Japan Trip Booked!

Published on 26 June 2023 at 17:51

I know where I’ll travel this year! I promised myself that each year post-retirement I would visit at least one new place. This year it’s (drum roll) - Japan! My two youngest daughters visited Tokyo in January, and now I get the chance to join them for a mother-daughter trip to Osaka and Kyoto!

Above is a picture my daughters took of the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo.

Caroline and Courtney visited the Pokémon Center

In our search for a place to stay, we found that hotels in Osaka that would sleep three of us were roughly $200 per night. This is a 15-night trip, and that got expensive fast. My youngest daughter, Caroline, and I started hunting for alternatives. She found a lovely condo on Airbnb for half the price and in a great location! We booked it immediately. Time to get flights.

TIP! Shop around for lodging because there are so many options for condos, boutique hotels, houses, etc. in addition to chain hotels, with a wide range of prices. I love having a condo or apartment for longer stays.

We’ll be in the air for at least 14 hours each way, so we wanted to get upgraded flights. Caroline will be coming in from Korea and told us to go to Kansai Airport (KIX). When I started searching, all the flights from our hometown airport to KIX were $6000 or more. Yikes! My other daughter, Courtney, said that it didn’t cost her nearly that much back in January.

We had already decided to purchase Japan Rail passes, which include lots of bullet trains around the country. Since Osaka is three hours from Tokyo by train, we looked at flight prices to Haneda Airport (HND). It turned out that flights with additional legroom were less than $3000 each if we flew into the bigger airport. We realized we could do that and then take a train to meet Caroline in Osaka. It’ll be easy, as we’re light packers with small bags. A three-hour train ride from Tokyo to Osaka is also a chance to see Mt. Fuji if the weather is good!

TIP! I have found that booking directly with the airlines can prevent hassles down the road, especially with delays. You can save money by being flexible with dates and airport locations. The bigger the airport, the more flight options. On this trip, going to a major airport meant a much cheaper flight and one less layover.

It’ll be on the late side when we get to Caroline, but we can still have dinner together at the 24-hour ramen shop down the street from our Airbnb!

I'm so excited for this trip and can’t wait to see Caroline again!