Japan is expensive, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Of course you can find everything you need in 100yen shops, Uniqlo and discount supermarkets. But there's more to life than just the necessities. If you go out for coffee or a bite to eat, rarely is your bill less than 1000yen. Public transport is efficient but not cheap. Actually Sendai's subway is famous for a)only having one line, b) not accepting Suica cards and c)being ridiculously over-priced compared to the rest of Japan. And obviously I can't stop buying clothes.
So what's a girl to do?
I have to confess that I'm addicted to dates. Whether they're romantic or platonic, a day out with me typically follows the same pattern. And will definitely be called a デート (date). Probably with a "♥" afterwards. Lunch-> shopping -> cake -> purikura. Maybe karaoke too. But now I have to save for language school next year, so I'm really trying to be stricter. I don't believe in cutting out all luxuries for the sake of saving. I've had a few too many brushes with death to follow a path of delayed gratification. So here I present my slimmed-down, cheapo Japanese date. First, cake. Cake is better than a main course because:
- cake is cheaper
- cake is filling
- cake is prettier
- cake is delicious
- cake is cake
- you can take pictures of cake and blog about it later (ahem)
The two cakes above are from my favourite cake cafe that I introduced before, part of the seasonal Winter range.
Sendai at night
Next, take in the view. Every city in Japan has (at least one) incredibly tall building where you can ride elevator up to the top and enjoy breathtaking views. In Tokyo it's the metropolitan government building. In Sendai it's the AER shopping/office building. Both are free and offer a much better experience than anything you have to pay for. Kawaii bonus: act like a real Japanese girl and use your sudden fear of heights to get close to your date.
Budget picnic: jasmine tea, apple tea, Market-O Brownie to share
The winter nights are cold, so don't forget your pre-heated drinks from the convenience store! And a brownie for post-cake dessert..
How about dressing for your date on a budget? Actually, these tights from Tutuanna aren't that cheap, but they're less than what I would usually spend on tights. I'd rather pay more for a pair that won't ladder after 3 wears. But this cosmic print is so cool, I thought they were worth the risk. So far I find them a little short (I'm 169cm) but fine with a knee length skirt.
Spring is almost upon us but there's still time for a Winter Romance!
How is everyone else saving money post-Christmas?
Any other tips for date-night in Japan?
And isn't cake just the best?