Tourists Guide to Traveling to Japan (How Expensive is it?)

Traveling to Japan is a cultural experience like no other. The food, the destinations, the accommodations, and the people are all unique in their own ways. 

Many tourists visit Japan in the Spring and the Fall to see the cherry blossoms and the autumn foliage. If you want to skip the crowds, try visiting in the summer or the winter

As far as finances go, everyone’s wallet is going to feel a little different, so let’s discuss the costs associated with traveling in Japan. 

Narita Airport Tokyo

How much should I budget for a trip to Japan?

If you’re on a budget, you can visit Japan for an affordable price, or you can live in indulgence and extravagance while you’re there. Whatever budget you have, Japan can likely accommodate your wallet’s needs. 

Where you stay can have a large impact on your budget. Your stay could range from $7 (700 yen) to well above $300 (30,000 yen) per night, per person. The more expensive options could quickly add up for a family. 

Currency Exchange Service In Osaka

What you eat can also have an impact on your budget. If you eat high-quality sushi every day of your trip, you’re going to have a higher average day-to-day expense than if you enjoy the street vendor snacks and ramen for some of your meals. The cost varies greatly with the options available. 

A general rule of thumb for budgeting your trip to Japan is as follows:

Average Daily Budget (In Yen)One Person Two PersonsFamily Cost 3-4 Persons
Low (Budget Minded)4,000-8,0007,500-15,0008,500-20,000
Medium (Average Cost)9,000-18,00014,000-30,00020,000-35,000
High (Luxury Traveler)19,000-45,000+25,000-55,000+40,000-60,000+
Cost Varies By City And Region

Is Japan expensive?

Japan can be expensive, but there’s a cost-friendly side of Japan as well. It’s going to be expensive if you splurge on the best options available-the best sushi, the best hotels, the best attractions, etc.

There are budget-friendly options for those who aren’t ready to spend like Japanese royalty on their visit to Japan.

10,000 Yen Notes (About $100 USD)

When should I organize my trip to Japan?

Planning a trip to Japan may take some research and some advance planning.

If you want to stay in multiple locations in Japan, you’ll want to plan your travels accordingly. Going in a linear fashion, rather than ping-ponging your way around the country, is going to be more cost-effective for a smaller budget.

When you’re planning your trip, you may want to consider where you want to stay in each location. The accommodations vary greatly, so you may want to research them further to determine which ones would be suitable for your circumstances and budget. 

Regions and Prefectures In Japan

By booking your stay in advance, you could be saving money. This is especially true if you decide to stay in Japan in the busy season. Availability and demand can be deciding factors when it comes to finding accommodations on a budget. 

When you decide you want to go to Japan is probably a great time to start organizing the trip. You can gather all the information you’ll need, study the culture, know where you want to go, what you want to see, and what you want to eat.

Planning early is also exciting, and the whole process will (hopefully) help you look forward to your trip.

What should I do on a trip to Japan?

There are lots of sites to see in Japan. Between parks, shrines, temples, galleries, castles, gardens, landmarks, observatories, beaches, and more there is surely something for everyone to enjoy in Japan.

Most activities and entrance fees for temples, museums, and gardens are around $5, some as little as $2, and some a little more than $10. 

Asakusa Temple Tokyo

Festivals cost nothing to attend, but you’ll want to bring some cash anyway to try food from the street vendors and possibly grab a souvenir while you’re enjoying the festivities. 

Where should I visit on a trip to Japan?

In Japan, you’ll find traditional and unique cultural experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Just walking down the streets and popping into some shops that get your interest can be an experience you’ll never forget.

The island of Okinawa is a beautiful place to visit. The island features stargazing, amazing swimming and diving experiences, cherry blossoms in season, and beautiful historical sites.

Okinawa

If you’d like a more urban experience, you could visit Tokyo. It is Japan’s cultural center for fashion, fun, and food. Tokyo is a large city with a plethora of technology, nightlife, and did we mention the food?!

Tokyo does have a rival: Kyoto. It’s also a rich cultural experience and a major tourist attraction. Kyoto can be less expensive than Tokyo. Kyoto features more charming attractions like temples, gardens, hiking, and shrines.

