32 days in Japan

September 5, 2017


I visited Japan in 2014, fell in love with the country and went back a year and a half later (in March 2016) – this time, for a full month. I spent three weeks travelling Tokyo, Kyoto, Sapporo, and Hiroshima with my partner and the remaining time, solo in Tokyo where I had my first Couchsurfing experience.


Japan has a reputation for being one of the most expensive destinations to travel especially when compared to its neighbouring countries. I have to say that for me personally, Japan lived up to its reputation… I am confident however, that I can travel Japan on a small budget. As I was with my partner for most of this trip and we travel a little faster when together, I spent a lot more than I would otherwise.

Apart from the usual expenses (accommodation, food, travel), I also had to buy a replacement phone on this trip as my Samsung phone completely died on me. I decided on an iPhone 6 and there went A$885. So without including the cost of my phone, I spent a total A$4666 or A$145 per day on this trip which includes flights, accommodation, transport, food and shopping.


  • Busan to Osaka – Jeju Air – 15kg luggage included – A$88
    I flew to Japan from Busan as I was living in South Korea at the time.
  • Tokyo to Athens – Etihad Airways – 1 stopover – A$472
    After Japan, I went on to travel Europe.
  • Tokyo to Sapporo – Jetstar – incl. return flights – direct – A$164
  • Sydney to Tokyo – All Nippon Airways (ANA) – incl. return flights – direct – A$975
    I thought I’ll include my partner’s flight just for your information. About a month before he was due to fly, the price for this flight dropped down to about $770! Yeah… we booked too early.
  • National Japan Rail Pass (14 days) – A$596.19 (as at 6 September 2017, $517)

Check out Flights to see how I usually find and book my flights.


The rates above are per night per person. I spent a total A$793 on accommodation – an average A$25.58 per night!

Kyoto Accommo: Piece Hostel Kyoto

Places to VISIT

I’ve listed a few of my faves below.

  • Kyoto International Manga Museum (800 yen) – 3 floors, massive collection of manga, get a picture drawn by one of the anime artists on-site.
  • Yasaka Shrine
  • Nara – feed the freely roaming deer.
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – once you’re there, rent a bike to get around (much better than roaming on foot!), yummy traditional vegetarian food, sample some Japanese seasoning on the main street.
  • Iwatayama Monkey Park – cute monkeys.

Yasaka Shrine

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Cafe in Kyoto

My fave seasoning at a store in Arashiyama


Nara – Photo by The Hedonist Life

  • Miyajima Island (about an hour from Hiroshima city by train and ferry) – walk with wild and freely roaming deer on an island with beautiful views.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum – a must-visit.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island – Photo by The Hedonist Life

Miyajima Island – Photo by The Hedonist Life

  • Sumo Tournament (4800 yen – Arena seats C) – Six tournaments are held every year in Japan, but only one of them is held in Osaka (March).

  • Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa (820 yen) – Penguin walk at 11.00am and 2.30pm between late December and mid-March. Only the 11.00am walk is held in March.
  • Otaru – a port city in Hokkaido.

Asahiyama Zoo

Asahiyama Zoo

Flight from Tokyo to Sapporo

Otaru, Hokkaido.


I love Tokyo shopping! Muji (for clothes and travel goods), Loft (for notebooks and stationery), Uniqlo (for clothes), Tokyu Hands (for random stuff, they stock a lot of things!), Bic Camera (for electronics), and Tsutaya Books (the one in Daikanyama is beautifully designed and has an in-store cafe).


Niko and …


  • Genki Sushi (around Japan)
  • Convenience store food (around Japan)
  • Mochi balls (Kyoto) – Sooo good! I went back almost every night. I don’t know the name of the place… but it’s sold on the street only after 8pm and is located somewhere around here.
  • Soup Curry Suage (Sapporo) – Soup curry is a Hokkaido specialty. Try the veggie option – it’s delicious!
  • Shake Shack (Meiji Jingu, Tokyo) – better than London’s! Not sure about the States though as I’ve never been. Try their ‘Shroom burger (vegetarian) and yummy concretes.
  • Freshness Burger (around Japan)- for their veggie burger.
  • Mister Donut (around Japan) – Try the egg noodle soup for breakfast and go early for discounted donuts!
  • Food at the station (around Japan) – try those places at Kyoto station where people eat standing up.
  • Soup Stock Tokyo (around Japan) – great for winter!

I’m no foodie but my partner is! Head over to The Hedonist Life if you’d like to know what and where we ate.


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. By using these links I may receive a small commission but it will be at no cost to you! I only recommend products and services that I believe are of good value. Thanks for your support!

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