Prior to booking a plane ticket, I've already seen posts with tips and tricks on how to save up on this trip. Most of them would say "Eat meals from Lawson or 7eleven", "Rent out Airbnb instead of hotels", etc.. But one thing you have to know, Osaka is considered as the Food Capital of Japan. So please don't cut off your meals, you'll not regret it.
The main question I was thinking about while preparing for this trip is "how much do I need for a week long trip?" I've never found the answer anywhere, but now I have my answer. It's a wooping 55K (Php). *yes my savings account is still aching from this blow* but HEY IT'S ALL WORTH IT!
Below is the breakdown of expenses for the whole trip (all prices are in Php)
We got the airfare during its promo period but I heard that there are more cheaper promos. I bought the ticket May of 2015 and flight was February 2016 (this is the coldest month in Japan, but the best month for me). Travel dates: Feb 7 (Sunday) to Feb 13 (Saturday).
b) Accommodation - 12,465.14 (Airbnb, split this to 2 pax: 6,232 per head)
Once we got the plane tickets we started scouting places to stay. I insisted that we stay in an Aribnb since hotels are more expensive and also what better way to meet and greet people than staying under one roof. We opted for Toshihiro Morita's (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5914241) place in Namba which turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. The place is near train stations, Dotonbori and a very friendly bar.
Sadly, Japan only accepts Visa application via their accredited travel agencies. There are only 5 agencies and out of them we chose Discovery Tours (http://www.discoverytour.ph/japanvisa/single-or-multiple-207.html) because they have the cheapest processing fee (but if you can get them at the travel expo I think it would be cheaper than 800). Their office is in Makati and only spent 10 mins top on both times we went there. First, you just have to leave your documents (see link above), pay the fee and wait for the receipt. For the second time, you just have to sign the log book, check your passport and that's it.
d) USJ tickets - 4,048 (c/o Discovery Tours but I wish I just bought this one online, much cheaper)
Discovery Tours also offers USJ tickets but these are the regular ones. I say, if you know anyone who speaks Japanese or you have all the extra time, just go over their Japanese website and buy your ticket there. It is cheaper but you will have to translate everything to English. Click here for my USJ experience.
Oh well.. Nuff said
f) Pocket Money (converted to yen via Sanry's) - 26,500 (for food, transpo and pasalubong)
This is the part where I would be really proud of. For this amount I was able to try Kobe Beef, Japanese Curry, Takoyoki, Sushi, Udon, Ramen, Yakisoba and all the yummy food Osaka has to offer. I managed to eat 3 times a day (full meals) with snacks in between *Yep don't judge me*
We didn’t buy any tap cards because according to my friend "If we buy tap cards most likely we would miss our stop". Later on after the trip, I realized that he was right. Besides how many times would you be able to navigate through a spider web of untranslated train stations, right?
For the pasalubong, I bought Pocky, dark chocolates from Royce, nori, USJ items and some anime keychains. A steal if you ask me and way cheaper than if you buy them here in the Philippines.
I managed not to use this HAHA
h) Credit card payment (5,000)
This is another news… hehe. We used it to pay our Yakiniku all you can, Rapi:t train ride back to Kansai Airport, wifi router and some chocolates found in the airport. Which in all we do not regret to have. Also for added baggage. Haha