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Can you go to Japan on a budget?


Japan is a beautiful country that attracts millions of tourists every year. It’s known for its rich culture, delicious food, and stunning scenery. However, many people believe that Japan is an expensive country to visit, and that traveling there on a budget is nearly impossible. In this article, we will explore whether it’s possible to go to Japan on a budget and provide tips and tricks for making your trip affordable.


Getting around Japan can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. The Japan Rail Pass is a great option for travelers who plan to explore the country by train. This pass allows unlimited travel on Japan Railways trains, buses, and ferries for a set period. Another option is to use local buses or even rent a bicycle in some areas.

Japanese Snack Box


Accommodation in Japan can be pricey, especially in major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. However, there are affordable options available. Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers and can offer private rooms as well as dormitory-style accommodation. Capsule hotels are another unique option that can provide a comfortable and affordable stay.


Japan is known for its delicious food, but eating out can add up quickly. One way to save money on food is by visiting local markets and convenience stores. These places offer affordable and delicious meals like sushi, bento boxes, and ramen. Cooking your own meals is also an option if you’re staying in an apartment or hostel with a shared kitchen.


There are many free or low-cost sights to see in Japan. For example, visiting temples and shrines is often free or requires only a small entrance fee. Museums often offer discounts for students or seniors, and some even have free admission days.


Japan has a vibrant entertainment scene, but it can be expensive. However, there are ways to enjoy Japan’s nightlife on a budget. For example, visiting small bars and izakayas can offer a unique experience and often have affordable drink and food options.


Japan is known for its shopping, but it can be easy to overspend. To save money, consider visiting secondhand shops like Book-Off or Hard-Off, which sell used books, electronics, and other items at a fraction of the cost.

Language Barrier

The language barrier can be intimidating for travelers, but there are ways to navigate it on a budget. Learning basic Japanese phrases can go a long way in your interactions with locals. Additionally, many signs and menus have English translations, and smartphone translation apps can be helpful in a pinch.

Seasonal Travel

Traveling during peak tourist season can be expensive, but visiting Japan during off-seasons can save you money. Additionally, traveling during shoulder seasons (the period between high and low seasons) can provide good weather and lower prices.

Budget Airlines

Flying to Japan can be expensive, but budget airlines like Peach and Jetstar offer affordable options for travelers. These airlines often have limited routes and schedules, so planning ahead is key.

Currency Exchange

Exchanging currency can come with fees and unfavorable exchange rates. To save money, consider using a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or withdrawing cash from ATMs that offer favorable exchange rates.


In conclusion, traveling to Japan on a budget is possible with careful planning and flexibility. By taking advantage of affordable transportation options, accommodation choices, and local food markets, travelers can experience the best of Japan without breaking the bank. As with any travel destination, research and planning ahead can make all the difference in having an affordable and enjoyable trip to Japan.

Is it possible to go to Japan on a budget?

Japan can be a budget-friendly travel destination with careful planning. Consider your options and prioritize based on your budget. You can find affordable accommodations, transportation passes, and discounts on sightseeing. Check out our list for more information.

How much should be your budget when going to Japan?

Here are some sample daily budgets for travelers: a single traveler with a low budget can spend between 3,500 and 7,800 yen per day, while two travelers on a medium budget can spend between 8,800 and 18,500 yen per day. Those with a high budget can spend over 18,500 yen for a single traveler or over 28,000 yen for two travelers. These budgets were last updated on December 3, 2022.

Is $5,000 dollars enough to travel to Japan?

The cost of a trip depends on the duration, starting location, and desired level of comfort. A two-week trip with economy airfare from the USA and mid-range hotel reservations arranged in advance can be comfortably done with $5000 for one person. It is even possible to relocate to Japan with less than that amount.

Is $100 a day enough for Japan?

If you don’t plan on visiting costly attractions such as theme parks, then this amount should be sufficient. Entry fees for temples and museums range from 500 to 1000 yen, and some don’t charge at all. You can easily have breakfast for 500 yen, lunch for 1000-1500 yen, and dinner for 1000-2000 yen.

How much money would I need for 2 weeks in Japan?

The question often asked is the cost of a two-week vacation in Japan. Based on the average vacation time, the minimum budget required for this trip would be $1,200. Of this amount, approximately one-third of the budget will be spent on purchasing a Japan Rail Pass.

How much money do I need for 7 days in Japan?

A 7-day trip to Japan can cost an average of $1,659 for one person, $2,690 for two people, and $1,913 for a family of four. The price of hotels in Japan varies from $62 to $304 per night, with an average cost of $105 per night. Vacation rentals typically cost between $140 to $520 per night for the entire home.

Local Festivals

Attending local festivals is a great way to experience Japanese culture and traditions. Many of these festivals are free or have a small entrance fee. They often feature food stalls, music, and performances, providing a fun and affordable way to spend an evening.

Day Trips

While Japan’s cities are full of things to do, day trips to nearby towns and attractions can offer a break from the hustle and bustle, and they’re often more affordable than staying in the city. For example, visiting the nearby hot springs town of Hakone or the historic city of Nara can provide a unique and affordable experience.

Cultural Experiences

Participating in cultural experiences like tea ceremonies, calligraphy lessons, or kimono rentals can be expensive. However, there are affordable options available, such as attending free workshops at community centers or participating in events organized by local universities.

Travel Passes

In addition to the Japan Rail Pass, there are other travel passes available that can save you money on transportation. For example, the Tokyo Subway Ticket provides unlimited travel on Tokyo’s subway system for 24 or 48 hours. The Kansai Thru Pass offers unlimited travel on buses and trains in the Kansai region for 2 or 3 days.

Staying Connected

Staying connected while traveling can be important for safety and convenience. However, international roaming fees can add up quickly. To save money, consider renting a pocket Wi-Fi device or purchasing a local SIM card for your phone.

Tipping Culture

Tipping is not common in Japan and may even be considered rude in some situations. Instead, focus on showing appreciation through polite language and gestures like bowing or saying “arigato” (thank you).


By following these tips and being mindful of your spending, it’s possible to have an affordable and enjoyable trip to Japan. From exploring local markets to attending festivals, there are many ways to experience Japan’s rich culture without overspending. With some planning and flexibility, you can make the most of your time in Japan while staying within your budget.

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