Cheap Japan Travel: 15 Methods to CUT COSTS When You Visit Japan

For a long time, I put off planing a trip to Japan because I was afraid of how expensive it will be. The rumors I’d found out about the country’s high prices made me hesitant to go. I’ve always loved Japanese culture, and I knew any visit would involve gorging on sushi and ramen, visits to plenty of temples, and heavy train travel through the countryside. And the very thought of how much that could cost always made me think, “I’ll wait until I’ve additional money.”

When I finally visited Japan years back in 2011, I was shocked to learn that, although it isn’t cheap, Japan isn’t the prohibitively expensive country many people believe that it is. Actually, I actually found Japan to be very reasonable and on par with (and sometimes cheaper than) countries in Western Europe. In subsequent visits, I’ve learned to help expand master the united states and turn high-cost Japan into an inexpensive spot to visit.

Happen to be Japan doesn’t have to are expensive of money. Here’s an in depth breakdown on what you can cut your expenses to go to Japan on a budget and spend less in Japan!

Note: 112 JPY = $1 USD

How exactly to Save well on Transportation in Japan

Trains The bullet train, while awesome, comfortable, and fast, isn’t cheap. Individual tickets can cost a huge selection of dollars. Yet I believe train travel is the foremost way to start to see the country, so so that you can lessen your train costs, get yourself a Japan Rail (JR) pass. The pass is indispensable for travel in Japan.

These passes cost 28,300 JPY for seven days, 45,100 JPY for two weeks, and 57,700 JPY for 21 days. All pass times are for consecutive travel. Even when you just get the seven-day pass, it’s the same price as a round-trip train ticket from Osaka to Tokyo (14,250 JPY each way!). Moreover, these JR trains also serve local city areas therefore may be used intra-city. I used my pass to bypass Kyoto and Tokyo rather than buying metro tickets. So even when you aren’t likely to do much travel around Japan, investing in a pass is preferable to buying individual tickets. As the high price of the pass could cause sticker shock, the choice is a whole lot worse.

Although pass could be up to 20% cheaper to get online before you arrive, now you can buy a Japan Rail Pass in Japan. Passes can be purchased in the next country locations: Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Hakata, New Chitose Airport, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, and Kansai Airport.

Metro A lot of the city metro tickets cost 100-200 JPY for an individual journey. (The purchase price varies by distance and could often be higher.) Fares were usually around 220 JPY to visit across Tokyo but less for shorter distances. Generally in most major cities, you can purchase a day pass, gives you unlimited travel every day and night for about 800 JPY.

Buses Buses certainly are a less expensive option to the bullet train system in Japan, however they take more time. For instance, the two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo to Osaka becomes a ten-hour bus ride. The purchase price for that seat is 4,500 JPY, but at some time, you need to consider how much your time and effort is worth. For me personally, saving some 10,000 JPY had not been worth the excess seven hours of travel, since I had such limited time within my visit. If I’d had additional time, I’d have simply taken the bus. Additionally, there are bus passes available offering unlimited travel and commence at 10,000 JPY for three non-consecutive days of travel.

Flights Flying is becoming better option nowadays. There are various budget carriers now serving Japan, and a flight explore sites like Momondo or Skyscanner will reveal them. Generally, their prices are on par with bullet train tickets. ANA offers a particular last-minute $100 fares with a hidden page on the website. It’s only open to foreigners and may sometimes be cheaper compared to the flights you find on Skyscanner, specifically for longer routes around the united states.

How exactly to Save well on Food in Japan

Surprisingly, I came across food to be inexpensive in Japan. True, I’ve a sushi addiction that dramitcally increased the price of my trip but, overall, I came across that I was spending much less on food than I’d anticipated.

Provided that I didn’t feed my sushi addiction, I came across I could eat for under 1,500 JPY each day. Some typical prices were:

  • Sushi lunch sets (sushi, soup, salad): 1,600+ JPY
  • Traditional Japanese set lunches: 1,200+ JPY
  • Sushi trains: 100-500 JPY per meal
  • Small pasta: 399 JPY
  • Western set menu (sandwiches, burger, pizza, etc): 1,200 JPY
  • McDonald’s Value Menu: 600 JPY
  • Ramen: 700 JPY
  • Tempura dishes: 80-120 JPY

There’s a range of cheap food options in the united states, and you don’t should spend much money on food. You can cut costs on food in Japan by doing the next:

  • Eat at “100-yen” shops — There are numerous 100-yen shops in Japan, where set meals, groceries, water, toiletries, household items, and more are simply just 100 JPY. I did so all my shopping at these stores. Their names vary by region, so ask your hotel/hostel reception where in fact the nearest 100-yen shop is situated.
  • Use sushi trains — Sushi in Japan is delicious at all levels. While I had a few fancy, sit-down meals, you can’t beat the sushi trains for value. At 100-170 JPY per plate, I possibly could stuff my face for under 1,500 JPY usually. I just ate at sushi trains.
  • Eat at 7-11 — 7-11, Family Mart, and other corner stores have a whole lot of pre-set meals for 100-300 JPY that produce for cheap lunches. Additionally, supermarkets have many set meals at similar prices. I noticed this is a popular option for most Japanese people.
  • Cook your meal — Hostels have kitchens, where you could cook and cut your meal expenses to significantly less than 800 JPY each day, especially by shopping at the 100-yen stores.
  • Avoid fruit — The main one rumor about Japan that ended up being true was that fruit and vegetables were expensive. Beyond shopping for an banana or apple at the marketplace, I generally avoided fruits and vegetables. These were very costly.
  • Eat curry, ramen, and donburi — I essentially lived off these three foods within my three weeks in Japan. Curry bowls are as cheap as 280 JPY per plate. Donburi, dishes of meat and rice, remain 400-500. Ramen is never a lot more than 700. These are the very best methods to eat cheap and filling meals in Japan.

