Closing Out the Books on April

We’ve set aside all of our 1¥ and 5¥ coins while we’ve been in Japan for our granddaughter – we jokingly call is “K’s trust fund.” I think there’s over 300¥ in there now – around $3.00 (but I also spy a 50¥ coin right on top in the center).

After a couple of months of being slightly over-budget, we made up for it in April and came in well under our daily goal – yeah us! Brett totaled up everything for the month, and our daily spending average for April was just $38.56! Our 74-day average daily spend for the time we’ve been in Japan also came to $46.65. These really are amounts I wasn’t sure we’d be able to achieve.

Our son’s generosity has helped us immensely, especially this past month – besides covering all transportation expenses involved in picking up our grandson, in return for our time watching the grands they covered everything except souvenirs on our getaway last weekend, and also for meals out together this past month. We have offered to pay for things, or at least for our expenses, but they have refused.

We have 11 more days left in Japan beginning Friday. We are eating down our food supplies, and are for the most part done with sightseeing (we’re visiting the Yanaka neighborhood on Friday, but that’s the last outing). We plan to make one last trip into Yokohama to pick up a couple of food items at the Sogo department store (bird cookies!), but other than that we’re done with spending except for transportation and items that are absolutely necessary.

Tokyo (and Japan) has a reputation for being expensive, and definitely can be if you’re not careful, or like me want to buy everything because it’s Japanese and cool and/or beautiful. Still, I’m very happy and satisfied that we’ve been able to spend three months living here for less than we thought was possible, and without sacrificing anything.


6 thoughts on “Closing Out the Books on April

  1. So glad you were able to get your budget back within your plans!!! Very kind of your son to offer such generosity… You two are such an inspiration, I’ve LOVED travelling along with you 🙂 Have you decided where you will be settling after your travels? Did I miss that post???


    1. We were so happy to see that low daily amount at the end of the month! We think the biggest thing that threw us off at the beginning were the somewhat frequent shopping trips to the commissaries, and to Costo – we spent quite a bit and it really threw off our daily averages. And, our anniversary brunch at the New Sanno had an impact on our budget as well, but it was well worth it.

      #1 on our list of places to settle is Southern California, in either San Clemente, Dana Point or Laguna Beach. We want sunshine, and the ocean near by. But that’s a ways off still.


  2. You did well, and I love that your son paid for a lot of things while you visited. It’s so lovely to have grown kids that are doing well and able to splurge on us as we did for them in their youth. ❤️bird cookies❤️ I still remember winning them in your giveaway. They were delicious. 😀


    1. Our son and DIL have spoiled us rotten while we’ve been here. They pay for everything we do together, and our DIL is always bringing us treats and such.

      Bird cookies are the best. We’ve only had them once so far, but want to take a few back to the U.S. with us for YaYu.

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  3. Dear Laura & Brett, What a joy to read your travel blog and especially about your stay in Japan! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It’s almost as if we’re coming along with you. You’ve peaked our interest in Japan so much so that we’ve decided to make a 10-15 days visit there in October. I am newly retired at 60 and my husband is already retired at 65. This will be my first visit to Japan but my husband had been there for 3-4 times for short business trips. We very much love history, nature & people culture in general and would appreciate any itinerary suggestions you might have including places to stay, & local guided tours. If you don’t have time to write, it’s ok too. But I thought I ask you since I love your perspectives on traveling.

    Take care & have a safe trip to your next destination. Best Regards, Helen Phan



    1. Helen – I’ve written lots of things about Japan; just click on the category on the right side of the page. I will try and write you more with some ideas for an itinerary. Do you think you might want to go to Kyoto or Hiroshima? You’ll be going at a wonderful time of year here with lots of autumn foliage on display. Anyway, give me a few days to pull things together!


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