My favourites

  • The True Sapporo Ramen Experience

    I love ramen. Not the instant stuff served in Styrofoam cups, but the fresh noodles served in a bowl of rich soup stock topped with…

  • The True Sapporo Ramen Experience

    I love ramen. Not the instant stuff served in Styrofoam cups, but the fresh noodles served in a bowl of rich soup stock topped with…

  • The True Sapporo Ramen Experience

    I love ramen. Not the instant stuff served in Styrofoam cups, but the fresh noodles served in a bowl of rich soup stock topped with…

  • The True Sapporo Ramen Experience

    I love ramen. Not the instant stuff served in Styrofoam cups, but the fresh noodles served in a bowl of rich soup stock topped with…

Tips for Budget Travels

GUIDE Guide to Traveling Japan on a Budget A guide to budgeting your trip to Japan

Plan in advance to make your trip to Japan affordable

You may have heard that Japan is an expensive place to visit, but don't be discouraged. With some advance planning, Japan is an affordable destination for even the most budget-conscious traveler. Take some time to decide which options best suit your budget.

There are a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts available. Browse our list for more details.

Transportation

Flights

If you are flying to Japan with one of the country's national carriers, Japan Airlines (JAL) or All Nippon Airways (ANA), and intend to take a domestic flight during your stay, it is worth buying your domestic ticket in conjunction with your international ticket. Both JAL and ANA can offer considerable savings on the cost of internal flights purchased in this way. Contact JAL or ANA for further details.

Check out the Domestic Air Service of this site to find out more about domestic air travel and low cost carriers.

Railways

With the Japan Rail Pass , foreign visitors to Japan can enjoy discounted travel on nearly all services of the extensive JR Transportation Network, including the shinkansen, or bullet train. There are also a variety of other rail passes , which offer significant reductions on rail travel in Japan.

Long distance buses

Long distances buses and local train services are other low-cost transport options. Consider taking a night bus as you save on a night's accommodation, too.

Taxis

Taxis in Japan are ideal for short rides within cities if you have a lot of luggage, but long taxi rides are best avoided as they become expensive. Fortunately, Japan's efficient and affordable local transportation networks mean that taxis are rarely required.

Ferries and passenger boats

Ferries are great way to travel long distances in Japan if you have the luxury of time. You can find out more information about routes and discounts in our ferry and cruise ships section.

Transportation and Tours Price
7-day Japan Rail Pass
(Ordinary)
29,110 yen
Tokyo Metro 24-hour ticket 700 yen
Common 1-day ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway 900yen
Toei 1-day economy pass 700 yen
Airport Limousine Bus
(Narita Airport to Central Tokyo)
3,100 yen
bus ride (base fare) from 210 yen
taxi ride (base fare) from 410 yen
1-day guided coach tour
(from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji)
10,000 – 15,000 yen

Accommodations

The cost and quality of accommodation in Japan are comparable with that of most other developed countries and there is something to suit every taste and wallet. Here is a list of useful online booking sites .

Accommodations Price
youth hostel 3,000 yen per night
guesthouse
(single room)
from 3,500 yen per night
budget hotel
(single room)
from 6,000 yen per night
mid-range hotel
(double room)
from 12,000 yen per night
four star hotel
(double room)
from 30,000 yen per night
five star hotel
(double room)
from 50,000 yen per night
ryokan
(including 2 meals)
from 15,000 yen per person per night

Dining out

Dining out in Japan doesn't have to be expensive, and is often better value for money than most other world capitals. Wherever you travel, restaurants in popular tourist areas will always cost more. Follow the locals and you will generally find both lower prices and more authentic Japanese cuisine. Avoid restaurants that don't list their prices outside the door. Budget dining can usually be enjoyed at more casual establishments such as izakaya (Japanese pubs), shokudo (small casual restaurants, often with set meals), kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) and okonomiyaki restaurants.

Comparing Prices

Recent improvements in the foreign exchange rate have meant more favorable prices for overseas visitors to Japan. The price chart on this page is designed to give an idea of what you can expect to pay for a variety of everyday and travel-related items in Japan.

Food, Drink and Sundries Price
drink 130 yen
cup of coffee 100-600 yen
can of beer 200 yen
pint of beer from 500 yen
1/2 liter of mineral water 120 yen
bowl of ramen 600-700 yen
breakfast service in a coffee shop 400-700 yen
Big Mac 390 yen
toothbrush 300 yen
umbrella from 500 yen

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