Find out how to Flip Excessive-Price Japan right into a Low-cost Place to Go to

the cost of traveling Japan
Up to date: 7/5/2018 | July fifth, 2018

For years, I delay going to Japan as a result of I used to be afraid of how costly it could be. The rumors I’d heard in regards to the nation’s excessive costs made me hesitant to go. I’ve at all times liked Japanese tradition, and I knew any go to would contain gorging on sushi and ramen, visits to a lot of temples, and heavy prepare journey by means of the countryside. And the considered how a lot that might value at all times made me assume, “I’ll wait till I’ve more cash.”

After I lastly visited in 2011, I used to be shocked to find that, whereas it isn’t low-cost, Japan isn’t the prohibitively costly nation individuals might imagine it’s. In actual fact, I really discovered Japan to be very inexpensive and on par with (and generally cheaper than) nations in Western Europe. In subsequent visits, I’ve discovered to additional grasp the nation and switch high-cost Japan into an inexpensive place to go to.

Right here’s how a lot issues usually value in Japan and how one can minimize down your bills to go to Japan on a funds and save a lot of cash!

Observe: 110 JPY = $1 USD

Saving on Transportation in Japan

fast bullet trains in japan

The bullet prepare, whereas superior, comfy, and quick, shouldn’t be low-cost. Particular person tickets can value a whole lot of {dollars}. But I believe prepare journey is one of the simplest ways to see the nation, so with a view to cut back your prepare prices, get a Japan Rail (JR) move. The move is indispensable for journey in Japan.

These passes value 28,300 JPY for 7 days, 45,100 JPY for 14 days, and 57,700 JPY for 21 days. All move instances are for consecutive journey. Even should you simply get the seven-day move, it’s the identical value as a round-trip prepare ticket from Osaka to Tokyo (14,250 JPY every means!). Furthermore, these JR trains additionally serve native metropolis areas and so can be utilized intra-city. I used my move to get round Kyoto and Tokyo as an alternative of shopping for metro tickets. So even should you aren’t going to do a lot journey round Japan, shopping for a move is best than shopping for particular person tickets. Whereas the excessive value of the move may cause sticker shock, the choice is even worse.

Although the move will be as much as 20% cheaper to purchase on-line earlier than you arrive, now you can buy a Japan Rail Go in Japan. Passes can be found within the following nation areas: Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Hakata, New Chitose Airport, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, and Kansai Airport.

Many of the metropolis metro tickets value 100–200 JPY for a single journey. (The value varies by distance and will typically be increased.) Fares have been often round 220 JPY to journey throughout Tokyo however much less for shorter distances. In most main cities, you should buy a day move, which provides you limitless journey for 24 hours for round 800 JPY.

Buses are a cheaper different to the bullet prepare system in Japan, however they take extra time. For instance, the two-hour bullet prepare journey from Tokyo to Osaka turns into a ten-hour bus journey. The value for that seat is 4,500 JPY, however in some unspecified time in the future, you should take into consideration how a lot your time is price. For me, saving some 10,000 JPY was not price the additional seven hours of journey, since I had such restricted time throughout my go to. If I’d had extra time, I’d have merely taken the bus. There are additionally bus passes obtainable that provide limitless journey and start at 10,000 JPY for 3 non-consecutive days of journey.

Flying has turn into higher choice lately. There are lots of funds carriers now serving Japan, and a flight search on websites like Momondo or Skyscanner will reveal them. Normally, their costs are on par with bullet prepare tickets. ANA additionally affords a particular last-minute $100 fares by way of a hidden web page on their web site. It’s solely obtainable to foreigners and might generally be cheaper than the flights you discover on Skyscanner, particularly for longer routes across the nation.

Saving on Meals in Japan

cheap food in japan
Surprisingly, I discovered meals to be cheap in Japan. True, I’ve a sushi dependancy that dramitcally elevated the price of my journey however, total, I discovered that I used to be spending far much less on meals than I’d anticipated.

So long as I didn’t feed my sushi dependancy, I discovered I might eat for lower than 1,500 JPY per day. Some typical costs have been:

  • Sushi lunch units (sushi, soup, salad): 1,600+ JPY
  • Conventional Japanese set lunches: 1,200+ JPY
  • Sushi trains: 100–500 JPY per meal
  • Small pasta: 399 JPY
  • Western set menu (sandwiches, burger, pizza, and many others): 1,200 JPY
  • McDonald’s Worth Menu: 600 JPY
  • Ramen: 700 JPY
  • Tempura dishes: 80–120 JPY

There’s an array of low-cost meals choices within the nation, and also you don’t actually need to spend a lot cash on meals. It can save you cash on meals in Japan by doing the next:

