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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dollar Almost At 120 Yen, But Tour Costs Rising

Above, Asakusa's Nakamise Dori shopping arcade. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The dollar reached another 7-year high yesterday.

According to Jiji Press:
Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)--The dollar rose to fresh seven-year highs around 119.40 yen before being hit by position-adjustment selling in Tokyo trading on Wednesday.

Right now, according to Kyodo News, the dollar is currently at 119.88-119.88 yen, which is only a stone's throw away from 120 yen.

The decline in the yen is making Japan travel much more affordable for American tourists. But that is a double-edged sword, according to an article in Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia:
SINGAPORE: More people around the world, including Singaporeans, are visiting Japan during this holiday season, due to a weakening yen - currently at a seven-year low - and Japan recently relaxing its visa rules. 
However, local tour agencies Channel NewsAsia spoke to said the increase in the number of people visiting Japan has raised tour package prices by 10 to 15 per cent. The agencies said they have had to bear the additional costs and are trying to find ways to reduce their expenses.
It's the old law of supply & demand. As the yen's decline makes Japan travel more affordable, it increases demand and this puts a strain on the available resources tour operators rely upon and increases their costs as they have to look for other sources (such as bus lines for land travel for tours) if their normal vendors are booked up.

Frankly, I prefer going to Japan on my own as it is cheaper than with a tour. Plus, your time is your own and going on your own allows you plenty of freedom to do what you want. The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan provides the "nuts & bolts" of a "do it yourself" trip to Japan.

To read the full story, go here.

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