how much to visit tokyo japan

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

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.

The Shoestring Budget

The mid-budget stay, the vacation splurger, book a trip you’ll never forget.

How much does the average American tourist actually spend in Japan? The data above is based on surveying done by the Japan National Tourism Organization for 2017 for Americans visiting 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 ! To get a more specific perspective on recommended budget for Japan, the following following are the maximum claimable per diem rates according to the US Department of State's website (as of May 2019). These can serve as a reference point for relative expenses in major tourist areas around Japan. For convenience, rates are listed in Japanese Yen (rate of 110.424 JPY = 1 USD).

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 ・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

  • Address 4-7, Nihonbashihisamatsucho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0005 View Map
  • Nearest Station Higashi-Nihombashi Station (Toei Asakusa Line) 3 minutes on foot
  • Phone Number 03-6667-6236

Khaosan World Ryogoku

  • Address Sumida-ku Ryogoku 4-30-5, Tokyo-to, 130-0026
  • Nearest Station Ryogoku Station (Toei Oedo Line / JR Sobu Line) 5 minutes on foot

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

  • Address 4-5-10 Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0008 View Map
  • Nearest Station Nezu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line) 5 minutes on foot

Vacancy search, reservation

  • from 12,960JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal
  • from 18,600JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal

Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

IBIS Tokyo Shinjuku

  • Address Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku 7-10-5, Tokyo-to, 160-0023
  • Nearest Station Shinjuku-Nishiguchi Station (Toei Oedo Line) 4 minutes on foot

Anshin Oyado Tokyo Akihabara Denkigaiten- Male Only

  • Address Chiyoda-ku Sotokanda 1-2-12, Tokyo, 101-0021 View Map
  • Nearest Station Akihabara Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / Tsukuba Express / JR Sobu Line) 5 minutes on foot
  • from 12,583JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal

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

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

  • Address 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Kakigaracho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8520 View Map
  • Nearest Station Suitengumae Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line) 2 minutes on foot
  • from 33,600JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

  • Address 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 135-8701 View Map
  • Nearest Station Daiba Station (Yurikamome) 4 minutes on foot
  • from 23,840JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal
  • from 25,120JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal

The Tokyo Station Hotel

  • Address Chiyoda-ku Marunouchi 1-9-1, Tokyo, 100-0005 View Map
  • 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) 1 minute on foot
  • from 89,056JPY 1room, 2adults View Deal

how much to visit tokyo japan

  • Category Other Sightseeing
  • How To: Money

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17 Unmissable Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

17 Unmissable Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

Discover the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, the capital city of Japan — home to weird and wonderful sights, neon flashing lights, expansive gardens, tavern-filled alleys, and sensory food markets. This exciting city is hard to beat, offering a myriad of unforgettable adventures: peer through glass floors at the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper, wade through water in abstract art museums, devour rainbow-spun candy as you peruse cosplay shops, or enjoy moments of peace at sacred shrines. Experience it all with the top things to do in Tokyo!

Best Things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo is an enormous city, and there’s so much to see that you’ll definitely want to return again. Although busy, it doesn’t have the hectic feel of other Asian capital cities like Bangkok or Beijing.

shibuya crossing tokyo japan

This is mainly because of the unique Japanese culture, which centers around respect and good manners. In fact, it’s one of the safest cities in the world, meaning you can explore at any hour — although after dark is when the city really comes to life, with thousands of neon flashing lights leading the way to music-pumping restaurants and high-rise bars. 

Tip: Tokyo offers a good mix of city and nature activities, particularly as it has so many amazing green spaces. The city is also a great jumping-off point for day trips into nature, where you can really see the ‘authentic Japan’.

restaurant tokyo japan

1. Tokyo Skytree

Discover the tallest tower in the world! Yes, the Tokyo Skytree is not only the tallest structure in Japan but also the tallest tower globally, standing at a mammoth height of 634 meters. You can ascend the building to see breathtaking panoramic views of the city. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji in the distance!

Also read: Complete 2-week Japan Itinerary

things to do in Tokyo skytree

Begin your trip to the pinnacle via the four different elevators (rocketing to the top at a speed of 50 seconds per section!). The Tembo deck is the first viewpoint you’ll reach at 350 meters with a knee-shaking glass floor, giving you fantastic views of Tokyo from a different perspective. ( Get your tickets here )

tokyo skytree view

At 450 meters, you’ll reach the Tembo Gallery, the Skytree’s highest viewpoint. Here, you’ll find 360-degree panoramic views — an unmissable thing to do in Tokyo!

We recommend visiting just before sunset so you can see the city transition from day to night. After dark is special when bright neon lights illuminate the sidewalks and buildings.

Hotels in Tokyo 😴

HOTEL 1899 TOKYO

Opening Times and Tickets for Tokyo Skytree

It’s best to book your tickets in advance so that you can get them at a slightly cheaper price.

  • Advance tickets for both decks (Tembo Deck and Tembo Gallery) cost 2,700 yen (19 USD)
  • Tembo Deck (the lower viewpoint) costs 1,800 yen (12 USD).
  • Don’t worry if you forget to book tickets in advance; you can buy tickets at a slightly higher price on the same day.
  • Please also keep an eye on the weather, as high winds can lead to closure.
  • Decks are open from 10 AM to 9 PM (last entry 8.20 PM)

Book your tickets for Tokyo Skytree in advance

Budget tip : On a budget? Head for the free observation deck in the metropolitan building at Shinjuku. 

how much to visit tokyo japan

2. Shinjuku Gyoen

Welcome to Shinjuku Gyoen – a tranquil oasis at the heart of bustling Tokyo, once only reserved for royalty. Escape the bright lights and crowds and enter a natural garden of 144 acres full of trees, traditional Japanese gardens, flowers, and unique plants.

things to do in Tokyo shinjuku gyoen

Situated right in the middle of the city, Shinjuku Gyoen is often compared to New York’s Central Park, providing an escape for Tokyo residents throughout different seasons of the year. See 900+ trees burst into color during the cherry blossom season and majestic oranges, yellows, and reds in the fall. 

Here are all your hotel options in Tokyo.

fall colored trees japan

Don’t miss the incredible greenhouse, which feels like an indoor jungle, like a small Cloud Forest in Singapore . It’s home to many tropical plants, some of which are rare and close to extinction. 

green house Shinjuku Gyoen tokyo

There are plenty of cafes and tea rooms throughout the park for refreshments. However, Starbucks deserves a special mention as it’s entirely made of windows and has a fantastic view of the park. 

Opening Times and Entry Fee: 500 yen (4 USD). Opening times are 9 AM – 5.30 PM (earlier in the winter season) and closed on Mondays. You can buy tickets on the day at the entrance or buy in advance here .

Shinjuku Gyoen starbucks

3. Teamlab Planets

One of the best things to do in Tokyo is to experience the magic of Teamlab Planets : a sensory museum experience with large-scale art spaces. Move through a series of rooms, each home to a unique experience, from giant glowing orbs and lights to water spaces filled with flowers and mirrors. ( reserve your tickets in advance here )

best things to do tokyo japan teamlab planets

As you move through the abstract art experience, you’ll be accompanied by classical music. This, combined with the 3D visuals, makes for an awe-inspiring yet tranquil experience. 

What to Wear to Teamlab Planets

Each room in Teamlab Planets offers a different sensory experience. The most important things to note are:

  • You walk through the rooms barefoot. In two rooms, you’ll walk through water, one up to your ankles and the other up to your knees. For this reason, we recommend wearing loose trousers that you can roll up above your knees.
  • You can also rent shorts at the start if you prefer. 

17 Unmissable Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

  • We don’t recommend wearing a skirt to Teamlab Planets due to the many floor mirrors (for obvious reasons!). 
  • The rooms can get warm, so leave your sweater in the lockers at the beginning.
  • You can take your phone or camera with you. However, because of the water, do so at your own risk.

teamlab tokyo

Tickets for Teamlab Planets, Tokyo

This is one of the most popular experiences in Tokyo, and tickets get booked quickly, so we recommend booking ahead to avoid disappointment. Additionally, tickets are only released a couple of months in advance. Best is to choose one of the earliest time slots.

The ticket price is 3,800 yen (27 USD), and you can reserve your tickets in advance online .

visit teamlab tokyo

4. Sensō-ji

Sensō-ji is one of the most sacred sites in the world and the most visited temple in Japan! The traditional red temple, home to a stunning 5-story pagoda, is particularly important to the Japanese and Tokyo residents. It is also the location of many important festivals throughout the year. 

best things to do in tokyo japan Sensō-ji

Legend has it that two brothers found a Kannon statue in the river, and when they let it go, it kept returning to them. The area’s chief at the time recognized this phenomenon and wanted to house the statue in his home. He even remodelled it to become a place of worship — which is now Sensō-ji. 

senso-ji temple tokyo

Visiting Sensō-ji

As you enter the main gates, you’re greeted by gigantic red pillars and Japanese lanterns, making for a great photo. There are also many food and souvenir stalls if you want to take something away to commemorate your visit.

google maps phone

Once inside, you’ll see the main temple, which you can enter. However, if you’re not religious, the interior itself is not as attractive as the external grounds, although it is special to see people praying.

Please note that the pagoda interior is fenced off, and you cannot take photos.

gate senso-ji

Entry and Opening Times: Admission is free. The main hall is open from 6.30 AM to 5 PM every day from October to March. In the summer, opening hours are extended to 5.30 PM. 

Tip: The temple is lit up at night from sunset until 11 PM, and the temple grounds are always open, making it a lovely spot to hang out in the evening. Alternatively, the Tokyo Skytree overlooks the site, offering a great view of the illuminated temple.

tokyo Sensō-ji stalls

5. Kōkyo Castle / Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace of Tokyo is an icon of the city — a fortified castle that sits high up on a stone embankment surrounded by a moat. The imperial family live here, giving it extraordinary importance in Japan. 

things to do in Tokyo kokyo castle

Although the palace itself is not open to the public in general, it’s surrounded by a vast park, so there’s plenty to explore. There is the option to apply to join a free guided tour of the palace grounds to learn more about its interesting history (10 AM and 1.30 PM daily). Otherwise, simply wander among the beautiful Japanese gardens, cross the pretty stone bridges, or relax in the grassy park. 

Note: The palace is not open to the public as it’s still the official residence of the imperial family. However, on important days of the year, the public can enter the external sections to wave at important family members who greet visitors from the balcony.

tokyo castle

Chidorigafuchi Park

On the other side of the moat, on the west side, you will find another small park called Chidorigafuchi Park. This relatively undiscovered spot is home to some of the best cherry blossom viewpoints in the city.

Rent a rowboat (open from March to November) and explore the waters surrounding the palace. This is particularly impressive in Spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

things to do in Tokyo imperial palace

6. Shibuya Crossing

Think of Tokyo, and the incredible setting of Shibuya Crossing immediately jumps to mind. This is the busiest crossing in Japan, if not in the world, where surrounding skyscrapers, huge glowing advertisements, and flashing traffic lights bathe pedestrians in a neon glow as they cross the intersection.

best things to do tokyo japan shibuya crossing

Prepare for all your senses to be sparked as you move among the many people, with music coming from all directions (shopping malls, advertisements, and music).

Although this area is one of the busiest in the city, in true Japanese fashion, it’s still exceptionally organized and respectful, with traffic lights and the politeness of Japanese people (you won’t experience any beeping here!). 

Tip: Want to see Shibuya crossing from above? Head for Shibuya Sky (reserve far in advance), an observation deck that costs 2,200 yen (15 USD) to enter. Another option is MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 , a good viewpoint on the top of a shopping mall. Tickets cost 1,500 yen (10 USD), including a drink.

tokyo japan travel guide

7. Shinjuku

Exploring the liveliest neighborhood in the city is one of the top things to do in Tokyo! Shinjuku offers the real Tokyo experience: streets full of neon flashing lights, shiny 3D advertising, such as the iconic 3D cat, and small alleyways filled with tiny bars. 

Also read: Best Things To Do in Osaka, Japan .

things to do in Tokyo shinjuku 3D cat

Head for Kabukicho, the famous entertainment district that never sleeps, where you’ll find the brightest lights in the city and Japan’s renowned karaoke bars. For this reason, we recommend visiting Shinjuku at night, when you’ll be able to make the most of the themed restaurants (like Alice in Wonderland), nightclubs, and quaint drinking holes. 

Tip: If you’re looking for something more upmarket, Shinjuku also has plenty of luxury bars, including the Park Hyatt Hotel . This hotel is famous for its incredible city view, especially at sunset. It was also the setting for some of the scenes in the Hollywood movie ‘Lost in Translation’ with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanson. 

shinjuku tokyo japan

The Godzilla Head

Fans of Godzilla, or just those who want to see something truly out of the ordinary, should look out for the Godzilla head. This life-size scale model of the fictional character looks like he’s attacking a colossal building — just like in the movies!  Here is the exact location .

Tip: Want an incredible view of Shinjuku for free? Take the elevator to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where the viewing deck is free to visitors. It’s a budget alternative to the Sky Tree, and you can still see Mount Fuji on a clear day!

things to do in Tokyo shinjuku godzilla head

The unique area of Golden Gai in Shinjuku is an absolute must-see in Tokyo! This authentic area comprises narrow streets and many cozy taverns, some hidden away, making exploring fascinating. It’s entertaining to visit at night when it comes to life with locals and tourists. Grab the location from our Japan map or see the location . 

Tip: Golden Gai is the best place to make friends since all the bars are so tiny. Most only fit 10-15 people, so you’ll have to sit very close to each other. Order a soju and simply drink in the typically Japanese atmosphere.

how much to visit tokyo japan

Omoide Yokocho

Explore another vibrant and traditional area in Shinjuku: Omoide Yokocho! The small timeworn buildings are home to various BBQ joints — billowing out smoke — that starkly contrast with the towering nearby skyscrapers.

Did you know? Omoide Yokocho translates as ‘memory lane’ because it gives everyone who visits a nostalgic feeling.

things to do in Tokyo shinjuku omoide yokocho

8. Shimokitazawa

What better way to spend an afternoon than vintage shopping in the trendiest district of Tokyo: Shimokitazawa! This spiderweb of streets is made up of thrift stores, record shops, street art, and plenty of aesthetic cafes — frequented by all the most stylish people of the city, each hunting through the shops to find their vintage treasures. 

things to do in Tokyo shimokitazawa thrift store

In true Japanese style, vintage shopping in Tokyo is exceptionally well organized, with various styles and sizes. However, as thrift shopping has become a ‘culture’ of its own in Japan, its popularity is reflected in the prices. Because of this, it’s not easy to source ‘cheap finds,’ but all the pieces are so beautiful it’s worth the price tag! 

Some of our favorite shops:

  • Little Trip to Heaven
  • New York Joe

Tokyo shimokitazawa streets

9. Trip to Fuji

No trip to Tokyo would be complete without a visit to Mount Fuji , and the good news is that it’s easily accessible on a day trip! The incredible area around Mount Fuji is home to five beautiful lakes, which you can visit for stunning views of the active volcano.

See our travel guide to Best Things to do at Mount Fuji .

trip from tokyo to mt fuji japan

The natural beauty here is exceptional, and in each season, you’ll find something different to look at, whether it’s the reds of the fall forests, the cherry blossom hues in Spring, or the snow-capped peak of the volcano in winter. Mount Fuji is truly our favorite part of Japan! 

See tickets and availability for a tour to Fuji from Tokyo

mt fuji hotel day trip from tokyo

Tip: Mount Fuji is doable on a day trip from Tokyo (a 2.5-hour drive). You can also take the bullet train using your Japan Rail Pass ( book here ). However, if you have more time, we recommend doing a multi-day trip to enjoy all the fantastic things to do in the Fuji region. There are stunning waterfalls to explore and multiple beautiful shrines that bask in the shadow of the volcano.

We recommend to rent a car in Japan through Rentalcars.com with many rental locations and flexible cancellation. Book your rental car here .

mt fuji japan waterfall

10. See the Snow Monkeys

Seeing snow monkeys in their natural habitat is a bucket list experience and, without a doubt, one of the best things to do on your trip to Tokyo! Just a 3-hour drive away is the city of Nagano, which is a jumping-off point to see these remarkable animals.

More about: Snow Monkeys Park and its Hot Springs

day trip from tokyo to snow monkeys japan

Frolicking in the woodland, discover the cheeky red-faced creatures who come into their element in the winter when the snowy conditions motivate them to kick back and relax in the nearby hot springs.

Tickets for the natural park are 800 yen (6 USD) which you can purchase at the entrance. See opening times and ticket prices here .

how much to visit tokyo japan

There are other onsens (springs) in Yudanaka town that are accessible to humans. You’ll find plenty of them on your trip to this area, so do as the locals do and wear the traditional Yukata robe and Geta sandals as you make your way to the bathhouses. 

Please note that you are prohibited from entering Onsens if you have tattoos, this is due to the long-running stigma of tattoos in Japan.

japanese onsen

Tip: Visiting in winter? The area where the snow monkeys live (Jigokudani Valley) is in the mountains, where you’ll find fantastic snow conditions and some of Japan’s best ski resorts.

Join this day tour to see the snow monkeys, which leaves from Tokyo and includes entrance and return transportation.

japanese slippers

11. Trip to Kamakura

A world away from the bright neon lights of Tokyo, but just 1.5 hours by car, is the charming fishing village of Kamakura. Quite unexpectedly, this Japanese seaside town is a favorite for surfers and city slickers who come here for their beach holidays. 

things to do in Tokyo japan kamakura buddha

Enjoy some downtime here — explore the hiking trails, take in the views of the sea (with Mount Fuji visible inland), and swim during the summer months. The town is also home to some fantastic ancient architecture and beautiful temples and shrines, making it exceptionally peaceful. 

kamakura japan day trip from tokyo

Tip: Started your trip from Tokyo early? Get your breakfast + coffee at the Delifrance bakery at the train station in Kamakura. From here, you can take the bus or the train to other spots in the city.

Buy your Japan Rail Pass in advance here

old tram kamakura japan

12. See a Sumo Game

Seeing Japan’s national sport take place in real-time is one of the top things to do in Tokyo! The country is famous worldwide for the unusual and ancient sport of Sumo wrestling (Basho), which has been practiced in Japan for thousands of years. During the game, each athlete attempts to push the other out of the circular ring while wearing the traditional loincloth called a mawashi. 

Buy your tickets for a Sumo wrestling tournament here

things to do in Tokyo sumo game

Buy tickets for one of the arenas in Tokyo and watch this epic game unfold! We recommend joining a tour that includes tickets, reserved seating, and a guide who can explain more about the game’s history and how it works.

For something a little different, join a tour to see the morning practice. Watch the wrestlers’ rigorous training routine and snap a photo or two with your favorites!

Join this popular tour to see the Sumo morning practice

sumo game tokyo japan

13. Go Kart through Tokyo

Experience one of the most popular things to do in Tokyo: an exhilarating Go Kart ride through the city ! Ditch the typical tour bus and get behind the wheel of this adrenaline-pumping car, making your way down the fast-paced roads of Tokyo. A guide will lead you and tell you all about the most iconic sights as you go.

things to do in Tokyo go kart

To make this experience even more memorable, you can pick from various fun costumes to brighten the day — and create incredible photos for your trip. 

See availability for a Go Kart tour through Tokyo!

go kart tour tokyo japan

14. Koishikawa Korakuen

Located in the district of Koishikawa, discover the botanical gardens of Koishikawa Korakuen, which is also thought to be the oldest Japanese garden in Tokyo! Traditional Japanese gardens throughout the country are designed with ponds, stones, and bridges to mimic the natural beauty of the landscapes, and Koishikawa Korakuen is no different. 

Opening Times and Entrance Fee: 9 AM – 5 PM. Entrance 300 yen (2 USD)

how much to visit tokyo japan

The maple and cherry trees in this botanical garden burst into different colors according to the season. We visited in the fall when we had a vibrant mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows. The trees also attract some incredible bird species, making the botanical gardens popular for bird watchers. You might even have the chance to spot the graceful Kingfisher.

koishikawa korakuen tokyo japan botanical garden

15. Takeshita Street in Harajuku

At the heart of the Harajuku district, you’ll find the most colorful and busy street in Tokyo! Takeshita Street is weird and wonderful, with various stores selling bright, eccentric clothing — everything from anime costumes to platform heels and velvet bows. It’s overwhelming but brilliant all at the same time, with loud music, strange candy vendors, crepes, and fluorescently colored shopfronts. 

takeshita street harajuku tokyo japan

Although Takeshita Street is the most famous in the area, we recommend crossing the street and wandering around the rest of Harajuku. It’s much more chilled, home to contemporary art galleries, vintage stores, collectible sneakers, and luxury brands — a complete mix!

cute crepe patisserie

16. Meiji Shrine

After the hustle and bustle of Harajuku, visit the neighboring peaceful oasis of Meiji. This stunning Shinto shrine is set in the middle of Tokyo in a tranquil forest of over 100,000 trees. 

The park’s entrance is close to Harajuku station. First, pass through the Torii Gate (traditional gates that mark where the ordinary world ends and the sacred world starts) and then enjoy a relaxing 15-minute stroll through the parkland to reach the Meiji Shrine.

things to do tokyo meiji shrine

Once there, you’ll see people cleaning, performing religious tasks, and praying to the gods. You can also write out your wishes for the gods on the wooden tablets (Ema) placed near the shrine — a beautiful and spiritual moment during your time in Tokyo. 

Note: Because the shrine is sacred, photos are prohibited at the main Meiji Jingu.

tokyo japan meiji shrine

If you want some refreshments, we recommend visiting a small garden inside the park, where you’ll find an old tea house that you can enter for the price of 500 yen (3.50 USD)

Opening Times and Entrance Fee : The shrine is open from sunrise to sunset with no entrance fee. If you wish to visit the museum, tickets cost 1000 yen (7 USD).

One of the best things to do in Tokyo, the Hie shrine is definitely worth a stop on your city trip. If you’ve already visited Kyoto , you’ll notice it looks similar to the famous red shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha. 

Also read: Things to do in Kyoto, Japan

how much to visit tokyo japan

This sacred spot sits on a hilltop in the city, with a gigantic cherry tree at the entrance, which makes the shrine look extra special in spring. Although the shrine is lovely, the most beautiful element of the whole site is at the back entrance. Here, you’ll find 90 exquisite red torii gates, each painted with Japanese characters, that form a long tunnel.

Opening times: 6 AM to 5 PM. Free entrance.

17. Tsukiji Outer Market

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tsukiji Outer Market – Tokyo’s famous fish market! Sprawling over a few blocks, the fish market is enormous, filled with hundreds of stalls, all selling different kinds of seafood, complete with bright signs and price markers. It’s a great spot to see what local life is like as you watch restaurants and locals buying their fish for dinner.

Tip: The busiest streets are Tsukiji Nishi-dōri and Tsukiji Naka-dōri, so head there for the liveliest experience.

how much to visit tokyo japan

We recommend trying some of Japan’s delicacies: fresh, thinly sliced sashimi, oysters, sushi rolls, or BBQ-ed fish. The best way to do so is to join a food tour, as the tour guide will recommend the best stalls to visit and also give you some fun facts about the market.

See availability for a tour of Tsukiji Outer Market

tokyo fish market

Top Tips for Visiting Tsukiji Outer Market 

  • Opening times 9 AM – 2 PM (closed on Sundays and Wednesdays)
  • Arrive before 10 AM (afterwards, it gets crowded)
  • Prepare yourself for the strong fish smell – it’s not for the faint of heart! 
  • Wear closed-toes shoes as the floor is wet. Avoid wearing sandals or high heels.
  • Some stalls don’t accept credit cards, so take cash just in case.

fish market tokyo japan

Best Restaurants & Cafes in Tokyo

Tokyo has to be one of the best places to eat in the world! You can look forward to dining on all the Japanese favorites like Sushi, Ramen, and Soba noodles, whether you purchase from market vendors or dine at high-end fusion restaurants.

matcha cafe japan in bamboo forest

In reality, every kind of food you can imagine is sourceable in Tokyo; you’ll also find plenty of Italian and French restaurants and plentiful bakeries serving freshly baked pastries – most delicious when eaten warm first thing in the morning. Some of our favorites are:

  • Bricolage Bread & Co
  • Sushi Ishii
  • Citron Aoyama
  • Fuglen Asakusa
  • Palermo Akasaka
  • Falafel Brothers
  • & sandwich.
  • Afuri Ramen

best sushi restaurant tokyo japan

Top Tip: It’s no secret that Tokyo is expensive, so if you’d like to have a quick snack or an affordable takeaway lunch, we recommend going to the supermarkets 7-Eleven, Family Mart, or Lawson. You can find delicious Onigiri (a rice ball with fish inside and packed in crunchy seaweed) or even mix a cup of frozen fruits into a smoothie.

Make sure to bring your reusable water bottle with you; you can drink water from the taps in most places in Japan! This is a good way to save money and travel plastic-free .

7-eleven onigiri tokyo japan

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Tokyo is a massive city with neighborhoods to suit every kind of traveler. Even if you choose to stay further out, the fantastic metro system makes it easy to travel between districts. 

We stayed in the neighborhood of Akasaka , which is close to many of the top things to do in Tokyo and has great restaurants and cafes. It also has excellent train connections, yet it is still away from the main crowds.

best hotels tokyo japan

Hotels near Shinjuku station are also a good option (particularly good for nightlife and restaurants). The same is true for the area surrounding Tokyo Station , which provides the most connections to the rest of the city.

  • Hotels near Shinjuku Station
  • Hotels at Tokyo Station
  • Hotels at Akasaka

how much to visit tokyo japan

How Many Days in Tokyo?

There are so many incredible things to do in Tokyo that we recommend spending at least two days exploring. Three to four days would be perfect (this excludes day trips), allowing you to visit all the main sites and leave plenty of time for dining, nightlife, and museums. 

Tokyo is an excellent jumping-off point for day trips in Japan, primarily because of the superfast bullet trains that can take you out of the city in a matter of minutes. 

streets tokyo

How to Visit Tokyo

Tokyo has two international airports that serve the city, Haneda and Narita. Narita is further away (60 KM east of the city), so we recommend flying into Haneda for ease.

