I'm not expecting to be able to use my debit/credit card in too many places while there, so I'm planning on buying enough yen for my five day stay.
I'll have a rail pass, so I'm not expecting to pay that much for transportation unless I grab a non-JR bus, but I have no idea how often I'll be doing that. Good thing I love to walk!
Is there any way of estimating how much cash I will need per day for, say, food? I expect I'm probably going to do some shopping, but I have no idea how much things cost in general, so may be not as much as I think.
I'd like to have at least ONE meal in a mid to higher-end restaurant and will probably want to go to at least one museum.
My goal is to try to avoid the ATMs - I'll be staying in a hotel near Haneda airport and can no doubt take their shuttle back to the airport to use the currency exchange services there if I have to (I WILL be able to get yen from my foreign-issued Visa/ATM card, right? Or do I need dollars in cash for that transaction?).
My first time off North America this is, so I'm a complete n00b!
mrsspooky5154-san, kon'nichiwa The costs for meals might vary depending on where to eat and what to eat, as well as whether or not you drink alcohol. Let's say there're many lunch deals from "one coin" which is usually 500 yen to 2,000-3,000 yen lunch in a posh restaurant. The most common lunch set spending is around 1,000-1,500 yen. As to dinner.....for one person it'd vary from 1,000 yen to....I don't know 5 or 6 thousand? Depending on what kind of restaurant you go and whether or not you drink alcohol, the price can be very different and I can't "cap" the range If you go to a posh restaurant having a full course with some good wine, it'd easily reach 5,000 yen.
I'm not too sure about withdrawing yen cash with foreign VISA card, but it should be possible. You need to confirm such details with your card company. Your ATM (bank) card might be a bit more complicated. Cashing in Japan sometimes don't go through for some reason and I've seen many foreign people having problems, so please make sure you talk to your card company before coming to Japan and get contact number for in case you have trouble here.
Budget issue would be difficult to discuss, but you can check some websites to find out what costs how much, just as reference Museums of course have website and should show information on entrance fee there.