LIVE JAPAN PERFECT GUIDE
How Much Money Should I Bring to Japan? Travel Budget for Visiting Tokyo!

How Much Money Should I Bring to Japan? Travel Budget for Visiting Tokyo!

Date published: 12 October 2018
Last updated: 18 April 2019

Visiting Japan can mean different things to different people, but the kind of trip you will have depends to a large extent on what kind of budget you have and what you are willing, or not willing, to do in order to save money. Luckily, Japan has a lot of different options for a flexible traveler, regardless of whether they want to spend a little money, or a lot.

Reality check: How much does the average American tourist actually spend in Japan?

Reality check: How much does the average American tourist actually spend in Japan?

As in all things, the cheapest options mean you need to be pretty open minded, to be willing to walk rather than take a bus or to stay somewhere quite out of the way rather than by a major station. For the traveler with money to burn it is very easy to get the absolute best of everything, from travelling in comfort to staying in stunning hotels!

The Shoestring Budget

The Shoestring Budget

For accommodation the cheapest option will usually be hostels and guesthouses, though you can sometimes find a very good deal with business hotels. If you can find a cheap hotel stay with breakfast, as hotel breakfast in Japan tends to be really good, then you can also offset the cost of breakfast. Another money saver is to try a capsule hotel, but sometimes these can be a bit hit and miss in regards to cost.

For breakfast your best option, will requires a bit of forethought, is to check out a supermarket the night before, bento prices and bread products tend to be fairly cheap here and also in the evening before they can get quite heavily discounted. In particular a cut price bento is perfect for lunch the next day.

Other lunch options include ramen or Japanese fast food like at the Yoshinoya or Matsuya chain. You can also find some good lunch deals at some cafes. For dinner an izakaya (Japanese style pub) is fairly cheap and will allow you to try quite a wide variety of dishes, while family restaurants are also quite inexpensive.

It may seem hard to visit places on a small budget, but actually it is possible to visit many spots for no or little money, including observation floors on tall buildings like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building or walking around the Asakusa area.

You are only limited by your imagination, and not your wallet, in regards to what you can see. For wherever you plan to visit check out information on parks, temples, neighborhoods, etc., for places you can visit absolutely free of charge. You can certainly enjoy areas like Ginza without spending a penny, sometimes just window shopping can be fun in itself.

It can be hard to walk around Tokyo, or Japan, as stations and bus stops can be quite far apart, but to a certain extent you can walk and then use a train or bus just to travel the minimum amount of time that you need to. Travelling a small distance costs less than 200yen.

Alternatively, you can get a metro pass or train pass and then just make sure you make the maximum use of it that you can do, you will be surprised at how many places you can visit in one day if you are strict with yourself! If you really want to visit other cities then your cheapest options will be either an overnight highway busy, or a very, very long journey by regular train.

Low-Budget (~¥6,000/day):
■ Accommodation
・GRIDS Hostel + Lounge Nihonbashi East: JPY3,300/day per person
・Khaosan World Ryogoku: JPY2,300/day per person
・IRORI Hostel & Kitchen: JPY2,800/day per person

■ Meals
・Breakfast (supermarket reduced price bento): under JPY500/per person
・Lunch (bento/ramen): JPY500-600/per person
・Dinner (izakaya): under JPY2,000/ per person
- Gyoro Gyoro
- Kojigura
- Fuwari

■ Sights
・ Sensoji Temple/ Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building/walking: FREE

■ Transportation costs (train/subway):
・Used for a minimum distance: from JPY140 per ride

  • GRIDS HOSTEL + LOUNGE NIHOMBASHI EAST
    GRIDS HOSTEL + LOUNGE NIHOMBASHI EAST
    GRIDS HOSTEL + LOUNGE NIHOMBASHI EAST
    • Address 4-7, Nihonbashihisamatsucho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0005
    • Nearest Station Higashi-Nihombashi Station (Toei Asakusa Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-6667-6236
  • Khaosan World Ryogoku
    Khaosan World Ryogoku
    カオサンワールド両国
    • Address 4-30-5, Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, 130-0026
    • Nearest Station Ryogoku Station (Toei Oedo Line / JR Sobu Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-5600-0661
  • IRORI Hostel & Kitchen
    IRORI Hostel & Kitchen
    IRORIホステル&キッチン
    • Address 5-13, Nihonbashiyokoyamacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0003
    • Nearest Station Bakuro-Yokoyama Station (Toei Shinjuku Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-6661-0351
  • Gyoro Gyoro
    Gyoro Gyoro
    魚魯魚魯 赤羽店
    • Address Tokyo Mets 5F,1-7-9, Akabane, Kita-ku, Tokyo, 115-0045
    • Nearest Station Akabane Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Saikyo Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line)
    • Phone Number 03-5249-2491
  • Kojigura
    Kojigura
    麹蔵 八重洲一丁目店
    • Address Yaseu First Financial Building B1 MoguMoguKitchen,1-3-7, Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0028
    • Nearest Station Nihombashi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Toei Asakusa Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3510-3366
  • Fuwari
    Fuwari
    仙台旬風 冨和利 日本橋店
    • Address Nihombashi street building B1,3-8-3, Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0027
    • Nearest Station Nihombashi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Toei Asakusa Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3516-2540