From here, it’s just a 30-minute train into the city center, or you can arrange a private transfer if you have a lot of luggage.

Book your airport transfer in advance

tokyo train station

There is a lack of elevators and escalators in Tokyo’s metro stations, making it more challenging to maneuver your suitcase when traveling into the city. Because of this, luggage transfer services are very common. For example, Yamato Transport can arrange to bring your luggage from the airport to your hotel and vice versa.

Tip: It’s best to get an eSim in advance so you’re directly connected when you land in Japan. Buy your sim online here .

metro tokyo japan

Getting Around

Getting around Tokyo is super easy; the organized Japanese public transport system makes traveling a dream! Metros and trains reach every corner of the city, and best of all, they’re super affordable. 

Note: Because the travel network in Tokyo is so organized, you’ll never experience delays; trains and metros depart precisely at the minute specified.

Walking around the city is highly recommended. It’s the best way to take in the vibe of Tokyo, and there’s something out of the ordinary to see on every street corner. When you get tired, you can download a taxi app (Uber and GoTaxi are the best, with GoTaxi being the cheaper option).

trendy japanese family

Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass gives you unlimited access to all public transport throughout Japan, so it’s a great option if you plan on taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) several times. It’s also multi-use for other trains, ferries, and buses throughout the country. 

jr pass bullet train japan

How Much Does Tokyo Cost?

Like most of Japan, Tokyo upholds its reputation as one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, we were pleasantly surprised that entrance tickets, food, and public transport cost much less than anticipated. The higher costs were for accommodation, which is more expensive than anywhere else in the country. Because of this, we recommend booking well in advance to try and score the cheapest deal. 

Tip: Capsule hotels are very popular in Tokyo, offering a budget alternative to the traditional hotel experience. 

Costs of Traveling in Tokyo

Travel on a budget in Tokyo, from $480 − $950 USD weekly per person, mid-range $2100 − $4230 USD, and high-end from $3880 − $6030 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

  • Hotels: $150 − $500 USD Check available hotels
  • Hostels: $20 − $85 USD Check available hostels
  • Transport: $5 − $50 USD Book public transport
  • Car Rental: $35 − $150 USD Book a rental car
  • Food: $30 − $150 USD
  • Activities: $10 − $50 USD See tickets & tours
  • Sim: $1 − $5 USD Get an eSIM or SIM here
  • Travel Insurance: $2 − $6 USD Get Travel Insurance

vintage store tokyo japan

Best Time to Visit Tokyo

With so many things to do in Tokyo, you can visit at any time of the year and be spoilt for choice. However, the most beautiful season is Spring when the cherry blossoms are out, covering the city in pink flowers. Bear in mind that this is also the most popular time to visit, raising prices and demand for accommodation. 

Note: Although many sights in Tokyo can get busy, it’s rarely hectic as a result of the fantastic organization and good manners of the Japanese people.

Fall is an excellent alternative. It’s still busy, but it’s a little less expensive than Spring. You’ll still get to see the maple trees burst into the typical fall colors, which creates a fiery backdrop to Tokyo’s towering skyscrapers and neon lights.

Tip: In both seasons, fall and spring, you’ll need to book ahead for tours, tickets, and accommodations to avoid disappointment.

Shinjuku Gyoen park tokyo japan

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22 Best Things to See and Do in Japan

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A beginner’s guide to visiting Tokyo: Everything you need to eat, see and do

Samantha Rosen

There's a reason everyone and their mother is going to visit Tokyo these days. It's one of the most incredible destinations on Earth, and I fell head over heels in love with this city on a recent trip.

When you go, you'll understand why.

Now, when I tell you I spent as much time planning my itinerary as I did putting together the TPG beginner's guide , it's not an exaggeration. I spent hours researching, calling, emailing — pretty much everything except sending a carrier pigeon to the other side of the world — to make sure I had the most incredible experience ever. And it paid off. Fortunately, I created this guide so you don't have to do the same before your first trip to Tokyo. Just do me a solid and enjoy every second of the trip, OK?

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter .

Where to eat in Tokyo

If you know anything about me, you know that my life revolves around where I'm eating. Considering that Tokyo is one of the culinary capitals of the world, you can imagine how excited — and overwhelmed — I was before the trip. I reviewed everything from Instagram to Tabelog (Japan's version of Yelp), and then crosschecked online reviews to make sure these restaurants deserved to make the final cut.

Keep in mind that it can be difficult to make online restaurant reservations in Tokyo. There's no Resy or OpenTable to speak of. So, your best bet is using some type of concierge service from either your hotel or credit card (think: the Amex Platinum Concierge ).

Also, I think there's a misconception that you have to spend a lot of money to visit Tokyo. Yes, you can absolutely splurge on omakase and Wagyu (I'll get to that in a minute), but you can also find inexpensive street food or pop into a no-frills sushi, ramen or udon restaurant that'll make your wallet and stomach very happy. You can do Japan on a budget, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Related: 3 ways to do Tokyo on points

Where to get sushi in Tokyo

First thing's first: I knew I needed to stuff my face with as much sushi as possible, and there was one restaurant I kept seeing pop up again and again: Sushi-Ya.

Sushi-Ya is an eight-seat omakase restaurant in the the Ginza district of Tokyo (right near the Conrad !) and was the most incredible sushi experience I've ever had. I mean, just look at this tuna:

Photo courtesy of author

Chef Ishiyama was warm and welcoming, and explained every piece I was going to eat during the two-hour ordeal. This was a real treat, since many sushi chefs don't speak English; it can be intimidating if you don't speak the language. It was far and away the most expensive meal I had in Japan, but worth every single penny yen.

That wasn't my only sushi journey, though. I was also able to get a reservation at Isana Sushi Bar, a slightly more casual sushi spot I kept seeing pop up during my research. Chef Junichi Onuki was another near-fluent English-speaking chef, and the fish here was high-quality without being too pricey. I ended up chatting with a family from California who was also visiting, and we got into a long conversation about — you guessed it — sushi. Chef Onuki chimed in, as well, and it made for a really memorable start to my trip.

Where to get noodles in Tokyo

Let's talk about ramen for a second. Of course, Tokyo is full to the brim with ramen shops, similar to (but better than) Ippudo locations all over the U.S. But the real treat here is tsukemen . It's a Japanese specialty where the cold noodles are served in a bowl separate from the warm broth. You dip the cold noodles in the broth and then you reach ramen Nirvana. It's all part of the experience. The best tsukemen I had was at Fuunji, followed closely by Rokurinsha on Ramen Street in Tokyo Station. You'll inevitably end up waiting in line for each for about an hour or so, but since it's Japan, everything is efficient and moves quickly.

Oh, and did I mention that you'll order using a vending machine?

I also knew I needed to dive into a bowl of udon, and Shin Udon seemed like the place to go (coincidentally, it was right around the corner from Fuunji). It was a few minutes away from the Park Hyatt in an unassuming little room. They even line people up on another street as to not block the tiny little entrance. If you're staying anywhere in Shinjuku — and even if you're not — add this to your list.

Related: Inside Tokyo's bizarre robot restaurant

The best restaurants in Tokyo

Now, you'll think I've lost my mind for what I'm about to tell you, but believe me when I say I ate the best pizza I've had in my life in Tokyo ; I'm a native New Yorker and have traveled multiple times to various cities around Italy, but the pizza at Seirinkan blew all the other slices out of the water. It was as close to perfect as you can get. I found this place through chef David Chang's "Ugly Delicious" show on Netflix , and he said the same thing: You'll think he's crazy, but it really is the best pizza in the world. If you don't believe me, go see for yourself. If you do believe me, well, bring your stretchy pants. I'd definitely recommend making a reservation, too. I got mine through the concierge at the Conrad hotel , and you can probably use a similar strategy, or call the Amex Platinum concierge.

Photo courtesy of author

If you thought my culinary extravaganza was over, you'd be wrong.

I kept seeing these delicious-looking wagyu beef sandwiches pop up on social media and knew I needed to taste one for myself. I ultimately landed on a shop called Wagyumafia and it did not disappoint. Granted, it was also probably the most expensive sandwich I have ever and will ever order (it cost about $30), but how can you say no to a fried wagyu sandwich? You can't.

You know you're in a good spot when everyone in the restaurant is Japanese. Enter: Tempura Kondo. This restaurant, tucked away on the fifth floor of a building in Ginza, turns out some of the best fried food I've ever had. Just follow the people getting in the elevator and you'll know you're in the right place. Those two Michelin stars aren't for nothing.

Fluffy pancakes are also a must in Japan, and trust me, I had more than my fair share. In Tokyo, I went to Bills Ginza and A Happy Pancake; I inhaled my pancakes in minutes. Of the two, I would choose Bills — the quality of the food was better, and the overall vibe of the restaurant was more relaxed and fun. Safe to say I stayed pretty carbohydrated during my trip.

And if you don't stock up on snacks (hello, matcha Kit Kats!) and a daily chicken katsu sandwich at 7/11 , Lawson or FamilyMart, you're doing it wrong.

Like I said: Tokyo is an eating extravaganza.

Related: 10 things no one tells you about Tokyo

What to see and do in Tokyo

You could spend your entire life in Tokyo and still never run out of things to see and do. It's just that massive. Assuming you're just visiting for a few days, however, and not relocating there, these are the things you should prioritize.

Yes, you keep seeing it on Instagram , but there's a reason: It's called teamLab Borderless, and it's cooler in real life than it is on your phone. I was skeptical about it at first, thinking it was just another "Instagram pop-up," but this interactive light museum and installation can take hours to properly explore. The most popular exhibit (see below) had a pretty long line — about 20 minutes or so — when I was there, but it was absolutely incredible.

Photo courtesy of @ElleFlorio/Unsplash

You should definitely make it a point to visit the famed Tsukiji Market when in Tokyo. While the inner market — the place where the tuna auction took place — moved to Toyosu Market, you can still visit the outer market at Tsukiji to eat all the fish your heart desires without shelling out the big bucks. I had an oyster the size of my face for about $2; a giant octopus skewer; and a tuna, salmon and sea urchin situation that was unlike anything else I've ever eaten. All of this cost me less than $20.

Another favorite locale was Ameyoko Ueno market. Visiting markets while you're traveling is a great way to get a feel for the people and the culture, and at Ameyoko, you'll find cheap shopping, authentic cuisine and approachable residents who can introduce you to Tokyo.

No trip to Tokyo is complete without a quick trip to Shibuya Crossing, the busiest intersection in the world. The surrounding area has great shopping (Tower Records), so you definitely want to take a few minutes to cross the street and feel the heartbeat of the city. I've also heard the Starbucks at the corner has the best aerial views, but I didn't have time to make the trip there.

how much to visit tokyo japan

You'll also want to visit the Harajuku area, the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Take a walk down colorful Takeshita Street — just be prepared for a sensory overload in the best way possible. If you're a cotton candy fan, stop at Totti Candy Factory.

Steps away from Harajuku, you'll find Meiji Jingu, a beautiful Shinto shrine. It's dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. I'm not a religious person at all, but it was a deeply spiritual experience. I really liked writing down my wishes in an envelope and putting them away in a box. It all felt very "Eat, Pray, Love." The shrine is located in Yoyogi Park, which is a gorgeous, sprawling green park in the middle of Shibuya. I went early before the crowds, and it was the definition of Japanese Zen.

In Asakusa, you'll find Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple and the oldest in Tokyo. Everything I'd ever dreamt about Japan came to life here. Be sure to bathe in some of the smoke from the incense, since it's said to have healing powers.

My favorite shopping was in Shinjuku. I kept seeing the name Komehyo pop up during my research, and decided to make a trip to the store's flagship in this neighborhood . I ended up getting a bag I've had my eye on for years, and it cost me less than half of what it would have cost at home. And thrift stores are a thing in Japan. They resemble actual department stores, and have enough luxury goods to make your head spin — and since it's Japan, everything is in pristine condition.

If you're even remotely a fan of the Grateful Dead, you need to visit Chi Chi's. It's a little off the beaten path in the Setagaya City neighborhood, but is a well-known destination for Deadheads. Chi Chi and Merry, the owners, were so warm and welcoming, and we ended up talking for an hour about music, travel, Japan and food. The best things in life, if you ask me. All the shirts are handmade, and you could easily spend an entire day there browsing and chatting with Chi Chi and Merry. Merry even let me take a picture with her signed copy of John Mayer's "The Search for Everything" album that she got back when Dead & Company went to visit the shop in April.

View this post on Instagram   A post shared by CHI-CHI'S (@chichis_1985) on Jun 21, 2019 at 12:46am PDT

Where to stay in Tokyo

With so many hotels in Tokyo, it can be hard to narrow it all down. Trust me, I know the feeling.

I ended up staying in two hotels during my trip: Both the Conrad and Park Hyatt . While I'm more or less obsessed with the Conrad and can't recommend it highly enough, the Park Hyatt definitely fell below my expectations.

(Photo by Samantha Rosen / The Points Guy)

These are two of the city's most high-end points properties, but I promise there's something for everyone and every budget here.

Take, for example, the wealth of Marriott hotels in the city. There are two Courtyard properties — one in Ginza , the other near Tokyo station — both available from 35,000 points per night. There's also a Westin (rates start at 50,000 points per night) and, one step up from there, a Ritz-Carlton (rates start at 85,000 points per night).

And there are even more properties on the horizon as the capital prepares for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Marriott loyalists can look forward to a forthcoming Edition property; a spring grand opening is expected for the Kimpton Shinjuku for travelers with IHG points; and if you're more interested in earning than redeeming points, Japan's third Four Seasons will appear in time for the games at Tokyo at Otemachi.

You'll want to check out our guide to the best points hotels in Tokyo to find the one that works best for you.

Related: 3 of the best value points hotels in Tokyo

How to get to Tokyo

Naturally, there are a ton of ways to get to Tokyo — it's one of the biggest cities in the world, after all. There are two airports that serve the city: Haneda (HND) and Narita (NRT). Haneda is much closer to the city , but I ended up flying in and out of Narita because of how my flights worked out.

On the way there, I flew in Japan Airlines first class . I'll probably never be over the fact that I can say that and yes, it really was that amazing. I found award availability on Alaska Airlines for 70,000 miles and $18 in taxes and fees.

Coming home, I flew in Air Canada business class with a short layover in Montreal (YUL) — I transferred 75,000 Amex points to Aeroplan , paid about $175 in taxes and fees and voilá! That's how you do it, people.

The details

Getting around.

I'm a big fan of walking, especially in a city I haven't been to before so I can explore every corner.

That said, Tokyo is a massive 845 square miles. You'll inevitably have to take the subway, which is extremely efficient and clean — people wait on lines to get in and out of it. (Take notes, New York City.) I'd definitely recommend getting either a Pasmo or Suica card ahead of time and loading it with money so you don't have to buy individual tickets. Also, you'll need to swipe it (or your individual ticket) as you leave the station, so be sure to keep it accessible.

I loved putting on my headphones and listening to music while Google Maps was on in the background; it told me exactly when I needed to turn, and if I was taking the subway, when the train was leaving and what platform I needed to be at. Efficiency at its finest.

While I felt safe walking around at night, I opted to take a cab home from restaurants that weren't walking distance to my hotel — when traveling alone, I always err on the side of caution. That said, you'll be more than fine taking the subway with a companion, or even by yourself. I just always play it safe.

Uber is available here, although the fleet is fairly small and prices are typically more expensive than taxis. Taking a taxi in Tokyo is an experience — the drivers all wear white gloves, not to mention they open and close the door for you. Beats an Uber any day of the week.

To get to Kyoto, I took the scenic Shinkasen directly from Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station. I'd recommend getting to Tokyo Station early and going to Rokurinsha for ramen; you'll thank me later. The trip took less than three hours, and yes, the bullet train is as fast as you've heard. Added bonus: The ticket cost about $120 each way, and counted toward my Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit .

Related: Second cities: Destinations to add onto a trip to Tokyo

Japanese currency and tipping

In Japan, $1 gets you about 108.55 Japanese yen, so don't panic when you see astronomical numbers while scoping out prices. You'll also want to carry a decent amount of cash on you, since many places don't accept credit cards. Of course, when you do pay with card, you'll want to use one that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees . Just think of what you could be putting that money towards instead (read: food).

The service in Japan was absolutely incredible — I'd even venture to say it's pretty much the ideal location for a solo woman traveler . People (everyone, not just those working in hospitality) go out of their way to help you and make sure you're comfortable. Excellent service and hospitality is so ingrained in the culture that tipping is actually considered rude . Instead, just smile and say thank you.

Bottom line

In case you couldn't tell, I had the absolute best time in Tokyo , and am already itching to go back. There is so much to see and do here that it's difficult to even scratch the surface. But with these tips in mind, you'll begin to understand what the hype is all about — and if my past trip here is any indication, you're going to fall in love with this beautiful city, too.

Seeking Neverland

One Week in Tokyo: The Ultimate Bucket List & 7 Day Itinerary

City Travel , Japan

one week in tokyo

This post is your one week in Tokyo bucket list with travel tips. Tokyo is anything but short on fun. You can spend a lifetime here visiting a new place every day and still never see it all. Let that be a hint.

This past summer I got to check off Tokyo from my bucket list. A city I dreamt about visiting for as long as I can remember. It was also my first time in Asia, so you can imagine my excitement. I didn’t want to waste any time exploring the city. After one week I left with great memories, learning lessons and a strong desire to return asap.

I’ve made this guide to show you my daily itinerary for 7 days, as well as, tips I’ve picked up along the way. It’s a great read to get you started in the planning process. Enjoy!

Psst. . . Looking for more guides around Japan? Check out my other posts.

How Much Spending Money for 2 Weeks in Japan? A Budget-Friendly Guide

  • Top Things to do in Kobe: Japan’s Most Underrated City

Tokyo Disneysea vs Disneyland 

one week in tokyo

Just another Instagrammer in Tokyo. But in my defense, the crosswalk was talking forever. How else is a girl with a camera supposed to kill time?

Know Before You Go: 7 Tips for Visiting Tokyo

These are tips I gathered from trial and error or trial and success I shall say.

1) Transportation doesn’t have to be expensive

There are two airports in Tokyo, Narita and Haneda. Both are far from the city center where many visitors stay. Taxis are incredibly expensive. For the same travel time but half the price, purchase a ticket after you land for the Limousine bus.

We booked our drop off location at the nearest metro station to our Airbnb and walked from there. The next morning we went back to the metro station and purchased our Suica Cards.

Suica Cards are the way to go for metro transportation around Tokyo. They work across all lines and can be purchased online for pickup on Klook or at a metro kiosk. You will be required to leave a 500 YEN deposit which is refundable when you return your Suica card. 

From there you can upload however much you want. For the week that I was there, I spent around 6500 YEN ($60) on metro rides.

If you’re going out at night consider staying near clubs and bars because the metros close at 11 pm. If not, you risk a long walk home or a pricey taxi fare. Taxis are so expensive many locals will stay up all night until the subway lines reopen.

2) Sounds APPetizing

Download these apps to navigate the metros.

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo subway.

Unlike most other major cities, Tokyo’s metro lines are owned by three different companies, which makes getting around very confusing. T heir tracks never cross so you have to pay attention to the detail.

Our first day was the worst. Luckily, a nice man who spoke English helped us. We also downloaded the apps which I mentioned above and it was (mostly) smooth sailing from there. 

3) Forget about SIM cards

Pocket WiFi is cheaper and the way to go. Don’t know what pocket wifi is? It’s the greatest thing ever. A small device you carry around that grants you unlimited data on multiple devices. 

We rented our pocket WIFI from Japan Wireless . It was $75 for 2 weeks ($5.35/day). Verizon Wireless was going to charge me $10/ day for one device. No thank you. As for SIM cards, they are for only one device which could be shared via hotspot but pocket WiFi will give you further range.

PRO TIP: Order it online before you leave so that it’s ready from pickup at the airport. 

4) No cash = problems

Japan is a cash-heavy economy. With so many small businesses unwilling to pay the credit card fees, they operate solely on cash.

If you plan to get off the beaten path or shop markets you need cash. I brought $500 worth of YEN in cash for two weeks. 

5) This is how you use the toilet

Apparently squatting on top of the toilet seat in an issue because you will see a “do not do this” sign in every stall. I have never thought to do this, but if you have, please don’t.

All the bathrooms sound like a rainforest – that is the noise option found conveniently in your stall. If you have a shy bladder just know you can always turn on the rain noise from your toilet seat touchpad.

Sometimes the touchpad is on the wall and sometimes it’s adjacent to the seat.

If all else fails

You can always do as the westerners do and use the flush knob.

Unlike many European cities, public toilets are everywhere in Tokyo and free. I never ran into a problem of needing to pay to use. The public restrooms are actually quite nice, even at the metro stations. I brought toilet seat covers just to be safe but never needed them.

6) Passport tax break

We came across a few stores that offer to remove taxes upon showing your passport. This could come in handy if you’re shopping for souvenirs. Many stores will have a sign out front indicating the tax break.

one week in tokyo

If you plan to do any driving tours or rent a car you will need your International Driving Permit before you leave.

7) Get Your International Drivers Permit

There is one thing worth doing in Tokyo which I mention later that requires you to possess an international driver’s permit. You will need to get this before you leave for your trip. You can get it from a A A A office for $20.

Here’s how to apply:

1. Fill out the paperwork found on AAA

2. Get two passport photos (I got mine from Costco)

3. Bring a valid driver’s license

4. Go to a local AAA branch with all required documents and pay the $20

Should I stay in Shibuya or Shinjuku?

Given all the amazing neighborhoods, travelers are still very likely to book accommodation in Shibuya or Shinjuku. Both have tons of shopping, nightlife, and attractions, so my answer to you is book whatever hotel is within your budget and near a metro line. If that happens to be in Shibuya great. If that’s Shinjuku, also great.

Might I suggest a few hotels?

Hotel Tsubaki Kinshicho (love hotel)  offers couples a relaxing space in the Sumida Ward District. If you’re interested in temples you will be near plenty. You’re also only a 4-minute walk to Kinshicho Station.

Hotel D-Wave Shinjuku (love hotel)  is located in the heart of Shinjuku. Only a quarter-mile walk to Golden Gai and steps away from shopping and more.

Imperial Hotel (art nouveau)  is a luxury hotel in Chiyoda City next to the Imperial Palace and several metro lines.

The Nine Hours Hotel (capsule hotel) for the budget-conscious traveler who is looking for a unique stay for less. The hotel itself is nicely decorated and a short walk to Asakusa station.

Keio Plaza Hotel (art nouveau)

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku (luxury hotel)  offers guests luxury in the heart of Shinjuku. You’re only a 3-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station.

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one week in tokyo itinerary

Welcome to another world. Also known as Shinjuku.

One Week in Tokyo Itinerary

I now present my Tokyo bucket list – a mishmash of non-touristy and popular things you absolutely cannot miss despite the risk of being in a heavy tourist area.

To be honest, there are so many people living in Tokyo. It’s the most densely populated city in-the-world so the chances of you finding a spot that isn’t crowded are slim to none. I wouldn’t be worried about finding yourself in touristy areas for the sake of crowds because everywhere is crowded.

Tokyo is massive (no surprise there) so I found it helpful to explore 1-2 neighborhoods per day – leaving an extra day or two to revisit places if needed.

Knowing where is where will greatly help you navigate the city, so I’ve broken down this itinerary by neighborhoods along with points of interest in each.

The Exhausting Arrival Day

I recommend arriving at night and going straight to bed to help reset you to the new time zone. This is one way to combat jet lag . After a long flight you will inevitably be exhausted, so might as well arrive at a bedtime hour. This will help you be ready for the next day.

one week in tokyo itinerary

Those first-day feelings. When you stop and take a picture every 3 seconds because it all looks, unlike anything you have ever seen.

Another way to overcome jet lag is to wake up and fast until lunch. That said, you can start your morning with a nice workout, followed by a trip to the metro station to get your Suica card.

Explore Shinjuku

Tokyo Government Building has a free observation deck for you to come and enjoy your first views of Tokyo.

Visit the Takashimaya department store at Takashimaya Times Square. My favorite part is located in the food court. A massive floor with all kinds of goodies from artisanal bread, ice cream, chocolates, and more!

Drinks at Old Blind Cat . An old school dive bar with delicious cocktails. One of my girlfriends who is from Tokyo told me about this place so of course, I had to trust her recommendation. It’s exactly what you imagine a dive bar to be only way better drinks. If you love Old Fashions as much as I do, then it’s worth a quick visit.

ADDRESS: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3

Alice in Fantasyland tokyo

Dinner at Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant . I have been wanting to visit this restaurant since the early days of Pinterest. I kid you not, I saved a pin from this place years ago. Like when you could scroll to the end of your Pinterest feed. Early adopter heyyy.

This restaurant takes you on a larger than life adventure to the Queen of Hearts domain. Giant card troops and red heart-shaped tables transport you to a magical world. The servers are all dressed adorably like Alice.

ADDRESS: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−6−2 T-wing ビル B2

Golden Gai for a night out with the locals. There are over 270 of these tiny bars across a few rows known as Golden Gai. Most places will require a minimum drink spend so chose wisely.

Go to late-night Karaoke and sing with a live band at Pub Karaoke Studio Himawari .

ADDRESS: Miyata Bldg. 5F-B, 1-4-12 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo ( Next to Shinjuku ward office, located on the fifth floor of Miyata building)

You might also like the famous Robot Caf e . I never got a solid review from people so decided to skip it. It’s expensive, the food menu looks awful, and I still don’t know what it’s about. I’m still mentioning it because I can’t truly knock something I haven’t tried.

one week in Tokyo

Tokyo Disney marks my fourth park. You can imagine my excitement. A rainbow shirt purchase was 100% necessary. The writing says, “happy as a rainbow”. which was totally accurate.

The next two days will be spent at the happiest place on earth or at least one of them, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea . You want to purchase your tickets in advance online. The ticket lines get crazy and will waste so much time. We got 2 two day pass for $244.

Below are some purchase options from Get Your Guide. I use them for everything! I also wrote a separate post showing the differences between Tokyo Disneysea and Disneyland with a video!

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Teamlab Borderless Tokyo

Teamlab Borderless is an interactive art experience. There are no words to describe how magnificent this place is.

