It used to be considered an indulgence, but at a time when the pound is being pounded by the Euro, and the price of a peak period, short-haul flight is soaring, travelling long haul is often a better-value option.
And ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) has predicted a trend for this type of travel.
Post Office Travel Money has just released the results of its Long Haul City Costs Barometer and (unsurprisingly) Asia tops the survey of 10 typical city-break destinations six or more hours’ flight time from the UK.
Although the outright winner is backpacker favourite Bangkok, it’s the runner-up destination that will likely pique most interest. Previously rated one of the most expensive cities in the world, Tokyo is now a contender for a great value long-distance holiday.
In fact, it was beaten only by Bangkok on the basis that its hotels are more expensive. The Post Office research, which compares the cost of 11 typical items such as meals, drinks, sightseeing and airport transfers, found that everything else in the Japanese capital was far cheaper than its Thai counterpart.
According to the team’s findings, a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine costs under £34 – three times less than the equivalent in Singapore.
So where can you go to get the best value in Tokyo?
Where to eat
Sushi Katsura is rated by website Tokyocheapo.com as one of their best budget sushi restaurants. Located inside the Tsukiji Fish Market, it serves two excellent ichininmae (one portion) menus for 950 (£6.50) and 1,050 (£7) Yen. But be warned: the menu is only in Japanese, and evening meals can be expensive.
Where to drink in Tokyo
There’s no deliberating over options at 300Bar, because everything costs 300 Yen (£2) – including snacks. Buy tokens upfront to exchange with bar staff, and never risk overspending. Men must spend a minimum three tokens and women must spend two.
Where to go in Tokyo
Several temples and museums surround this Ueno Park, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It’s free to wander the green area, which really comes to life during sakura – or cherry blossom season.