The Mid-Budget Stay

With a bigger budget a lot more accommodation options become available. You can find many great deals at business hotels, and even four star hotels. The best ones include breakfast, even a business hotel breakfast will be delicious with a great spread! In addition this will save you any costs for breakfast.

For lunch you can try brilliant lunchtime deals at restaurants, cafes and family restaurants, or even slightly pricier yakiniku or tempura deals. While in the evening you can try any of the above, including izakayas and specialist restaurants which offer up amazing dishes using a variety of ingredients including tofu, wagyu beef or soba noodles.

You can enjoy many sightseeing spots, including the free ones recommended above, and also entry paying venues such as museums. For a small fee you can go to the top of Tokyo Skytree, or buy a train pass like the 3-day Tokyo Wide Pass to visit famous sightseeing spots near Tokyo like Mt. Fuji and Nikko. With a bigger budget all kinds of different metro passes and train passes can be bought and utilized for different day trips and longer journeys.

You can also experience the shinkansen for perhaps a week with a train pass and see as much of Japan as you want for seven days. There are also more and more budget flights becoming available, these are certainly no-thrill rides but as they fly between the same major airports they are a good option for travelling.

Mid-Budget (~¥15,000/day):
■ Accommodations
・HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU: JPY8,000/day per person
・Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku: JPY7,375/day per person
・Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku: JPY4,180/day per person

■ Meals
・Breakfast (at hotel): FREE
・Lunch (lunch set menu): JPY1,000-2,000/person
- SUZUYA
- TOKORI

・Dinner : JPY2,500-4,000/person
- Daigo
- Grow

■ Sights
・Entrance fees to Edo Tokyo Museum: JPY 600/person
・Tokyo Skytree: JPY 1,030/person
・Ueno Zoo: JPY 600/person

■ Transportation costs (train/subway):
・Tokyo Wide Pass: JPY 3,333/day
・Tokyo Subway 24-hour Ticket: JPY 800

  • HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
    HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
    HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
    • Address 4-5-10, Ikenohata, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0008
    • Nearest Station Nezu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
      4 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3828-7377
  • Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku
    Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku
    イビス東京新宿
    • Address 7-10-5, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
    • Nearest Station Shinjuku Station (JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Chuo Main Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / Toei Shinjuku Line / Toei Oedo Line / Keio Line / Keio New Line / Odakyu Odawara Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3361-1111
  • Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku
    Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku
    安心お宿秋葉原店
    • Address 1-2-12, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021
    • Nearest Station Akihabara Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / Tsukuba Express / JR Sobu Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0120-083-489
  • TOKORI
    TOKORI
    土古里 八重洲店
    • Address Yaseu First Financial Building B1 MoguMoguKitchen,1-3-7, Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0028
    • Nearest Station Nihombashi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Toei Asakusa Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3510-3311
  • Daigo
    Daigo
    焼肉とワイン 醍醐 銀座店
    • Address Tsukamoto real estate building 7F,5-5-11, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061
    • Nearest Station Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
    • Phone Number 03-6280-6188
  • grow
    grow
    ワインとA5黒毛和牛 鉄板焼 grow 後楽園店
    • Address Takahashi Building 1F,2-24-2, Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-0002
    • Nearest Station Kasuga Station (Toei Mita Line / Toei Oedo Line)
    • Phone Number 03-6801-6467

*Reference prices are as of May 2018 and may not include tax.

The Vacation Splurger

With a large budget you can enjoy superb ryokan stays, or 4-5 star hotels, either or both of which may include onsens and gyms. By staying somewhere like here the whole experience becomes less about just having a place to sleep and more of an experience within itself, customer service being what it is in Japan you will find your every need satisfied. In addition they tend to be situated in really convenient places and are easy to find.

Furthermore, breakfast at a ryokan or high-class hotel seems to have been raised to a whole new level, and will probably leave you full past lunchtime! If somehow you are hungry at lunch then you can consider having something delicious like sushi. For dinner, it is safe to say that the more expensive restaurants tend to be high up, so for example in Roppongi you will end up fairly high off the ground. Other options include Blue Note Tokyo, an extremely classy jazz venue in Aoyama, as well as dinner at the hotel restaurant.

