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Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Portland, Oregon
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Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

I'm visiting Singapore soon and I decided to visit japan as well (kyoto only for 4 days). I already have an idea regarding my budget in singapore since I already have an airfare, hotel and entrance fees to tourist destinations.

I asked this on Japan forum but they said they have never visited singapore yet. I guess it won't hurt to ask it here :-)

EXCLUDING airfare and hotel, which country is more expensive to visit? I will only use public transportation, eat at hawker courts in singapore and market places in japan, and entrance fees to shrines in japan and marina bay and other major tourist attractions in singapore.

Is it almost the same? Singapore is more expensive? Kyoto is more expensive?

If you've visited singapore and kyoto before, can you pls give me an idea? Tnx!

North Yorkshire...
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1. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Once hotel and airfares are bought and paid for Singapore can be as inexpensive as you want. So much in Singapore is ''free'' or cost relatively little. Google ''things to do for free in Singapore'', (see link) and do the same for Kyoto.

Certainly food is very inexpensive in Hawkers/Food-Courts in Singapore, or you can pay $2-300 plus per person in high end eateries.

tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g294265-c201796/Si…

Edited: 02 March 2014, 07:02
Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Wow, thanks for the links ddigs, very nice read!!!

I wonder why people say Singapore is an expensive destination?

LON-SIN
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3. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Hotels are more expensive than it's immediate neighbours and shopping is more akin to what you would find in western nations rather than the markets of Bangkok. Transport ( even by taxi) and food is usually very cheap.

Sin$15 will feed you for a day and cover public transport.

Australia
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4. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Hello,

I travel to Singapore regularly, and have been to Kyoto a couple of times. I don't spend a lot in each place because I make the choice to travel by public transport, eat local food in smaller eateries, and enjoy museums, free places like temples, and joining local free or inexpensive walking tours as well as wandering around on my own. It's all about choice. Both places can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want them to be.

North Yorkshire...
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5. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

''I wonder why people say Singapore is an expensive destination?''

Because a few things, like USS, super ''expensive'' shops and the cost of the ''better'' hotels are on a par or even more expensive than similar hotels in other major cities.

Also the definition of ''expensive'' means things that cost more than they're worth, (not things that cost a lot of money, there's a difference) ''worth'' being the operative word, as it's completely subjective.

Glad I was able to help you. Enjoy wherever you decide, but Singapore is well ''Worth'' it. imho of course.

Australia
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6. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Hi again,

I remember from one of your other forum threads that you will be travelling with your mother. There are a number of discounted entry fee prices for seniors visiting the city. This article on Singapore for Seniors might allow you to make some extra savings while visiting the sights -

tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g294262-c205365/Si…

Singapore
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7. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

This is not straightforward; it's quite subjective depending on who you ask. For Singaporean point of view, Japan has recently become more affordable because of favourable currency exchange rates. Before 2013, 1 SGD got you around 60 JPY, now it gets you 80 JPY.

I was in Kyoto last year May and I thought prices were comparable to here. The exchange rate I got was 1 SGD to 80 JPY or thereabouts.

Food - costs more in Kyoto

Public transport - slightly cheaper in Singapore, more efficient in Kyoto.Tap and go with EZlink card in Singapore on buses and subway and the Icoca card in Kyoto. For Kyoto, You can't use the Icoca card on city buses yet but I understand this will be available in the future.

Major attractions - cheaper in Kyoto. Temples and shrines are admission free or just a small fee. Singapore does have plenty of free attractions, but a lot of major attractions are ticketed.

Singapore is multicultural Asian city, whereas Kyoto is steeped in Japanese tradition and culture.

In Kyoto, and throughout Japan, there are people who volunteer as goodwill guides. They meet up with you personally and show you around town like you're on a private tour. It's great because you get to interact with locals and find out more about their way of life. All for the price of a meal. There are several groups in Kyoto which you can find out about in the link below.

jnto.go.jp/eng/…kyoto

Edited: 02 March 2014, 10:11
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

For me, it depends on what you want to do in either place.

Having been to Singapore a number of times (and love it-will be there again next month), and Ive been to Kyoto only once (and plan on going again), I would pick Kyoto because Singapore is something I get to visit quite often and Kyoto just has something that I enjoyed very much and want to see more off.

For me, Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and there are cosmopolitian cities all over the world, Kyoto is one of a kind.

