Pre-Japan Planning (Spring 2015)


This budget is estimated using as accurate figures as possible, and with a huge buffer of $769 for shopping.

Details Price Per Person (SGD)
Airfare – Singapore/Osaka via China Eastern
Travel Insurance (Group)Data Sim Card (Domoco 7 days 4G network, capped at 200MB/day; after which speed would be 200kb/s )
* Bought from taobao. Will share link if the card works well.
Accommodation – 5 nights in airbnb (triple sharing) $299.72
Japan Rail Pass (Bought from Pricebreaker)
Other transportation cost – Avg $10/day
Food Cost – Avg $55/day ($5 bfast, $20 lunch, $30 dinner) $300
Universal Studios Japan (with express pass)
Osaka Aquarium
Shopping and the rest $769
 Total $2,700

Oh wells, my initial budget was $3,000 but I guess if I could save that extra $300, I could probably squeeze out another trip this year =p

Where to change money?

I’ve been sourcing out for the best rates of the money changer and it has been hovering between 11.44 to 11.49 for the past few days. By the way, you are supposed to look at the selling rate (the higher one) and by default, the exchange rate for Yen shown is equivalent to 1,000Y.

Often, we might go to to look at the exchange rates and this is usually a better rate. As of today (the day I’m writing this article), the exchange rate on shows that 1,000Y cost you $11.39 SGD. However, these rates will never be the same as the ones that you see at the money changer as the difference is where the money changers earn your money.

Here are a few exchange rates that can be found online:

Okay before all of you rush down to the money changer at The Arcade (sometimes Chinatown – the one with the longest queue – has the best rate), let me analyze the impact of such decimals. For this trip, I plan to change SGD 1,200.

If I were to visit Arcade Money Changer (11.45 = 1000Y), I will get 104,803Y.
If I were to visit Raffles Money Changer (11.52 = 1000Y), I will get 104,166Y.

That’s a difference of 637Y (SGD 7.20) between the best and the worse exchange rate. Is it really worth it to make that extra mile and go down to the best money changer in town and queue in line? It boils down to how much you value your time & effort vs nominal differences in exchange rate.

Sadly, I still like the idea of saving that few cents and it does sound really ridiculous as I will travel all the way to Chinatown (it’s not always on the way), and change like 300$ worth of Thai Baht. Only after reaching home did I realise that my two-way transportation cost was more than the difference I have saved as compared to visiting a heartland money changer near my house.

#ohwells but sometimes it feels good to know that your exchange rate is the best among your friends/forums. and you would also feel happier when you divide the prices overseas with a better exchange rate as everything would seem relatively cheaper. #cheapthrills but it makes me happy 😀

The reality: I was too tied down with work and feeling really lazy and only managed to get a 1SGD to 871Y rate, aka 11.481 = 100Y. BUT, it was already one of the best rate in the entire LUCK PLAZA (I think I visited more than 10 shops and the exchange rate was varying between 11.5 to 11.55) Anyway, the difference between 11.48 and 11.45 with SGD 1,000 is SGD 2.29 -> just nice for a filet-o-fish.

Temperature Check

The weather has been changing tremendously since I check it 1.5 weeks ago and now (2 days away from my trip). From 1 day of rain, I now have 3 days of rain. The temperature was 4/17 and now it is 4/20. I guess I need to prepare for all sorts of weather. It seems as erratic as Singapore’s weather.

To be honest, I have no idea what type of clothes I should bring. I kind of bought a few knitted wear during the Zara sales earlier in January. Bought another knitted sweater from taobao, and a trench coat as well. Almost bought 2 trench coat from taobao but I resisted. Seems like I have to visit another winter country this year end to add value to my winter wear purchases. Not forgetting.. I bought a pair of Timberland Boots that I have been eyeing for the longest time ever. It was between Timberland vs Converse Shoes High Cut (I usually wear them when I go overseas). I was so unprepared for a winter vacation prior to this trip.

In fact, i’m trying very hard to recall the last time when I had to travel below 10 degrees and it seems like more than 10 years ago when I visited Beijing during winter..

Hopefully I will survive any impending cold spell, or that it would not be too hot in my knitted clothing. #askingforthesky

To Eat List

In no order of preference – hopefully I manage to eat them all!


  • Tsukiji Fish Market – Sushi Dai (unlikely, as I don’t want to queue), Iwasa Sushi, Sushi Maru, Zanmai, Nakaya or any other random sushi shop because I HAVE NO TIME TO QUEUE.
  • SakuraDrinkText250SakuraDrinkCupText250SakuraDelice
    LINDT cafe (hopefully the one at Ginza: 中央区銀座 7-6-12, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan) to savour my Lint White Chocolate Cherry Ice Drink (1,388Y or 772Y-takeout) and this beautiful Macaron (302Y). Lindt Japan website
    Lindt Japan Facebook FYI – It’s ONLY available from 20 Feb ~ 14 Apr



  • Pork Katsu @ Katsukura (Kyoto Station Building)


To Buy List
  • Nanoblock – new pokemon series, frozen series (if can find), osaka aquarium special
  • Decorush – rilakkuma
  • Pom Pom Purin Baby Stuff
  • Polaroids – if it is cute and cheap
  • Macarons from Pierre Herme – JR Osaka Mitsukoshi Isetan B2F, 3-1-3 Umeda Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu 530 8558
  • Kit Kat
  • Matcha Powder
  • Rilakkuma – should I add on my #4?
  • Cup Noodles

Seems like my list is done for now. It’s time to start packing. Thankful for my older entry which reminds me of everything that I need to bring:

Alright, pray that my data sim card works and SEE YOU IN JAPAN <3



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