How to Travel Japan On A $40 Budget - Day 4

Can you travel Japan on just $40 a day? We have 1 month in Japan to figure that out. Follow our blog to see how we travel Japan on a tight budget.

Where are we today?


Lake Kawaguchiko.

After leaving the Enoshima area, we traveled by train to Kawaguchiko. It’s a lake just north of Mount Fuji, which is Japan’s tallest mountain. Of course, you already knew that. This mountain is iconic and it’s no wonder that we were inspired to come as well!

Where to stay in Kawaguchiko?

We searched for affordable lodging near the Mt. Fuji area, and found K's House Hostel Fuji. With a fair price and a cozy and inviting atmosphere, it can't be beat. We suggest you get your beauty sleep here if in the area!

What did we explore today?

Shrines in Enoshima


After scarfing down our to-go meals from 7-11 on the beach, we headed to the Enoshima Shrine and Kodama Shrine to get a better look at the island. 

After enjoying ourselves, it was time to hit the road. We headed to the train station and off we went!

Odawara Castle


We had to make a pit-stop off the train to check out the nearby Odawara Castle. Being from the United States, we don't necessarily have castles in our backyard, so we had to take a closer look!

It comes at a price, but a must see when heading to or from Hakone. 

Lake Ashinoko and the Owakudani Valley via the Hakone Ropeway


We then rode the gondola on the Hakone Ropeway, admiring views of Lake Ashinoko and the Owakudani Valley.

We hopped off to check out Owakudani and the steamy, stinky geysers within the active volcano zone.

Afterward, we boarded our gondolas and headed back down. Catching the next train, we headed toward our hostel for the evening.  

How much did we spend?

Food: ¥2731 /  $24.2

Transport: ¥11450 / $102.11 (more like $30-$40)

The gondola ticket was ¥1450 / $12.93 and the bus ride was roughly $10-20  from Hakone to Kawaguchiko.

We put ¥10,000 ($89.18) on our Pasmo cards to prevent the hassle of juggling coins as we went between trains and buses. We didn't use the whole amount, but the remainder was used for future transport. 

Lodging: ¥2500 / $22.27

Sightseeing: ¥600 / $5.35

Odawara Castle was a bit pricey, but worth it in the end.

Other: $0

Total: ¥17320 / $154.07

Did we make our $40 budget today?

Today was an embarrassing no. Even if we subside the amount we deposited onto the Pasmo card and the bulk groceries we'd purchased, we'd still be near $100, or double our budget. Spending 4× in one day is a bit extreme, so that means we'll have to curve this from here on out. Can we do it?

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Till tomorrow...