「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


¥7,800 a day

By Tan Ying Zhen


If you were a tourist in Tokyo, how much would you spend each day?

My friend who recently travelled to Tokyo set herself a daily budget of SG$100, or about ¥7,800, for her travel expenses, excluding airfare and accommodation.

In other words, ¥7,800 should cover all her meals, shopping, transport and sightseeing expenses for each day.

When she told her friends, most said this would be tough. Many felt that since it was her first trip to Japan, she had no idea how many temptations there would be. After all, she loved Japanese food and she was known for being a discerning shopper. There were simply too many things to eat and buy in Tokyo, and a first-timer would need a tremendous amount of self-discipline to stick to this budget.

Before leaving for Japan, my friend announced her budget on Facebook. "Everyone has been telling me I will spend a lot when in Tokyo because everything is so good. I'm giving myself a challenge of $100 per day."

Someone commented, "Cannot la!" using the exclamatory Singlish "la" to illustrate the sheer impossibility of the task. Others took a moderate stance and said it was possible, unless she shopped too much. A few wished her good luck.

Good luck definitely helps, but even without it, keeping to a daily budget of ¥7,800 is not impossible. Assuming there's no shopping or expensive dining, it is actually pretty feasible.

There are many free sights in Tokyo and some of the best experiences don't come with a hefty price tag. They may not even have a price tag at all. I remember being mesmerized by the cherry blossoms while picnicking in Ueno Park, and soaking in the sights and sounds at Tsukiji in the early morning. Some of my best meals were the most affordable ones, made memorable by the company and ambience.

Be it in Japan or elsewhere, the most crucial factor affecting your spending is your itinerary. Which spots do you visit and where do you go? What and where do you eat and drink? Although some cities are more expensive than others, there are always ways to trim one's spending. You can cook instead of eating out. Walk or cycle to your destination. Take advantage of admission discounts. It all depends on how creative and resourceful you are.

So how did my friend do? Towards the end of her trip, she posted another update on Facebook: "I've successfully stayed within budget and then some. And still got away with a pair of sneakers, 5 records, a vintage rug, and a few knick-knacks."

I asked, "Was it easy to keep to the budget?"

Her answer? A resounding "Yes!"



The Japan Times ST: December 23, 2016

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版