Some hints & tips given by our very own U2fan, who's currently living in Japan. I'm posting this on her behalf :
Here are some examples of prices
: (with exact conversion to US dollars)
1/2 gallon of milk: 189 yen = $1.59
6 pieces of bread (they don`t really do loaves here): 190 yen = $1.60
ramen noodles at a noodle bar (lunch; dinner is more expensive): 750 yen = $6.32
typical ticket on metro: 160 yen-290 yen = $1.35-$2.44
bus ticket: 200 yen = $1.68
minimum to get in a cab: 660 yen = $5.56
typical entrance to a club: 3000 yen = $25.27
mixed drink: 1000 yen and up = $8.43+
These prices might not look that expensive but trust me, they really are. I won`t even get into how much clothing, movies, and NICE meals are here. Not to mention rent and utilities, etc. And travel around Japan is SUPER expensive. Let`s put it this way: it would be cheaper for me to fly to Thailand and spend two weeks there than it would be to travel somewhere in Japan for just 3 days.
The only thing that surprisingly and disappointingly is cheap----------cigarettes! There are vending machines all over which sell cigarettes for typically 250 yen = $2.11! Too bad I`m not a smoker.... blink.gif
I don`t know about hostels
really since I have not stayed in one here. I just did a search and only 8 came up in all of Tokyo. It makes sense there are not many since Japan is not exactly on the Asian backpacking route since it`s off the mainland and just too expensive. For a 10 bed mixed dorm, two of them are currently $20 US/night and others were upwards of $30 and others over $30 for the same....actually cheaper than I thought they would be.... doh.gif
Yeah, you really don`t see backpackers here. Gaijin (or foreigners) who are here are usually here 1) working or 2) studying.....