Get an early start to your day at Teamlab Borderless . They open at 10 am. I recommend getting there about 15 minutes before they open so you can be the first person in. It will get super busy, so if you want to enjoy the rooms without waiting in lines, go early.

Teamlab Borderless will take you a couple of hours to experience it all after which you can get lunch nearby for head to Shibuya station.

one week in tokyo

Mirrors, mirrors, around the walls. Who is the fairest of them all? My boyfriend for capturing this moment.

Explore Shibuya

Shibuya is known for cutting edge clothing stores, a wide array of dining options, and vibrant nightlife.

Shibuya is also home to the busiest crosswalk in the world. People from around the world come to both view the madness and join in with fellow pedestrians as they scramble from one side to the other.

the famous Shibuya Crossing in tokyo

The Shibuya scramble from Starbucks.

One of the best places to view Shibuya crossing is the nearby Starbucks. Once you exit Shibuya station you will see the Starbucks sign. You can’t miss it.

This Starbucks also happens to be one of the busiest ones in the world. Coincidence? I think not. We got lucky and found a couple leaving as we were coming in, but if you find yourself without a view, head to one of these nearby and equally great viewpoints:

Mag’s Park at the Magnet by Shibuya 109 . You do have to pay an entrance fee to enter this open-air observation deck. Hours of operation are daily between 11 am – 11 pm.

L’occitane cafe on the 2nd or 3rd floor will offer great views of the crosswalk. if you’re hungry it might be worth it to have your lunch here while enjoying the views., shibuya station has decent views. it would be so much better if the glass didn’t have a design on them..

Meiji Shrine in harajuku tokyo

The main gate marks the entrance to the sacred grounds.

Find peace at Meiji Shrine – a dedication to the deity of Emperor Meiji. He was the first Emporer to modernize and westernize Japan to join with major world powers.

Once you pass the main gate (shown above), you will have a decent walk to the Meiji Shrine with stop-offs along the way. There are a lot of things to see here which require admissions. The Meiji Shrine, however, is free to enter.

P.S. You are not permitted to bring food in.

Grab a drink at Tight . Tight is a tiny bar in the Shibuya drinking alley that fits maybe 5 people comfortably. It’s hard to find if you’re not paying attention. They have a tiny sign outside.

Its small size is not the only thing that makes Tight unique. They also infuse their own liquor in-house such as peach brandy and lemon gin to use in their delicious cocktails. Overall, it was a great atmosphere with great concoctions.

ADDRESS: 1 Chome-25-10 ,  Shibuya,  Tokyo Prefecture

things to do in harajuku tokyo

Having fun twirling around Takeshita Dori in my Lolita dress from To Alice.

Explore Harajuku

Harajuku is located between Shibuya and Shinjuku. Takeshita Dori is the famous shopping street here and center to all things Kawaii meaning “cute”.

You cannot walk down this street and not feel joy with the amount of adorable pink things inside every store. One of the best stores is To Alice ; A Lolita fashion store. That’s where I bought the dress you see in the picture above. Worth every cent.

one week in tokyo itinerary

Meet Harry the Hedgehog. He has sass and loves to nap in the palm of your hands.

The Hedgehog Cafe is less of a cafe and more so an animal store where potential buyers can pay to play with the hedgehogs for an hour. They do encourage you to adopt one at the end of your visit.

Get dessert before dinner at Dobutsuen The Zoo Ice Cream Shop . Not only is the ice cream adorable, but it was also one of the best we had during our whole trip to Japan. So good!

one week in tokyo

The price of each place is determined by color and design. Be sure to look at your menu before picking up from the conveyor belt.

Conveyer belt Sushi for dinner is a must. Price is determined by color and design of the plate so if you’re not paying attention you might be picking up a plate costing 500 Yen. A full meal for one person plus beer and tip cost $25.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for on the conveyor belt, just ask the cook to make it for you. The menus list a few order phrases for non-Japanese speaking guests.

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Start your morning with a little thrill at Street Kart Tokyo Bay BBQ . Dress up as your favorite Disney, Superhero or Anime character and hit the road in, you guessed it, a go-kart. It was awesome!

This is the time for you to whip our your international driving permit and passport. After, you will watch a short safety video then hit the road.

Make sure you say hi to Aydan. He was our awesome tour guide who comforted me when I got nervous about driving on the busy streets of Tokyo in a go-kart.

how much to visit tokyo japan

What I love most about Tokyo are all the lights. It’s the ultimate urban metropolis.

Explore Akihabara

Akihabara is known as the anime district. It’s home to tons of arcades and shops with all kinds of anime goods; SEGA being the most popular one.

While you’re walking in awe, stop in a few retail shops to discover what’s inside. We ended up in a retro card exchange shop with expensive AF Pokemon trading cards.

Of course, we had to experience the SEGA arcades . This is not what you imagine an arcade to be. Some floors are only claw machines while others are sit down games; I can’t even begin to explain it.

Hitachino Brewing Lab is a local craft beer bar worth stopping by.

ADDRESS: Japan, 〒101-0041 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Kanda Sudacho, 1 Chome−25-4

how much to visit tokyo japan

Only smiles at the Senso-Ji shrine.

Explore Asakusa

Asakusa is home to Senso-Ji Shrine – Tokyo’s oldest temple. It’s a large ground with lots of activities for cost. We paid to shake out our fortune from a box and bought burners to toss into some spiritual bowl. Honestly, it was all a smokey blur but fun to say the least.

You do need to remember that this is a sacred place so be respectful of the people who come to worship. If the signs say no photography then respect their wishes.

We got lucky and caught a wedding ceremony. That was really cool to witness for a brief moment. Maybe the same will happen to you.

You will break for lunch at Nakamise Shopping Street . This is a wonderful market with a mix of food and goods.

Tokyo Dome City

Tokyo Dome City is home to amusement rides, shopping, dining, and event arena.

The final day. By this time, you will be a little worried you didn’t see everything and that’s because you didn’t. Tokyo is just too big to see it all. I felt the same way but had to check myself and realize I still saw a lot and for that I was grateful.

To end your journey with some adventure and cheer, head to Tokyo Dome Cit y for thrills and meals.

Tokyo Dome City is an entertainment complex; home to amusement rides, dining, shopping, arcades, and a concert hall where you might catch a K-Pop concert. It was a great ending to a perfect week.

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one week in tokyo

Green tea soft serve ice cream from Nakamise Market.

How much does it cost to visit Tokyo for a week?

Tokyo is known to be very expensive. It’s not a lie. Because of this, we watched our pennies when it came to food and drinks. We didn’t drink much alcohol and shopped at local grocery stores where we bought water, snacks and the occasional lunch or late-night snack.

Here is how much I spent over one week in Tokyo:

Accommodation $884

Airbnb: $884, transportation $128, airport transfer $8, suica card $120, food & drink $230, attractions & shopping $345, senso-ji activities: $2, arcade games: $8, rides at tokyo dome: $5, street kart tip: $5, disneyland: $103, shopping in harajuku $162, teamlab borderless $60.

Total cost for 1-week in Tokyo for two people: $1,579. This does not include international flights or pocket wifi which is included in my total cost for 2-weeks in Japan. 

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japanese lolita fashion

Kawaii fashion comes in two forms. The colorful and the gothic. Special thanks to these people for allowing me to snap a photo of them.

Tokyo Packing List

For once, I am going to suggest you do all your shopping in Tokyo. There are way too many places to not take advantage of. Closet makeover? Everything you need will be there. Even Q-tips are cheaper than in the USA.

If you have specific brands you cannot live without, then bring them. That or risk it in the off chance you will find it there for less. I found my favorite face wash in the world in Tokyo for half the price in the USA.

one week in tokyo bucket list

RECAP: One Week in Tokyo Bucket List

Walk around shinjuku admiring the views, free observation deck at tokyo government building, drinks at old blind cat, dinner at alice’s fantasy restaurant, night out in golden gai, karaoke at studio himawari, disneyland & disneysea, experience the art at teamlab borderless, drinks at tight in shibuya, witness shibuya crossing, play with adorable hedgehogs at hedgehog cafe, go shopping on takeshita-dori in harajuku, monster cafe, dobutsuen the zoo ice cream shop, meiji shrine, conveyor belt sushi, street kart tokyo, walk the street of akihabara, grab a local craft beer at hitachino brewing lab, play inside the sega arcades, senso-ji shrine, nakamise shopping street, tokyo dome city.

how much to visit tokyo japan

Tokyo transported me into another world. As a westerner, it was the most incredible city I’ve ever been to. If you ever get the chance to go, which I hope is soon, you will love it. 

  • Cost of 2-weeks in Japan
  • Tokyo Disneysea vs Disneyland

Are you ready for your week in Tokyo or what? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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how much to visit tokyo japan

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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Trip to Tokyo: Cost, Budgeting, and Tips

Author's Profile Picture

by Trip.com

March 13, 2024

Sensō-ji

Sensō-ji / Source: Trip.com

👉 In this article, we will break down the costs associated with a trip to Tokyo, offer tips for budgeting, and provide helpful suggestions to help you make the most of your trip.

Overview of 6-day 5-night Trip to Tokyo Cost

Here's a breakdown of the estimated expenses for a 6-day 5-night trip to Tokyo:

Ueno-Koen

Ueno-Koen / Source: Trip.com

Best time to visit Tokyo 🌸

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace / Source: Trip.com

  • The spring months of March, April, and May are popular with tourists because of the famous cherry blossom season. During this time, the city is covered in pink and white blossoms, and many parks and gardens have special events and festivals to celebrate the season.
  • Summer in Tokyo can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching over 30°C. However, this is also the time when many traditional Japanese festivals, such as the Sumida River Fireworks Festival and the Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine, take place.
  • Autumn is another popular time to visit Tokyo because of the beautiful autumn foliage. The leaves change colors in the parks and gardens, creating a breathtaking view. The weather during autumn is mild and pleasant, making it a perfect time to explore the city.
  • Winter in Tokyo can be chilly, with temperatures sometimes dropping below freezing. However, winter is also the time when the city is decorated with Christmas lights, and many winter festivals take place, such as the Odaiba Rainbow Bridge Illumination and the Tokyo Midtown Winter Illumination.

Accommodation

Conrad Tokyo

Conrad Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

Best Hotels in Tokyo

Hotel new otani tokyo garden tower, imperial hotel, tokyo, intercontinental tokyo bay, an ihg hotel, tokyo dome hotel, the prince park tower tokyo - preferred hotels & resorts, lvx collection, business travel, hotel gracery ginza, mitsui garden hotel ginza premier, tokyo prince hotel, quintessa hotel tokyo ginza, super hotel premier tokyo-eki yaesu chuo-guchi, family friendly, mitsui garden hotel ueno - tokyo, henn na hotel tokyo asakusa tawaramachi, rakuten stay tokyo asakusa, daiwa roynet hotel ginza premier, hotel keihan tsukiji ginza grande, top 5 tokyo hotels.

1. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

  • Address: Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1 Chuo-ku, Tokyo.

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Airport pickup service

Pets allowed

Check Availability

2. Park Hyatt Tokyo

  • Address: 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Swimming pool

3. Aman Tokyo

  • Address: 1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

Aman Tokyo

Aman Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

4. The Peninsula Tokyo

  • Address: 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

The Peninsula Tokyo

The Peninsula Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

The Peninsula Tokyo

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

  • Address: Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo / Source: Trip.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

👉 Each of these hotels offers a unique experience, from modern luxury to traditional Japanese aesthetics. No matter which one you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable stay in Tokyo.

Transportation

JR West Rail Pass

JR West Rail Pass / Source: Trip.com

👉 The cost of transportation in Tokyo varies depending on the mode of transportation you choose and how far you need to travel. Here are some estimated costs for transportation in Tokyo :

  • Train/Subway : The Tokyo Metro subway system and Japan Railways (JR) trains are the most popular modes of transportation in Tokyo. The cost of a single ride ranges from 160-320 yen depending on the distance traveled. A day pass for unlimited rides on the Tokyo Metro costs 600 yen, while a day pass for unlimited rides on JR trains and Tokyo Metro costs 1,590 yen.
  • Bus : Buses are another option for getting around Tokyo, especially if you're traveling to a destination not accessible by train or subway. The cost of a single ride on a Tokyo city bus is 210 yen, and a day pass for unlimited rides costs 500 yen.
  • Taxis : Taxis are convenient but more expensive than other modes of transportation. The initial fare is 410 yen, and the cost per kilometer ranges from 80-90 yen depending on the time of day.
  • Bicycle : Renting a bicycle is an affordable way to get around Tokyo, with daily rental rates ranging from 1,000-1,500 yen.

Transportation Tips in Tokyo

Cruise Around Odaiba, Sumidagawa and Tokyo Tower

Cruise Around Odaiba, Sumidagawa and Tokyo Tower / Source: Trip.com

  • Get a Suica or Pasmo card: These are prepaid smart cards that can be used on trains, subways, buses, and even some taxis in Tokyo. They are a convenient and cost-effective way to get around the city. You can purchase them at vending machines or ticket counters at train stations.
  • Take advantage of the subway system: Tokyo's subway system is extensive and efficient, with signs and announcements in English as well as Japanese. The subways can get crowded during rush hour, but they are generally reliable and can get you to most destinations in the city.
  • Use Google Maps or other navigation apps: Tokyo's streets can be confusing, but using navigation apps like Google Maps can help you find your way. They can also give you information on train and bus schedules and fares.
  • Consider taking a taxi: Taxis can be expensive in Tokyo, but they are a good option if you're in a hurry or traveling with a group. Look for taxis with a red light on the dashboard, which indicates they are available.

Food and Drink

Tsukiji Sushi Say Honten

Activities and Entertainment in Tokyo

Akihabara

Akihabara / Source: Trip.com

Top 5 Things to do in Tokyo

1. Robot Restaurant

  • Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Price: 8,000-10,000 yen per person

2. Tokyo Disneyland

  • Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba
  • Price: 7,800 yen per adult, 6,800 yen per child

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea

3. Tsukiji Fish Market

  • Address: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo
  • Price: Free to enter, prices vary for food and products

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market / Source: Karsten Gohm@Unsplash

4. Tokyo Skytree

  • Address: 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo
  • Price: 3,000 yen per person for the observation deck

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree / Source: Trip.com

5. Meiji Shrine

  • Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • Price: Free to enter, donations are welcome

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine / Source: Aniket Hande@Unsplash

👉 Keep in mind that prices and availability may vary depending on the time of year and other factors, so it's always best to check ahead of time and book in advance when possible.

Other Travel Expenses

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills / Source: Trip.com

1. Travel insurance:

2. sim cards or wi-fi rental:, 3. visa fees:.

👉 By considering these additional expenses when planning your trip to Tokyo, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Top 10 Free Attractions in Tokyo

  • Meiji Shrine - Located in Shibuya, this beautiful Shinto shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Visitors can walk through the beautiful forested park surrounding the shrine and participate in traditional rituals such as writing wishes on wooden prayer plaques. (Address: 1-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0052)
  • Tsukiji Fish Market - The largest fish market in the world, Tsukiji offers visitors a unique glimpse into the world of Tokyo's seafood trade. While the famous tuna auction has moved to a new location, visitors can still wander the market's bustling stalls and sample fresh seafood. (Address: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045)
  • Ueno Park - This massive park in central Tokyo offers a variety of free attractions, including several museums, a zoo, and beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots in the spring. (Address: Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007)

Shibuya City

Shibuya City / Source: Trip.com

  • Yoyogi Park - Located next to Meiji Shrine, this park is a popular spot for picnics, sports, and people-watching. Visitors can enjoy free performances by musicians and street performers on the weekends. (Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052)
  • Imperial Palace East Garden - Located in the heart of Tokyo, this garden offers visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can stroll through the beautiful gardens and view the remains of Edo Castle, the former residence of the Tokugawa shoguns. (Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0001)
  • Takeshi ta Street - This pedestrian-only street in Harajuku is a popular spot for shopping and people-watching. Visitors can enjoy the colorful street fashion and try local snacks such as crepes and cotton candy. (Address: 1 Chome Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001)

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden / Source: Trip.com

  • Hachiko Statue - This famous statue in Shibuya commemorates the loyal dog Hachiko, who waited at the Shibuya Station for his owner every day for years even after his owner's death. Visitors can take a photo with the beloved statue and learn more about the touching story. (Address: 2 Chome-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043)
  • Kanda Myojin Shrine - This beautiful shrine in the Akihabara district is dedicated to the gods of business and education. Visitors can participate in traditional rituals such as purifying themselves with smoke and writing wishes on wooden prayer plaques. (Address: 2 Chome-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021)

Odaib

Odaiba / Source: Trip.com

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - This iconic building in Shinjuku offers free observation decks on the 45th floor, providing stunning views of the city. Visitors can also enjoy a free guided tour of the building's architecture and history. (Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001)
  • Odaiba is a man-made island located in Tokyo Bay and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It offers a wide range of activities and attractions, from shopping to entertainment and even a beach .

Tips for Saving Money in Tokyo

1. Use public transportation

  • As mentioned earlier, Tokyo has an extensive public transportation system. Using public transportation is not only cost-effective, but it is also a great way to experience the city like a local.

2. Eat like a local

  • Eating like a local is a great way to save money on food costs. Consider trying budget-friendly options, such as ramen, sushi, and convenience store food.

3. Visit free attractions

  • Tokyo has several free attractions, such as parks and temples. Visiting these attractions is not only budget-friendly, but it is also a great way to experience the local culture.

4. Shop at thrift stores

  • Tokyo has several thrift stores and flea markets that offer unique items at a fraction of the cost of new items.

Useful Tips to Save Money at Trip.com

  • Sign up for Trip.com's rewards program to earn points for future discounts and promotions.
  • Check for daily deals and flash sales on the website or mobile app.
  • Use Trip.com's Price Match Guarantee to ensure you're getting the best deal possible.
  • Book flights and hotels together as a package to save money.
  • Use promo codes and coupons found online or through Trip.com's newsletter.
  • Use Trip.com's free cancellation policy to book early and secure lower prices without worrying about changing plans.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower / Source: Trip.com

How much does it cost to fly to Tokyo from the United States?

What is the average cost of accommodation in tokyo, how much money should i budget for food and drink in tokyo, are there any free attractions in tokyo, do i need to purchase travel insurance for my trip to tokyo.

Tokyo Travel Cost

  • 1. Overview of 6-day 5-night Trip to Tokyo Cost
  • 3. Accommodation
  • 4. Transportation
  • 5. Food and Drink
  • 6. Activities and Entertainment in Tokyo
  • 7. Other Travel Expenses
  • 8. Top 10 Free Attractions in Tokyo
  • 9. Tips for Saving Money in Tokyo
  • 10. Useful Tips to Save Money at Trip.com
  • 11. Conclusion

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How Many Days Should You Spend in Tokyo?

May 17, 2022 by Robert Schrader Leave a Comment

As a traveler (and a travel blogger), I’m always reevaluating and recalibrating my stances—the topic of how many days in Tokyo you should spend is no exception. For many years, my answer was simple: The vast majority of travelers can plan on sleeping three nights in Japan’s capital.

Over time, I came to view this answer as far too simple. While a long weekend is, technically speaking, enough to tackle even a robust list of things to do in Tokyo, the length of your stay in the city depends at least as much on the contours of your broader trip to Japan .

The good news is, now that I’ve had more than seven years to ruminate on the topic, I can provide almost surgical advice on putting together a Tokyo itinerary. The better news? With the yen weak and the Japanese economy roaring back to strength, there’s never been a better time to visit Tokyo.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Irrespective of how many nights in Tokyo you end up spending, a centrally-located place to stay is indispensable. This is why, regardless of the level of comfort or indeed luxury you prefer, parts of Tokyo such as Akasaka, Kanda and Ginza are more practical than more parts of the city like Shibuya, Shinjuku and Asakusa, even if the latter may be more interesting to explore than the former.

For travelers on a modest budget, I like the branch of the Japanese APA Hotel situated just east of Kanda Station , as well as Hotel Hillarys Akasaka . Less constrained travelers, meanwhile, should check out Hotel the Celestine, a luxury boutique outfit with two Tokyo locations in Tokyo— one in Ginza , and the other just a stone’s throw from Tokyo Tower . Staying in a convenient place ensures a trip with no wasted time, no matter how long to stay in Tokyo you decide.

The Most Popular Tokyo Trip Ideas

3 days in tokyo.

how much to visit tokyo japan

Is 3 days enough in Tokyo? For most travelers, I think the answer is “yes.” Assuming you have three full days in Tokyo, this length of trip affords you a balanced survey of Japan’s capital, from the ancient temples of Asakusa to the neon-bathed streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya . Depending upon how deeply you plan to explore the city center, you might also have time for one or more day trips from Tokyo .

Tokyo for 4 or 5 days

how much to visit tokyo japan

How many days in Tokyo should you spend, on the other hand, if you don’t want to choose between staying inside the city, and venturing outward from it? I’ve recommended that my clients spend both 4 days in Tokyo and 5 days in Tokyo, the latter of which I call my “goldilocks” Tokyo trip. With five days in Tokyo, for example, you can see all of Tokyo’s mainstream attractions, delve into underrated neighborhoods like Setagaya and Yanaka , plus visit both Mt. Fuji and either Nikko or Kamakura .

A week (or two) in Tokyo

how much to visit tokyo japan

Is 7 days too long in Tokyo? That depends on your objective. While sightseeing for a week in Tokyo might get tiresome, I personally love renting an apartment in a local part of the city ( Bunkyo , Ryogoku and Shimokitazawa are good areas for this) and “living” in Tokyo once I’ve seen all the traditional sights I want to enjoy. The danger of this, of course, is that it sets the stage for the specter of…

Living in Tokyo long-term

how much to visit tokyo japan

Now, I have to provide full disclosure. While I have never lived in Tokyo— I recently lived in Kyoto —calling Japan’s modern capital home is something that’s very much on my bucket list. The city is rich enough in detail and sprawling enough in geography that the question of how many days in Tokyo can easily morph into weeks, months or even years, depending on how committed you are to exploration and discovery.

Tokyo between business meetings

how much to visit tokyo japan

A surprising number of my private clients are planning to visit Tokyo for business, and need help crafting a personalized itinerary for the free time they have before or after the trip. Rush off into central Tokyo from Haneda Airport before you head to the board room, or after enjoying high-dollar, high-rise dinners in glitzy Ginza on the company dime.

Is Tokyo Worth Visiting?

It might sound ridiculous to ask this question, since you’re ultimately asking “how many days do you need in Tokyo?”, but I receive it a fair bit in emails and via social media. The thinking, according to most people, is that Tokyo is “just another big city,” and that their time in Japan would be better spent elsewhere. (Well, not anywhere elsewhere—make sure to read my comparison of Tokyo vs. Osaka , which sheds light on a large Japanese city dismissed even more often than the capital!)

Indeed, this makes answering the question of how many days to spend in Tokyo all the more important. Rather than skipping Tokyo entirely—at least not on your first trip to Japan—you should arrange to spend your time in the city doing all the things you can’t do elsewhere in Japan. Maybe leave the cherry blossoms for Kyoto , for example, but definitely spend at least a night in Shinjuku and Shibuya .

how much to visit tokyo japan

Other FAQ About Planning a Trip to Tokyo

How many days in tokyo is enough.

The topic of how long to stay in Tokyo is contentious. While most travelers can take in all of Tokyo’s sights in 3-4 days, I recommend calibrating your trip to Tokyo based on the length of time you plan to spend in Japan. For example, although 3 days in Tokyo may be plenty for travelers who plan to spend just two weeks in Japan , those with three weeks or even one month in Japan might consider spending 5-7 nights in Tokyo.

What is the best location to stay in Tokyo?

I prefer staying in the central part of Tokyo—as close as possible to Tokyo Station, which is the city’s transportation hub. While not everyone will be able to afford a room at the five-star Tokyo Station Hotel , plenty of affordable options exist in centrally-located areas such as Akasaka, Kanda and Ginza.

What is the best month to visit Tokyo?

No matter how many days to visit Tokyo you decide, it’s a great destination 365 days per year. While cherry blossom season in March and April and late November’s autumn season (which often extends into early December in Tokyo) are the most obvious choices, I’m also a big fan of Tokyo in winter. Temperatures are relatively mild; skies are often clear enough to see Mt. Fuji from the city.

how much to visit tokyo japan

The Bottom Line

How many days in Tokyo should you spend? This is a question I’ve now had more than a decade to think about, and because of that I have good news and better news. The good news is that, given my extensive experience exploring not just Japan’s capital but the entire country, I understand viscerally how dependent your Tokyo travel is on what you’ll do elsewhere in Japan, and how long you’ll spend there. The better news? If you don’t want to stress over the finer details of your travel to Japan (including how many days Tokyo requires), you can hire me to take care of them for you !

Plan Your Japan Trip

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

Tokyo on a Budget – How to Travel Without Breaking the Bank

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

Updated On: December 27, 2022

Looking for tips to travel to Tokyo on a Budget?  Who wouldn’t want to get lost in the head-spinning maze of neon-drenched streets of Tokyo?

One moment you’re dazzled by the ultra-modern skyscrapers and the next, sipping green tea at a centuries-old temple, disturbed only by the soft sound of sozu .

Table of Contents

Visit Tokyo On A Budget

Tokyo is a global powerhouse with an old spirit, bustling with energy and the promise of adventure and excitement which it most certainly delivers.

Nogi Shrine Gates in Tokyo

Just like a lot of great things in life, visiting Tokyo comes, quite literally, at a price – for many years now, the city’s been considered one of the world’s most expensive capitals, a major put-off for budget-conscious travellers. You may also like: The Best Day Trips from Tokyo

Tokyo: Not As Expensive as you Think

That being said, while the Japanese capital most certainly isn’t cheap, its costs are often exaggerated. In fact, I find them comparable to those of Paris or London and it is possible to travel to Tokyo on a Budget.

How to travel Tokyo on a budget

If visiting Tokyo has been on your bucket list, but you’re worried about the impact on your wallet, fear not as I’m about to show you how to enjoy Tokyo on a tight budget!

It’s perfectly doable and surprisingly easy. Let’s just jump straight into it!

