Nov 20, 2017
Your best route for budget travel planning for the transport is to take the bus. In the Kyushu area which is one of the more southern parts of Japan you can take the Nishitetsu bus or the Willer Express. The buses can sometimes be as little as half or even a third of the cost of the Shinkansen so this is good for helping you stay on budget.
You can also find plenty of tours that include transportation. Most of the good excursions that include transport are leaving from Tokyo and Osaka, but I have also seen several other excellent trips on go voyaging. You can filter by price and look for the cheapest options.
If you're like me and prefer to pick a location and plan your own tour, you may want to check one of the websites specializing in that area, but for general information about places all over Japan Gajinpot is a good place to start. You can also try Tripadvisor, but they often have information gaps.
Since traveling even when you get to your destination is your biggest expense you'll probably want to look into a bus or subway pass for when you get there. Some places like Fukuoka City have a subway pass that's about 620 yen for a day.
Accommodations thankfully are fairly inexpensive and easy to find. I recommend checking Booking.com and Trivago to make sure you're getting the best price for your hotels.
For Osaka, I would recommend the Guest House Wasabi as it was only 1600 yen a night for the hostel and you got a free bus shuttle to Tokyo if you stayed for more than 5 nights. You can see a picture of the Hostel here.
You will also want to know some basic Japanese words and phrases to get around:
Ima wa nanji desuka= What time is it?
Katamichi kippu 片道切符=One way ticket
Chiketto /Kippu チケット =ticket
Hitori desu 一人= By myself/ one person
Eki wa doko desuka/ 駅はどこですか= Where is the station?
Nihongo wa hanasemasen= I don't speak Japanese
Eigo ga wakarimasu= I understand English
Wakarimasen= I don't understand
You can also view some additional useful language information here.
Next, a general cost. I would expect to spend roughly 2000-3000 yen a day in an expensive area and about 1500 yen in a cheaper area. Additionally, you will want to plan for between 2000-4000 yen a night, you'll be closer to 4000 yen if you want a private room. The key is to look for Ryokan's or hostels for cheaper accommodations.
To save on travel costs you can pick a city that's walk-able. Tokyo and Osaka are excellent for that. So is Kyoto and even Fukuoka city. The nice part about Fukuoka city is there's a loop bus that will take you around the city for 100 yen per ride.
For 1 day in Fukuoka city I would recommend going to Ohori park (Koen is park in Japanese), Momochi Seaside Park with a possible stop to Fukuoka Tower, Kushida Shrine, and Nokonoshima Island Park if you don't mind a splurge, the island park is 1200 yen for entrance. You can also go to Uminonakamachi for 400 yen for entrance but you'll need public transport from Fukuoka city to get there.
You should also check Fukuoka Now for any free events in the city. Here are some of my pictures from my visits to Fukuoka. Hope this information helps.
I was born and raised in Florida and right now I am teaching and living in Japan for a little while. I hope to travel to many more countries and want to come back and visit Japan again after I leave.