He who eats alone chokes alone. ~Proverb

Friday, January 27, 2012

Japan Trip - Planning

CAT: Firstly, Cat must apologise for the lack of updates. With the busy new year and Chinese new year holidays, we haven't had much time to try out new restaurants. The exception was Sushi Zentou at the newly opened Precinct 10, which will be posted soon hopefully, but basically boils down to "Never again".

So what have Cat and Bear been doing? Cat's been busy planning for our trip to Japan! We've managed to scrounge up enough money to pay a snakehead to smuggle us aboard an Airasia plane to Osaka International Airport, and I've been busy with making reservations at pet hotels and planning the itinerary.

A lot of our friends and family are surprised when we say that we are flying to Japan, as the perception is that Japan is a very very expensive place. The purpose of this post is to breakdown our costs so other would-be travellers can get an idea on how to travel to Japan without selling a kidney.

BEAR: I have a sneaky feeling it'll most probably be bear's bile rather than Cat's kidneys...

1.) Airfare:

- KL (LCCT) to Kansai International Airport (KIX) return
- reserved Seats (not Hot Seats)
- 25kg luggage allowance going, 50kg coming back
- travel insurance
- no meals (we'll smuggle in some KFC or McDonalds)
- all taxes included

RM1,518.00 for the 2 of us (RM759.00 per person)

You could save some money by not reserving seats, but Bear would probably kill me if we ended up separated and she had to sit next to a fat smelly stranger for 7 hours.

2.) Accomodation:

- 4 nights in Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa (RM200 a night, booked via Hotelclub.com, accessible only with Citibank PremierMiles Visa. Agoda.com and Hotels.com give similar, but slightly more expensive prices)
- 1 night in Nara Komachi Guesthouse (RM265) via Agoda.com
- 2 nights in Osaka Chisun Hotel Shinsaibashi (RM175 a night) via Agoda.com
- 1 night in Mt. Koya Shojoshinin (RM900 a night for 2 people. This one is expensive, but you could safely cut it out of your itinerary if you're on a budget. The price does include dinner and breakfast though)

RM2,496.00 for 8 nights. You could reduce this to approx RM1,800.00 if you spend an extra day in Kyoto / Osaka instead of going to Mt. Koya.

3.) Food

- A typical meal in a cheap restaurant will cost 600-1000 JPY per person (RM24 - RM40). We are budgeting RM80 per person per day, so that ends up at:

RM1,440.00 for 2 persons for 9 days.

4.) Travel

- Train from KIX to Kyoto with JR West Kansai Pass 2000JPY (RM80) per person
- Kyoto Bus Pass 500JPY (RM20) per person per day
- Train from Kyoto to Nara on JR, 690JPY (RM28) per person
- Train from Nara to Osaka, 540JPY (RM22) per person
- Osaka One Day Pass 800JPY (RM32) per person per day
- Mt. Koya Heritage pass, 2780JPY (RM111) per person
- Train from Osaka to KIX, 890JPY (RM36) per person

RM802.00 for all travel expenses.

5.) Grand Total:
Airfare : 1518
Accomodation : 2496
Food : 1440
Travel : 802
Total : RM6,256.00

And there you go. Add in an additional couple hundred ringgit for admission tickets to the various shrines and castles, and the total cost would be around 6.5k. Pretty good considering that it includes all transport, spending 8N/9D in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. We're hoping to keep a running diary of our holiday in Japan, so keep a lookout for that.