Where To Eat In Tokyo On A Budget

Tokyo is quite possibly the world’s most exciting dining destination.

From the irresistibly cute, or kawaii , eats at Akihabara’s Maid Cafes to mouth-watering street food to the top-notch fine dining, Tokyo is most certainly not short of options when it comes to food.

The good news is, the choice extends to budget dining. You will be surprised how easy it is to eat in Tokyo on a budget!

  • Read: Why I travel for food, and so should you!

japanese food budget tokyo

Street food

You can’t go wrong with Japanese street food – it’s delicious, filling and cheap!

Some of the most popular options are:

  • yakitori (grilled chicken skewers)
  • dungo (dumplings on a stick)
  •   shioyaki (baked fish served on a stick)

All will cost you around ¥150-700 (€1.00-5) depending on the portion size.

If you love Tokyo, you are also going to enjoy Shanghai

Chain Restaurants

Tokyo is filled with food chains, offering delicious and authentic, although not overly healthy, meals.

Typical dishes include gyudon (shredded beef) or tempura (fried meat) served over a bowl of rice. They are often paired with a bowl of miso soup.

Japanese-style chicken curry and noodle soup are also available for a bargain.

The dishes often come as a set which not only makes it easier to decide what to pick (the choice can be overwhelming!) but also offers a great value for money.

A meal at a chain restaurant will cost you around ¥500-900. ( About €4-7)

japanese budget restaurant

Go where the locals go

Save your precious pennies and enjoy a truly authentic experience by visiting local spots.

Known as Izakaya Alleyways, these usually small bars with unassuming, traditional decor serve some of the most delicious and very cheap meals.

Some cost as little as ¥350-400. (around €3.00).

  • Read: How Japan Changed the Way We Travel

tokyo on a budget restaurant menu

Shop at supermarkets

You can never go wrong with shopping at a supermarket when you’re on a budget, but Japan somehow managed to turn this mundane experience into something comparable to a walk in a theme park.

Where browsing through aisles packed with irresistible goodness makes you want to ditch restaurants altogether.

Here’s a handy tip: all seafood/sushi meal sets (whose quality and presentation resembles an actual restaurant meal) are freshly made in the morning and get discounted up to 50% by the end of the day, simply because they are no longer considered fresh by the Japanese standards.

This means that you can buy a perfectly delicious and filling meal for as little as little as ¥300-900 (€2-7), depending on the size.

Staying In Tokyo On A Budget

tokyo on a budget cover

Tokyo has an exciting choice of ultra-cheap hotel alternatives.

It wouldn’t be Tokyo if they weren’t all slightly quirky and unusual.

These are two things you have to be ready to embrace during your stay in Japan’s capital.

Capsule hotels

Let’s start off with my personal favourite – capsule hotels!

As the name would suggest, capsule hotels offer tiny, capsule-like sized rooms, or sleeping pods to be precise, large enough to fit a bed, a small ceiling-mounted TV and a radio.

These are immaculately clean and modern.

Some have access to sauna facilities and sometimes even a room filled with comic books.

A night at a capsule hotel will set you back a mere ¥2-4,000 (€15 -31).

These type of hotels are extremely popular and are scattered all over Tokyo.

A simple Google search is all you need to book a room, erm, pod!

Manga / Internet Cafes

tokyo on a budget anime

If you happen to be a manga or comic enthusiast travelling to Japan on a budget, then you’re definitely in luck.

Manga cafes started off as a place where you could read the endless supply of manga and surf the internet, but they soon became a response to the expensive hotel and accommodation costs.

Manga cafes have private cubicles equipped with a desk, a computer with unlimited internet access and a large chair (some manga cafes offer a sleeping matt).

While crashing at a manga café is not exactly as comfortable as a night at a hotel and you’ll probably want to limit your stay to 1, max. 2 nights, it’s endlessly cheaper (¥1,500 – 2,500, so around €11-19).

Staying at a manga cafe will also give you a fantastic sneak peek into the Japanese youth culture while being a place where you can meet other travellers. The two biggest manga cafe chains are Gera Gera and Manboo .

Airbnb and Hovelstay

If none of the above options sounded appealing, then there’s always the more conventional Airbnb and Hovelstay, were you can find rooms varying from €40 to €150/night.

Read: Tips to start house sitting.

SHOPPING On A Budget

It’s hard not to be tempted to shop when every perfectly packaged product, from skincare to chopsticks screams “buy me!”. Surprising enough, you can actually shop till you drop in Tokyo, without breaking the bank.

If you want to stock up on souvenirs and accessories while brushing shoulders with the famous Harajuku girls, head to Daiso on Takeshita-dori, Harajuku’s main shopping street.

Most things there cost only around ¥100 (€1) . There are many other 100 Yen stores all over Tokyo, stocking pretty much everything under the sun, from cosmetics and snacks to kitchenware.

You don’t have to limit yourself just to the discount stores though – a lot of shops have sales on and stock budget-friendly products.

shopping harajuku for deals in tokyo

If you’re looking for a more traditional and a meaningful gift, most temples in Tokyo sell talismans – they can cost anything from ¥500 – 1,500, depending on the size, type and the temple you’re buying them from.

tokyo on a budget box

FREE TOKYO ATTRACTIONS

Tokyo offers endless opportunities for those who want to see it for free. A stroll down Takeshita-dori or the famous Shibuya crossing is an eclectic feast for the senses and an experience in its own right – you don’t actually have to buy anything to enjoy it!

If you want to escape the chaos, visit one of the Tokyo’s many gardens and parks (I recommend Ueno) or do a bit of temple hopping – a lot of temples (such as the famous Senso-ji in Asakusa or Meiji Shrine) are free to visit!

And there you have it – who knew visiting Tokyo on a budget could be this easy!

Do you have any budget tips of your own? Feel free to share in the comments.

Marta is a digital nomad and the creator of A Girl Who Travels , where she writes about budget , solo and female travel as well as location independence . You can also follow her adventures on Instagram .

  • Inspiration – How Japan Changed the Way We Travel
  • Top 10 Things to Do in Kyoto, Japan
  • Memoirs of the Nomadic Male Geisha in Tokyo, Japan
  • 50 Awesome Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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20 thoughts on “Tokyo on a Budget – How to Travel Without Breaking the Bank”

A conversation in English can be difficult because many Japanese students learn conversational English from non-native speakers of English. In effect, they have their own dialect, which means that a native English speaker might have a difficult time understanding two Japanese people speaking English to one another. It’s not all that different from trying to understand English as spoken by Scots with strong brogues.

Long before the arrival of translation apps, I discovered a useful trick. Bring a notebook and pen and print your question in the notebook. A large percentage of people under 30 will have no problem reading the written English and then writing a response.

We spent 2 weeks (no way near enough!!) in Japan in 2012, with 5 days of this in Tokyo. We had concerns about how expensive it was going to be…. But, we we pleasantly surprised. Yes, you could make Tokyo very very expensive, but as you have shown, it can be a cheaper destination than people think.

We stayed in low cost Ryokans and capsule hostels (a very interesting and fun experience), travelled on overnight coaches and most of our lunches were bento boxes. This allowed us to save money for some of the more expensive stuff that we wanted to do – like a trip on the Shinkansen.

If you are sensible with your money, Tokyo is an affordable city!

When I was in Tokyo I love to eat on street foods because I got to experience authentic Japanese food without hurting my pocket. I also got fascinated with so many vending machines there whether it is for coffee or snacks!

I absolutely loved Japan although it’s definitely the most challenging place I have ever been too from a budget point of view; my budget was a paltry 20 euros a day which really didn’t stretch very far… Luckily the couchsurfing community came to my rescue so that was accommodation sorted! I found hitching in Japan to be relatively easy and like you guys most survived on street food (and food from 7/11s – usually awful but truly cheap!) – my favourite thing about Tokyo, and Japan in general, is that there were so many cool sites to visit for free that you didn’t have to break the bank to actually get to grips with the culture, which I loved. As a martial arts enthusiast, Japan had pretty much everything I wanted 🙂

You’ll love it Tina, it’s a wonderful place and there’s SO much to do!

Great post, thanks for the information. The sleeping pods are a very interesting idea indeed!

This is awesome…i thought that Tokyo is too expensive..

Very nice Marta. Thanks a lot. Planning to visit Tokyo this July. 🙂

You’ll absolutely love it Victoria! As for the language barrier…Japanese appear to speak their own version of English, so it’s kind of like English mixed with Japanese..for example, instead of “street” they’d say “streeto” and instead “right” , “righto”! haha. This is basically how I started speaking to everyone and I was just fine! Also, Japanese are always happy to help, regardless of their level of English – I had people giving me lifts, printing out maps for me or even calling up their friends if they weren’t sure of the direction I should take – amazing!!

So great to hear that the post gave you new ideas about visiting Tokyo! I visited it a year and a half ago by the way.

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, surely deserves a visit for so many reasons and you have mentioned some in the article. But it really is not affordable for many being one of the most expensive cities on earth. So, one has to be very tricky when he or she wants to visit Tokyo on budget……. and your post gives some great ideas to be tricky in doing everything but spending less… I love being a regular reader of your posts…. I always find informative and useful stuff here……

It’s great to know that Japan is becoming more affordable and truth tbe known, my neighbours who are young lawyers, backpacked around Japan a few years ago, and really raved about it. Language was a problem though as they’re German LOL! They told us that it was mamageable but we didn’t believe them. I do have to roll my sleeves up though as I have a young son who is a Manga addict AND is learning Japanese just so that we can take him there one of these days. OMG!

I have been to Tokyo many years ago and it was expensive then. I enjoyed my stay very much, but refrained from returning because of the cost. This posting has opened my eyes. Have things changed over the years since I have been there or did I just not know about it? Either way, I am excited about your posting. I may find the really compact stay at capsule hotels or manga cafes a little too small for me, but Airbnb sure sounds like a great way to go.

Haha Well, you never know until you try 😉

In my creative energy, the thought sounds awesome – sort of the ideal blend of kitsch and sentiment. Be that as it may, I think in actuality, I would have dreams about being covered alive.

Ha! Well, if you suffer from bad claustrophobia the experience may turn out to be more terrifying than romantic as it literally IS just a capsule! Here’s a link to a photo to give you an idea: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/CapsuleHotel.jpg (not all capsule hotels look exactly like this one but this is pretty much the amount of space you’ll have) . Airbnb or a managa cafe may be a safer option! 🙂

I would love / hate to stay at a capsule hotel. In my imagination, the idea sounds great – kind of the perfect combination of kitsch and romance. But I suspect in reality, I would have dreams about being buried alive. What do you think Marta? Are capsules OK for claustrophobes or not so much?

Travel cost don’t think a big issue anytime, lots of traveling offers running over the year on the net & almost all are very cheep. Just search google. Have a memorable trip.

Yes, it’s a common misconception that Tokyo’s expensive! 🙂 As for the flights, try booking as far in advance as possible, use price comparison sites like Skyscanner for research and subscribe to airline newsletters to stay up to date with the latest discounts – this should help you cut the costs down a bit! Safe travels!

well it’s not expensive as I thought it would be, though my main problem would be the flight itself!

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  • Travel Budget Japan: How much it costs and how to save

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  • Japan Travel Cost Summary

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Are you planning a trip to Japan and wondering how much it will cost you? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we outline our actual travel costs during our three-month trip to Japan in 2023. Contrary to popular belief, Japan can be an affordable travel destination, with surprisingly reasonable accommodation and dining options. Plus, with the current exchange rate working in your favour, now is the perfect time to explore the Land of the Rising Sun . We also share some useful tips on how to save money during your time in Japan .

This list for women and men was created as a result of more than seven years of full-time travel around the world in all seasons with only carry-on luggage. This is the packing list we have used as we travel around Europe in 2024.

The fine print: I agree to receive the Minimalist Journeys newsletter full of news, actionable tips and practical advice every month. I know I can unsubscribe at any time. I have read and agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy .

The Japanese Yen (JPY) – the word yen meaning circle or round object – has been in existence since 1871. In circulation these days are

  • Banknotes in JPY1,000, JPY 2,000, JPY5,000 and JPY10,000 denominations; and
  • Coins in JPY1, JPY5, JPY10, JPY50, JPY100 and JPY500 denominations (though the latter two are most commonly used).

When reading this article, please keep the following in mind:

  • Our travel costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
  • We are independent travellers, researching and organising our own itinerary using our go-to travel planning tools .
  • Accommodation: We usually stay in self-catered accommodation (homestays, locally owned guesthouses, hostels and short-term rentals) - in our own room with (preferably) our own bathroom, though the kitchen may be shared.
  • Dining and Groceries: We have at least two meals a day at home . We like to eat out once a day to every few days (and prefer locally owned restaurants and small eateries away from the tourist hotspots).
  • Transportation: We walk a lot, and wherever possible, we travel by public transport . Only occasionally do we hire a vehicle.
  • Experiences: Many of the activities we do are free of charge or cost very little. When we pay for attractions or activities , we are selective as our funds are limited (just like everyone elses).
  • In addition to above expense categories, we include in our total daily costs our mail scanning and forwarding service , mobile phone plans and travel insurance - though only for the period we are in the country.
  • We use a multi-currency personal account with Wise to manage our currencies XE to transfer money as required.
  • Not included are the costs for entry or exit transportation into/out of the country.

During our most recent visit, we spent the maximum time we could in Japan (that is, 90 days on a tourist visa ), which means we travel slower and see fewer attractions/do fewer activities each day than someone who spends two or three-week vacation in Japan and tries to see and do as much as possible each day.

Japan Travel Cost Summary

Bearing those assumptions in mind, we spent on average JPY9,205 per person per day in Japan (or USD69 using the foreign exchange rate applicable at the time).

Certainly not the cheapest country we’ve visited to date , but surprisingly more affordable than we thought.

Below is a map of the recommended accommodation, points of interest, eateries and transport terminals/stops mentioned in this article.

If you are interested in our other detailed maps containing recommended accommodations, points of interest, eateries, and transport terminals/stops, check out the following destinations:

As independent travellers, we booked almost all our accommodations ourselves via the various platforms we recommend below. We only used the help of an agent when organising accommodation for our two multi-day hikes – the Kumano Kodo ( Kumano Travel ) and the Nakasendo (the Tsumago Tourist Information Center). Most accommodations were short-term rentals – studios or one bedroom apartments with a small kitchen (where basic meals could be prepared), bathroom and laundry facilities. During our hikes , we also stayed in family-run guesthouses (minshukus), often with onsen facilities.

During our three months in Japan , our accommodation costs averaged JPY7,720 (USD58) per room per night :

Our most expensive accommodation was at Koyasan Saizenin [ Google Maps location ], a Buddhist Temple in Koyasan – at JPY14,199 per night. While not cheap compared with our other accommodations in Japan , the temple stay (shukubō) was well worth it, as it allowed us to experience a multi-course shōjin ryōri dinner and breakfast (not included in above price), bathe in the traditional onsen and attend the Buddhist early morning prayer.

At just JPY4,500 per night , our most affordable accommodation was a stay at Guest Cafe Kuchikumano [ Google Maps location ] on Day 0 of our Kumano Kodo Hike. This was a traditional Japanese guesthouse (minshuku) with a large shared kitchen and bathroom. The host was super nice, and we had a lovely evening around the fire, toasting mochi balls (the Japanese version of marshmallows) and then dipping them in zenzai, delicious sweet red bean soup .

Zenzai evening at Guest Café Kuchikumano in Asso

Interacting with your Japanese hosts and other guests is a wonderful experience

Although most of the accommodations we booked had a washing machine, over the three months in Japan , we did use laundromats eight times, costing us a total of JPY4,600 (or JPY575/USD4 per laundromat use ).

Prior to arriving in Japan , we purchased and received two NIPPON 4G-LTE SIM cards (one for each of our mobile phones) at a cost of JPY3,280/USD25 each – to use when we didn’t have access to Wi-Fi while travelling. Each SIM card came with 15 GB of data, valid for 180 days.

You can pack a lot into a three-month trip in Japan , and we did. All our experiences added up to JPY131,583 (USD984) between the two of us – on average, JPY756 (or just under USD6) per person per experience.

Here are some of our favourite things to see and do (including the cost per person when we visited – note that some were FREE):

  • Chubu Region
  • Chugoku Region
  • Hokkaido Region
  • Kansai Region
  • Kanto Region
  • Kyushu Region

Kamitakara-no-Yu Onsen , Shinhotaka [ Google Maps location ]: JPY800 Kanda House , Shirakawa-go [ Google Maps location ]: JPY400 Matsuri no Mori Museum , Takayama [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,000 Takayama-Shinhotaka Ropeway (Bus and Cable Car) Two-Day Pass, Takayama [ Google Maps location ]: JPY6,800

Yasue Gold Leaf Museum , Kanazawa [ Google Maps location ]: JPY310

City Museum of Art , Matsumoto [ Google Maps location ]: JPY410 Miyamoto shōkai one-day bicycle rental, Nagano [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,500 Nagano Marathon Foreign Athlete Entry Fee: JPY15,437 Obuse 3-in-1 Museum Pass (Hokusai, Kozan Takai and Obuse Museums), Nagano: JPY1,300 Togakushi Bus Day Pass , Nagano: JPY3,000

Bike ride around Kawaguchi and Saiko Lakes, Fujikawaguchiko: FREE (bicycle was provided by accommodation) Witnessing Magomi Matsuri/Chigo-no-Mai at Kawaguchi Asama Shrine and Hike to Tenku no torii, Fujikawaguchiko: FREE Kubota Itchiku Art Museum , Fujikawaguchiko [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,300

Mt Misen Hike, Miyajima : FREE Hiroshima Castle , Hiroshima [ Google Maps location ]: JPY370 History and Folklore Museum , Miyajima [ Google Maps location ]: JPY300 Mitaki-dera Temple, Hiroshima [ Google Maps location ]: JPY200 Peace Memorial Museum , Hiroshima [ Google Maps location ]: JPY200

Hokkaido Museum , Sapporo [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,200 Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium , Sapporo [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,000 Sapporo Snow Festival : FREE Teine Ski Field (Day Pass and Gear Hire), Sapporo [ Google Maps location ]: JPY11,800 TV Tower , Sapporo [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,000

Hyōgo Prefecture

Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial , Kobe [ Google Maps location ]: JPY600 Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden , Himeji [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,050 Nunobiki Herb Gardens , Kobe : JPY1,130

Botanical Gardens , Kyoto [ Google Maps location ]: JPY400 Free Walking Tour , Kyoto: FREE/Donation Hike Mt Inari , Kyoto [ Google Maps location ]: FREE Gion Corner Cultural Performance , Kyoto [ Google Maps location ]: JPY5,500 Ninomaru-Goten Palace , Kyoto [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,050

Todai-ji , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY600

teamLab Planets , Koto City [ Google Maps location ]: JPY3,500 Hokusai Museum , Sumida City [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,000 Japan Olympic Museum , Shinjuku City [ Google Maps location ]: JPY500 Watching the sunset from Carrot Tower , Setagaya City [ Google Maps location ]: FREE Yayoi Kusama Museum , Shinjuku City [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,100

Open-Air Museum , Hakone [ Google Maps location ]: JPY1,600

Rental Charinko Bike Ishikawa , Zamami [ Google Maps location ]: JPY2,800 Fukushuen Garden , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY200 Himeyuri Peace Museum , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY310 Japanese Naval Underground Headquarters , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY600 Okinawa Prefectural Museum , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY555 Shuri Castle Grounds, Naha [ Google Maps location ]: FREE Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum , Naha [ Google Maps location ]: JPY500

As mentioned above, during our time in Japan , we stayed mostly in accommodation that had a kitchen with basic cooking facilities, enabling us to have at least two meals a day at home . That said, it was sometimes easier and cheaper to buy ready-to-eat meals from convenience stores such as Lawsons, 7-Eleven or Family Mart – though we did try to limit those occasions to avoid adding to Japan ’s plastic waste problem .

Our daily dining costs in Japan averaged JPY1,193 (USD9) per person , with our most expensive dining experience costing us JPY2,350 per person at Steakland Kobe-kan ​ [ Google Maps location ] – a worthwhile luxury to taste the famous beef the city is renowned for.

Kobe Beef Meal

Our most expensive meal was at Steakland Kobe - but it was well worth it

Our daily groceries expenses in Japan averaged JPY1,043 (USD8) per person . We found Aeon supermarkets offered some of the best value for money, and between the major convenience store brands of 7-Eleven, Lawson and FamilyMart, we found Lawson offered the best range at the most affordable prices.

If you happen to visit Sapporo, make sure to pop into a Bostonbake branch [ Google Maps location ]. They have delicious pastries and buns daily (which are super affordable) – great to stock up on some items when you’re out and about during the Snow Festival . Sadly, Bostonbake only exists in Hokkaido.

Typical Lawson dinner options

In Japan , ready-made meals are always available at supermarkets and convenience stores

As Anthony Bourdain is famously quoted as saying: You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together. And the best way to learn about a destination is by spending it with locals, in their homes and in local markets. If you're a foodie and would like to join some incredible cooking classes and food tours, here are our recommended EatWith offers in Japan :

  • Food and Sake Pairings in a Traditional Kyoto House
  • Home style Ramen and Gyoza cooking class in a Japanese home
  • Tokyo West-Side Walking and Street Food Tour
  • Izakaya Food Tour in Shinjuku

How to save money on dining and groceries?

Dining out all the time can quickly get expensive. We always try and book accommodation where we have access to a kitchen - either our own little kitchenette or the kitchen of our host. That way, we can store food in the fridge and make our own meals. We usually have breakfast and one other meal at our accommodation, and one meal when we're out and about.

Restaurants (even in tourist hotspots) often have special lunch offers (for example, a three-course meal for EUR10). Portion sizes in many parts of the world are usually quite substantial, so we often share a three-course meal. The same applies if you go out for dinner: Order a starter or salad and a main, and that's usually enough for two people. An added benefit: there is less food waste.

As for groceries: every country has more expensive and cheaper supermarkets. Ask your host what the cheaper options are (for example, Aldi or Lidl in many European countries) and avoid convenience stores as much as possible.

Experiencing the local cuisine is one of the reasons why WE travel… Paul and I tend to only eat out once a day (sometimes only once a week), usually at lunchtime. This allows us to try local dishes while taking advantage of awesome lunch deals. It also means we don’t have to roam around unknown parts of town every night in search of a restaurant.

A Japanese apartment kitchen is not big but allows you to prepare your own meals (and save on dining out)

A Japanese apartment kitchen is not big but allows you to prepare your own meals (and save on dining out)

Our transport costs over the three months we explored Japan averaged at JPY1,569 (just under USD12) per person per day .

Given Japan is an island country, we ended up taking two internal flights: The flight from Sapporo, Hokkaido to Nara, Okinawa cost us JPY16,580 each (with Peach Aviation ); while the flight from Nara, Okinawa to Hiroshima on Honshu cost JPY14,460 per person (with ANA ). In both cases unfortunately, we had to check in our travel packs as the strict carry-on limit was seven kilograms.

As we were keen to see the country and had more time to explore Japan than most foreign tourists, we always considered taking slower (and thus cheaper) train options over the Shinkansen. That said, we did want to ride the Shinkansen (and in some cases, there was just no feasible alternative). In the end, we took the bullet train three times: Our Hiroshima to Himeji trip cost JPY8,040 per person ; the Kanazawa to Nagano journey JPY8,590 each and the train ride from Odawara to Tokyo JPY3,280 per person .

The Shinkansen was always markedly more expensive than slower train options. As an example, the distance from Hiroshima to Himeji was 239 kilometres, with a per kilometre cost of JPY33.64 on the Shinkansen, whereas the (slower) Rapid Express train from Himeji to Kyoto – a distance of 127 kilometres – cost JPY2,310 per person or JPY18.19 per kilometre. So if you have time, take the slow train and save money.

And speaking of travelling slowly: If you’re in the Hakone area, make sure to ride the Hakone Tozan Train [ Google Maps location ] between Gora and Odawara. The scenery is stunning, and the train does a number of switchbacks as it journeys down the mountain (or up if you do the trip in reverse) – a very unique experience.

Hakone Tozan Railway

Take the Hakone Tozan Railway for its unique switchbacks down (and up) the mountains | Photo on Wikimedia Commons

Japan boasts an efficient transportation system. But, as we found out, transportation costs add up quickly, especially if you’re travelling a lot around the country.

The Japan-wide JR Rail Pass is a cost-effective option for visitors who plan to move around a lot during their stay. It’s available for 7, 14 and 21 day periods and valid on consecutive days within the chosen timeframe. The pass allows unlimited travel on JR-operated services, including JR trains – even the Shinkansen (just NOT the Nozomi and Mizuho) – and JR-operated city buses. Seat reservations are included with the JR Rail Pass but need to be obtained (free of charge) prior to travel.

The Japan-wide JR Rail Pass can only be purchased by foreigners outside of Japan and must be exchanged for the actual pass upon arrival.

Although the JR ( Japan Rail) Pass is a popular option for foreign tourists visiting Japan , it’s not the only way to save, and it may not even be worthwhile pending your itinerary. To determine if the Rail Pass is worthwhile, use an online route calculator  to compare the costs of individual ticket purchases against the price of the pass.

Trains in Japan are (almost) always on time | Photo by Armin Forster on Pixabay

Trains in Japan are (almost) always on time, making train travel easy and convenient | Photo by Armin Forster on Pixabay

If the Japan-wide JR Rail Pass is of no use to you, one (or several) of the many Regional Rail Passes might be worthwhile. A big difference to the Japan -wide Rail Pass: you can buy these passes while already in Japan (though they are slightly more expensive than if you bought them from overseas). Worthwhile options to check out include:

  • JR East: the JR Tokyo Wide Pass
  • JR West: the Kintetsu Rail Pass, JR West Kansai Area Pass, JR West Kansai Wide Area Pass or the JR Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
  • JR Central: the JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass or JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass.

