Contrary to many well known travel guides, Japan is not an expensive place to visit.
On average over 12 nights, accommodation was Y5,900 per night, about $A80. For Tokyo (Terminal Hotel, Ueno) and Matsumoto (New Station Hotel), both very very comfortable 3-Star hotels, and were booked via Hotels.Com and Expedia. These single rooms both included TV, tea making, decent shower/bath and comfortable beds. I take the view that the room is just a place to sleep and don’t get hung up on the finery. Yes the rooms are small, but does it matter? The key for me is access, choose a place within a few hundred metres of the transport hubs. They aren’t hard to find.
At Nikko, I chose to stay at the Nikko Park Lodge which is hostel type accommodation.Through a mix-up with my booking, I ended up having a ‘suite’ which is unusual for a hostel. It actually was bigger than the Ueno and Matsumoto hotels, and had a small kitchen as well! Great value, fantastic view.
All the other costs bundled up (food, beer, transport, entry fees etc) averaged Y8,000 per day – about $A100. If that daily cost (Y14,000 or $180) is too much – just delete the beer! A beer generally costs more that a decent meal! Then again, delete the food and keep the beer.