Japan is one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations. It has rich culture, fantastic food, and beautiful landscapes. It’s top of the travel list for many people. Despite all it has to offer, many people don’t visit. Why? The cost to visit Japan. Japan is known to be expensive, but how much does a trip to Japan cost?
The short answer is, “it depends.” Flight and hotel prices depend on season and demand. Your travel style will also affect the cost. Luxury hotels in Japan do not come cheap! With proper planning, the cost to travel to Japan does not need to break the bank. Japan on a budget is doable!
So, how much does it cost to go to Japan? Read our breakdown to find out!
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Table of Contents
So, How Much Does A Trip to Japan Cost?
Japan Flight Costs ($400-$1000)
The first expense on your Japan trip is the flights. The average cost of a round-trip from the USA to Japan ranges between $400-$1000. Flying from the West Coast is usually cheaper. It’s possible to find affordable flights from East Coast too!
How much does it cost to go to Japan depends on the season. The cherry blossom season (April or November) is the most expensive time to visit. Watch out for Japanese public holidays, such as Golden Week.
US citizens do not need a VISA. You can stay in Japan for up to 90 days for free, making the cost to travel to Japan much cheaper! Make sure you have an onward ticket from Japan, and that your passport still has six months of validity. You’ll be asked to fill in an arrival card while you’re on the plane, so keep the address of your accommodation handy!
Cost of Accommodation in Japan ($15 – $300 per night)
Accommodation is a big part of the cost to visit Japan. Japan is generally considered to be an expensive tourist destination, and it’s certainly more costly than its South Asian neighbors. But accommodation in Japan can be very affordable. Hostels and budget hotels are common and comfortable.
The average price of hotels in different cities stays roughly the same. For a 3-4 star hotel, you can generally expect to pay between $80-$150. There is no upper limit to the cost of a luxury hotel, although some 5-star hotels ring in at a surprisingly cheerful $250.
Japan is popular with backpackers and budget tourists, and there are many hostels and guest houses catering to this group of travelers. Staying in hostels makes the cost to travel to Japan much lower! A hostel bed in Tokyo starts at about $13.
Another option for budget Japanese accommodations are Ryokans. These Japan inns can be found everywhere outside of cities. They offer travelers looking to visit Japan on a budget a lot of bang for their buck.
If you’ve been researching a trip to Japan, you may have heard of capsule hotels. The first capsule hotel was in Osaka. Traditionally they have been used by businessmen, but these little sleep pockets have become trendy with travelers in recent years. A night in a capsule hotel can cost anywhere between $15-50. Some capsule hotels are men-only, so check before you book!
Cost Transport in Japan ($200-600 for your trip)
Most travelers to Japan do not intend to spend all of their time in just one city! Luckily, public transportation in Japan is very well developed and will take you to where you need to be quickly and easily.
Japan Rail Pass
If you take a look at the Japan Rail Pass prices online, you may be alarmed at the expense and question: is it worth it?
If you’re going to get the train in Japan, then the answer is definitely yes. Buy a Japan Rail Pass! Rail travel in Japan is high-priced. One round trip may cost you as much as a seven-day rail pass!
A one week pass is about $270, two weeks is $430, and three weeks is $550. At the moment, they can only be bought online (before you travel). Many different websites are offering the rail pass, JTBUSA is a safe bet.
Japan Bus Pass
Highway buses in Japan are plentiful, and a cheaper alternative to the rail pass. Most backpackers are used to long bus journeys. In comparison to other popular tourist spots, Japan’s highway buses are really pleasant.
It’s possible to buy tickets individually for the bus, for a much friendlier price than an individual rail ticket. However, if you’re planning on traveling to many places in Japan, it’s worth investing in a Japan bus pass.
Many different companies sell these, but the most popular is the Willer Express. A seven-day pass with Willer Express starts at $140. These seven days do not have to be consecutive. If you’re staying multiple days in different cities, a seven-day pass could easily last you a two or three-week trip. Buy a bus pass online, at convenience stores, or at bus terminals.
Public Transport in Cities ($6 per day)
Unless you have unlimited money to spend, do not get a taxi in Japan, especially Tokyo. Taxis are expensive. There is a lot of traffic in the cities, so cabs don’t save you any time!
The price of public transport varies between cities. A single trip is between $2-4. If you’re exploring a whole town, grab a 48hour pass ($11-$15).
Cost of Car Rental in Japan (about $100 a day)
Heart set on a road trip? It’s possible to rent a car in Japan. Prices can be around $100 a day, with parking often around $10 a day. You must be over 18 to rent a car in Japan, and you must have an international driver’s license. For an accurate quote and to book a car rental, visit tabirai.net.
Cost of Eating in Japan ($10-100 a day)
Let’s face it, half the reason we travel anywhere is for the food. Wondering how much does a trip to Japan cost? You have to consider all of the delicious food you’re dying to eat. Luckily, it’s possible to enjoy some of Japan’s delicacies at a relatively low cost. The truly upscale restaurants are incredibly expensive, but worthwhile if you’re a foodie with the money to spare. By the way, it’s not very easy to find vegetarian and vegan food in Japan.
Convenience Stores: You haven’t seen 7-eleven until you’ve been to Asia. Japanese convenience stores sell all kinds of snacks and ready meals for just a few dollars. It’s a great place to eat if you’re on a budget, or to stock up on snacks for a day trip.
Fast food: If you’re on a budget (or just in a rush), there’s plenty of cheap fast food options available to you. It’s not quite high-end Japanese cuisine, but it’s still authentic Japanese food!
Grab a gyudon (beef bowl) for as little as $5.
Ramen: I’m sure we’ve all chowed down on instant ramen at least once! But genuine ramen is so much more satisfying – and it’s affordable! Generally, a bowl of ramen in a restaurant will cost you between $5-12. If you add toppings or sides, you’ll pay a little more.
Sushi: The most famous of Japanese food. You can grab conveyor belt sushi for around $10. For higher quality stuff, expect to pay $20-30 for lunch. For dinner, you’re looking at $45-100.
Teppanyaki: Teppanyaki wins the prize for the most descriptive of culinary names. It literally means “food grilled on an iron plate.” Teppanyaki will be around the same as a sushi restaurant. Prices are higher at dinner time.
Izakaya: This is a traditional Japanese pub. Here you can pick up some Japanese beer or Sake and enjoy some yummy side dishes. Go with a group, it’s great for socializing! Expect to pay around $20 each. Torikizoku is a popular and affordable chain.
Cost of Activities in Japan (free – $70)
Here’s the good news! Many of Japan’s most exciting attractions are free. It’s possible to visit many shrines and temples free of charge, and Tokyo is home to a range of unusual free museums. Your activities in Japan need not be too expensive. In fact, this part of the cost of a trip to Japan is the cheapest of all.
Tokyo offers a lot of great shopping, so be sure to bring spending money. Check out Shinjuku and Harajuku for some of the most exciting shopping trips you’ll ever go on! Be sure also to check out some of Japan’s amazing arcades – a great way to spend time with friends.
Japan is full of beautiful nature, and you’ll find many gorgeous hikes around the country. It is even free to hike Mt. Fuji (although a donation is appreciated). Admission to an onsen (natural thermal bath) can be as little as $5. A day of skiing may cost you around $70.
Finally, if you want to visit Japan’s Disney park, a day ticket will cost around $70.
So there you have it, a step by step breakdown of the cost to travel to Japan. If you were wondering how much does it cost to travel to Japan, we hope we’ve given you some answers!
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