Even without any of the rail passes, there are still ways to save on train travel in Japan :

  • Shinkansen – Buy a non-reserved seat ticket (where available): This also offers greater flexibility as you’re not bound to a specific train. Which carriages are non-reserved varies from train to train (most often it’s carriages 1-3 or 1-5). Arrive at the platform early to check out where the non-reserved carriages are located and position yourself/queue at the door marker of one of those carriages to increase your chances of getting a seat as you board.
  • Alternatives – Opt for Limited Express trains: You may need to change trains along the way, but the trains in Japan are usually on time, and changing trains in Japan is not really stressful, especially if you travel light. Unless you’re travelling during rush hour, Limited Express trains are often less crowded than the Shinkansen, which also means you can save the seat reservation cost (where possible).

Extra tip: In many areas in Japan , you can use an IC card to tap on/off rather than having to purchase individual paper tickets for each journey. This saves time and makes train travel more convenient.

In Japan , you will come across the term IC card a lot (IC stands for Integrated Circuit ). IC cards are essentially plastic cards that can be topped up and the amount stored on the card is used for transportation - simply by tapping on/off at the card reader - and more and more at convenience stores and other places.

Each region issues their own version of the IC card, for example

  • If you enter via Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airports, you would buy the Suica Card or PASMO card.
  • If you enter via Osaka Kansai Airport, you will find the ICOCA card for sale.

Fortunately, 10 of the most common IC cards (including the two above) can be used across regions (and likely more will be added over time). Some regions (including Nagano and Okinawa prefectures) only allow their own IC card (at this stage) or cash.

Also, note:

  • Cards (including any stored funds) will expire after 10 years of non-use, which means you can reuse the card if you return to Japan within that timeframe.
  • You can return it (and get a refund of the money on the card plus the deposit you paid for the card itself) - as long as it's in the region you bought it.
  • You can load the IC card onto your smartphone - via Apple Pay or Google Pay - but you won't be able to get a refund of your deposit or any funds stored when you leave the country.

Buses can be a good alternative to trains (especially for medium to long-distance travel and on competitive routes). Do note though that while train timetables are (mostly) reliable, buses can be stuck in traffic just like any other road transport (and delays of 30 minutes and more are not unusual).

One way to save on transport costs in Japan is by purchasing a Willer Express Bus Pass . This pass allows you to travel for 3, 5 or 7 days within a period specified by you.

  • Advantages: The days of travel do not need to be consecutive, giving you flexibility in your itinerary. Willer Express has a number of night buses which can save on accommodation costs. Additionally, you can easily book your seats in advance online through the user-friendly Willer Express website.
  • Disadvantages: The pass can only be used on Willer Express buses and only on the least comfortable 4 seats per row bus types.

Willer Express bus

Travellers to Japan may also be able to save on transport costs by using intercity bus services like those provided by Willer Express | Photo on Wikimedia Commons

Even without a bus pass, you can save money when travelling by bus in Japan :

  • Avoid backtracking and travel point to point instead – For example, stop in Shirakawa-go on the way from Takayama to Kanazawa (or vice versa) rather than visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site on a day trip – this also reduces carbon emissions.
  • Make use of specials – Just ask at the local tourist office at your destination or check the websites of the bus companies operating at your destination, for example Alpico and Nohi Bus in the Japanese Alps. Do make sure though they are worthwhile by comparing individual fares (via Google Maps ) against the special fare.

We always buy travel insurance – because medical expenses overseas can add up quickly and because our carry-on backpacks are pretty much everything we own.

Whenever we buy travel insurance , we make sure we thoroughly read the fine print. It’s tedious, we know. But if you’re planning certain activities (for example, hiring a motorbike or hiking above 3000 metres), it’s crucial to know whether your insurance pays if the worst happens. Otherwise, you may have paid all that insurance premium and are still left to foot a (potentially) massive bill.

For this trip, we used Cover-More. For our three months in Japan , our joint Cover-More Travel Insurance Single Trip International Comprehensive+ Policy cost us AUD1,519/USD1,022 (or just under AUD9/USD6 per person per day) . Although we didn’t need to submit a claim and therefore don’t have first-hand experience of their claims process,we won’t be buying another policy from Cover-More again, 

SafetyWing

To our surprise, cash is still King in Japan , thus ATM withdrawals are a regular occurence. To avoid unnecessary ATM withdrawal fees we always research before our trips to figure out which overseas bank/s offer/s the best exchange rate and charge/s the lowest fees for ATM withdrawals.

In the case of Japan , we had done all our research. We knew our Bankwest Debit Card charged no foreign transaction fees, and that 7Bank ATMs charged no ATM withdrawal fees. What we didn’t know was that you had to press “Credit” when trying to withdraw with the debit card overseas (Bankwest only told us about that small fact when queried afterwards). After our debit card was declined multiple times, we ran out of time and had to use our credit card. While we had topped up the card with some money beforehand (to avoid nasty cash advance fees), the credit card provider still charged us AUD4 (or JPY382) for the ATM withdrawal. You live and learn.

Unless you’re planning to hike the Kumano Kodo or Nakasendo , you are likely not going to need luggage transfer service. We ended up using luggage transfer twice (both times with Yamato Transport):

  • on our final day on the Kumano Kodo , paying JPY2,500 for the same-day transfer of one travel pack from Koguchi to Nachikatsuura; and
  • during our Nakasendo hike , paying JPY1,620 for the standard transfer of one travel pack from Osaka to Matsumoto.

We also used luggage storage facilities on occasion to store our travel packs for a few hours or excess luggage during our Kumano Kodo hike for a whole week. Those storage costs added up to JPY3,640 in total ( an average of JPY607 per storage use ).

If you need to store excess baggage in Osaka, we recommend Daikoku Locker . Alternatively, you can try Radical Storage who have agencies all over Japan .

When you explore a country for three months, you will likely need a hair cut (in that country). I had mine at a barber in Osaka about half-way through our trip for JPY2,200 (a bit over USD16) .

We both also took the opportunity to get a 90 and 60 minute massage, respectively, just before the Nagano Marathon at Relaxation Salon Lovina [ Official website , Google Maps location ] for a total cost of JPY13,200 (or JPY6,600/around USD49 per massage ). It was well worth it, and we both would recommend it to anyone visiting Nagano.

Withdrawing cash overseas can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. We can show you how to avoid unnecessary fees and make your travel budget stretch further.

How do you determine which card is best for your overseas trip? Using the right one can save bank fees and make your travel budget stretch further.

Ever been caught out by the bad FX rates and exorbitant commissions charged by FX bureaus? These tips allow you to minimise these charges in future . We also recommend XE Money Transfer to keep more of your money when you complete a transfer.

When visiting a Shinto shrine, it is traditional and appropriate to make a donation. It doesn’t have to be a lot, especially when you are throwing loose change into the large container before you bow your head and clap your hands. All our donations added up to JPY1,511 .

I wrote this Japan Travel Costs article based on our own unique experience. If you have been to Japan recently as well and you have something to add to the costs for exploring Japan , please feel free to contact us. If you liked my Japan Travel cost tips and found them helpful, I would appreciate it if you could share them with your friends and family via the Share buttons below. Even better, link to the page from your personal blog or social media platforms.

Author: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulryken/" target="_blank">Paul Ryken</a>

how much to visit tokyo japan

$285 Find cheap flights to Tokyo

This is the cheapest one-way flight price found by a kayak user in the last 72 hours by searching for a flight to tokyo departing on 8/6. fares are subject to change and may not be available on all flights or dates of travel. click the price to replicate the search for this deal., search hundreds of travel sites at once for deals on flights to tokyo.

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In the last 3 days, the lowest price for a flight to Tokyo was $285 for a one-way ticket from Los Angeles and $437 for a round-trip. The most popular route searched for by our users was for flights from San Francisco to Tokyo and the best round-trip deal found in the last 3 days was $464.

How much is a flight to Tokyo?

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If you need local currency, you can convert it once you arrive at Tokyo International Airport (HND). You can exchange currency at Haneda Airport Post Office Terminal 1, 1st Floor Marketplace, open from 9 am to 6 pm; Travelex Terminal 1, 1st Floor, Marketplace from 9 am to 7 pm; and SBJ Bank offers currency exchange from 9 am to 7 pm in Terminal 2, 1st Floor Lobby.

Where kid entertainment areas are in Narita International Airport?

Children can play at the "Kids Park" available throughout NRT. Its locations include Terminal 1 (airside) near Domestic Services, 2nd Floor, airside 3rd Floor, Terminal 1, near Gates 41 and 51, landside Terminal 1, on 5th Floor. Also, airside Terminal 2, close to Domestic Services on the 2nd Floor, landside, Terminal 2, 4th Floor Main building, and Terminal 3 airside, two floors above 1st.

Where can I get medical care at Tokyo International Airport?

Get medical assistance at Toho University Haneda Airport International Terminal Clinic and Tokyo International Airport Clinic. The first clinic in Terminal 2, 1st Floor Terminal Lobby is operational from 9 am to 10 pm (closed for an hour during lunch, reception until 9:30 pm). The last clinic is in Terminal 1, 1st Floor Marketplace, open from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 5 pm. If you have a dental emergency, there is the Terminal Dental Clinic in Terminal 1, 1st Floor, open from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 6:30 pm on weekdays.

Does Narita International Airport have lounges?

NRT has lounges in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. IASS Executive Lounge Landside, Terminal 1, near Central Building, 5th Floor is only accessible by membership programs and a prepaid lounge pass. KAL Business Lounge in Terminal 1, Airside, Satellite 2, 3rd Floor near Gate 26 requires lounge membership programs to be accessed.

What services do the Tokyo airports offer business travelers?

Business culture is big in Japan and the country’s airports are more than ready to accommodate for this. Haneda Airport has multiple conference rooms available for rent. Business travelers can make use of fax and printing stations within Narita Airport, as well as numerous conference rooms.

What pet facilities are available in the Tokyo airports?

Haneda Airport has animal housing options for both cats and dogs, along with hair trimming and hourly care facilities available. Narita International Airport offers a pet hotel, with a veterinarian clinic and grooming salon.

What is there to eat at the Tokyo airports?

Both airports have extensive dining options ranging from Japanese food to cuisines from around the world. Narita Airport even has halal and vegetarian options for diners with specific dietary needs. Both airports also have a wide selection of confectionary goods and treats, both local and international.

What is there to do in Haneda Airport?

A great leisure option while at Haneda Airport is the Discovery Museum. Here, travelers can peek into the history of Japan while enjoying a luxurious and comfortable environment. There are also observation decks open to the public on top of Terminals 1 and 2.

Are there hotels at the Tokyo airports?

Narita International Airport offers travelers a capsule hotel, with 24-hour reception and check-in. It’s also possible to book into the hotel just to use the shower facilities. Haneda Airport also has a transit hotel and private shower rooms for short-term rent.

Which Tokyo airport is closest to central Tokyo?

There are 2 airports in Tokyo. The closest airport to Tokyo’s city center is Tokyo Haneda (9 miles). Tokyo Narita Airport is 35 miles from the center.

On average, a flight to Tokyo costs $964. The cheapest price found on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks cost $262 and departed from Honolulu Airport.

How does KAYAK find such low prices on flights to Tokyo?

KAYAK is a travel search engine. That means we look across the web to find the best prices we can find for our users. With over 2 billion flight queries processed yearly, we are able to display a variety of prices and options on flights to Tokyo.

How does KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy my flight ticket to Tokyo?

KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a flight to Tokyo is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

What is the Hacker Fare option on flights to Tokyo?

Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets in order to save you money over a traditional round-trip ticket. You could then fly to Tokyo with an airline and back with another airline.

What is KAYAK's "flexible dates" feature and why should I care when looking for a flight to Tokyo?

Sometimes travel dates aren't set in stone. If your preferred travel dates have some wiggle room, flexible dates will show you all the options when flying to Tokyo up to 3 days before/after your preferred dates. You can then pick the flights that suit you best.

Top tips for finding cheap flights to Tokyo

  • Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Tokyo flight deals.
  • Two main airports dominate the skies in Tokyo : Narita International Airport (NRT) and Tokyo International Airport (HND). Narita International Airport, also known as Tokyo Narita Airport, is the major international airport and is located 37 miles east of the city center. Tokyo International Airport, more commonly known as Haneda Airport, is the main domestic hub.
  • Narita International Airport is very well connected to Tokyo. The Narita Express is one of the quicker transport options and travelers can take it from any of the rail stations located in the lower levels of each of Narita Airport’s three terminals. The Narita Express takes about 55 minutes to go from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in central Tokyo.
  • Haneda Airport sits in the heart of downtown Tokyo and consequently has direct access to Tokyo’s public transport system through stations within Haneda Airport. Visitors have multiple choices for public transit, including the Tokyo Monorail and Keikyu Railways. Both of these options connect to subway lines and are cheap and quick means of transport.
  • Narita International Airport (NRT) is one of the largest airports in Tokyo with three terminals. Terminal 1 consists of a wing at the north and the south ends, with other satellite areas from both wings. The 2nd and 3rd Terminals have a main building and a single satellite area.
  • HND has 24h ATMs in the International Terminals on the landside, 3rd Floor, Departure Lobby, airside, 3rd Floor, Gates 109-111, and Gates 112-114.
  • Baby care facilities in NRT are available in all three terminals. They are in Terminal 1, on all five floors, Terminal 2 on floors one to three, and Terminal 3 has them both airside and landside on all three floors. Strollers are also offered at NRT for free. Inquire at any information desk at the airport to get these strollers.
  • In need banking of services? Mizuho Bank in HND offers currency exchange, an ATM, and full-service banking, located on the International Terminal, landside, 1st Floor near Entrance Plaza and Terminal 1, 1st Floor Marketplace. The bank is operational from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays and closed on holidays and weekends.
  • Pray and meditate before your flight in NRT prayer rooms . They are located in Terminal 1, landside, 5th Floor, Terminal 1, airside, 2nd Floor, Terminal 2, landside and airside main building, 1st Floor, Terminal 3, landside, 2nd Floor and airside, 3rd Floor. They are open from 6 am to 11 pm.
  • For many travelers, discovering Japanese culture is a trip highlight. The journey starts at Narita International Airport, with daily events tailored to introduce you to Japanese culture right after you land in Tokyo. Events are held in Terminals 1 and 2, and include photo ops and exhibitions.

Prefer to fly non-stop to Tokyo?

Find which airlines fly direct to Tokyo, which days they fly and book direct flights.

Nonstop departures

United States to Tokyo

AIR PREMIA, ANA, AccesRail, +93 more

AIR PREMIA, ANA, +94 more

ANA, AccesRail, Aero K, +92 more

ANA, AccesRail, +93 more

ANA, AccesRail, Aero K, +90 more

ANA, AccesRail, +91 more

AIR PREMIA, ANA, AccesRail, +91 more

AIR PREMIA, ANA, +92 more

AIR PREMIA, ANA, AccesRail, +94 more

AIR PREMIA, ANA, +95 more

Nonstop returns

Tokyo to United States

Top 5 airlines flying to tokyo.

excellent, the food was excellent and delicious, and the crew were very helpful and accommodating. thank you very much

Excellent. All the ticket prices have gone up so much. With only economy as the option, I thought I better pay for a good airline and I am glad I took ANA. The only thing is the long layover at Hanaeda enroute to Singapore. Any chance to bring back the service to land at Narita instead for the transit and a shorter layover will be fantastic. I am a fan of ANA.

Good. Got me there and back safely and mostly on time. 30 min delay for maintenance once but that means more time for nap. Crew was super nice.

Incredible. Amazing legroom. Over head fans for each person. Tv screens were great. Headphones were adequate. Seats were comfortable and spacious. Loved it.

The space for the seats i like it. Its not too close like other air line. The food is ok and also the staff. I'm waiting for my flight rewards point because until now i didn't recieved it.

The staff, ground and air, at ANA was very helpful and friendly during check in, boarding and during the flight. This is the reason why I always fly ANA whenever I go to Manila. The food was not the best but the flight crew more than makes up for the shortfall.

First I will say this was really NOT an ANA flight. ANA used a UNITED jet to perform this flight. I specifically booked with ANA because I did NOT WANT TO FLY UNITED FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS. So to spend $1800.00 and then discover after booking that it was going to be handled by United was very disappointing. I will be more careful next time when I book. The interior was very cramped in economy class; the dinner meal was terrible and also had extremely small portions for an international flight - the bread roll was ice cold and stale - that salad was very wilted; I’ve never had a “snack” that was so salty that it was difficult to eat; the breakfast “waffle” was practically unrecognizable. Really horrible meals for a very expensive international flight. Bathroom floor was also pretty dirty. I’m hoping my return flight is a real ANA airplane that is cleaned and serviced by ANA personnel with ANA meals. I will never book with ANA again if they continue to use UNITED airline jets. Yuck!!!🤢

Ticket was purchased as a United Airlines flight (operated by All Nippon) like what does that even mean? Makes for a VERY confusing flight experience. For instance, what do I look for a United drop off signage and ticket counter or ANA? No explanation anywhere to be found. I also felt a little bit scammed by the obsurdely restrictive seat selection provided. Only middle seats available!! Are you kidding me!! On 6hr + 10hr flights you're forcing me into the middle seat without telling me before I purchased the ticket?? This should be illegal. And to top it off, on the Tokyo LA leg there were quite a few empty seats including window seats! I must also say, the food was a dissappointing as well for my taste, fish with rice ( mostly plain white rice) or a vegetable medly for the breakfast meal? Should be at least 4 choices and at least 1 with eggs. Outside of these issues flight was otherwise ok.

Ground and flight crew were all courteous, extremely helpful and professional. Overall, process is really organized, from boarding to disembarkation.

This is a very long flight and the first time I have flown on a Japanese airline. I was very impressed with the staff. They worked hard and offered food and drink regularly. Plane was very well cared for. The let room was good . Food was ok but better than other airlines.

Overall mediocre-good, with the service on the flight operated by American Airlines being subpar and not the kind and standard you’d get from a Japan Airlines crew. The majority of the stewards on AA were not as gentle and friendly as those from Japan Airlines. Japan Airlines were more attentive to detail and your flight experience. AA was more interested in completing their tasks.

Very pleasant, look forward to flying with JAL again if the price is right.

I was feeling very comfortable throughout the flight. I got more leg room than I expected from a Y class seat. But the food was a little disappointing.

The food was not that good. I liked the miso, green tea, and ice cream. I wasn’t able to put my carry on bag under the seat in front of me. The flight was smooth. Please expand your choices of movies especially the new ones. I can’t choose any of those films. They’re old.

I like the braised beef., miso soup,, and green tea. Very little choices of hollywood movies. The PA announcement in English was not very clear and very soft. I could hardly hear.

More updated movies & Chinese movies. The food sometimes overcooked. Prefer to have more neat snacks in between than just choose from the menu. Please change the menu every now and then. This is my second time flying within one year and the menu didn’t change at all!

Food is lagging. Very poor choice. Like vending machine fast food.

Please change the menu more often. The beef is not tender, more choice in ice cream flavor. Dessert is not good too.

The Experience was fantastic, it's a quick flight so no entertainment or food. Just a refreshment

Again I paid for an upgrade on my credit card didn’t get it need a refund. . American I not good at gettin in contact for refunds.

Everything was pretty good except for food. They need to improve on it compared to other airlines.

Flight was delayed due to the late arrival of the catering truck, which is quite unacceptable. There was a beverage service, but no pretzel, or cookie, or nuts were served in coach.

Not worth the premium paid for the first class ticket

Not worth the price of premium class ticket paid, felt more like steerage.

Flighty delayed on boarding - then group 1 had to check their carry on bags but groups 3 and beyond could carry bags on - very inconvenient for weekend business trip with no checked baggage. Then delayed on the runway - before take off. No communication from pilot on why or how long. Wifi/Entertainment didn't work for 4+ flight. Upon arrival, attendants announced wrong carousel for baggage claim - everyone was waiting at the wrong place for their checked bags. This was a mess united!

I flew Delta last week and United Airlines is a poor substitute mechanical problems with the plane and shitty food among other things made my travel experience what’s become to be expected from United no way is it ever worth the money they make us pay

I had a great flight. Everything went smoothly and the flight arrived early.

Well....let's start from the point that I had to stay in airport for 12 hours instead of 2 that was scheduled. Poor company and even worst customer service. Never again....

The flight and boarding were easy peasy. I was traveling with my 4-year-old, so a smooth boarding experience was especially appreciated. My only piece of feedback is really about where our gate was in O'Hare. They've shoved four gates into a tiny corner of the B terminal and there isn't early enough room or seating for everyone. Not United's problem, but did dent the overall experience.

We liked the fully reclinable seats. Had center seats, so it was difficult to talk to spouse. Crew was great

You get what you pay for and nothing more. Wanted a cheap flight and that’s exactly what I got, though it’s human nature to wanting to feel like you got a good deal as well. There was none of that here. I was cheap and they were too. Got to my destination safely and that’s all that really matters.

Nice service. I wish it could provide hot water on the flight.

internet didn't work. No offer of drinks or snacks.

Flight was seamless. Free wifi helped pass the time. Food was okay, just make sure you pre order or pick something up from the airport

Internet connection very poor, means you can not even order items through their own shop.

Paid for business class lay flat seat. Significantly less comfortable than other carriers. No built in entertainment or WiFi. I barely saw flight attendants at all and they wanted to charge me for a bottle of water if i wanted more than what came with the meal (that i also paid extra for). Essentially you’re just paying for a slightly more comfortable seat than the rest of the plane and nothing else

Een prijsvechter, dus dat moet je ook verwachten. Voor alles moet je betalen. We hebben vooraf een maaltijd en een amenitiesset besteld. Die kregen we netjes uitgereikt aan boord. Het is BYOD voor het amusement tijdens de vlucht en dit werkte uitstekend. Geen trage wifi, helemaal niet. Alles kost geld, zelfs een flesje water. Misschien op langere vluchten wel gratis water, thee, koffie. Maar daarentegen mag je na de security je lege drinkflessen gewoon vullen en mee aan boord nemen

Wifi could have been better. Arrived 55 mins earlier than scheduled :)

Best part are two crying babies throughout the whole 11 hour trip

Clean and comfortable cabin. Friendly on board service. No vegetarian food options and movie options were very limited. Internet was very slow

The flight left over 2 hours late and caused me to miss my connecting flight. Consequently, I missed my cruise ship out of Barcelona. The cost associated with this miss was as follows: Airfare to Sicily Italy to get on the ship TWO days late - $232.30 Taxi from Airport to hotel $35 Dinner at hotel $38 Hotel in Barcelona - $208 Taxi from Sicily to hotel $70 Hotel in Sicily - $148 Prorated time missed on cruise $ 1,143

No meal. Flight crew was wonderful, happily finding me storage for my guitar. THANK YOU!!!

My seat was moved multiple times. I picked out the perfect seats beforehand. I even paid extra money for them. However, I was moved to a middle seat without warning at the last minute. It was like my worst nightmare. But other than that, the actual flight was good. Everything was on time or even early and the flight was smooth.

A220 plane had 5 seats across which is great for couples who can snag the A&C seats. Seat itself is borderline comfortable but still tough on a 5+ hour flight. Overhead bins are small so if you're not in at least boarding group 5, you could be in trouble. No included food service. Non-alcoholic drinks are free but even the most basic snacks are for a charge. Price was reasonable for the only direct SEA-YUL flight. Boarding is efficient even managing passport checks. Worth flying for the direct flight.

The original flight from Boston to Toronto was canceled because of a mechanical failure. I was then scheduled on a flight to go from Boston to Montreal and then Montreal to Toronto. The flight was extremely full and I had to check my carry-on bag. When I actually got on the plane there appeared to be room for my bag. I understand the mechanical failures happen. But it was frustrating that they pestered me to check my bag when I don't believe it was necessary. Additionally, not just with Air Canada, modern airline seats are incredibly uncomfortable. There is considerable research that shows that the shape of them is poor for back health.

Unable to initiate refund/reschedule the ticket #worst experience #lost 900$

Flight was delayed for almost 3 hours. Communication of gate change was poor. Email and screen said one gate and it was a different gate from that. Gate changed first to 64 B and then to 64 C. Originally it was 68B. 64C was not communicated properly!

This was a red eye return, so I doubt there would be anyway to make it better. Other than adding beds.

Direct nonstop flight was great. Flight was delayed and the crew announced a 2h delay on the sound system. 30 min or so later I hear my name on the sound system for immediate board. Several other passangers were late too. Reason: The crew incorrectly announced a 2h delay when in reality they meant a new boarding time at 2pm.

Plenty of room in the exit row. Sat on the plane an hour before taking off.☹️ Landed late and had to wait for gate availability.

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Cost of a Trip to Japan & the Cheapest Time to Visit Japan

The average price of a 7-day trip to Japan is $1,659 for a solo traveler, $2,690 for a couple, and $1,913 for a family of 4 . Japan hotels range from $62 to $304 per night with an average of $105, while most vacation rentals will cost $140 to $520 per night for the entire home. Average worldwide flight costs to Japan (from all airports) are between $948 and $1,696 per person for economy flights and $2,977 to $5,325 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $48 to $99 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants.

See below for average , budget , and luxury trip costs. You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Japan

On average, these will be the cheapest dates to fly to Japan and stay in a Japan hotel:

  • January 8th to March 18th
  • August 27th to December 9th

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in Japan is usually late September .

Average Japan Trip Costs

Average solo traveler.

The average cost for one person to visit Japan for a week is $1,380-$2,771 ($197-$396 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $48 to $99 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $564 to $1,394 for economy

Lodging : $80 to $114 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room

or $86 to $105 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Average Couple’s Trip

The average cost for a couple to visit Japan for a week is $2,279-$4,865 ($326-$695 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $96 to $199 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,127 to $2,788 for economy

Average Family Vacation

The average cost for 4 people to visit Japan for a week is $4,360-$9,723 ($623-$1,389 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $191 to $397 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,255 to $5,576 for economy

Lodging : $161 to $228 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

or $128 to $157 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Traveling Cheap to Japan

How cheap can you make a vacation to Japan? The cheapest trip to Japan is about $150 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 3% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $16 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $53.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Budget Solo Traveler

The lowest cost for one person to visit Japan for a week is $1,050-$2,576 ($150-$368 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $24 to $48 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Lodging : $53 to $62 per night for one 1-star hotel room

or $110 to $141 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Budget Couple’s Trip

The lowest cost for a couple to visit Japan for a week is $1,781-$4,306 ($254-$615 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $48 to $96 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Budget Family Vacation

The lowest cost for 4 people to visit Japan for a week is $3,557-$8,186 ($508-$1,169 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $96 to $192 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Lodging : $105 to $124 per night for two 1-star hotel rooms

or $165 to $211 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Overall it is very difficult to travel to Japan cheaply.

