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Home » How much does it cost to travel to Japan? A breakdown of travel expenses for first-time visitors

How much does it cost to travel to Japan? A breakdown of travel expenses for first-time visitors

    How much does it cost to travel to Japan?

    How much does it cost to travel to Japan?; Japan can be an incredibly expensive country to visit, especially if you aren’t from an affluent country. 


    If you’re planning on visiting Japan and want to cut costs wherever possible, it’s important to plan so you don’t end up broke at the end of your trip and with nothing saved for your next destination.

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    Step 1: Create a detailed trip budget

    Before you book your flight or start packing your bags, take a moment to sit down and create a detailed budget for your trip. 

    This will help you avoid any surprises later on and ensure that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses. 

    It’s important to note that prices in the country may be different than what you’re used to in the US, for example, souvenirs might be more expensive and alcohol could be cheaper (though this varies by location). 

    You should also keep in mind that prices are typically higher in major cities like Tokyo than they are outside of them. 


    It’s also helpful to research transportation costs between destinations as well as any entrance fees for attractions/events.

    For instance, train rides can range from $12-$30 one way depending on how far away the destination is.

    Once you’ve completed your budget, use a conversion tool to see how many yen it would cost. For instance, 100 USD = about 8600 JPY, so a 1-day pass to Disneyland would cost about 12,000 JPY if you exchange currency at an airport ATM before coming into the country.

    Doing so ahead of time can save you anywhere from 400-1500 JPY per day! If your bank doesn’t offer currency exchange services, some Japanese ATMs do provide rates slightly lower than those found at airports. 

    Keep in mind that there are transaction limits set by the ATM provider which must be followed.

    Now that we know how much it costs to get around Japan, let’s look at lodging options: hotels in Tokyo average roughly 15000 JPY per night ($150) but this will vary depending on when you plan to visit and which hotel/area you choose.

    Step 2: Break down costs by major expense categories

    When you’re planning a trip, it’s helpful to break down your costs by major expense categories. For Japan, these categories are airfare, accommodation, transportation, food, and activities. 

    Lighting/transportation: In general, the lighting is quite low inside buildings. The Japanese use floor mats instead of carpets in their homes, which helps with this issue. 

    If you have an external light source at night or need more light during the day, remember that most public buildings have restrooms that allow entry without buying anything (see Where to go below). 

    Street lights are plentiful as well, so if your hotel room doesn’t come with lights then there will be plenty of other places nearby where you can find some. 

    Plus, streetlights outside often provide enough illumination to make up for what isn’t available indoors.

    Transportation Buses and trains typically stop running at around midnight. Taxis are common and easy to flag down; they’ll take credit cards but cannot be hailed on the street as they can in many Western countries. 

    Taxis typically charge a flat rate rather than per mile traveled; in Tokyo, fares start at ¥840 ($8) plus ¥140 ($1) per kilometer traveled.

    Step 3: Factor in additional expenses

    In addition to your flight and accommodation costs, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of food, transportation, and activities. 

    While Japan is known for being a relatively expensive country, there are ways to save money by eating at budget-friendly restaurants, using public transportation, and doing free or cheap activities. 

    Frozen vegetables can be purchased from convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and Family Mart, which offer pre-made dishes that include rice. Eating out can be pricey in Japan so it’s best to buy your groceries beforehand. Prices vary depending on where you live and what time of year it is, but here are some general guidelines:  

    Flight prices fluctuate constantly, so shop around for deals. It may be worth paying more for a direct flight than one with multiple stops to get cheaper tickets (a round-trip ticket from New York City starts at $1,300). 

    Accommodation varies depending on whether you’re looking for hotel or hostel prices. Expect prices to range between $40-$120 per night.

    Step 4: Prepare your bank account for possible issues

    Before you leave for your trip, make sure you have enough money in your account to cover any unexpected costs. 

    You should also alert your bank about your upcoming travel so they don’t flag your account for suspicious activity. 

    Additionally, consider getting travel insurance to protect yourself from any financial issues that may arise while you’re away. 

    Once you arrive at your destination, try to use cash as often as possible and never go over the credit limit on your debit card. 

    It’s best not to rely on a credit card since this will allow thieves to steal all of the funds in your account if they manage to get a hold of it. 

    For more information about making international transactions with your bank account, read our guide on how to avoid fraud abroad.

    Step 5: Save up before you go

    It’s no secret that Japan is an expensive country to visit. If you’re not careful, your travel expenses can quickly add up. 

    That’s why it’s important to save up before you go. Start by setting aside some money each month. 

    Then, when you have enough saved up, you can start planning your trip! The amount you need will depend on what kind of traveler you are. For example, someone who is staying in hotels and eating out every day may need $5,000 or more to enjoy a two-week vacation in Japan. 

    But if you plan on doing activities like cooking and using public transportation, you might only need $2,000 or less. 

    Visit the Japan National Tourism Organization website and search for a destination like Tokyo or Kyoto to find information on costs like transportation, lodging, food, and sightseeing. They’ll also recommend how much cash you should bring with you. 

    From there, research other things like exchange rates or finding a place to exchange money in advance so that you know what to expect when you arrive in Japan.


    Although Japan is an expensive country to visit, there are ways to save money while you’re there. By following our budgeting tips, you can enjoy your trip without breaking the bank, for example, take public transportation instead of taxis and rent a bicycle instead of taking a taxi or Uber around Tokyo. 

    You may also want to consider staying in a cheaper hotel or bringing snacks with you so that you don’t have to buy them at local convenience stores (although they are very tasty!). 

    Lastly, ask your friends and family if they have any experience traveling in Japan before you go so that you know what to expect before you go.