Fact: Transportation in Japan is not cheap.
Fact: There’s a loophole for it to become one.
Rarely have I encountered a blog that indicated minimal transpo-expense when they visit Japan… that is until my experience. When I traveled to Japan last year, I dodged the bullet of having an expensive transportation mainly because of these 2 reasons: 1) I got my roundtrip airfare via promo of Japan Airlines from the Philippine Travel Tour Expo (MNL-TKY-OSK-TKY-MNL), and 2) I did not purchase a Japan Rail Pass (JRP).
(This is the rough estimate of my actual budget expenses last year)
Why I did not purchase the JRP (aka “The Loophole”)
A lot of those who have experienced Japan always aim to have a JRP. But based on my research, a JRP is not worth if you’re just travelling to 2 regions (in my case, it’s Kanto-Tokyo and Kansai). Even though the Japan Railways (JR) offers regional-JRP, it’s still expensive for a DIY-er like me. So what I did was I purchased a 3-day Tokyo Subway ticket for Php650 (Y1500) at the Narita Airport , a 3-day Kansai Thru Pass for Php2,250 (Y5200) and an Osaka day pass for Php210 (Y500).
One good thing about these passes is that they can be used consecutively, meaning you can choose to ride Tuesday for one whole day, use it again on Friday and it will just be counted as 2 days. So for the minimal rides amounting to Y80-100, we just bought tickets at the station.
There you have it. Now you know how you can outsmart the Japanese transportation system. #DIYPerks
But the Japan 2017 route is different
As I’ve researched yesterday, the Sunrise Seto/Izumo is managed by the JR and seeing that there’s a lot of sights that I aim to go to, I think there’s a 40%-chance of me escaping it this time. For this year’s Travel Tour Expo, I only got the Manila-Tokyo roundtrip, so goodbye Osaka-plane, hello train views and stops. I see this as an opportunity to maximize my stay in Japan so it’s not a problem for me, but I do like to have a laid-back sleep when we travel at night going to Himeji from Tokyo.
But like I said, I’m just drafting the routes and have not included the budget yet so we’ll see. But what do you think? Should I purchase it or not?