$20 hamburger

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Japan  , Okinawa Prefecture,
Saturday, August 10, 2013

I know Japan is expensive. Having visited Japan in the past, I was prepared to pay much more than what I've been used to. But having been in SE Asia for 7 months where my daily food budget was $5-10 and where I paid no more than $10 for accommodation, the enormous price gap is hard to swallow.
Today we paid $20 for a regular burger and $25 for a large burger. This may just be the most expensive burger I had....ever!
Yesterday on the beach, we paid $15 to RENT a beach umbrella, $10 for a towel, and $10 for a tube!! $6 for a shaved ice. It's so ridiculously expensive. It's been quite a shock, even for a repeated visitor. Despite the beauty of this island, Okinawa is definitely far from a backpacking potential.

And what's more disturbing is that I recently lost $50 :'(
A few days ago, I was at an airport trying to check into a domestic flight to Ishigaki island. I had about 45 minutes before the flight departure. When I walked up to the check-in counter, I was informed I did not have a reservation. WHAT!? I was certain I made a reservation, but I had no confirmation email or printed itinerary. I had simply memorized the flight date and time. How could it be? Furthermore, I was told I had only 13 minutes till departure, not 45 minutes that I had remembered. I practically threw my credit card and told them to run it and put me on the flight. I will deal with the missing ticket later. I ran through the security, and made it on the flight as they were just closing the gates. Phew.
When I arrived at the guesthouse in Ishigaki, I logged onto my credit card history and noticed that I had bought a ticket with another airline company! I had it in my mind that I was flying with Skymark - but my ticket was with ANA airlines!!! Such a rookie mistake!!! I practically bought 2 tickets for $50 to get here. I was so upset. It just seemed like something I would have done much earlier in my trip, not 7 months into it.

On a happier note we spent the last 2 days exploring two islands, Ishigakj and Taketomi. Ishigaki had some breathtaking panoramic views, while Taketomi had an incredible historic charm and ambience. The "village" in the middle of the Taketomi island hosts visitors on a water buffalo carriage and took us around their cute village. The island has a whopping population of 340! There was yet another stunning beach on this tiny island. We spent the rest of the day swimming in the clear waters and gazing into the beautiful horizon. Yes I know...it's a tough life ;)))
An interesting observation I made in Okinawa is that despite being a tropical island with SE Asia islands to the south, there are no palm/coconut trees here! The ones I have seen are artificially planted along the highways, and not naturally growing in the lush jungles. Instead, there are pine trees that nearly smell like Xmas trees. So strange...!
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Comments

Janel on

HI !!! So happy to be all caught up on you. Who knew Japan had such beautiful beaches???? You look so happy and healthy, good for you !!! $20 is that U.S. equivalent?? Even for NYC that's outrageous!

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