Japan is a beautiful country filled with culture, technology, and nature, but has a reputation for being expensive. However, this is not the case at all. Japan offers many affordable options for all sorts of travellers.

Japan as a tourist destination is more cost-friendly than most metropolitan cities around the world like London and New York. Therefore, it can offer activities and meals to suit all budgets.  In addition, Japan offers good value tickets and offers for tourism, some that are better than those available for residents. By planning ahead and taking advantage of offers, you can enjoy your time in Japan at a price that is affordable.

Below are some tips for budget-conscious travellers who want to get the most of their yen!

(For reference, £1 = 140 yen)

Food

Food is one of the main reasons why travellers flock to Japan. Known to be healthy and delicious, Japanese food comes in a range of different prices that suits all budgets.

  • Beef bowl – £3.58 (500yen)
  • Sushi per piece – £0.77 (108yen)
  • Mid-range meal  – £21.43-£35.72 (between 3,000-5,000yen)

More information can be found on our “Eating Cheaply” Page here

Accommodation

Japan has a range of hotels to suit all travellers. You can stay in hostels, hotels or, as a treat, Japanese-style accommodation known as ryokan.

  • 3* hotel in Central Tokyo– £14.29 / £35.72 (2,000yen-5,000yen per person per night)
  • 5* hotel in Central Tokyo – £395 (50,000yen per night per person)
  • 3* Ryokan in Hakone – £72-£107 (10,000yen-15,000yen per person)

More information can be found on our “Staying Japanese style” page.

Trains

Foreign travellers to Japan can benefit from a selection of discounted tickets created especially for them. The Japan Rail Pass is one such product that, if used, correctly, can lead to substantial savings. National and regional Japan Rail Passes can be purchased through our website here.

  • National 7-day Japan Rail Pass – £211.79 (29,650yen, adult price when purchased outside Japan) vs a return train ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto (reserved seat, 2.5 hours one way) – £205.29 (28,740yen)
  • JR Kansai Wide Area Pass (5 days) – £65.71 (9,200yen, adult price when purchased outside Japan) 
  • JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Pass)  – £123.65 (17,310yen, adult price when purchased outside Japan) 
  • Tokyo Subway 24-Hour tickets – £5.72 (800yen, adult ticket)
  • Kansai Thru Pass (2 Day Pass, purchased in advance)  – £30.72 (4,300yen)

Other discounted tickets for both residents and non-residents are available.

  • Seishun Juhachi Kippu Pass – £86.08 (12,050yen) 
  • Hakone Free Pass (2-day, from Shinjuku station) – £40 (5,700yen) 

Airport Transfers

Most people when they arrive at the airport take a public taxi or a train to their hotel, which can add time and cost to the journey. Shared services such as Uber are not readily available in Japan.

A cheaper way of travel is to take a shared taxi or bus through domestic services.

For example:

  • Shuttle transfer from Haneda airport to a hotel in Tokyo – £38 (5,200yen) per person 
  • Normal taxi transfer from Haneda airport to Tokyo Area – From  £48 (6,800yen) per taxi

Attractions

Attractions’ prices in Japan range from free to several thousand yen. Top destinations such as Tokyo Skytree and Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto have an entrance fee, but some shrines, temples and outdoor attractions are free to enter.

  • Tokyo Skytree, Fast Skytree Ticket (Floor 350 only) – £30 (4,200yen per person)  
  • Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto – £2.86  (400yen per person) 
  • Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area  – Free
  • Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima – £2.15-£3.58  (300-500yen per person)

Luggage Transfer

Travellers who wish to save time while travelling can also benefit from using a luggage transfer service. This service is convenient as your luggage will be taken safely to your accommodation, allowing you to spend more time enjoying Japan.

  • Luggage transfer (1 piece) from Narita Airport to your hotel (subject to availability) – £18 (2,500yen per piece) 

More information about luggage transfer can be found here.

Mobile Data while Abroad

One major question we are always asked is “how can I use data abroad?” The major cities in Japan have free public WiFi spots available, but in smaller places, these hotspots can be difficult to locate. In addition, roaming costs can add up to a large bill at the end of your trip.

For extensive travel, a mobile SIM or pocket Wifi would save you money. Many places offer discounted SIM cards for tourists, such as Mobal.

  • Japan Mobile SIM with unlimited data through Mobal (data only, 8 days) – £28.50 (3,990yen)