Japan Budget – How much does it cost to travel to Japan?

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Japan Budget - How much does it cost to travel to Japan?

How much does it cost to travel to Japan? Is a trip to Japan expensive? And what can you expect to pay for food, accommodation, transport, or activities? Knowing how much travel budget you’ll need to travel to a new destination is always useful, right? To help you answer these questions, we made a complete cost breakdown of our expenses and budget for 3 weeks traveling through Japan.

Read also: Japan in 3 weeks: travel route, guide + tips

Travel budget for Japan: good to know

We made a complete overview of all our costs & expenses in Japan and divided it into 5 categories: accommodations, transport, food & drinks, excursions & others like visas, laundry costs and personal purchases.

We tell for every category what we spent in total + what the average daily costs are. So whether you go to Japan for 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or 1 month, this article will give you a good indication of how much budget you need for your own trip to Japan.

What’s not included in our travel budget for Japan

Our purchases such as flights, travel insurance, and our backpacks are not included in the budget, as these costs are different for everyone and we had already bought this in advance.

Read also: Best websites to find the cheapest flights

Ameya-Yokochō Market - Tokyo

Accommodations in Japan – 19 days – $800

(total for 2 persons)

Most of our total travel budget for Japan was spent on accommodations. Nevertheless, we didn’t choose to stay in private rooms but in hostels to save money which we could spend on other things like excursions and activities. The hostels in Japan are also way different and more luxurious than somewhere else. They all had very comfortable and clean dorm-rooms, looked super nice with a trendy atmosphere, and were excellent rated.

Bear in mind that prices of hotels with private rooms can be very expensive in Japan, especially when you go during peak months like the cherry blossom season.

Money-saving tip: use this link to save up to $45 on your first booking on Airbnb

  • 18 nights in hostels – average $21/night per person

Read also: Best hotels & hostels in Japan

Where to stay in Japan - Hostel in Takayama
Our dorm room in Cup of Tea Hostel in Takayama
Streets in Osaka Japan
Cosy streets in Osaka
The streets of Kawaguchiko with stunning Mount Fuji views
The streets of Kawaguchiko with stunning Mount Fuji views

Transport in Japan – 19 days – $524 

(total for 2 persons)

Transport in Japan is quite expensive but very easy to get to everywhere. As we wanted to travel to Japan on a budget we didn’t buy a JR Pass and travel with highway buses and normal trains. At the end of our trip to Japan, we found out that we saved almost $400 on transport.

Read also: Japan in 3 weeks: travel route, guide + tips

  • Bus from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tokyo center – JPY 1800 ($16) per person
  • Metro tickets – We used a prepaid Pasmo card (or Suica Card) for all our subway/metro rides and a discounted one-day Metro Pass in Tokyo – JPY 8100 ($75) per person
  • Bus from Tokyo To Kawaguchiko/Mount Fuji (we booked the Highland Highway Bus with Willer Express) – JPY 2000 ($18,5) per person
  • Train from Kawaguchiko station to visit the Chureito Pagoda – JPY 1040 ($9,8) per person
  • Bike rental in Kawaguchiko (we rented 2 bikes at the bike shop in front of the train station) – JPY 1000 ($9,7) per person
  • Bus from Kawaguchiko to Takayama (we booked the Nohi Bus and was the literally best one we had on our entire Japan trip) – JPY 5000 ($46) per person
  • Bike rental in Takayama (we booked our bikes where we stayed: Cup of Tea Hostel) – JPY 500 ($4,7) per person
  • Bus from Takayama to Kyoto (we booked the Kintetsu Highway Express Bus) – JPY 4500 ($42) per person
  • Bike rental in Kyoto (we rented our bikes at Kon’s Cycle, highly recommended!) – JPY 1500 ($14) per bike/day
  • A ride on the Scenic Romantic train from Sagano (bamboo forest) – JPY 630 ($6) per person
  • Train from Kyoto to Nara (we took the Kintetsu Express line) – JPY 520 ($4,7) + needed to pay an extra fee the moment we exit the station JPY 570 ($5,8) per person (we were not aware we took the Express line, so make sure you take the normal train if you don’t want to pay extra)
  • From Nara to Osaka with the train- JPY 520 ($4,7) per person
  • Train from Osaka City to Osaka International Airport KIX (we took the Namba Line) – JPY 930 ($8,6) per person

Read also: How to get around Tokyo: our best tips for transport

Taking the train in Japan - Mount Fuji
Taking the train from Kawaguchiko to the Chureito Pagoda
Tokyo taking the bus
Taking the bus from Tokyo to Mount Fuji

Food & drinks in Japan – 19 days – $515 

(total for 2 persons)

Eating out in Japan can break the bank as it is quite expensive. We went out for lunch and diner a few times but most of the time we bought food in the supermarkets and prepared our own meals in the kitchen of our hostels. (advantage of sleeping in a hostel!) Below we listed some of the prices we paid for food in the restaurants and supermarkets to give a better idea of the actual costs.