For sightseeing you can experience travelling by express trains and taxis, however most places you can visit are either free or can be entered for a low fee, in this way Japan is quite an equal society! You can’t miss shopping in Ginza or Roppongi, and you must experience department store shopping at somewhere like Takashimaya in Nihonbashi.

The most convenient mode of travel is to hire a sightseeing taxi; the driver will show you around town and tell you about the different spots, and can accommodate your own personal schedule. In addition with a higher budget you may want to get a two or three week JR train pass and really explore Japan from the comfort of a fast bullet train. You can also enjoy fast flights between all the major cities of Japan.

High-Budget (~¥unlimited/day):
■ Accommodations
・Royal Park Hotel: JPY 37,000/day per person https://livejapan.com/en/in-ningyocho_monzen-nakacho_kasai/spot-lj0005632/
・GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA: JPY 47,000/day per person https://livejapan.com/en/in-odaiba/spot-lj0001042/
・The Tokyo Station Hotel: JPY 25,000/day per person https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo_train_station/spot-lj0001037/

■ Meals
・Breakfast (hotel): included in accommodation price
・Lunch (sushi): JPY8,000+/person
- Ichibachi
- Tsukiji Itadori Bekkan
・Dinner (best to make reservations in advance)
- Blue Note Tokyo
- Hotel Restaurant

■ Sights
・Ginza shopping
・Tokyo Prince Hotel bar overlooking Tokyo Tower

■ Transportation costs (train/subway):
・Japan Rail Pass (Green car): JPY 5,500/day
・Sightseeing Taxi: from 14,950 for three hours.

  • Royal Park Hotel
    Royal Park Hotel
    ロイヤルパークホテル
    • Address 2-1-1, Nihonbashikakigaracho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8520
    • Nearest Station Suitengumae Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3667-1111
  • GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA
    GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA
    グランドニッコー東京 台場
    • Address 2-6-1, Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 135-0091
    • Nearest Station Daiba Station (Yurikamome)
    • Phone Number 03-5500-6711
  • The Tokyo Station Hotel
    The Tokyo Station Hotel
    東京ステーションホテル
    • Address 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005
    • Nearest Station Tokyo Station (Tokaido Shinkansen Line / Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Tokaido Main Line / JR Yokosuka Line / JR Sobu Main Line / JR Sobu Main Line (Rapid) / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Chuo Main Line / JR Keiyo Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)
    • Phone Number 03-5220-1111
  • Ichibachi
    Ichibachi
    寿司割烹と隠れ家個室 銀座 壱八
    • Address Sunrise building 2F,7-8-16, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061
    • Nearest Station Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
    • Phone Number 03-6264-6558
  • Tsukiji Itadori Bekkan
    Tsukiji Itadori Bekkan
    築地虎杖 別館
    • Address 4, Tsuiji town assembly Building 1F,4-10-16, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045
    • Nearest Station Tsukijishijo Station (Toei Oedo Line)
    • Phone Number 03-3543-1244

Top image credit: Windyboy / Shutterstock.com

Spots showcased in the article

  1. GRIDS HOSTEL + LOUNGE NIHOMBASHI EAST
    GRIDS HOSTEL + LOUNGE NIHOMBASHI EAST
  2. Khaosan World Ryogoku
    カオサンワールド両国
  3. IRORI Hostel & Kitchen
    IRORIホステル&キッチン
  4. Gyoro Gyoro
    魚魯魚魯 赤羽店
  5. Kojigura
    麹蔵 八重洲一丁目店
  6. Fuwari
    仙台旬風 冨和利 日本橋店
  7. HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
    HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
  8. Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku
    イビス東京新宿
  9. Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku
    安心お宿秋葉原店
  10. TOKORI
    土古里 八重洲店
  11. Daigo
    焼肉とワイン 醍醐 銀座店
  12. grow
    ワインとA5黒毛和牛 鉄板焼 grow 後楽園店
  13. Royal Park Hotel
    ロイヤルパークホテル
  14. GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA
    グランドニッコー東京 台場
  15. The Tokyo Station Hotel
    東京ステーションホテル
  16. Ichibachi
    寿司割烹と隠れ家個室 銀座 壱八
  17. Tsukiji Itadori Bekkan
    築地虎杖 別館

Read this article on mobile

https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-tokyo_suburbs/article-a0002298/

View the map on mobile

https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-tokyo_suburbs/article-a0002298/map/

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.