Apparently we are "temple people" and can visit temples and parks and castles for 3 weeks and still be happy. Singapore is a great place to visit but my vote is Kyoto.

For expense, I found it was quite cheap. You could easily get dinner for 1000-2000yen per person, drinks 150yen. We actually came home with money from Japan as I over budgeted for meals/transport.

Worldwide
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9. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Singapore now ranks #1 in the world for cost of living, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Home and car ownership, plus high prices on lots of retail merchandise and foodstuffs factor in. Japan used to have a rep for being hugely expensive. But 2 decades of deflation has changed that, and there are good values around Japan. Overall, considering the ranges of lodging and eating options, and the cost and quality of public transport in both places, I find there to be huge cost overlap between Kansai and Singapore (both of which I frequent and greatly enjoy).

BTW, many Japanese prefer Thailand to Singapore. Many Japanese make Buddhist-related travel around to other Buddhist countries. Shopping, including home design/decor items are now much better priced in Thailand than in Singapore. Many Japanese who like golf, love the costs and year-round golfing of Thailand. So you might get more conversation on a Japanese forum asking for comparisons between Japan and Thailand. (I haven't done this, as a former resident of Thailand with Singaporean in-laws and several friends and workmates also in Japan.)

Have you found a fare to Singapore that includes an affordable or gratis stopover at Kansai Airport? If so, I'd encourage you to consider (and map out) an itinerary that includes both places. If not, and you are considering a round-trip to Singapore or Kansai, and a separate round trip to the other place - the bargain airfares between the two places are thin on the ground - and would ramp up the per-day cost of a 4-day side trip. There are better-priced 4-day side trips from Singapore than Japan, IMHO, if your Kansai visit were not nicely bundled into your air ticket to Singapore.

I hope you have checked pages on Wikivoyage for Singapore, Kyoto, Osaka and the like. And Japan Guide for travel info for Japan. And, of course, TA content on those places.

1. I am sure that you have followed TA forums, and looked at listings on attractions and eating for Singapore. You might wish to check the Singapore Esplanade Website for possible concerts-exhibits-plays. And other local Websites for live music and other such things. Google is your friend on those. You say that much has already been arranged. Whether that includes transport, or you will be using public transport enough to get an EZ-Link card, you may already know.

2. For Kansai - consider getting an ICOCA prepaid transit card for convenience in moving about by most trains and buses (but not Kyoto buses). If staying in Kyoto the ICOCA plus Haruka (express train to transfer from the airport to Kyoto Station) may be good value. If staying in Osaka (which often has more lodging choice with lower prices), the simple ICOCA may be better value. I, personally, stay in Osaka. But that is because of networking with friends, and the flat that I can get through them (for $20/night single, $30/night couple). Business hotels like Toyoko Inn, Route Inn and the like may cost ~$50 for a single room in much of Japan other than Tokyo. Those have extremely compact (not capsule but normal and fully functional) rooms, often with gratis and quite good breakfast. That is much better lodging value than you can get in Singapore. Agoda will often list such places, so you can see where they might be located, etc. Some of those hotels (like Toyoko Inn) have multilingual Websites for booking. Hint - "eki mae" in a hotel name means that a it is next to a train station. Train station areas are also good areas for value eating (meaning under $10 nett, in a culture with no tipping), shopping, etc. Of course, much more stylish hotels or ryokan are available for more JPY$$$.

Alternatively, a Kansai WIDE Area Pass gives you 4 days of travel on a variety of routes that extend quite far from Kyoto and Osaka, for excellent value. A daytrip or overnight to Okayama for world famous gardens and Kurishiki heritage village would more than pay for the 4-day pass by itself. I will be using this for a visit to Osaka from Singapore for cherry blossom viewing later this month with my wife. We will also make a side trip to Kanazawa to visit the most beautiful garden that I have seen anywhere – hopefully for peak cherry blossom viewing (and enjoying the scene of many other people revelling in the beauty of those gardens).

If you visit Kyoto, I hope that Nara and KoyaSan are on your list of candidates for visits.

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Singapore or Kyoto? Which is more expensive to visit?

Kyoto is definitely more expensive in terms of food, transport and tourist attractions.

Singapore is ranked the most expensive city by the EIU. Take it with a pinch of salt. It takes into account prices of owning a house and a car, which is definitely more expensive. Hence, this ranking is more pertinent for expats who wish to relocate to Singapore. The ranking probably does not apply to locals and tourists.