The Cost of a Luxury Japan Trip

There is no true ceiling on the cost of a luxury trip, so our estimates are based on what most people do in Japan.

Luxury Solo Traveler

The high-end price for one person to visit Japan for a week is $3,040-$10,904 ($434-$1,558 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $96 to $198 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,408 to $3,470 for first class

Lodging : $160 to $304 per night for one 4 or 5-star hotel room

or $504 to $1,008 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Luxury Couple’s Trip

The high-end price for a couple to visit Japan for a week is $5,121-$15,768 ($732-$2,253 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $192 to $397 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,817 to $6,941 for first class

Luxury Family Vacation

The high-end price for 4 people to visit Japan for a week is $10,241-$28,542 ($1,463-$4,077 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $384 to $794 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $5,633 to $13,882 for first class

Lodging : $320 to $609 per night for two 4 or 5-star hotel rooms

or $753 to $1,517 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Japan Hotel Prices

The cost of staying in Japan is much higher than the average city. On average hotels are less expensive than vacation rentals. Luxury vacation rentals are more expensive in Japan due to very high property costs. The graphs below show how much cost can vary depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

Japan Lodging Cost by Star Status

The average price for the class of hotel is on the (y) axis. The hotel class (out of 5 stars) is on the (x) axis.

Prices are based on Japan hotel averages and may not reflect current prices. In some cases, we extrapolate prices to estimate costs, and hotels with your desired star rating may not be available.

Vacation Rental Prices

The percent of vacation rentals in the price range is on the left (y) axis. Price range is on the bottom (x) axis.

There are a healthy amount of vacation rentals serving all budgets in Japan.

Flight Costs to Japan

Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $1,696 average in early to mid July to a low of $948 in late September. Median flight price is $1,031. These prices are based on millions of flights. For Japan our data includes thousands of originating airports, and hundreds of airlines. The area has more variance in price compared with other locations.

Average Flight Cost by Season

Average flight cost by day of week.

The cheapest day to fly in is typically Tuesday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Tuesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In Japan, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $748, so you can easily save about 79% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.

Daily Expenses Budget

Daily vacation expenses vary more based on what you’re interested in doing. A fine dining restaurant with drinks around Japan can easily cost $361 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $24 per person. Private tours can cost $722 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free. Costs vary wildly, so recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we see for this type of vacation.

Other Japan Guides

Travel costs nearby.

  • Nagahama, Japan
  • Maibara, Japan
  • Tsuruga, Japan
  • Echizen, Japan
  • Sabae, Japan
  • Ogaki, Japan
  • Yoro, Japan
  • Hikone, Japan
  • Fukui, Japan
  • Gifu, Japan

Travel Costs in Popular Places

  • Chicago, IL, US
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Nairobi, Kenya

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Japan travel budget calculator

What will exactly cost my trip to Japan? Every prospective tourist for the archipelago wondered about the amount necessary to plan a travel in their dream country.

Kanpai’s Budget Calculator provides a precise estimate of the travel expenditures item-by-item, with numerous possible choices. As a matter of fact, a backpacker’s 10-days trip will not cost the same as a 3-weeks stay for a family looking for a very comfortable trip.

Fill in the questionnaire below to discover the expenses to expect and many advices on how to keep the cost down.

How much should I budget to go to Japan?

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April, July and August are peak touristic seasons: many services are more expensive during these periods. Consider traveling in January, February, March, May, June, September, October, November or December to keep your costs down.

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  • June 6 -- Beginning of the rainy season (Tsuyu) in Japan
  • June 21 -- Summer starts in Japan
  • July 1 -- Season start for climbing Mount Fuji
  • From July 1 to 31 -- Gion Matsuri Festival in Kyoto with float processions on July 17 and 24
  • July 15 -- Sea day / Umi no Hi in Japan (holiday)
  • July 17 -- Tokyo Day
  • Tokyo : Shinjuku , Shibuya , Harajuku , Asakusa , Akihabara , Odaiba , Ikebukuro , Ueno , Roppongi , Chiyoda , Ryogoku ...
  • Around Tokyo: Kamakura , Nikko , Hakone , Mount Fuji , Mount Takao , Yokohama ...
  • Kansai: Kyoto , Nara , Osaka , Mount Koya , Himeji , Kobe , Kinosaki , Kumano Kodo , Ise ...
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  • West: Hiroshima , Miyajima , Shikoku , Onomichi , Naoshima , Izumo , Kurashiki , Matsue ...
  • South: Kyushu , Okinawa , Yakushima ...
  • North: Hokkaido , Tohoku ...

how much to visit tokyo japan

  • Temples and Shrines
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  • Public Baths (Onsen and Sento)
  • Festivals (Matsuri)
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  • Visit on a Budget / Luxury

how much to visit tokyo japan

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how much to visit tokyo japan

Kanas are the much-needed basic characters of written Japanese language. Memorize them at a fast pace with our method.

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how much to visit tokyo japan

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Never Ending Footsteps

The Cost of Travel in Japan: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

Train in winter in Japan

It took me six years to get to Japan.

I didn’t think I could afford it.

Every time I seriously looked into visiting, I would wince at the high cost of the train passes, read about how the hotels were super-expensive, and then fly to Vietnam instead. Or Taiwan. Or even Australia. Japan was simply too expensive for a budget traveller, so I decided to save it for when I was rich.

With that not happening any time soon, I decided to blow my money anyway, because I wanted to go and the gushing blog posts from travel writer friends had convinced me it would be worth the splurge.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that it really wasn’t that expensive.

I arrived in Japan fully expecting it to be the priciest country I’ve ever been to, but I discovered it’s more on a par with Western Europe or North America, and cheaper than Australia. It was way more affordable than Namibia , where my daily expenses came to $132, and way, way, way more affordable than the Democratic Republic of the Congo , where I averaged, um, $550 a day.

Anyway!  This is about the cost of travel in Japan rather than my poor financial decisions, so let’s get started!

how much to visit tokyo japan

My 16-Day Japan Itinerary

Here’s a brief rundown of where I visited over my 16 days in the country — I think I managed to put together the perfect itinerary for first-time travellers to Japan .

Tokyo:  4 nights Hakone: 1 night Yudanaka: 1 night Kanazawa: 2 nights Takayama: 1 night Kyoto: 3 nights Hiroshima: 1 night Osaka: 3 nights

What’s Included in this Post

This budget breakdown covers how much I spent on accommodation, transportation, activities, food, and whichever miscellaneous items popped up while I was in country.

I’ve not included my flights into and out of Japan because this is going to vary significantly based on where you’ll be arriving from. In case you’re interested, though, I paid $320  for a return flight from Rome to Tokyo, which I scored through browsing my favourite site for flight bargains,  Secret Flying . 

The amounts in this guide are listed in Japanese Yen and U.S. dollars, simply because the vast majority of my readers are from the U.S. And finally, these are the three rules I always abide by on this site:

  • I do not accept sponsored trips, so everything listed in this post is something I personally paid for with my own money
  • I travel anonymously to ensure my experiences accurately reflect what yours will be. I don’t want special treatment!
  • Every single word of this article was written by me, based on all of my own experiences. I strictly do not use AI to compose my guides.

Okay — let’s get started with my expenses.

Tatami mat room in Hakone Japan

The Cheapest Accommodation Options in Japan

Like practically every country in the world, prices in Japan have increased post-pandemic.

In 2024, you’ll be paying a little more for everything than you would have done a few years ago — in fact, prices almost doubled between my first trip in 2017 and today! — however costs are still on a par with most Western countries. Travel in Japan shouldn’t be too devastating to your travel budget.

I’ll start on the lower end of the spectrum. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it’s possible to avoid paying for accommodation entirely.

Couchsurfing  exists in Japan and allows you to stay with a local for free , usually sleeping on their sofa and enjoying a local’s insight into life in their country. Yeah, it’s not the most comfortable of living situations, but if your budget’s tight, it’s worth sending out a few requests to hosts to see if anything comes of it. You can browse through the 300,000+ Japanese hosts on  the Couchsurfing site — just be sure to read the references of anybody you choose to stay with.

Housesitting  is a more upmarket option, aimed at mid-range and luxury travellers. Housesitting involves taking care of somebody’s house for free while they’re away, often (but not always) looking after their pets, too. It’s best for long-term travellers or retirees, as you can’t pick and choose dates and destinations, so you’ll need to have a lot of flexibility as to where you go and at what time of year. If you  do  have that freedom, though, it’s a wonderful way to cut down your travel expenses, soak up some home comforts, and live like a local for a while.  Trusted Housesitters  is the main site for getting started with housesitting, as they have the highest number of listings.

Finally, when it comes to free accommodation, you could take a look at  WorldPackers in Japan , where you’ll be able to volunteer for locals in exchange for food and board. There are some seriously cool options available on the site right now, from helping harvest honey for a bee farm in the countryside to lending a hand in the garden of a Buddhist temple. Readers of this site get a $10 discount for WorldPackers with the promo code  neverendingfootsteps .

If you’re not looking to travel for free and just want a clean and comfortable room to sleep in, there are plenty of great budget options, too.

Meal in Yudanaka

And then we have  hostels . In Japan, you’ll come across hostels all over the country, finding them on tiny islands, large cities, and even within the national parks. They’re one of your best options for saving money.

Hostels in Japan  are on a par with the rest of major cities in East Asia, and you can expect to spend  $25 a night for a dorm bed  for a well-reviewed hostel, with the price increasing slightly to around  $45 a night  for the absolute best of the best.

When it comes to private rooms in hostels, you’ll be looking at  $50 a night  for a clean, basic room in a good location, so if you’re travelling with friends or with your partner, you may find it cheaper to grab some privacy over settling for two beds in a dorm room.  $90 a night  will get you an exceptionally well-reviewed private room in a hostel.

I use  HostelWorld  to find the cheapest hostels, as they tend to have the greatest number of listings at the lowest prices.

And then there are hotels, which I’m going to jump into next.

Girl in a capsule hotel in Japan

The Cost of Accommodation in Japan

There are so many different types of accommodation in Japan! I attempted to experience as many as possible while I was in the country.

I stayed in a capsule hotel, prioritised hunting down a ryokan, slept on a tatami mat floor, stayed in family-run guesthouses, and checked out some pretty cool hostels. While I did attempt to save money by staying in some cheaper places, I was also happy to splurge on extremely well-rated rooms, too.

As always with these budget breakdowns, I like to share the prices of where I personally stayed, along with a description of the property and whether I’d recommend choosing it, too — hopefully this helps make your trip planning easier!

I visited Japan with my partner, Dave, and we travelled on a mid-range budget; searching out good value accommodation that was highly-rated and in a central location. We prioritised locally-run properties that weren’t too flashy or fancy; for us, a cosy vibe, unique furnishings, and welcoming staff are far more important than the generic decor of a hotel chain.

(Oh and just a quick note: hotels do charge different prices across a range of dates, depending on how busy a certain travel period is going to be. Because of this, it’s hard to be super accurate in the costs that I list. To get to the quoted prices below, though, I looked at the rates across the next six months and took the average: it could be slightly cheaper or more expensive, depending on when you’re visiting.)

Tokyo: $135 a night Odds are, you’re probably going to kick off your Japan adventures in Tokyo, and if so, it only makes sense to really throw yourself into the local experience. That’s why we decided to stay at this lovely onsen-ryokan in Shinjuku. (Whenever readers ask me which neighbourhood to choose in Tokyo, I always recommend Shinjuku or Shibuya.) The reason why I loved this specific property, though, is because it’s a ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) that also has an onsen (hot pool). It’s a great way to jump immediately into all things Japanese.

And it was wonderful; my favourite hotel in the country. The rooms were small and cosy and felt super-traditional and calming. The views over Tokyo at night from the window were incredible. And the rooftop onsen? With free popsicles afterwards? So good. It’s located in a quieter neighbourhood, but still only a 10-minute walk to the subway. I really recommend this one!

Hakone: $80 a night In Hakone, we opted for a private room in a lovely guesthouse , with a tatami mat floor to sleep on and a private onsen on-site. The photo of the tatami mat room above is of our room here. It ended up being another one of our favourite stays in Japan! The staff were lovely and there was a restaurant/bar that served up fantastic pizzas. It had a cosy and chilled-out atmosphere, with great food and wine, and lots of blankets to snuggle up with as we ate. It was also worth staying here just to experience the private onsen — we got to go in as a couple!

Yudanaka: $105 per night In Yudanaka, we opted for a stay in a wonderful little ryokan ; this one was even more traditional than the one in Tokyo! Often, ryokans can be super-expensive in Japan — as much as $500 a night for the experience — so I was thrilled to have stumbled across a more budget option in Yudanaka. It was run by an adorable Japanese couple and their house came with a private onsen, return transport to see  the snow monkeys , and one of the most extravagant meals of my life. A kaiseki is a multi-course (like, 20 courses) meal that will see you eating roughly a week’s worth of food in a single night, sampling fresh, local-to-the-region Japanese cuisine. It was phenomenal, and I loved having no idea what anything was. It even included homemade plum wine, which was so good! I highly recommend the experience (although strongly advise you not to add breakfast to your booking — we were still so full that we couldn’t eat any of it!)

Kanazawa: $65 per night Kanazawa is home to some seriously cool accommodation! We had a hard time choosing where to stay because every property looked so cosy and inviting. In the end, we settled on this minimalist, modern set-up — it was great value for money relative to most other places we stayed in Japan, especially when you consider it’s only been open a year. It’s in a great location, right outside Omicho Market, where you’ll sample the best sushi of your life. Also within walking distance is Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en Garden, so you’re really staying in the heart of it all. I recommend signing up for the traditional Japanese breakfast, as you’ll likely not have had anything else like it before! There’s also an onsen and laundry facilities (always appreciated mid-trip!), and the staff were so sweet and kind.

Takayama: $76 per night In Takayama, we stayed in a small, locally-run guesthouse  in the centre of town. It felt like particularly good value for Japan, as it was one of the few places we stayed that you could describe as spacious! It even had a kitchen and washing machine. The beds were comfortable and the hotel was within walking distance of everywhere, including the train station. It was quiet, the staff were lovely, and overall, it made for a comfortable stay!

Kyoto: $84 a night In Kyoto, we stayed in a cosy hotel in the heart of town — we loved this place so much in 2017 that when we returned to Japan this year, we knew we’d have to stay there again! The property was in a fantastic location for exploring Kyoto and the bathrooms were nicer than anywhere else we stayed. It’s one of the top-rated guesthouses in the city — while also being one of the cheapest — so when you take that into consideration, I’m convinced you won’t find anywhere better to stay in Kyoto.

Hiroshima: $40 per bed In Hiroshima, we opted for a capsule-style hostel because I didn’t want to leave the country without trying one — you can see a photo of the “capsule” at the top of this section. Fortunately, we found ourselves in a room with only two other people staying there, so our capsule room with 20-odd beds was light on snorers. The owner of this place was ridiculously lovely and it was within walking distance of all of the monuments and activities. Really great bathrooms, a fun common area, and a cheap price: surprisingly, I would have stayed another night!

Osaka: $108 a night I rounded off my time in Japan with a little bit of a treat, opting for this four-star hotel that offered a ton of freebies. It’s all about the onsen here — it’s open all day and is simply beautiful. After you’ve finished your daily bathe, there’s free ice cream to eat, free comics to read, massage chairs to relax in, and even free ramen to slurp on. Yes, really! It was in a great location for Osaka — just a couple of blocks from the nearest metro station. The decor was calming and traditional; the perfect way to say goodbye to Japan.

In total, I spent an average of $97 per day on accommodation over my 16 days in Japan.

The Cost of Transportation in Japan

Okay, so let’s talk about transportation now. And specifically transportation post-2024.

It used to be the case that practically every visitor to Japan would invest in a JR pass (a train pass that grants you unlimited rides over a certain time period). After all, the best way to explore this country is by train, and by buying said rail pass, you’d be saving a significant amount of money on your trip — especially if you were taking a similar route to my one. A JR Pass pre-October 2023 would have saved me a whopping $175 over buying individual train tickets.

Seems like a no brainer, right?

In October 2023, the Japan Rail Pass skyrocketed in price. No exaggeration here: prices increased by an incredible 70% .

What a baffling decision.

What that means is that it’s not such a clear-cut decision anymore. The Japan Rail Pass still holds some benefits: If you’re a first-time visitor to Japan and don’t feel too confident about buying multiple single-journey train tickets, the pass will make it a lot easier: you just show it at any station and get on a train. You won’t need to worry about any extra charges and will have the flexibility to take train-based day trips whenever you want.

For most travellers, however, the value proposition is simply no longer there. For example, my recent 16-day itinerary (Tokyo – Hakone – Tokyo – Nagano – Kanazawa – Takayama – Kyoto – Nara – Kyoto – Hiroshima – Osaka) cost me 50,000 Yen ( $350 ) with single tickets. However, a 14 day rail pass is priced at 80,000 Yen ( $530 )!

Alas, the Japan Rail Pass is no longer something I recommend — unless you’re going to be taking enormous, lengthy rail journeys (like across the whole country) in a short period of time. Alternatively, if you do want that added sense of security and ease by not having to juggle a dozen train ticket bookings, you may find the extra price worth it.

So with all that being said: you’re most likely going to be using the JR West website to book your single train tickets online. This covers the entirety of Japan that’s west of Tokyo (all of the places I visited were west) and allows you to book your train tickets all in one place — and then you can reserve a seat on said train one month before its departure date. Honestly, it’s pretty easy to use, book, and reserve — and being able to do it all online means you can get everything sorted before you step foot in the country.

Let’s take a look at the some of the prices that a typical train journey in Japan costs — in this case I’ll use my itinerary mentioned above to plot out the costs:

Tokyo – Hakone: 2,500 Yen ( $17 ) Hakone – Tokyo: 2,500 Yen ( $17 ) Tokyo – Nagano: 7,500 Yen ( $50 ) Nagano – Kanazawa: 8,500 Yen ( $57 ) Kanazawa – Takayama: 5,000 Yen ( $33 ) Takayama – Kyoto: 9,000 Yen ( $60 ) Kyoto – Nara: 700 Yen ( $5 ) Nara – Kyoto: 700 Yen ( $5 ) Kyoto – Hiroshima: 10,500 Yen ( $70 ) Hiroshima – Osaka: 10,000 Yen ( $67 )

So if you were to replicate my Japan route exactly, you would end up spending $381 on rail tickets. It sounds like a lot of money but I do want to stress that the trains in Japan are some of the best in the world. They’re spotless, comfortable, modern, and lightning-fast. You will feel like you’re travelling in luxury.

If you’re not down to spend hundreds of dollars on trains, then the buses are going to be your best option. They’re cheaper, slower, less comfortable, often run overnight, and are complicated to book. The best sites I’ve found for booking long-distance buses is Willer Express and Japan Bus Online — but even they don’t run buses for several of the routes I took on my trip.

I thought it would be a good idea to share the cost of buses for the trip I took, so that you can compare them to the train and see how much money you could save.

Tokyo – Hakone: 2,250 Yen ( $15 ) Hakone – Tokyo: 1,800 Yen ( $12 ) Tokyo – Nagano: 2,200 Yen ( $15 ) Nagano – Kanazawa: No bus for this route Kanazawa – Takayama: 3,300 Yen ( $22 ) Takayama – Kyoto: 3,800 Yen ( $25 ) Kyoto – Nara: No bus for this route Nara – Kyoto: No bus for this route Kyoto – Hiroshima: 4,300 Yen ( $29 ) Hiroshima – Osaka: 4,000 Yen ( $27 )

As you can, see prices are generally around half what they are for the trains. You’d be looking at paying $212 in total for taking the bus, with three trains replacing the routes where I couldn’t find any existing buses.

We’ve covered the main ways to get in between the destinations, so now it’s time to take a look at how much you could spend on transportation within the cities.

Fortunately, this was where I found Japan to be really affordable. I love to explore cities on foot and I found many of the places I visited to be surprisingly walkable. In total, I spent $6 on the metro in Tokyo, $7 on the metro in Osaka, and $2 on the metro in Kyoto! Everywhere else, I just walked.

A reasonably big expense was our Hakone Free Pass (spoiler: not free), although this was more of a combined transportation and activity cost. At a cost of 6,100 Yen, or $41 , It provides you with unlimited transport around Hakone (where you’ll find Mount Fuji), and discounted entrance to all the attractions in town. If you’re going to Hakone, this will save you money because it covers everything you’ll definitely do there.

The Cost of Food in Japan

how much to visit tokyo japan

If you love Japanese food but have yet to travel to its homeland, you have such a treat in store for you. The food in this country is phenomenal; packed full of flavour and surprisingly inexpensive. It’s true: eating out is the easiest way for you to cut costs in Japan.

In fact, the vast majority of my meals in this country came to less than ¥1000 ($6.50) .

I’ll start first by breaking down the typical costs that you can expect to spend on the most well-known of Japanese dishes. Then, I’ll cover what you’ll be likely to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with the costs associated with each of these meals. Finally, I’ll round out the section off by sharing some of my favourite food experiences in the country and describe which options are worth a splurge and which ones you can happily skip.

You can’t think of Japan without picturing sushi, so that feels like the most logical place to start. If you eat fish, this is going to be such a revelation for you! The sushi and sashimi in Japan is better than any I’ve had in the world and it was here that I finally understood how raw fish could ever be described as buttery.

To combine your sushi/sashimi-eating with a cultural experience, head to Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo or Omicho Market in Kanazawa. For a bowl filled with a selection of sashimi, like in my photo above, you’ll pay between ¥1,800 and ¥4,000 , depending on the size and quality of the fish. That’s the equivalent of $12-$25 .

Slurping on a steaming bowl of ramen is my personal definition of a true travel joy, so I opted for this cheap and cheerful dish most evenings as a way to save money. Note: the ramen in Japan is incredible , so don’t interpret my frugality as a hardship. Once you’ve tried the ramen here, I’d be surprised if you didn’t immediately start planning a return visit.

Ramen in Kyoto

One of my favourite aspects of ordering ramen in Japan is how you’re given the option to customise the dish to your own tastes. It’s not uncommon to be handed a small slip of paper where you’ll get to mark down all of your preferences. Do you want your broth to be rich or light? Your noodles to be firm or soft? Added spiciness or none at all? Extra spring onion? A hard- or soft-boiled egg? Most options come out to ¥1000 ($6.50) for a bowl of pork ramen.

Speaking of cheap and delicious food options, I highly recommend sampling a couple of versions of okonomiyaki while you’re in town. This savoury pancake dish is so delicious, extremely filling, and inexpensive at just ¥1000 ($6.50) – ¥1500 ($10) . The cities of Osaka and Hiroshima each offer up their very own version of okonomiyaki and strong opinions are held by many over which is best! If you’ll be heading to both destinations, make sure you try one of each and let me know which is your favourite.

A dish that I tried for the first time while I was in Japan was Japanese curry and what a wonderful experience that turned out to be! In comparison to Indian curries, I found the Japanese version to be richer, sweeter, and less creamy, with plenty of umami vibes. Once more, you can expect to pay ¥1000 ($6.50) for a plate of katsu (pork cutlet) curry.

Yakitori on Piss Alley in Tokyo Japan

One of the most delightful aspects of my Japanese eating experiences was sampling all of the different snacks in the country.

Street snacks like takoyaki were  ¥500 ($4.50) . We splurged on our kaiseki experience at our guesthouse in Yudanaka and paid ¥4000 ($36) for our food extravaganza. It’s a budget option compared to many other kaisekis, which can easily come to $100 for the experience, but still our most expensive meal. Another splurge was on sushi in Kanazawa, which I paid  ¥2000 ($18) for.

Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, it’s essentially impossible to eat badly in Japan. If you’re on a really tight budget, you can even get surprisingly decent food from 7-Eleven !

My total cost of food in Japan averaged out to $23.20 per day.

Lauren with snow monkeys

The Cost of Activities and Entrance Fees in Japan

Activities and entrance fees in Japan were very reasonably priced, and I never found myself outraged over the cost of anything. You’ll typically pay less than $5 to enter most temples, museums, and gardens.

Here’s how I spread my cash around:

Entrance fee for the hedgehog cafe in Tokyo: $13/1400¥ Entrance to the Snow Monkey Park : $7/800¥ Entrance to Kenroku-en gardens in Kanazawa: $3/310¥ Entry to the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto: $3/300¥ Entry to Ryoan-ji zen garden in Kyoto: $5/500¥ Ticket for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial: $2/200¥

My total cost of activities in Japan averaged out to $2 a day.

Tokyo memory lane

Miscellaneous Expenses in Japan

A local SIM card: $14

I mentioned above that I was able to buy a local SIM card when I purchased my rail pass. If you aren’t going to be using a rail pass in Japan, I recommend taking a look at Airalo instead. Airalo is a company that sells local e-SIM cards for travellers. What that means is that you can buy a virtual SIM card online before you arrive in Japan, and then as soon as you land in the country, can switch on your data and start using it.

It’s worked flawlessly for me and I’ll never go back to physical SIM cards. It’s just so easy! You’ll pay  $6 for 1 GB of data  or $14 for 3 GB for Japan and can also top-up through the Airalo app.

If you’re going down the Airalo route, just make sure your phone is e-SIM compatible first (all recent iPhones and many Androids are).

Insight Guides guidebook to Japan: $10 

My sister bought me  this guidebook as a gift before I left for Japan and at first I was like, Insight Guides? Meh. I wish she’d got me the Lonely Planet instead. Then when I opened it up and started reading, I swiftly discovered that Insight Guides are my new favourite guidebook company. It was so, so useful!

What I love about Insight is that their books focus heavily on the history and culture of Japan, with big, beautiful pictures, tons of information about local customs, food, and how to travel responsibly and respectfully. I recommend picking up a copy before your trip to Japan, but not taking it to the country with you — they’re big and heavy, so this is one for inspiration, planning, and education. 