Hiroshima is also lively and bustling today. Although the sad history may be marked forever on the walls, the community you’ll find in modern-day Hiroshima is focused on peace and moving into the future by remembering the tragedy of the past.

Hiroshima

If you happen to be in Japan on August 6, you would be able to attend the remembrance ceremonies. This ceremony honors those who suffered from the tragic happenings in Hiroshima. 

Where you go and what you do while in Japan are completely up to what you want to experience during your visit to Japan.

If you want to experience the best of all of Japan, make a few stops and enjoy each one rather than limiting yourself to just one place or experience. All of Japan waits, after all. 

Where should I eat on a trip to Japan?

The most common recommendation is to try Ramen and as many different kinds as possible. The Japanese are renowned for their ramen, so it’s probably a good place to start.

Ramen rarely costs more than $10 (1000 yen). Ramen is highly customizable in Japan, from the strength of the broth, the texture of your noodles, all the way down to the toppings you want.

Japanese Style Ramen

You can have ramen however and wherever you please when you’re in Japan!

Street vendors sell small bites for around $5 if you’re hungry while exploring the more urban areas. This includes various meats on sticks, noodles, stir fry, and oh so much more.

Sushi is another Japanese staple to experience when you visit. You can get good sushi for around $10-20, but the price varies greatly.

It is recommended to try sushi at a fish market to experience the best fresh sushi by the sushi masters of the world.

Worlds Best Sushi Is Found In Japan

Japanese curry is also a hit among travelers. If you enjoy Indian curry, you’ll want to try Japanese-style curry. You can get a spicy or savory curry, so you’ll likely find a variety that you like.

Another Japanese experience worth the splurge is kaiseki. This is a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner. They can often run a high price, but you’ll certainly leave the table very satisfied and arrive at breakfast the same way.

Where should I stay on my trip to Japan?

Accommodation in Japan varies greatly in style, commodities, and price.

There are tiny rooms called capsule hotels, ranging greatly, depending on the hotel. They can be anywhere from $7 to over $50. This price will vary depending on the season and availability as well.

Capsule Style Hotel In Tokyo

Japan also features a traditional Japanese-style inn called a Ryokan. These rooms usually include dinner and breakfast. They vary in price greatly, ranging from 6,000-40,000 yen per person ($60-400 USD).

Minshuku is like Ryokan, but they’re more like a bed and breakfast that are family-run.

These rooms may include breakfast, and some may include an additional meal. You can expect to spend anywhere from 4,000-10,000 yen per person ($40-100 USD).

A Luxury Style Ryokan (family Inn) In Japan

Hostels or Dormitories can also be a cheap option. They cost around 1,500 to 4,000 yen per person ($15-40 USD) and often also offer meals.

Japan also features Western-style hotels and business hotels.

If you’re looking for a rental instead of a hotel, you can find vacation rentals varying greatly. These may be apartments or historic houses.

Hotels In Naha Okinawa

There are a few temples that offer lodgings. These temple lodgings often include two meals, vegetarian, and an invitation to join the morning ceremonies.

When should I visit Japan?

Spring is popular due to the famous cherry blossoms. This is one of the most popular times of the year in Japan, and romantic too. The hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) is very popular and makes for a great romantic trip for couples.

Cherry Trees In Full Bloom, Tokyo

March and April are great for the cherry blossoms, but these months will be crowded and more expensive.

May is pleasant and the crowds are a little more dispersed.

Summer is great due to the large volume of festivities (matsuri) in Japan. It’s also warm enough to hike or visit temples and shrines.

Summer Festival Fireworks Over Tokyo

June is warm and rainy, but mostly in the form of afternoon showers.

July and August are hot and humid, but you’ll find a plethora of festivals.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in Japan due to the nice temperatures and the autumn foliage.

September may be hot but less crowded.

October and November are busy due to tourists visiting to see the gorgeous autumn leaves.

Kyoto Tour Boat In Autumn

Winter is a good time to visit the hot springs in Japan. You’ll also be able to find great places to ski and/or snowboard.

January and February can be frigid, but there are few tourists.

December can be cold but crowded for New Year’s.

Tour Packages In Japan Via AJT (All Japan Tours)

A Rare Snow In Tokyo’s Asakusa Temple

How Expensive Is Traveling And Visting Japan Via Abroad In Japan

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.