Dec 4, 2008
Kyoto, Japan

The impression of Japan is that it is an expensive country to live and travel in. I certainly am feeling like I am burning through money a bit here. Although I do think that a trip through Europe or US would be just as expensive, if not more so.

As I have traveled, I have always found ways to cut down on costs and be some what thrifty, but I am having a rather hard time here practicing some tried and true money saving methods. For one thing, none of the budget places, hostels or ryokans actually have a kitchen for the guests to use that includes a stove. Which means that not much cooking is really possible. When a bowl of ramen costs 650Yen and up (current exchange is 95.4Yen = 1USD and with banks fees factored in, its more like 93Yen = 1USD), which means that the simplest meal you can have will cost you nearly $8. If some amount of cooking was possible, it sure would help with the budget travel.

Here are some of the sample food costs here in Japan:
A single apple = 88 Yen – 180 Yen (88Yen was on the smaller side, the larger ones are the size of an infant’s head)
Bread = 188 Yen ( there was a special at the market that day where the price for 3 slices, 4 slices, 5 slices or 6 slices are bread all costs the same)
6 eggs = 298 Yen
Cream Cheese, 6 small single serving = 460 Yen
Pork Cutlet Sandwich = 360 Yen
Lunch Bowl sold at Train Stations = 840 Yen
7 piece of sushi outside of Tsujiki Market = 3500 Yen
Coffee = 200 Yen – 529 Yen (all simple drip coffee, nothing fancy, the cost of coffee is certainly killing me a bit here)
Pastry = 180 Yen and up
Water = FREE! The tap water is of such great quality there that you at least don’t have to buy water, and it tastes great!

So, thank god for free and clean water, but maybe I should think about cutting back on the need for fresh fruit and coffee.

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