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If you’re planning on travelling to Japan, you’re probably wondering how much you need to budget for your trip. While your travel costs will depend on your travel style, generally speaking Japan is best for travellers with some spending money.
Accommodation costs are generally affordable and food and drinks are reasonably-priced. Many of Japan’s best attractions are very affordable or even free and, while some activities could set you back a fair amount, there’s plenty to do at lower price points too.
A reasonable budget for two for a week in Japan is around ¥133,060.
The above cost is based on staying in good, mid-range accommodation and having a few meals out per week, while preparing some yourself. It makes allowances for a couple of sightseeing activities, but doesn’t take into account expensive activities like adventure sports or private tours.
Generally speaking, the longer you travel, the cheaper it costs per day, while fly-in, fly-out trips can be more expensive.
You can expect to spend between ¥5,000-¥11,000 a night, per couple, on accommodation in Japan. This will get you a private room with your own bathroom in a 3-4-star hotel or apartment rental.See latest hotel deals in Japan
Hostels are, of course, cheaper, but a private room with a shared bathroom will still cost around ¥3,800 per night. A bed in a dorm room also averages around ¥2,000 per night, per person, although there are definitely cheaper options out there.See the highest rated hostels in Japan
Budget to spend around ¥48,608 for two for a week in Japan. This assumes you’re cooking some of the time and drinking some alcohol.
If you enjoy eating out, you can expect to pay around ¥6,254 for a nice dinner for two, including an alcoholic drink. A meal at a pub is likely to be around ¥3,745 for two, with cheaper meals available (especially for lunch) for around ¥701 each.
Assuming that you’ll be eating out some of the time, budget at least ¥7,019 a week for groceries. If you enjoy a few drinks, you’ll need to increase this amount – beer costs around ¥301 for a 500ml bottle and good bottle of wine is around ¥1,426, from a shop, although there are cheaper options available. Milk typically costs around ¥201 for a two-litre bottle and you can expect to pay around ¥422 for a cappuccino from a local café.
You can also keep food costs down by sticking to local foods and drinks.
Getting around Japan is easiest with a train. Transport costs fluctuate depending how much you travel, but budgeting around ¥20,052 for two per week is a good starting point. This should allow you to take a couple of intercity train routes. If you’re planning on doing any tours or using hop-on hop-off buses, you’ll need to up your budget a bit.
Japan has a very good public transport system and major cities have a quick and reliable metro system. Just keep in mind that it can get very busy at peak times.
A lot of the best things to do in Japan are free. However, there definitely are some attractions that cost money – entry fees to a museum or an art gallery are usually around ¥800 - ¥2,000 per person. If you want to do organised day trips or join smaller tour groups to learn more about some of the sites, budget around ¥10,000 per activity per person.
Japan is a beautiful destination to visit and although it’s not cheap, it’s definitely possible to travel there for less. Cooking your own meals, carefully selecting accommodation or limiting meals out will definitely help you to reduce your travel costs. Slow travel is another great way to help your budget to stretch further, while exploring a place in more depth.
Travelling through Japan is definitely possible on a budget – just pick your priorities and compromise on the rest or consider travelling in the off-season and avoiding school holidays to cut down on costs. And, if you’re on the luxury end of the scale or wanting to treat yourself, the sky’s the limit.
Last Updated 5 March 2022