How to Budget for Your Trip to Japan

Are you planning a trip to Japan but unsure about how much money to budget? It’s important to consider the costs of accommodation, meals, transportation, and sightseeing to get a better idea of the overall expenses. Here’s a breakdown of each cost category to help you plan your budget effectively.

The Cost of Accommodation

Japan offers a wide range of accommodation options, catering to every traveler’s preferences. Whether you want to experience the traditional charm of a ryokan or stay in a modern guesthouse, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s an estimate of the average cost for one night in different types of Japanese accommodation:

  • Budget: ¥3,600 for a dorm bed in a hostel
  • Mid-range: ¥17,000-20,000 for a double room in a hotel
  • Luxury: ¥40,000-45,000 for a double room at a ryokan


The Cost of Meals

One of the great things about Japan is that you can find delicious and affordable food everywhere. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the options are endless.

While the cost of meals in Japan can vary depending on your choices, it’s generally recommended to set aside around ¥4,600 per day per person.

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Here’s a breakdown of the average daily allowances for meals:

  • Budget: ¥2,000
  • Mid-range: ¥5,000
  • Luxury: ¥10,000-15,000


The Cost of Transportation

Japan is known for its excellent transportation networks, including trains, trams, and buses. Investing in a Japan Rail Pass is highly recommended if you plan to travel extensively within the country. However, keep in mind that the pass only covers JR-operated lines, and you’ll still need to pay for subway rides separately.

For local transportation, it’s convenient to have a prepaid IC card, which you can use for subways, vending machines, and some shops and restaurants. A single trip on the Tokyo metro, for example, costs ¥210.

If you prefer the freedom of a road trip, car rental prices can vary depending on the type of vehicle, location, and duration. On average, expect to pay around ¥6,900 for a medium-sized car or ¥9,500 for a larger car for one day.

Bullet Train

The Cost of Sightseeing

Contrary to popular belief, many of Japan’s famous temples, shrines, parks, and museums can be enjoyed for free. Whether you want to explore the historic streets of Kyoto or visit the bustling Dotonbori district in Osaka, there are plenty of budget-friendly options.

However, some major tourist attractions may have entrance fees. Here are a few examples of the costs you might encounter:

  • Tokyo Skytree: ¥1,800-3,100 per adult
  • Sumo match: ¥2,800-14,300 per adult
  • Tokyo Disneyland: ¥7,900-9,400 per adult for one day
  • Ghibli Museum: ¥1,000 per adult
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: ¥200 per adult
  • Osaka Castle: ¥600 per adult

Osaka Castle


  • Q: Are there any discounts available for transportation or sightseeing?

    • A: Yes, there are often discounted tickets available for attractions and various transportation passes targeted at tourists. It’s worth exploring these options to save money.
  • Q: Can I use credit cards for payments in Japan?

    • A: While credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas, it’s recommended to carry some cash as smaller businesses may only accept cash.
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When budgeting for your trip to Japan, consider the costs of accommodation, meals, transportation, and sightseeing. By planning ahead and setting aside an appropriate amount for each category, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey through this fascinating country.

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