  • Eating out – $61 per person
  • Food and snacks we bought in the supermarkets – an average of $20 per day
    • Avocado’s – JPY 98 ($0,9)/piece
    • A package of “Ready to Cook” vegetables – JPY 230 ($2,1)
    • A mixed salad bowl – JPY 210 ($2)
    • Bread – JPY 220 ($2,1)
    • Pack of oats – JPY 200 ($2)
    • Water – We never pay for drinking water as we travel with our LifeStraw Go Water Bottle which allows us to have safe drinking water everywhere we go + water in Japan is perfectly safe to drink

Read also: Japan in 3 weeks: travel route, guide + tips

Local restaurants in Tokyo
A glimpse inside a local restaurant in Tokyo
Ain Soph. Ripple vegan restaurant in Tokyo
Ain Soph. Ripple vegan restaurant in Tokyo
Eating out in Takayama Japan
Best vegan restaurant in Japan: Heianraku in Takayama
Eating out in Takayama Japan
Our bill at Heianraku in Takayama

Excursions & activities in Japan – 19 days – $ 188 

(total for two persons)

What we spent on excursions and activities was the smallest part of our total travel budget for Japan. Many highlights and things to do in Japan are simply free like visiting Arashiyama Bamboo Forest or seeing Mount Fuji from the beautiful Chureito Pagoda. The only costs we had were entrance fees for famous temples/heritage sites or rooftop view decks in Tokyo. Below some examples of the prices of activities we did or recommend:

    • View the Shibuya Crossing from above from the MAGNET by Shibuya 109 Viewdeck – JPY 600 ($5,5) per person
    • Entrance fee to visit the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – JPY 500 ($4,2) per person
    • Visit the Senso-Ji Temple – free
    • View Tokyo city center from above at Tokyo Skytree – JPY 1900 ($18) per person
    • See Mount Fuji from the Chureito Pagoda in Kawaguchiko – free
    • Walk around Oishi Park at Mount Fuji – free
    • Walk along the Maple Corridor in Kawaguchiko – free
    • Visit the Hida Folk Village in Takayama – JPY 700 ($6,5) per person
    • Wander through the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Forest – free
    • Wander around the famous Torii gates at Fushimi-Inari Shrine – free
    • Visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace – free
    • Stroll around the Kennin-Ji Temple, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto – JPY 500 ($4,2) per person
    • explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Nijo Castle – JPY 1080 ($10) per person or gardens only JPY 600 ($5,5) per person
    • See the deer in Nara Park – free
    • Admire the Todaiji Temple in Nara Park – JPY 600 ($5,5) per person
    • Visit Osaka Castle – JPY 600 ($5,5) per person, the gardens are JPY 200 ($1,7) admission fee
    • Watch monks at the Shittenoji Temple – JPY 300 ($2,7) per person
    • Watch Osaka city center from the top of the Umeda Sky Building – JPY 1500 ($14) per person
    • Go Mario Karting in Osaka – around JPY 4300 ($40) per person

Read also: Tokyo in 5 days: the ultimate travel guide + tips

Japan - Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
Tokyo Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Other expenses in Japan – 19 days – $282

(total for two persons)

Besides everything we have already mentioned, we, of course, had some other expenses too. For example, we did the laundry a few times in our hostels, bought some new gadgets, clothes and went to the pharmacy.

  • Visas – Our visa-on-arrival was free for 90 days

Check here visa costs for your own country

  • Laundry – JPY 300-500 ($3-5) per load
  • New polar pro filter for our DJI Mavic Air drone – JPY 7500 ($70)
  • Pharmacy – JPY 750 ($7)
  • Some new sweaters and pants to beat the colder days – JPY 11900 ($110)
  • We didn’t buy a sim card or data bundle in Japan as we had free WiFi in all our hostels and public places like the subway stations. Even the highway bus we took to go from Tokyo to Mount Fuji (for example) got free WiFi.
Yodobashi Umeda Camera Store in Osaka
Yodobashi Umeda Camera Store in Osaka
Laundry in Japan - Takayama
A coin-laundry in Kawaguchiko near Mount Fuji

Total expenses for 3 weeks in Japan – 19 days – $2310

(total for two persons)

During our 3 weeks in Japan, we have spent $2310 in total for both of us, which is an average daily budget of around $60 per person. Most of our travel budget for Japan went to accommodations but saved quite a lot of money to take hostels instead of hotels. We saved also money on transport and activities by using highway buses instead of the high-speed bullet trains and visited many sights that were free.

Hopefully, you can use all this information yourself when planning your own trip to Japan. If any information is missing, please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

JAPAN TRAVEL BUDGET: OUR COSTS & EXPENSES

Resources we’ve used to determine our Japan budget – How much does it cost to travel to Japan?

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Japan Budget - How much does it cost to travel to Japan
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