Japan on a budget - week 4: Sapporo

Considering that we had to spend about 2 hours getting to and from airports, plus flew from Tokyo up to Sapporo, I think we stayed fairly within a reasonable budget, eking in under $80 per day for two people. It helps that Sapporo is currently hosting a huge dance festival, so there's abundant free entertainment. Plus, our apartment is incredibly comfortable and quiet, so we are happy homebodies on rainy days. Pictures below!

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Our goal: $50 per day total, including transportation, accommodation, visas, and bills back home. For two people.

In every budget update I will add a prorated estimate of our bills back home (loans, phone plan, etc. which may vary slightly by month), to include in our $50/day travel budget. I am not including travel insurance -- this would add about $5.75 per day to our total.
  • Days: 7
  • Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
  • Splurges: transportation, fancy dinner
  • Weekly spending: $523.90
  • Avg. spending per day: $74.85
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $78.05
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $49.43 

So what are our living expenses in Sapporo, Japan this week? 
  • Conversion rate: 107 Japanese Yen (jpy)=$1.00 USD
  • Accommodation: $165.47
    • Our place in Sapporo is very nice and SO QUIET. I don't think we realized how loud our previous places have been.
An incredible offensive way to use Japanese mattresses after they've been folded up for the day
  • Food and drinks: $253.84
    • Once in Sapporo, we picked up some soy sauce and a giant 5kg bag of rice, to have with our normal meals. Groceries and fresh/premade food are about on par with Kyoto, although we had found an ultra-cheap grocery store in Kyoto which we have not found here, so everything is a bit pricier.
    • Considering our budget, we spent a LOT of money on one dinner (6400jpy or about $60) because we met a local and took him out for dinner and drinks. Gotta love making new friends, though!

  • Transportation: $104.60
    • On Saturday we started the week by refilling our train cards and heading from northern Tokyo to Narita airport, about an hour and twenty minute journey. It cost around 1350jpy per person, so about $25 total. We've still got some money on our cards because you have to top up in increments of 1000jpy.
    • Flying on Jetstar up to Sapporo was cheap, because we cashed in some Qantas points. I'll include the whole shebang in this week -- $45.10 for airport fees etc. for our round-trip Tokyo-Sapporo flight, for two people. Nice!
    • We few into Chitose, which (like Tokyo Narita) is not actually that close to Sapporo. We took the airport limousine bus for about 90 minutes, costing us $34.26 for two people, round-trip. I'll throw this all into this week, meaning that our transportation costs are high, but getting back to the airport and back to Tokyo is all paid.
We still walk a lot, and stumble across... wait, what's that?

  • Entertainment/miscellaneous: $0
    • Pretty much everything was free this week, except for food and drinks. We did a lot of wandering around, checking out our new home for the month.
    • We also went to the Yosakoi Soran Festival, which is an awesome dance festival held every summer in Sapporo. It was free and highly entertaining!
Odori Park's giant slide -- impressive!

VIDEO! Watch part of the festival intro on the main stage. Interesting blend of old and new!

VIDEO! Wait for it... it surprised everyone!

Sapporo seems pretty chill so far -- literally, it's A LOT colder than Kyoto! It's also larger than Kyoto -- the largest city in Hokkaido and one of Japan's top five -- but it's less touristy. We need to get out and see Hokkaido, which is going to cost us quite a bit, but it's the whole point of being up here! 


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