Costs & Budgets
The cost of travel in Japan may not be as expensive as you think. Travelers are often surprised by how reasonable the prices are for sightseeing, food, and shopping.
Of course, you can find expensive items, such as a prized honeydew melon or a box of beautiful strawberries for 10,000 yen! But these prices are exceptional and do not reflect the average costs.
Average Cost of Travel in Japan
Breakdown of Costs
It is best to budget around $3,500 USD for a one-week trip to Japan for two people, not including airfare. It is possible to spend a little less or a lot more, depending on your preferences.
|Food (8 days)||$100||$800|
|Accommodation (3-star hotel for 7 nights)||$200||$1400|
|Transportation (7-Day Pass)||$800|
There are so many options for good food at reasonable prices in Japan. For two people, plan on a daily budget of around 2,000 yen for breakfast, 2,000 yen for lunch, and 6,000 yen for dinner.
Breakfast or morning sets are available at most cafes for around 500-700 yen. A morning set usually includes toast, an egg or fruit, salad, and coffee or tea. There is also a McDonald’s on every corner if you want something familiar. Breakfast sets at McDonald’s include a hash brown and coffee for around 500 yen.
For lunch, you can choose from udon, soba, ramen, curry, sushi, onigiri, fast food such as Mos Burger, or a bento box for less than 1,000 yen per person. A teishoku set lunch from a Japanese restaurant ranges from 1,200-1,500 yen per person.
|Water (500 ml bottle)||120 yen|
|Coke (500 ml bottle)||160 yen|
|Café Latte at Starbucks (Tall)||455 yen|
|Donut at Mister Donut||140 yen|
|Big Mac at McDonald’s||450 yen|
|Big Mac Combo Meal||710 yen|
|Roast Beef Sandwich at Subway||590 yen|
|Bowl of Udon Noodles||400-700 yen|
|Movie at the Cinema||1,900 yen|
|Asahi Beer (330 ml can)||230 yen|
|Malboro Cigarettes||600 yen|
Dinner at a Japanese restaurant, such as an Izakaya (Japanese bar and grill) or Okonomiyaki restaurant, is usually around 6,000 yen for two people (including drinks). You can find great restaurants near train stations and inside department stores.
When traveling with two people, the cheapest accommodation is a business hotel. Business hotels are conveniently located near popular train stations, have modern amenities, and are clean. Expect to spend around $100 per night for two people at a business hotel.
Single travelers looking to lower their budget may want to try hostels or capsule hotels, which run about 3,500 yen per night.
Luxury hotels, such as the Hilton or Marriott, and Ryokan (Japanese inns) typically charge per person and not per room. A stay at these types of hotels will increase the cost of travel in Japan. One night can range from 20,000-50,000 yen per person per night.
See our recommendations for hotels in Tokyo and hotels in Kyoto.
The best deal for travelers in Japan is the Rail Pass. The 7-Day Pass is around $300 per person and offers unlimited access on JR trains and Shinkansen.
If you’re going to do a lot of travel by subway in local areas, it is best to purchase a day pass or IC Card. Day Passes offer unlimited rides and are usually less than 1,000 yen.
Taxis can get expensive, so it is best to stick to the trains and subways when possible. A short ride in a taxi typically costs around 1,000 yen.
Sightseeing is not so expensive. You can enter many temples and shrines for free. Generally, admission to notable temples, shrines, and castles is around 500 yen. Museums can cost around 1,000-2,000 yen.
It’s good to budget a little extra for a couple of fun nights of karaoke, movies, or clubs. The price of karaoke depends on the venue, but is generally 2,000-3,000 yen for one hour for two people. A new movie at the cinema is 1,900 yen per person. And clubs can vary from 2,000-3,000 yen for admission.
Whether it’s electronics, clothing, or souvenirs, you’re going to want to budget money for shopping. 100 yen shops are a great place to find Japanese goods, such as chopsticks and sake sets. For more expensive items, tourists can enjoy tax-free shopping at major department and electronics stores (consumption tax is 10%).
There is no tipping in Japan. This includes the server at a five-star restaurant, taxi driver, delivery man, or bartender. If you leave money, they will usually just give it back to you. At some high-end establishments, a service charge is added to your bill, so no tip is expected.
Update: We’ve recently started using the WISE card for transferring funds into foreign currency. It’s a convenient and safe way to exchange, withdraw, and spend money while traveling.
You can use your WISE card anywhere MasterCard is accepted, and you can withdraw money from ATMs with minimal fees. You can read more about it in our Wise Card article.
Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime?
Experience Japanese culture, travel like a local and get to know the real Japan on one of our Small Group Tours.
More Travel Tips You Might Like
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We have no association with the companies or the products reviewed. These are our own opinions of top travel products.
Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!