Luggage storage at Snow Monkey Park near Yudanaka: ¥500 ($4.50)

We had our backpacks with us when we visited the snow monkeys, so utilised the on-site storage facility while we hiked up the mountain in the snow. You can also hire snow shoes and winter gear if you’re unprepared for the climb, but I was fine in my totally impractical sneakers. 

Travel insurance for 16 days in Japan: $60

If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. These costs can quickly land you with a six-figure bill to pay at the end of it.

In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Travel insurance  will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by appendicitis and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died and you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I use  SafetyWing  as my travel insurance provider, and recommend them for trips to the Japan. Firstly, they’re one of the few companies out there who will actually cover you if you contract COVID-19. On top of that, they provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. If you’re on a long-term trip, you can pay monthly instead of up-front, and can cancel at any time. Finally, they’re more affordable than the competition, and have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always appreciated.

With SafetyWing, you’ll pay  $1.50 a day  for travel insurance.

Golden Pavilion in December

How I Track My Expenses While I Travel

Every time I share my expenses, you guys always want to know how on earth I manage to keep track of so many details from my travels!

Because Never Ending Footsteps is my company, the vast majority of my travel expenses are business expenses. I therefore studiously record everything I spend everywhere I go. I take photos of every receipt I receive and use Xero accounting software to record these expenses. In cases where I can’t get a receipt, I’ll take a photo of the price list and my ticket or food, or something as evidence.

Once a week, I then sit down and spend an hour or so uploading my receipts to Xero and making note of every penny I spent in each country I visit. It makes writing these posts super easy!

Takayama in December

How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Japan?

It’s time to tally up all of my expenses to see my total travel costs!

Accommodation:  $97 per day Transportation:  $27 per day Food:  $23 per day Activities/Entrance Fees:  $2 per day Miscellaneous:  $2 per day

Average amount spent in Japan: $151 a day!

I don’t know about you, but given Japan’s pricey reputation, I’m fairly impressed with the amount I spent in the country, especially as I included quite a few splurges in there.

How about you? How expensive were you expecting a trip to Japan to be?

Related Articles on Japan 🇯🇵 What’s it Like to Travel in Japan? 🏯 How to Spend Two Weeks in Japan: An Itinerary for First-Time Visitors 🍣 15 Weird and Wonderful Things to Eat in Japan 🎌 23 Incredible Things to Do in Osaka, Japan 🗼 21 Spectacular Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan 😎 Hipster Harajuku: The Coolest Neighbourhood in Tokyo 🦔 Should You Go to a Hedgehog Cafe? My Experience in Japan 🐒 Why Seeing the Snow Monkeys in Japan Sucked

how much to visit tokyo japan

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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106 comments.

Wow! that’s amazing. I especially got fascinated seeing the capsule hotel…must have been a unique experience.

It was surprisingly cosy! I would totally stay in one again.

Thank you so much for your information. We will go to Japan in October 2023 for 1 month. Have paid fully for 16 days. Using your guides to budget the remaining 2 weeks. Thanks again.

This is great! Do you think it would be much more expensive in summer or any of the peak holiday seasons? I’m going over July this year and wondering if the prices change much with the seasons.

Wow! That’s quite an eye-opener! I’ve wanted to visit Japan for years, and this has certainly nudged me a little closer, as I assumed it was expensive too. The costs seem much better than I found in Amsterdam this spring! (my boyfriend still gets a thousand-yard stare when I mention how much we paid for drinks in one bar.)

Yay! Yeah, it really did feel about the same price as Western Europe, if not cheaper. The transportation is more expensive, but the food was cheaper in Japan.

This is super awesome! I, too, was under the impression that Japan was a super expensive place to visit! Good to know that you can save so much on accommodation and activities! Are you going to be posting about food in Japan? My knowledge of what to eat there is very minimal…

Yes! I published a guide to my favourite things to eat in the country last week: https://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/best-food-japan/

Ditto for here in New Zealand Lauren. All said it would be expensive. But we house sat – rent-free – and saw that food and travel are on par or cheaper than New Jersey. We also saw that virtually all things are cheaper than folks said. Methinks many labeling Japan and NZ as expensive as can be are used to paying $1 for lunch in Chiang Mai LOL. Budget folks see all Western lands as expensive. Granted I am from NJ; living by NYC makes for a high cost of living. But not bad at all, living in these lands.

Yeah, definitely true. I know that when I wrote off Japan as being too expensive, it was in the early days of my travels, when I could only afford to live in Southeast Asia!

Loving the posts about Japan so far. Do you have many more articles planned? I’ve a trip booked in November and this has been the most useful of the blogs so far for help in planning – thank you. Although I’ve had to cut the hedgehog cafe off my plans after reading your article as I hadn’t quite considered the ethics enough!

Yes! So many. I’ll probably post another half a dozen or more over the next few weeks :-)

I always assumed Japan to be very expensive. Thanks to your blog I don’t anymore. Cheers!

This is all very useful info! I’m impressed with your budgeting skills. Awesome, Thanks for sharing this!

Ha! Thank you :-) It comes naturally (finally) after seven years of doing this.

Great article. I’m planning a visit for early 2025 to go with my grandson … was the budget breakdown for one person or a couple … because you mentioned going with your partner?

The accommodation prices are the total cost of the room (rather than just my share), while the transportation, food, and activities are all my share of the costs.

Fantastic article. Love your budget posts because you never leave anything out.

I try not to! Thanks so much :-)

Beautiful photos, Japan look amazing and thank you for sharing your budget tips as well. :)

No problem! :-)

Thank you so much for this! I’m going to Japan in September and I’ve been worrying about my budget. This has definitely put my mind at rest!

Yay! Happy to hear that :-)

I’m so happy that you have posted so much lately, you’re my favourite travel blog and I check this page a lot more often now that the pace of the posts has increased :)

Thank you! :-) I’m aiming to stick to a three-times-a-week posting schedule now that I have a base and more time to dedicate to writing.

This is so much cheaper than I expected. Do you have any idea about prices for solo travellers though? Would I have to pay for a double room most of the time (apart from dorm beds of course)?

No, lots of hotels and guesthouses have single rooms, so you wouldn’t need to pay out for two people very often, if at all.

Thanks, that’s good to know!

Very useful breakdown that would be very helpful for first-timers to Japan.

Just to share, one of my own major expenditure in JP is … vending machine contribution! I simply can’t resist them and can end up buying seven times a day. “P

Yes! I couldn’t believe how many vending machines there were in the country, as well as the variety of things you could buy from them.

Hello! This is a very timely article for me to read as I’m actually going to visit Japan for a week on September. I really love Japan’s culture and their people. There are a lot of places that I want to visit and a lot of things I want to do but I am on a strict budget. Hopefully, your article would be able to help me fix my budgeting for my trip to Japan.

I hope so! I really didn’t find it horrendously expensive, so I think you’ll be surprised by how much you can do there for free.

I love your budget posts because they give me such a good idea of how much I can expect to spend in places around the world. Are you thinking of doing them for everywhere you visit?

That’s my plan! I’m slowly working my way through my records and adding more and more to the site.

Hey, thanks so much! :-)

I’ve planed to visit Japan next year, Thank you for sharing your budget, I’ll try to not exceed 100$/day, following your information on this post.

Have a fantastic trip, Ingrid! :-)

Which month you visited Japan? I am thinking for Cherry blossom (April 2019) and everything is coming up too expensive. Are those above for cherry blossom season you visited?

Ah yeah, unfortunately, the cherry blossom season is the most expensive time of year to visit Japan. I was there in December, so prices will be higher than the ones mentioned in this post. I’ll add that detail to my post now!

I was under the impression that Japan was a super expensive place to visit! Good to know that you can save so much on accommodation and activities! This article includes all the places you can visit in Japan and their expenses. It is very educative and it can be improved by providing expenses in INR. Thank you for posting this useful information.

Thank you! I usually just price these articles in the local currency and USD, which is where the vast majority of my readers are located. If I started including currencies for everyone, the post would quickly get ridiculous :-)

Seems a dumb question, but I’m assuming all the values are in USD, is it correct?

Yep! I write at the start of the post: “The amounts in this guide are listed in Japanese Yen and U.S. dollars, simply because the vast majority of my readers are from the U.S.”

That is a very good breakdown cost analysis there. i am planning to go to japan as well with my wife. and planning to stay for 10 days only. 4 in tokyo 3 in kyoto and 3 in osaka. i like to idea of 100 aud / day it’s a good target to keep but i guess the expense on buying cloths and souvenir would be uncontrollable though i heard things in japanese is not that dear if you know where to shop and avoid tourist trap. i didn’t see you mention buying internet data in advance ? or i missed it somewhere. i guess the expense for a couple will be double up. but i guess 3000 aud for 2 people is unavoidable.

amazing detailed guide

You’re welcome!

I’m so glad I found your website! I love the detail and photos. I just booked a trip to Japan with my boyfriend for this upcoming October, and your site will be very helpful. Question: do most hostels and accommodations that you experienced have you sleeping solo? I’m wondering if I should expect to sleep in a separate area than my partner for most of the trip…

Hi Lauren, Thanks for such a detailed description of your time in Japan! I’m going to Japan October this year with my wife and my major concern is how you managed to book sleeping pods for you and your boyfriend as almost all accommodations are either “male only” or “female only” from the options I’ve seen so far. Did you have to get separate beds for those nights?

Yeah, the capsule hotel-style accommodation is all single beds. You can see in my photo in this post that there’s not much room for anybody else!

My wife and I are heading to Japan in mid May and I plan to use your itinerary.

Would it be possible for you to write something about the travel logistics if you can remember them – ie to get from Tokyo to Mt Fuji we booked the following train, leaving at…from the following platform which took X hours and arrived at Mt Fuji at. We then bought our day pass from….and ……..

This would be really helpful to me and other independent travellers – from where did you buy your JR pass and how did you book your individual train rides?

Cheers Paul

Oh, man. That would take me hours and hours to put together and I’m sure times and platforms change so it would be impossible for me to keep the information up-to-date and accurate.

I recommend downloading the mobile app Hyperdia — you can plan your train travel out using that. Just enter in your destinations and it will tell you which train to take and from which platform. Super easy to use! :-)

The site I used to buy the JR Pass is this one . I booked the other train tickets in person at the stations when I arrived — there weren’t many that weren’t covered by the rail pass. Just the small regional ones to get to and from Yudanaka, I think.

Hello Lauren, I love the details in your blog. Your expenses were for 1 or 2 people?

I cover that at the start of the blog post: “And finally, these are the expenses I paid while travelling with my boyfriend. That means that accommodation prices (with the exception of the dorm bed in Hiroshima) have been halved to indicate my share.”

Great super helpful article. THANK YOU!

Hi Lauren, Thanks so much for this article, it is so helpful!!! on which dates did you fly to japan? what dates are you recommending on?

I spent the first two weeks of December in Japan. I’d recommend looking at May or September as the best months to travel there.

Hi Lauren I’d love your advice. I’m traveling with my 22yr old daughter to celebrate her graduation and my birthday. I booked the first two nights a hotel in Tokyo and then figured we would VRBO or Airbnb but after reading your post it looks like things have changed. I love the idea of the capsule hotels and the standard tatami mat rooms look enchanting. So how do I search for either? We’d like to experience both for the trip. oh by the way, I’m a traveler too, let me know where in the world are you now. Perhaps we can meet up and collaborate, I do video production, just got back from Colorado and am going to Cancun in June.looking forward to hearing back from you, Peace and Love always, “L” oh let’s connect on IG

Just book them through Booking.com — no need to go to any specific site. I’m in Bristol, in the UK. I actually don’t have an Instagram account — it wasn’t doing good things for my mental health, so I deleted it :-)

G’day Lauren,

Loved your detailed description of your travels through Japan. However; I’m not so brave as you travelling around on my own, especially with the language problem. I am a single traveler from Bangalore, India and would love to spend 7-8 days in Japan, with my journey starting and ending in Tokyo, reasonably priced hotels or local hostels, but preferably single accommodation, if possible. (willing to pay extra).

I love train travel and Japan is one of the best places to do that..your take on that would be appreciated. If you feel, I meet your requirements, would love to get an itinerary and costing for my 7-8 day stay in Japan.

Hello! I am really curious on how you got a 14 days pass JR for only 420$, from where I am from (Canada) it is 567!

If you click the link in the post, you can buy it through there. It’s currently listed for 414 USD.

$95/day seems cheaper than what I had expected – is that a tight budget? What can you do more with $150/day? I’d prefer to spend that extra on living in nice hotels + do more activities. Does that seem possible with $150/day?

No, not really. It was a mid-range budget and all of the hotels we stayed in were nice — I made zero effort to stick to a tight budget.

Hope you’re well. I’m wondering if you still advise from not booking Airbnb for Tokyo? Thanks.

Until moments ago, I had always assumed Japan to be too expensive to even consider. Never thought the cost of activities and entrance fees would be so cheap. This is an encouraging article, thanks, Lauren!

Really remarkable post, Lauren. Extremely thorough and helpful. I’m looking to plan a trip to Japan soon and stumbled across your blog. As you clearly hoped from city-to-city, (this may be a silly question) what did you do with your luggage on a day-to-day basis?

Thanks for any insight.

Oh, just left it in my hotels. If I spent less than a full day somewhere, it was visited as a day trip, so I didn’t take my luggage with me. And then whenever I arrived somewhere, I’d time my arrival with the check-in time of the hotel, drop my bags first, then head out exploring.

great article! As I have said in the past you always put out great stuff that’s very valuable information.

I just came across your website when searching for trips for Japan for my son. I have to say I am really so happy and want to thank you so much for the information. My eldest son has been taking Japan as a language course for the last 3 years and was looking forward to trying to get into the high school Japan trip in end of july beginning of August 2020. He also wanted to go to TUJ(Temple University Japan).

However, because of the olympics the high school Japan trip has been canceled for 2020. Unfortunately, he will be a senior next year so the 2021 high school program will not be available for him. Plus going to olympics are so expensive. If you can give me any advice, I would greatly appreciate. Thank you so much in advance for your time!!!

What advice do you need? About what?

Hi Lauren, I really liked you post and I think is really helpful. When exactly did you go in Japan? We have to change our plans for next February (previous planned for Philippines but to risky for my wife pregnancy) and we consider to go in Japan instead. So, do you think it is good idea travelling in Japan in February? Thank you and advance.

I went during the first half of December. As long as you keep in mind that it’ll be pretty cold (5-10 celsius), I think it’s a great time of year, as it won’t be as crowded as peak season.

is it favorable to use credit card or cash is much preferred? thanks

Hi. Thank you for the information! I am so inspired to go to Japan now. My mom who was from Japan, always told me it’s too expensive to go back and visit. I am now 56 and it has been my lifelong dream to go. My husband and I will go with backpacks like we did when we were younger and before having kids. Is October a good time to go? I read September can be humid. I want to follow your itinerary for the most part. My mom lived in Kanazawa. My heart is full right now and my eyes are misty. Thank you for making my dream a little bit closer.

Hey Lauren!

Thank you so much for the information. I actually got invited on a delegation to go to Japan this evening and am trying to get the average cost to travel in the country. Obviously, your trip was on a very impressive budget. I have two questions, 1. Based on the $95/day over the course of your 16-day trip, would it be right to say that (flight included) you only paid ~$1,600 for your entire trip? 2. Would you say for a trip including cultural experiences, transportation and stays in nice hotels for a week, a grand total of $3,700 is reasonable?

In advance, I appreciate your advice on this!

Hi Lauren, Are you able to name all the accomodations you stayed with? I would like to visit Japan next year on a very tight budget. Thanks.

Yes, they’re already linked in the post along with the reviews of them under the accommodation section.

Hi Lauren. I’m debating spending 5 nights in Osaka and doing day trips to kyoto, nara and himeji castle. (I have hotel points where i can stay at osaka). Based on your experience – is that ok? or is better to stay 2 nights in Osaka and 3 nights in kyoto. There is a lot of different opinions online, thought id ask you if you think i’d be missing out on anything if staying in osaka. The one plus is i can save some money if using points and also staying in 1 location for 5 nights vs packing and moving to another location. Thanks so much for your posts!

Hey i found this really helpful but I’ve been planning to visit japan for a while and have hopes of going after i graduate high school. With some research i found that the JR pass isn’t needed if you’re just staying in one city. How much do you think i would spend on transportation for 2 weeks in Tokyo? Will it come out to more than what you spent or less?

Definitely less! You can walk to a lot of places, but otherwise the metro won’t cost much at all — a dollar or two per trip.

Would you be able to give recommendations for food places in Kyoto that are affordable.

Hi Lauren. Came across your site on a Google search for budget travel. It convinced e that a trip to Japan is affordable. Never have done international travel and would like your advice on a couple of things. 1. What is the best way to pack? Do I have to just use a back pack? 2. Can I use a credit card or should cash be used? 3. Can I get cell phone coverage in Japan.

Thanks, you site is great!

1) I prefer to travel with a backpack, but you’ll do okay with a suitcase, too. I personally find backpacks easier for navigating train stations, as you don’t have to drag it up and down stairs, etc. It doesn’t really matter either way, though. Depending on how long you’ll be staying there, I usually pack for a week no matter how long my trip is, then do laundry once a week.

2) Japan is mostly cash-based, so plan for lots of trips to the ATM. I didn’t find many places that accepted cards, although I also wasn’t looking very hard either.

3) Yep, you can pick up a local SIM card at the airport when you arrive. I bought mine through the rail pass company I link to in this blog post, but you can also just buy one when you arrive. Super easy to do and they’ll get it set up for you in the shop, too.

Love your posts! have been browsing but when I stumbled upon your page found it really helpful! Planning for Japan and Singapore so finding both blogs is perfect timing :) We are still not sure if the JRpass will help us- when we did calculation for the main routes we are going it resulted not worth it, however then not sure if we will require any additional rails/trains in between these. Tokyo>Hakone>Kyoto> Osaka without returning back… your input will be appreciated :) P.S. Feel free to visit the island of Malta, my home country

Wooow !! This is amazing , My wife and I have been planning to visit japan and we always had a misconception that Japan is expensive to visit .. This is a great blog .. So the overall cost including your flight tickets and local travel in japan would cost around 2500 $ per person ?

This was so incredibly helpful! Normally I don’t find myself reading entire articles but yours was so informational and in depth. Thank you so much for helping me get an idea of how much I would roughly spend!

Ah, no problem! Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you found it useful :-)

I super love this article Lauren! I thoroughly enjoyed it. When all is well and my country allows us to travel again, this is going to be on my top 3 places to visit (the 1st 2 will be diving spots as I’m a freediver). I made sure to bookmark this page for reference. Again, thank you for writing this. One question though, when you say $ do you mean USD?

Yep, USD! “The amounts in this guide are listed in Japanese Yen and U.S. dollars, simply because the vast majority of my readers are from the U.S.”

How much did you spend on transportation in Tokyo? I mean if you hadn’t had the JR Pass? How much did you save in Tokyo by having the pass?

Oh, I didn’t activate the pass when I was in Tokyo — I activated it on the day I left — so that was my total expenses without using it.

Hi Lauren! I just read your post. My boyfriend and I are backpackers and we are planning our next trip to Japan. I wanted to ask you when did you go there? (what time of the year). Because we can only take time off during winter time (dec-jan) and I don’t know if that’s a good time of year to go. We are from Denver and snow doesn’t bother us but we also want to enjoy it.

Thanks in advance! Love your blog

I was there in December! There’s fewer crowds then, which makes it a great time to go! As an added bonus you get to enjoy all of the cosy onsens in the snow :-)

Even in these unprecedented times, I feel as if I have already traveled to Japan! I loved every minute of the information you gave me. This place is definitely next on my list, of course! It can be months or a year from now.

It appears you’re still getting traffic in the comments here (excellent) so I thought I would ask a broad question. Wife and I are thinking to take our 6 and 9 year old to Japan for about 11 days. Any destinations you might leave off your itinerary given a bit less time and traveling with kids?

Fantastic! I’ve never seen any article about travelling to japan so specific and detailed before!! It sure will help me prepare for my own first&solo trip! thank you so much

Great post, but the prices are wildly outdated now. Your $30/night hotels in 2018 are going for around $220/night in 2023. Insane!

Hi CS, what time of year are you looking to visit? I’ve had a quick check and every hotel I link to still displays roughly the correct prices (a couple were out by about $10-20 a night, but nothing like $190!). If you’re looking at going in May, for example, Hakone Tent prices their rooms at $176 a night, but then offers rooms at a price of $73 a night a month later in June, so the time of year can affect the pricing. I’ll make a note to mention this in a future update to the post.

I visited in the low season, in December, so the prices I paid were lower than they might be at a more popular time of year.

This is amazing on every level. Thank you! only issue is prices for accomodations double during sakura season so what can I do

Thank you Lauren, for this insightful and complete post.

Out of curiosity, do you know what was the average USD/YEN exchange rate when this trip took place?

Kind Regards,

I update the prices in this article every two months so the exchange rate used in the post is recent

How recent was your travel to Japan and what exact dates were you there? I’m planning to take my family of 4 there in 2025 and would like to schedule it during cherry blossom season. I heard prices usually go up during this time so I was wondering if your trip happened during peak or off-peak season.

I was there in December. Prices do increase a lot during cherry blossom season, unfortunately — that’s the most expensive time to visit.

very good post for budget travellers. thanks for sharing.

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Meet Lauren Juliff

  • Travel Planning Guide

Japan Travel Budget - Visit Japan on a Budget or Travel in Style

  • Japan Costs

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  • Is Japan Expensive?
  • How much does a trip to Japan cost?
  • Japan On-Your-Own Itineraries
  • Yaeyama Islands
  • Japan Hotel Prices
  • Japan Cities: Hotel Prices by City
  • Best Beach Hotels in Japan
  • Best Hotels for Scuba Diving in Japan
  • Best Hotels for a Weekend Getaway in Japan
  • Best Cheap Hotels in Japan
  • Best Hotels for First Time Visitors in Japan
  • Best Business Hotels in Japan
  • Best Romantic Hotels for Couples in Japan
  • Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Japan
  • Best Luxury Hotels in Japan
  • Best Hotels for Skiing in Japan
  • Best Hotels for One Night in Japan
  • Best Hotels for One Week in Japan
  • Best Party Hotels in Japan
  • Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Japan
  • Best Adults Only Hotels in Japan
  • Where Do Backpackers Go in Japan? A Review of Hostels and Guesthouses.
  • Hostel Prices & Reviews
  • Japan Activities
  • Japan Tour Prices
  • The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Japan
  • The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Japan
  • The Best Historical Tours in Japan
  • The Best 10-Day Tours in Japan
  • The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Japan
  • The Best 2-Week Tours in Japan
  • The Best Bicycle Tours in Japan
  • Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Japan
  • The Best Christmas & New Years Tours in Japan
  • The Best Coach Bus Tours in Japan
  • The Best Adventure Tours to Japan
  • The Best Eco Tours in Japan
  • The Best Train & Rail Tours in Japan
  • The Best Sightseeing Tours in Japan
  • The Best Cultural Tours in Japan
  • The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Japan
  • The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Japan
  • The Best Walking Tours in Japan
  • The Best Luxury Tours to Japan
  • The Best Budget Tours to Japan
  • The Best Tours for Seniors to Japan
  • The Best Contiki Tours to Japan
  • The Best G Adventures Tours to Japan
  • How much does it cost to travel to Japan? (Average Daily Cost)
  • Japan trip costs: one week, two weeks, one month

How much do package tours cost in Japan?

Is japan expensive to visit.

  • How much do I need for a trip to Japan?
  • Accommodation, Food, Entertainment, and Transportation Costs
  • Travel Guide

How much does it cost to travel to Japan?

You should plan to spend around $119 (¥18,714) per day on your vacation in Japan. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $29 (¥4,568) on meals
  • $17 (¥2,719) on local transportation
  • $114 (¥17,840) on hotels

A one week trip to Japan for two people costs, on average, $1,669 (¥261,998) . This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Travel Style: All Budget (Cheap) Mid-Range Luxury (High-End)
  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day $ 119 ¥ 18,714
  • One Week Per person $ 835 ¥ 130,999
  • 2 Weeks Per person $ 1,669 ¥ 261,998
  • One Month Per person $ 3,577 ¥ 561,425
  • One Week For a couple $ 1,669 ¥ 261,998
  • 2 Weeks For a couple $ 3,338 ¥ 523,997
  • One Month For a couple $ 7,154 ¥ 1,122,850

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Japan cost?

A one week trip to Japan usually costs around $835 (¥130,999) for one person and $1,669 (¥261,998) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Japan on average costs around $1,669 (¥261,998) for one person and $3,338 (¥523,997) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Japan will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Japan on average costs around $3,577 (¥561,425) for one person and $7,154 (¥1,122,850) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in Japan is $424 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

  • Environmental Conservation Volunteering, Cultural Immersion and Temple Stay on Sado Island 8 Days - 1 Destinations $ 759
  • Japan´s Landscapes 13 Days - 21 Destinations $ 4,551

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Japan is a moderately priced destination to visit. It's about average with most other countries for travel costs. The prices for food, accommodation, and transportation are all fairly reasonable.

Within Asia, Japan is moderately priced compared to the other countries. The overall cost of travel here is comparable to Taiwan or Macao.

For more details, see Is Japan Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Japan?

The average Japan trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Japan travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Accommodation Budget in Japan

Average daily costs.

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Japan is $57 (¥8,920). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Japan is $114 (¥17,840). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation 1 Hotel or hostel for one person $ 57 ¥ 8,920
  • Accommodation 1 Typical double-occupancy room $ 114 ¥ 17,840

Hotel Prices in Japan

Looking for a hotel in Japan? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Kayak

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Actual Hotel Prices The average hotel room price in Japan based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $102. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

  • Toba View Hotel Hanashinju Budget Hotel - Kayak $ 174
  • Aman Tokyo Luxury Hotel - Kayak $ 699

Local Transportation Budget in Japan

The cost of a taxi ride in Japan is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 (¥2,719) per person, per day, on local transportation in Japan.