  • Eat at “100-yen” retailers – There are lots of 100-yen retailers in Japan, the place set meals, groceries, water, toiletries, home items, and extra are merely 100 JPY. I did all my procuring at these shops. Their names fluctuate by area, so ask your resort/hostel reception the place the closest 100-yen store is positioned.
  • Use sushi trains – Sushi in Japan is scrumptious in any respect ranges. Whereas I had a number of fancy, sit-down meals, you possibly can’t beat the sushi trains for worth. At 100–170 JPY per plate, I might stuff my face for lower than 1,500 JPY more often than not. I often simply ate at sushi trains.
  • Eat at 7-11 – 7-11, Household Mart, and different nook shops have loads of pre-set meals for 100–300 JPY that make for reasonable lunches. Moreover, supermarkets have many set meals at related costs. I seen this was a well-liked choice for a lot of Japanese individuals.
  • Cook dinner your meals – Hostels have kitchens, the place you possibly can prepare dinner and minimize your meals bills to lower than 800 JPY per day, particularly by procuring on the 100-yen shops.
  • Keep away from contemporary fruit – The one rumor about Japan that turned out to be true was that contemporary fruit and greens have been costly. Outdoors of buying an apple or banana on the market, I typically averted contemporary vegatables and fruits. They have been too costly.
  • Eat curry, ramen, and donburi – I primarily lived off these three meals throughout my three weeks in Japan. Curry bowls are as low-cost as 280 JPY per plate. Donburi, bowls of meat and rice, are round 400–500. Ramen is rarely greater than 700. These are the most effective methods to eat low-cost and filling meals in Japan.

Saving on Lodging in Japan

capsule hotels in japan
Residing prices in Japan are extremely excessive, with restricted house, a lot of individuals, and excessive housing costs. And people excessive prices switch over into the tourism trade, making discovering low-cost lodging an actual ache. Hostel dorms usually value 1,900 JPY per night time (generally as little as 1,500 JPY or as excessive as 2,700 JPY in Tokyo) and resort rooms begin at 5,000 JPY per night time or extra. Listed here are some methods to save lots of on lodging:

  • Work to your room – Hostels in Japan allow you to keep free of charge should you clear for a number of hours a day.
  • Couchsurfing – Hospitality exchanges aren’t as widespread in Japan as elsewhere on the earth, however there’s a small, lively Couchsurfing group right here. Ensure you request rooms properly forward of time to extend your odds of success. Learn extra about Couchsurfing right here!
  • Use bank card factors – It’s instances like these that these credit score factors I discuss turn out to be useful. Frequent flier miles and common resort factors will be redeemed for plenty of free nights. I used my free gathered nights from for 2 free nights in Tokyo, however with the massive sign-up bonuses proper now for resort playing cards, you possibly can stand up to per week’s free lodging!
  • Capsule resorts – A step up from hostels and a step down from resorts, capsule resorts (pictured above) are tiny capsules you sleep in. You share bogs and customary areas, and your capsule has a light-weight, outlet, and generally a small tv. They’re incessantly utilized by businessmen who work late. These capsules start at round 2,700 JPY per night time.

Saving on Lodging in Japan

Kinkaku-ji, a.k.a. The temple of the Golden Pavilion
Many of the points of interest have been very low-cost. I didn’t spend greater than 500 JPY per museum or temple. In Kyoto, there’s a temple move that provides you limitless transportation and entry to the temples for 1,200 JPY. It’s a great deal, contemplating you’re in all probability going to see loads of museums in Kyoto. Osaka and Tokyo had related passes for his or her points of interest.

General, I discovered these passes to be one of the simplest ways to save cash on temples, museums, and different points of interest. Moreover, there are various free gardens, temples, and parks! I hardly spent any cash on points of interest whereas I used to be in Japan.

How a lot cash do you should go to Japan?

Japan has a picture of being one of the costly nations on the earth, and should you’re staying in resorts, consuming out, and touring round loads, it may be. You may simply spend over $200 USD per day by touring that means. Nevertheless, I don’t assume a visit to Japan must be that costly.

Staying in a hostel, shopping for a rail move, consuming comparatively low-cost meals, and visiting a number of points of interest will value round $100 USD per day. A 21-day journey would value a minimum of $2,100 USD (plus flight). For that a lot cash, you possibly can go to Southeast Asia for months!

As an alternative, by using the ideas above, I believe you possibly can journey Japan on $70–75 USD per day. This is able to imply extra bus journey, a (very) restricted quantity of sushi, solely low-cost eating places, and the occasional night time Couchsurfing (or different free lodging).

On a bare-bones funds, you may get by for $50 USD per day should you keep on with Couchsurfing, low-cost meals, bus journey (trains could be far too costly), and solely free points of interest. I noticed a lot of vacationers in Japan touring on a budget. They did it, and it’s attainable — however you’ll by no means feed your sushi dependancy should you journey this fashion.

To me, funds journey is worth journey. Japan is rarely going to be as low-cost a vacation spot as Cambodia, Ukraine, or Peru, however there are methods to save cash in each place on the earth, and Japan has loads. Japan won’t ever value $20 USD per day, but it surely additionally doesn’t must value a whole lot. There’s loads of methods to journey Japan on a funds.

Guide Your Journey to Japan: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight to Japan by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite serps. Begin with Momondo.

Guide Your Lodging
You may ebook your hostel in Japan with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use as they constantly return the most affordable charges. (Right here’s the proof.)

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. I by no means ever go on a visit with out it. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. It is best to too.

Want Some Gear?
Take a look at our useful resource web page for the most effective firms to make use of!

Need Extra Data on Japan?
You’ll want to go to our strong vacation spot information on Japan for much more planning ideas!

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