How exactly to Save well on Accommodation in Japan

Living costs in Japan are incredibly high, with limited space, many individuals, and high housing prices. And the ones high costs transfer over in to the tourism industry, making finding cheap accommodation a genuine pain. Hostel dorms typically cost 1,900 JPY per night (sometimes only 1,500 JPY or as high as 2,700 JPY in Tokyo) and resort rooms start at 5,000 JPY per night or even more. Here are some methods to save well on accommodation:

  • Work for your room — Hostels in Japan enable you to stay for free in the event that you clean for a couple hours a day.
  • Couchsurfing — Hospitality exchanges aren’t as widespread in Japan as elsewhere on the globe, but you will find a small, active Couchsurfing community here. Be sure to request rooms well in advance to improve your probability of success. Read more about Couchsurfing here!
  • Use credit card points — It’s times like these that those credit points I discuss can be found in handy. Frequent flier miles and regular hotel points could be redeemed for many free nights. I used my free accumulated nights from for just two free nights in Tokyo, but with the large sign-up bonuses at this time for hotel cards, you will get up to week’s free accommodation!
  • Capsule hotels — A intensify from hostels and a step down from hotels, capsule hotels (pictured above) are tiny capsules you sleep in. You share bathrooms and common areas, as well as your capsule includes a light, outlet, and sometimes a little television. They are generally utilized by businessmen who work late. These capsules begin at around 2,700 JPY per night.
  • Airbnb — Airbnb is a budget-friendly option, however, because of a 2018 law there are some caveats. First, only hosts who’ve registered with the federal government can list accommodation. Second, you’ll have to send a copy of your passport to your host before arriving or let them copy your passport when you check-in. It’s a particularly affordable choice for anybody traveling as a group/family.
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How exactly to Save well on Attractions in Japan

A lot of the attractions were really cheap. I didn’t spend a lot more than 500 JPY per museum or temple. In Kyoto, there’s a temple pass that provides you unlimited transportation and usage of the temples for 1,200 JPY. It’s much, considering you’re likely to see a large amount of museums in Kyoto. Osaka and Tokyo had similar passes because of their attractions.

Overall, I came across these passes to be the ultimate way to spend less on temples, museums, and other attractions. Additionally, there are several free gardens, temples, and parks! I hardly spent hardly any money on attractions while I was in Japan.

How much cash should you visit Japan?

Japan comes with an image of being probably one of the most expensive countries on the planet, and if you’re residing in hotels, eating dinner out, and traveling around a whole lot, it can be. It is simple to spend over $200 USD each day by traveling that way. However, I don’t think a vacation to Japan must be that expensive.

Traveling around Japan could be affordable if you know very well what to do and monitor your costs. You can cut costs in Japan by living just like a local.

Residing in a hostel, investing in a rail pass, eating relatively cheap food, and visiting a few attractions will definitely cost around $100 USD each day. A 21-day trip would cost at least $2,100 USD (plus flight). For that much money, you can head to Southeast Asia for months!

However, through the use of the tips above, I believe you can travel Japan on between $70-75 USD each day. Japan shouldn’t cost you a lot more than that per day in the event that you don’t splurge. This might mean more bus travel, a (very) limited amount of sushi, only cheap restaurants, and the casual night Couchsurfing (or other free accommodation).

On a bare-bones budget, a vacation to Japan can cost you $50 USD each day if you adhere to Couchsurfing, cheap food, bus travel (trains will be much too expensive), and only free attractions. I saw plenty of travelers in Japan traveling on the cheap. They achieved it, and it’s possible — but you’ll never feed your sushi addiction in the event that you travel in this manner.


If you ask me, budget travel is value travel. Japan is never likely to be as cheap a destination as Cambodia, Ukraine, or Peru, but there are methods to save money atlanta divorce attorneys place in the world, and Japan has a lot of methods to visit on a budget. Japan won’t cost $20 USD each day, but it addittionally doesn’t have to cost hundreds.

Whenever people head to Japan and keep coming back, they always say “It wasn’t as expensive as I thought” since it doesn’t need to be! Cheap Japan travel can be done and I am hoping this article taught you that! Adhere to the discount transit, local food, and local accommodation and you’ll keep your costs low!


Book Your Visit to Japan: Logistical Guidelines

Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the most comprehensive inventory so they are best for booking a hostel. If you wish in which to stay a hotel or guesthouse in Japan, use because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. They’re the very best booking site out there.

Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to find the best companies to use when you travel! I list all of the ones I use to save lots of money when I travel — and I believe can help you too!

Make sure to browse the Japan Rail Pass if you’ll be traveling around the united states. It will come in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes and may save you a huge amount of money!

Looking for more travel tips for Japan Have a look at my in-depth Japan travel guide for more methods to save money, costs, tips about what things to see and do, suggested itineraries, reading, packing lists

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Cheap Japan Travel: 15 Methods to CUT COSTS When You Visit Japan