The cost of traveling to Japan - All you need to know
Is Japan really expensive to travel to? What should my budget be when traveling to Japan? How much does it cost to spend 2 weeks in Japan?
Japan perfectly combines the beauty of its traditional culture with the rapid growth of its technological advances. A perfect example of this can be the how they have combined traditional sushi with robotics for efficiently. So that being said, how expensive is it to travel to Japan for 2 weeks?
Here is a 2 week Japan Travel Budget Breakdown on the different types of cost you might incur.
Accommodation | The cost of traveling to Japan
As with a majority of trips, our accommodation was the most expensive cost. Costing us around ~ £31 per night for 2 people. This made up about 24% of our entire travel cost.
The average cost for a double-occupancy room is accommodation £47 according to Budgetyourtrip.com
We stayed at a mixed of hotels and a rented apartment throughout the trip. Accommodation is generally expensive in Japan and rooms are on the smaller side than hotels in Europe. At an Inn we stayed at, we slept on futons which are Japanese style mattresses which you set up on the floor.
Does Japan have a Tourist Tax?
Yes, Japan have a departure tax as of 2019, but this price would have been embedded into your plane ticket so don’t worry about needing to pay. But do check if this has changed since then.
Are Futons Comfortable?
Umm, Futons definitely take getting used to especially if you’re used to a thick mattress. It does feel like you’re sleeping on the floor with a duvet on your back.
Food and beverages | Japan travel budget
Our the most expensive outgoing was on food and beverages. With a combined total of Food, Snacks, and Meals working out to 34% of our travel budget.
For the entire 2 weeks, we spent a total of ~£929 on food and drinks, including conbini shops. This works out to be ~ £29 per person per day. We did have a mixture of fancy BBQ wagyu beef meals and street food.
The average cost for meals in one day is £23 per person according to Budgetyourtrip.com
Clearly we did spend more than the average. This is mainly down to the fact we did opt for more sit-down restaurants including a 5 course meal and sit in sushi places.
Breaking down the food cost even further. For sit-down meals, we spent ~£736, which works out to £23 per person per day. Generally, sit-down places in Japan are quite expensive but you really get what you’re paying for. The quality of food at these places is incredible you should definitely give them a try.
For Conbinis, which includes snacks, water, quick meals size of the budget we spent a total of £73.11 working out to £2.28 per person per day. if you’re on a budget I would definitely recommend fitting more conbini shops in for breakfast or lunch. There is so much variety, tastes amazing, and is great for on the go and if you’re on a train.
Last but not least the light meals and snacks part of the budget, so street food. This cost us a total of £120.36, working out to £3.76 per person per day.
Meal Cost breakdown | Japan travel budget
The food in Japan is incredible and there is so much variety. Here are the more notable places we went to.
- Ginza No Steak £115.22
- Ikinari Steak Umeda £26.54
- Yakiniku M (Matsusaka Gyu) £84.58
- Ichiran £15.08
- Chojiro £32.40
If you want to find out more on places to eat in Japan check out my blog posts here.
Entertainment and Activities | Japan travel budget
For the 2 weeks, we spent a total of ~£361 on different activities. Working out to ~ £11.27 per person per day.
The average cost for entertainment for one day is £16 per person according to Budgetyourtrip.com
There are a lot of free activities in Japan, from walking around the city centre and exploring the shrines and temples which are mostly free. The temples and nature areas of Japan are absolutely stunning.
Our most expensive activity which took up a majority of the day was visiting USJ. The cost of a zone B off peak ticket for 2 people cost us approx. £116 (based on the exchange rate at the time). This sounds like a lot but for what you’re getting which is access to the entire pack it was definitely worth it and if you want to read more about what it is like at USJ during Halloween read my post about that here.
Entertainment costs | Japan Travel Budget
- USJ tickets £116.06 for 2 people
- TeamLab Borderless £48.36
- Oedo Onsen Monogatari £53.72
- Ferris Wheel £9.23
Transport | Japan travel budget
In total, we spent £605 on transport within the country. Working out to £18 per day per person.
The daily average cost for intercity travel is £54 per person with local transport costing only £15 per person according to Budgetyourtrip.com.
Is the JR Pass worth it?
We travel to 3 different cities in Japan, Osaka, Kyoto to Tokyo and then back to Osaka. So we decided to purchase the JR Pass for 7 days for ~ £192 ~ ¥29,110 (price as of 2019) per person. It does seem like a expensive cost but if you do the calculations it could work out cheaper for you depending on where you are planning on going.
So we took 4 intercity trips working out to be £231 per person which has already saved us around £40. This does not include the times we used our passes to travel within Tokyo to the JR stations which the pass allows for. So a win win for us to get the pass and it does put you a bit more at ease not having to purchase tickets here and there.
If you are only planning on visiting one city in Japan it might not be worth you getting this pass. But do the calculations and see what you can save.
The JR Pass Facts
- The JR pass is designed for tourist only so you will need to validate the JR pass purchase with your passport
- There are five Tokyo railway lines that you can use with a JR Pass.
- You can purchase your JR pass online before you travel but you’ll then need to pick this up at a main Station.