school holidays.

  • I've had times where I paid only maybe 600 to $800

  • for a flight to Japan on Singapore Airlines,

  • which is pretty good, that's return from Australia.

  • And there are even cheaper flights

  • if you choose to fly with Jetstar or Air Asia.

  • I haven't flown with them before to Japan

  • but I've seen deals where you pay for any one flight

  • and you get another flight for free.

  • So you can take someone with you

  • and you each can pay half the price of a ticket.

  • I've seen some where you only pay for a flight one-way

  • and get the return free.

  • Deals like that come up all the time,

  • so you just have to keep an eye on them

  • and also read terms and conditions.

  • Next is accommodation.

  • So for accommodation,

  • yeah, there are ways where you can save a lot.

  • My first trip to Japan, I was being so cheap.

  • I remember that I didn't want

  • to spend more than $25 a night on accommodation.

  • And of course, the only way to get a price that cheap

  • is to stay in youth hostels.

  • We were traveling in a group of five people at the time,

  • and usually if you book in a group,

  • you get better discounts

  • as you would share a room with bunk beds.

  • The hostels we stayed in, some were really good,

  • some were just terrible,

  • so you get what you pay for I guess.

  • One of the hostels I remember,

  • we had to share a bathroom with like 10 people.

  • We would be fighting for the showers every day

  • with another group.

  • And also I remember the hot water wouldn't work sometimes

  • and this was in the middle of winter

  • so we took like cold showers.

  • We all shared one room five of us

  • and we had two bunk beds and one single bed.

  • The place was a little bit dirty,

  • though I think we paid like $22 a person a night there,

  • which is really cheap.

  • And that was in Tokyo.

  • In Osaka, I remember that we stayed in a hostel

  • that unfortunately has closed down now,

  • but it was run by a family.

  • I remember paying around $22 a night for that place as well.

  • Same deal, we shared a bedroom

  • but they had a lot of bathrooms available.

  • Very clean and the family that owned the place was amazing.

  • You just have to do a lot of research,

  • read reviews on multiple websites if you're picky,

  • but back then, there wasn't much information

  • because this was like 10 years ago.

  • So these days there is a lot more out there.

  • Now back then, Airbnb wasn't really a thing

  • but that is something to consider,

  • especially if you are traveling in a group.

  • I used Airbnb in Tokyo like two years ago

  • when we were traveling in a group of four.

  • I can't remember exactly how much it costs

  • but I think it was like maybe 40 to $50 a night.

  • So more expensive,

  • but it was a lot more spacious, private and convenient.

  • You can also get cheaper budget hotels as well.

  • I've stayed in some

  • where you only pay like 50 to 75 a night.

  • And it depends on the area you want to stay in obviously.

  • If you want to stay in the middle of Shibuya or Shinjuku,

  • it's going to be harder to find something under $100 a night

  • but you just have to research.

  • I can maybe go on into more detail

  • on how to pick accommodation for Japan in another video.

  • Yeah, there's a lot of information,

  • but you can definitely cut costs with hotels as well.

  • You just have to think of what you value more,

  • convenience, luxury or price.

  • When I first traveled to Japan,

  • the only thing I cared about was price,

  • so obviously I sacrifice convenience and luxury.

  • I was just a student traveling

  • and I had all the time in the world.

  • Nowadays, I care much more about time,

  • so I would rather stay in a place that is convenient

  • and that is somewhat decent.

  • Like I don't need a five-star hotel,

  • but I do need it to be comfortable enough for me.

  • So since I'm sacrificing price,

  • I would probably be paying like 150 to $200 a night

  • for a room, which actually isn't that bad.

  • Next is food.

  • Now I know some people are gonna get so mad at me for this

  • because yeah, I understand,

  • when you go to a different country,

  • you want to experience

  • as much of the food and culture as possible.

  • Now I wanted to save money so bad.

  • And also because I was so scared of running out of money,

  • I would try and limit myself to only spend $10 per meal.

  • And of course because the budget is quite low,

  • I would stick to buying convenience store food,

  • which I mean at the time was great,

  • it was cheap, it filled me up.

  • I still managed to enjoy some authentic Japanese food

  • on my first trip

  • but I remember I didn't go to any fancy restaurants.

  • Well, let's be honest, I'm not really a foodie,

  • I have very simple tastes.

  • So yeah, when I was budgeting on food,

  • I think I probably only spent 20 to $30 a day on it.

  • I also ate a lot of Japanese fast food chains

  • like Matsuya, Sukiya, Yoshinoya.

  • I think I could get a full meal for just like $5 there.

  • Now when you go to Japan,

  • I don't recommend you living off convenience store food

  • because it's not the healthiest

  • and there is so much more better food options out there.

  • But if you got a budget, you got a budget.

  • The great thing about Japan is that a lot of restaurants,

  • outside of it, they usually have the plastic food samples

  • so you can see what you'll be getting

  • when you order your meal.

  • If you are conscious about how much you're spending on food,

  • just check the menus before you go into a restaurant

  • or even look it up online,

  • sometimes they upload the menu as well.

  • Next, transport.

  • There is a lot I can say about this,

  • but I'll try and keep it short.

  • So trains in Japan, yes are convenient, but it's not cheap.

  • There have been times where I was so cheap

  • that I didn't want to pay for the train so I just walked.

  • It's free and you get exercise.

  • Of course, if you're in Japan on like a one-week trip

  • and you have limited time, you want to use your time wisely.

  • So yeah, you probably should take the train

  • if you want to see lots of places.

  • Some ways you can save money on trains

  • is by buying a one-day pass.

  • I know the metro does this

  • where you pay like $5 for a ticket

  • and you can use it as many times as you want all day

  • as long as you're only using the metro.

  • So plan your trip around that

  • so you are only using the metro line.

  • Something I quickly wanna say

  • is that if you are changing train companies,

  • it actually cost quite a bit of money.

  • So for example,

  • if you are taking the JR train to one station

  • and then you have to transfer to a metro,

  • you have to pay the minimum amount for each company,

  • which is I think like maybe 200 yen, so around $2 each,

  • so it might cost you like $4.

  • But if you decide to stick to just JR for example,

  • and maybe it drops you off

  • at a train station a little bit more further out,

  • it might cost you like half the price.

  • So just use Google Maps seriously,

  • it tells you like how much it's going to cost.

  • It's going to tell you

  • how far you have to walk, it's amazing.

  • Something else I want to talk about quickly is,

  • what if you want to go between different cities,

  • for example, Tokyo to Osaka.