Monday, October 29, 2018

Itinerary and Expenses: 9D/9N Hokkaido and Sawara Town

For my first trip to Japan in 2015, we were all over the place, and it left me and my friends a little bit exhausted but wanting for more—more days to explore each prefecture, or region, at least. And so the succeeding trips were planned to explore a specific region: Kansai in 2016, Chubu in 2017, and Hokkaido in 2018.


Hokkaido is such a huge prefecture that a week only covered a few areas. Though I had a Hokkaido Rail Pass, which allowed me to travel on JR lines all over Hokkaido, I concentrated on going to places just an hour or two by train from Sapporo (with the exception of Hakodate, which took 3.5 hours). In general, just the central and southern parts of Hokkaido.

Bye bye hard-earned money!

Accommodation. The first thing I noticed, while I was looking for accommodations before the trip, was that accommodations in Sapporo were more expensive (more so in Asahikawa) compared to Tokyo and Osaka. I usually try to find an accommodation within a 10-15 minute walk from a major station (only one ride from wherever it is I need to go) and cap my accommodation expense at 3000 yen a night but it was quite impossible to find accommodations at that rate in Hokkaido. I had to increase my budget for accommodations and expand my search farther from Sapporo Station. 30% of my budget was spent on accommodations.

Transportation. The Hokkaido Rail Pass bit a big hole in my pocket. In addition to the pass, I had to spend for days and areas not covered by the pass. And I also joined a bus tour in Biei. 40% of my budget was spent on transportation.

Plane tickets. The 40% I mentioned above does not include the plane tickets to/from Sapporo and to/from Cebu. My Cebu-Narita-Cebu ticket was half the price as my Narita-Sapporo-Narita plane ticket. Mind you, both were bought during a promotion.

Food. I spent an average of 2500 yen a day for food. Right on budget. And in terms of percentage, this was 25% of my budget.

Admission fees. Most of the places I went to in Hokkaido were free to enter. The only admission fees I had to pay for were in Hakodate. And in Sawara in Chiba, we got a discount coupon for the Sawara boat tour.

My usual Japan budget is 9000 yen (4500 pesos) a day. For Hokkaido, I had to stretch it to 10,500 yen (5250 pesos) a day. Too expensive. But it will not stop me from visiting Hokkaido again. I still have the northern and eastern parts of Hokkaido to explore. Maybe in five years.

Itinerary and Expenses: 9D/9N Hokkaido and Sawara Town (you're here!)

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