  • Local Transportation 1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc. $ 17 ¥ 2,719

Recommended Services

  • Private arrival transfer from Kansai International airport to Kyoto City Viator $ 108
  • Private arrival transfer from Osaka Itami International airport to Kyoto City Viator $ 78

What did other people spend on Local Transportation?

Typical prices for Local Transportation in Japan are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Local Transportation prices in Japan, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Subway ¥ 1,200

Food Budget in Japan

While meal prices in Japan can vary, the average cost of food in Japan is $29 (¥4,568) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Japan should cost around $12 (¥1,827) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Japan is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food 2 Meals for one day $ 29 ¥ 4,568

Recommended

  • Sushi Making Class in Tsukiji 90-Minute cooking experience Viator $ 55
  • YANAKA home cooking experience, homely and local style. Viator $ 88

What did other people spend on Food?

Typical prices for Food in Japan are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Food prices in Japan, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Food for Fuji Hike ¥ 721
  • Meal at Airport ¥ 1,043
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack ¥ 800
  • Late Night Noodles ¥ 800

Entertainment Budget in Japan

Entertainment and activities in Japan typically cost an average of $19 (¥2,909) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment 1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc. $ 19 ¥ 2,909

Recommended Activities

  • Private guided hidden gems tour by local English speaking driver Viator $ 64
  • Private car tour in Kyoto (up to 4) Viator $ 293

What did other people spend on Entertainment?

Typical prices for Entertainment in Japan are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Entertainment prices in Japan, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Osaka Aquarium (for 2) ¥ 4,600

Tips and Handouts Budget in Japan

The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Japan is $3.21 (¥505) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Japan is Never .

  • Tips and Handouts 1 For guides or service providers $ 3.21 ¥ 505

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in Japan

Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in Japan is $2.72 (¥427), as reported by travelers.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps 1 $ 2.72 ¥ 427

Alcohol Budget in Japan

The average person spends about $15 (¥2,338) on alcoholic beverages in Japan per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol 2 Drinks for one day $ 15 ¥ 2,338
  • Pub Crawl in Nagoya Viator $ 39
  • Private tour: Tokyo's Oldest Sake Brewery and riverside walk. Viator $ 227

What did other people spend on Alcohol?

Typical prices for Alcohol in Japan are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Alcohol prices in Japan, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Sake ¥ 600

Water Budget in Japan

On average, people spend $4.31 (¥677) on bottled water in Japan per day. The public water in Japan is considered safe to drink.

  • Water 2 Bottled water for one day $ 4.31 ¥ 677

Related Articles

Japan on a budget.

Japan

At A Glance

  • Japan is recognized for its strikingly different culture from the west. If you do some research on this country's interesting customs before your trip, you will find your experience all the more enlightening. You will also better understand how to handle different situations as they arise.
  • This is a complex country with a diverse and rich history. A great way to familiarize yourself with the region is to read any number of books on the country, fiction or nonfiction, before you begin your trip. You'll be able to see the people, customs, and cultures through different eyes, and your experience will be even more meaningful and memorable when you can put it in context.
  • Japan is a great country for cyclists. If you're comfortable on a bicycle head to the countryside and find a good route. You'll pass through beautiful landscapes, picturesque towns, and meet some friendly people. It's a wonderful and unique way to experience the country. It will also help you cut down on transportation costs which can be quite high throughout Japan.
  • Make sure you keep your passport on you at all times. Police can question you and will often fine you if you do not have it on you. Some first time offenders get off with just a warning. In particular, nightclub raids are common, so if you're going out for the evening, don't leave home without your passport.
  • Public transportation in Japan is excellent but expensive. There are many different types of transportation passes that offer any number of ticket combinations and various discounts. Make sure you fully research and understand your options before you purchase a ticket. Some passes have stricter limitations than others so make sure you look into this before buying a pass.

Top Tourist Attractions

Transportation, popular foods, more related articles.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works .

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how much to visit tokyo japan

Planning a Trip to Japan: DOs & DON’Ts (2024)

This page contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

This post is based on an amazing guide our friend Amy Dunn-Cham compiled us full of her Japan tips on how to plan a trip to Japan years ago. We have since visited Japan five times and update this post regularly with what we’ve learnt.

Ah Japan, irasshaimase! Welcome to the land where everything just works. The land of convenience, the land of delicious food, paradox, naked strangers, and where respect permeates through every part of society and culture.

In Japan the food can be described as clean and minimalist, but never simple, which probably sums up Japan as a whole. It’s a place that both lives up to, and out does, any expectation you have upon arrival.

Uh-huh, they have the fastest, sleekest, most efficient trains (ever!), but they still have paper posters pegged up on their Tokyo subway. Yeah, they have amazing futuristic architecture, but they also have countless traditional wooden buildings in amongst it all. 

Yes, they have the busiest people crossing in the world (Shibuya), but at no point is it ever chaotic, no need for anyone to bang on a cab screaming, “Hey, I’m walking here!”. 

Yes, they have scores of scarily trendy, funkily clad young people who like to cosplay on weekends, but they also have evening family outings to sentos (public bathhouses).

In this Japan travel guide, we’ll help you make sense of it all and share our best tips for planning a trip to Japan.

Elegant women in Tokyo - Japan travel tips

2024 Update: No Japan Travel Restrictions

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Japan reopened to independent international tourists on 11 October 2022.

Remaining restrictions were dropped on 29 April 2023, so visitors no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.

The government also dropped the indoor masking recommendation. Many Japanese people still wear masks (on our late 2023 trip, I’d say about 30-40% of people wore them), but you are unlikely to be required to.

With the yen at the lowest it has been for decades, now is a great time to travel to Japan.

Health care is expensive in Japan, so I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance that covers Covid-19 medical expenses.  SafetyWing Insurance  is an excellent budget option, especially for travellers on longer trips and families (as children under 10 are free). It’s available worldwide.

If you want a more comprehensive policy with cancellation cover, check out Heymondo travel insurance , which we used on our last Japan trip (it came in handy when Simon broke his foot!). It’s also available worldwide and offers 5% off for our readers.

Are you planning a trip to Japan? Here are the dos and don'ts to follow to help you make the most of your time in this crazy and wonderful country.

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We’ve visited Japan in all four seasons and don’t think there’s a bad time to go. 

In winter , it’s chilly and gardens are a bit bare, but crowds are lower, you’ll find great deals on accommodation, and you’ll really appreciate those onsens (hot springs). You can also go skiing or snowboarding and have the best chance of seeing snow-capped Mount Fuji.  

In summer , it is steaming hot and humid (and June is the rainiest month), but there are fewer foreign tourists around and lots of local festivals to enjoy. It’s also the best time to visit the many beaches and the only time you can climb Mount Fuji. 

The most popular and best overall times to visit Japan are spring (March-April) and autumn (October – early December). This is when you can enjoy the gorgeous cherry blossoms (sakura) or autumn leaves (koyo). It’s more crowded and expensive, but the weather can be ideal and it is just stunning. 

See our guide to visiting the Kyoto cherry blossoms for more information on the popular sakura season. 

On our recent autumn trip, we had warm weather (up to 77ºF/25ºC) with very little rain from October until mid-November, when the temperature in Kyoto suddenly plummeted ahead of the leaves turning colour.

Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms at the Arakurayama Sengen Park in the Fuji Five Lakes area

Shoulder seasons May and late-September/early October  are also good times to visit with warm weather and lower crowds.

Two times of year I would avoid for a vacation to Japan are:

Golden Week in early May – In 2024, Golden Week is from 27 April – 6 May. This is a series of national holidays so many Japanese travel domestically, trains and hotels book up, and popular spots will be extra crowded.

New Year – Late December to early January. This is also a busy time with local travellers and most businesses close for up to four days.

How long do you need in Japan? As long as possible!

There is so much to see—we have spent months in the country and still have a long bucket list.

For first time visitors, I recommend visiting Japan for two weeks. This is enough time to see some highlights—Tokyo, Kyoto, and one or two smaller destinations. See our Japan two week itinerary for suggestions.

A week is the minimum time I recommend for a Japan trip. For a more relaxed Japan vacation, spend the whole week in Tokyo or Kyoto and take day trips. Or if you don’t mind rushing about, visit both major cities with an overnight stop on the way (such as Hakone).

Read our guide on the best places to visit in Japan to decide where interests you most and come up with an itinerary. You’ll find some suggestions at the end of this guide.

Watch this video for Japan trip ideas.

  • Check if you need a visa . Visa-free travel is possible for citizens of 68 countries for stays of up to 90 days (including US, UK, Canada, Australia and the EU). Do have a return or onward flight out of the country as they may grill you upon arrival. It was the nicest immigration interrogation we’ve ever had, though.
  • Purchase your Japanese Rail Pass exchange order before you travel to Japan (if needed, more on that later).
  • Learn some Japanese —numbers are especially useful! While you can get by with Google Translate, it’s much more fun to learn some Japanese (which isn’t as hard as you might think) and locals really appreciate it. We are currently learning with the comprehensive Rocket Japanese online course , which includes audio lessons with natural dialogue, grammar and culture tips, and voice recognition to test your pronunciation. It’s a little pricey but unlike most subscription-based courses, you get lifetime access and discounts are often available.
  • Get an International Driving Permit . You’ll need this for go-karting on the real Tokyo roads dressed as your favourite character. Insanity but one of the most fun things we’ve done in Japan.
  • Arrange travel insurance. Healthcare is expensive in Japan, so make sure you are covered in case the worst happens. We’ve used and recommend Heymondo and  SafetyWing (both available worldwide). 

Safetywing travel insurance

  • Apply for a Mastercard credit or debit card – If you don’t already have one. Some Japanese websites don’t work with Visa so it’s good to have a backup. We used a Starling Bank debit card (UK only), which has free international transactions and cash withdrawals.
  • Walk as much as possible – You will walk a lot in Japan cities so it helps to get some training in beforehand (and wear in some comfy shoes).
  • Practice using chopsticks – You’ll need them to eat in almost every restaurant (curry is the exception as it’s eaten with a spoon). Getting used to sitting on the floor is a good idea for some restaurants and experiences too.

Vegan ramen at Chabuzen in Tokyo

  • Buy a pre-paid transport IC card  for local trains, metro and buses. You just tap on and off and don’t have to worry about buying a ticket. In Kyoto and Osaka, it’ll be an ICOCA card, and in Tokyo, it’s a Suica or Pasmo, but you can use any of the cards all over the country. Physical cards are currently in short supply (due to a chip shortage), so I recommend adding Suica to Apple Wallet on your phone or watch. Visa doesn’t work as a payment method so use Apple Pay, Mastercard, or American Express to top up. We just tapped on transport with our Apple watch and didn’t even need to open the app. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for Android phones bought outside Japan.
  • Set up an Airalo eSIM – You’ll want affordable data on your phone as having access to maps and Google Translate makes life so much easier. A digital eSIM is simple to set up before you arrive and prices at Airalo start at just US$4.50. We used it on our last Japan trip and it worked great. If your phone doesn’t support eSIMs, you can buy a physical Umobile SIM from a vending machine at Tokyo Narita Airport (make sure your phone is unlocked).
  • Sign up to the Timeout Tokyo newsletter – To learn about special events during your stay.

Meeting Totoro at the bar at Ghibli Park in Nagoya, Japan

  • Buy tickets for Ghibli Museum and Ghibli Park – If you are a Studio Ghibli fan, you might want to visit the museum in Tokyo or new park in Nagoya. It’s essential to book ahead. See below for details.
  • Research what else to book in advance – Many attractions and restaurants in Japan require advance booking so decide what’s important to you (ideally at least three months ahead) and set reminders for when bookings are available. At the end of this post you can see the timescale for what we booked for our latest trip.

Simon dressed up as Yoshi on our go karting experience in Tokyo

  • Consider a Japan Rail Pass . The luxury of shinkansen (bullet train) hopping is exhilarating. No need to book seats in advance, just choose a train, wave your pass and hop on. These passes are only available to foreigners and you can order online from  JRailPass.com . Read our guide to whether a Japan Rail Pass is worth it for everything you need to know after the price increase in October 2023 (it’s still worth it for some trips if you are travelling a lot).

Hello Kitty Shinkasen bullet train in Japan

  • Bow if you are being bowed to . If you can manage it too, don’t turn your back upon exit. Don’t overdo it though or you’ll be a total gaijin , no need to bow to the supermarket checkout person!
  • Pre-book accommodation. Wise anyway as the more affordable accommodation fills up fast, but also in line with the whole respect thing, Japanese people like to be prepared for your arrival.  So don’t just randomly rock up at a ryokan for the night! Booking.com is our favourite site for finding hotels and guesthouses, and we also use AirBnb and Vrbo  to find apartments in the big cities (which are often cheaper than hotels). See our Japan accommodation guide for recommendations.

Hotel Mushashiya ryokan in Hakone

  • Go onsening! You might want to skip this in summer as hot doesn’t even come close to describing the water temperatures! But soaking in a hot spring is one of the most typical things to do in Japan and is ultra relaxing once you get over your fears of public nudity (yep, no clothes allowed!). Best of all, visit an onsen town where you can onsen-hop dressed in a kimono. See our Kinosaki Onsen travel guide for details on this lovely onsen town as well as hot spring etiquette. 

Erin in kimono by the cherry blossom lined canal in Kinosaki Onsen

  • Stay in a ryokan (traditional inn). Pricey but worth it for at least a night or two for the unique experience and the amazing meals that are often included in the room rates (and many can cater for vegetarians/vegans). Our favourite ryokan is Tsukihitei in Nara, so traditional and with a magical forest setting. We also loved our private bath overlooking the scarlet maple trees at Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo in Kyoto (book a suite not a standard room). More budget-friendly options are Hotel Musashiya in Hakone, where our room and onsen had a view of Lake Ashi, and Morizuya Ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen, which is perfect for onsen-hopping.
  • Stay in a traditional tatami mat room.  If you can’t stay in a ryokan, a much cheaper way to stay in one is a traditional room in K’s House hostels—they have branches in Hakone  (with onsen), Kyoto , Izu Peninsula (in a 100-year-old building with onsen), and all over the country. We never had a bad experience with this hostel chain in our budget travel days.

Suite overlooking maple trees at Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo in Kyoto, Japan

  • Appreciate the zen-like calm on all modes of transport – no need for quiet only carriages here! Just remember that it’s rude to speak on your phone on trains in Japan.
  • Use Google Translate . Many people don’t speak English, so the Google Translate app is helpful for communicating. Write what you want to say in English then show the Japanese translation to the person. Even more impressive is the feature to translate images—point your camera at a sign, menu, or food label and it translates the text instantly. It’s not perfect but when it works, it’s brilliant.
  • Translate websites too – Many Japanese websites (especially restaurants) are only in Japanese so using Chrome or Safari, refresh the page and select the English option at the top. On Safari on my iPhone, I tend to select a block of text and tap translate from the popup.
  • See some sumo . If you’re lucky enough to be in the country when one of the sumo tournaments is on, go! The pre/ post game rituals are fascinating to watch. If you aren’t there during a tournament, you can see a practice session at a sumo stable in Tokyo . It was one of our favourite experiences in Japan—it felt like such an honour to see these huge, impressive sumotori training so close.
  • Expect bursts of freakery!

Weird statue in Kyoto - expect bursts of freakery when planning a trip to Japan for the first time

  • Get your paper fortune at a Japanese Buddhist temple. Okay, we cheated and got an English one at the Golden Pavilion (see our guide on the best things do to in Kyoto ), but what the hell! You can also get one at the gorgeous Sensoji Temple in Tokyo . 
  • Love the Japanese for their never-ending capacity to help you out , and they won’t stop until they do!
  • Read these Japan books before you visit for a greater understanding of this weird and wonderful culture. 
  • Have some sushi – Sushi is the essence of Japan, plus sushi-train/ sushi stand up bars are so much fun watching the chefs take your order, and all shout in unison, “samon!” or “tamago!” etc. Vegetarian sushi isn’t very common, but we did find some—see our vegetarian Japanese food guide .

Simon wearing a kimono for our vegetarian sushi feast at Morizuya Ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen

  • Appreciate the plastic food models as works of art!
  • Pack slip-on shoes. You’ll be taking your shoes on and off a lot in temples and restaurants. I wear the comfy ballet flats Allbirds Tree Breezers in warmer weather and Allbirds Wool Runner sneakers (for men and women) in cooler weather—they keep your feet cosy but can be worn without socks and easily slipped off without untying the laces. See my detailed Allbirds review .
  • Shop at the 100 Yen shops.  Like pound shops BUT BETTER! Daiso is a great one.
  • Play in the arcades dotted around cities, the taiko drum game rocks! 
  • Make use of the many vending machines EVERYWHERE . You will never go thirsty in Japan that’s for sure.  You can even get hot coffee…in a can! (Simon’s saviour when we had early morning trains to catch.) In fact, you can get friggin’ anything from vending machines from cheap 100 yen sake (yuk!) to hot chips (not surprisingly we did not try!) and SIM cards. In Tokyo you can use your Suica transport card to pay. 
  • Press random buttons on the panel next to you on the loo . It will make you giggle ;o)!  Also, if it’s cold then appreciate the absolute miracle of heated toilet seats.
  • Fall in love with seeing toriis (shrine gates) everywhere , especially small red ones in rows behind each other. Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is our favourite (but go early as it’s popular). 
  • Love and appreciate the beautiful presentation of absolutely everything from the amazing architecture to the way bento boxes are wrapped in a napkin tied in a knot just so, to amazing manhole covers!
  • Pack light.  It will be much easier to hop on and off trains while travelling around Japan if you pack light, and hotels have limited storage space for luggage. Best of all, travel with just carry-on luggage . The Away Bigger Carry-On was perfect for our trip and fit overhead in trains.

Erin and Simon with their Away bigger carry on suitcases in Japan

  • Consider luggage shipping – We haven’t used this yet, but if you have large luggage, it’s common to send it between hotels (it takes a day, so pack essentials in an overnight bag).
  • Withdraw cash from 7-11 ATMs.  They are the most reliable no-fee option for international cards and can be found everywhere. Make sure you always have cash on hand as many places don’t accept credit cards (although this is improving). Note that some 7-11 ATMs in popular spots (the airport, Gion), do now charge, so try to withdraw in less touristy areas.
  • Use Navitime to check train times and prices (and to work out if a Japan Rail Pass is worth it for your itinerary ).
  • Visit BIC Camera if you need any kind of electronics. These massive stores have everything you could imagine. Take your passport if you are making a large purchase (over 5000 yen) and get it tax free. I bought a camera here and ended up getting lots of extra discounts and free accessories. It’s also a good place to buy a SIM card if you didn’t pick one up at the airport.

DON’T:

  • Rent a car – For most visitors the best way to travel Japan is by train. Elsewhere we love road trips, but renting a car in Japan is just not worth the hassle unless you are travelling far off the beaten track.
  • Open the door if taking a taxi. They are either automated or the driver will open it for you. It’s also a good idea to have your destination’s address written down in Japanese to show the driver as most don’t speak English.
  • Feel bad if you need to take a break from Japanese food – Japan isn’t always an easy destination and indulging in a comfort meal can be restorative (we’ve had some excellent pizza in Japan).

Pizzeria Yuki in Kyoto Japan

  • Forget to check opening hours – Japanese restaurants aren’t usually open all day and both restaurants and attractions usually have a last order/entry 30 to 60 minutes before closing.
  • Go whizzing around the country too much. It can save energy to base yourself in one place and take day trips as we did in Kyoto and Okayama .
  • Wear holey socks. You’ll only be embarrassing yourself when you take your shoes on/ off constantly!
  • Go into an onsen without washing first , that’s just dirty dude!  Also, don’t go into the bathing area with a towel wrapped around you, you’ll just look stupid. Embrace the nudity! Everyone’s naked so no-one cares. My Kinosaki Onsen guide has more etiquette tips for newbies.

Autumn themed dishes and chefs at work at Monk restaurant in Kyoto

Japan is a popular destination and many hotels, restaurants, and attractions book up in advance. While you can still have a wonderful last-minute trip, it’s worth researching what you’d like to do months in advance to see what needs reservations.

On our most recent trip to Japan (in the busy autumn October/November season), this is what we booked ahead:

5 Months Before

  • Flights – This is personal preference and earlier or later could also work. Tokyo Narita (NRT), Tokyo Haneda (HND), or Kansai International Airport in Osaka (KIX) are all good options to fly in to.
  • Accommodation – Ryokans and hotels in smaller towns are most important to book ahead. Some hotels don’t take bookings more than 3 or 6 months in advance, though. We used Booking.com and almost all had free cancellation.

4 Months Before

  • Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta – Our favourite place to stay in Japan is right inside the best Disney park in the world. Rooms go on sale 4 months in advance at 11am JST and sell out in minutes, so it’s essential to do some practice runs.

3 Months Before

  • Harry Potter Studio Tour, Tokyo – We booked 7 weeks in advance and only got an afternoon slot, so earlier is a good idea. Check Klook and the Warner Bros Studio Tour website as they have different availability.

2 Months Before

  • Ghibli Park , Nagoya – Tickets go on sale on the 10th of the month at 2pm JST for 2 months later (it changed recently from 3 months). So May tickets will be on sale on 10 March. These sell out quickly, so be prepared.
  • Teamlab Planets , Tokyo – Book early if you want a specific time for this interactive digital art exhibition (we wanted the first slot). We booked on Get Your Guide . The new TeamLab Borderless is also selling out fast (tickets available on Klook or direct ).
  • Some Restaurants – We booked Monk in Kyoto exactly 2 months in advance at 12pm JST (after five attempts) and Shigetsu in Kyoto (as we were visiting during peak autumn colour). Creating a Tablecheck account is a good idea as quite a few restaurants use it for bookings.
  • Saihoji (Moss Temple) , Kyoto – It’s expensive and might not be a priority with limited time in Kyoto, but it’s our favourite temple. Reservations open 2 months in advance.
  • Universal Studios Japan Express Passes – These are essential to skip the lines at this very busy park in Osaka, and they do sell out. We bought the Express Pass 7 – Backdrop and Spiderman on Klook (much easier than the official site which is in Japanese only). We bought our USJ entrance tickets on Klook at the same time. See our Universal Studios Japan guide for more tips.

how much to visit tokyo japan

1 Month Before

  • Ghibli Museum , Tokyo – Available at 10am JST on the 10th of each month for the following month.
  • Shibuya Sky , Tokyo – Bookings open 4 weeks in advance at midnight Japan time. Book fairly soon after that to get the peak slot (one hour before sunset).
  • Tours – I booked a sumo stable visit (highly recommended) and Shinjuku bar hopping tour in Tokyo. Go-karting is another fun option we’ve done before. I used Get Your Guide for most tours. Klook is a good option for tickets and attractions too.
  • Tea Ceremony Ju-an , Kyoto – Learn the traditions of tea in a temple. One of the highlights of our trip.
  • Sakurai Tea Experience , Tokyo – If you love green tea, don’t miss the tea tasting at this modern tea room.
  • More Restaurants – I booked Saido in Tokyo, Uzu Vegan Ramen in Kyoto (reservations essential), and Ristorante di Canaletto at DisneySea (one month in advance at 10am JST exactly).
  • Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland tickets – I booked on Klook. The parks probably won’t sell out, but we didn’t want to take the chance.
  • Japan Rail Pass – If you decide to get one, allow plenty of time for your exchange order to arrive by post, just in case (you activate it on arrival).

2 Weeks Before

  • Shinkansen Train Seat Reservations – We used the SmartEx website , which can be difficult to set up (use a Mastercard and keep trying to authenticate the payment method) but very handy. When booking a train from Tokyo to Kyoto, choose a seat on the right side of the train for Mt Fuji views (if clear). If you have large suitcases, you’ll also need to make an oversized baggage reservation .
  • Airport Taxi Pickup – From Narita Airport we get the Narita Express train, but from Haneda Airport (which is closer to central Tokyo), we prefer a taxi for ease. We booked this Haneda airport pickup on Klook .
  • More Tours and Restaurants – Book any more priorities as you finalise your itinerary.

Takayama, one of the best stops on our Japan 2 week itinerary

Japan has so much to offer but here are a few places to get you started.

  • Tokyo – The best of modern Japan. This huge city has incredible food, diverse neighbourhoods, and some unique experiences. Try these cool things to do in Tokyo and enjoy the best vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo . 
  • Kyoto – The best of traditional Japan with many stunning temples to explore . Read the best things to do in Kyoto .
  • Takayama – A smaller, quieter alternative for traditional Japan with a beautiful historic centre of preserved wooden houses. 
  • Hakone – For the chance to see Mount Fuji, mountain scenery, lakes, onsens, and fun transport options (cable cars and pirate ships!). 
  • Kawaguchiko – Even better views of Mount Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko . 
  • Nikko – Stunning temples in the forest. Could be visited as a day trip from Tokyo. 
  • Hiroshima – Visit the moving peace memorial that commemorates the atomic bombing and don’t miss nearby Miyajima Island. 

See our Japan 2 Week Itinerary for a detailed guide to visiting many of these places including things to do, transport, and where to stay and eat.

Or our guide to the best places to go in Japan has more ideas.

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170 Comments

Thank you for this insightful site. My daughter (who is in the Navy) is taking me to Japan for one week at the end of September. She has already purchased the plane tickets and taken leave. We are flying into Narita, and wanted to spend some time in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka. Does that seem too ambitious for the time we have (Sept. 24 – Oct. 2)? Also, do you recommend getting first class tickets for the bullet train in order to be sure we can get reservations? I have to admit, planning this trip feels a bit overwhelming, so your site and help are appreciated more than you can know! Thank you!

Reply ↓

I do think that’s a bit much in that time frame. I would skip Osaka or just visit on a day trip from Kyoto if you have the energy.

First class (called the Green Car) is a bit more comfortable and spacious and we sometimes like to book it for longer train trips. You aren’t more likely to get a reservation though – you can reserve the regular cars just as easily. You shouldn’t have a problem getting reservations at that time of year a few days in advance.

You can just go to the train station when you get to Tokyo and book them all at the counter (it helps to write down which trains you want). Queues can be long though. There are also self service machines but they can be confusing.

We now prefer to use the SmartEx website to book the shinkansen: https://smart-ex.jp/en/ It can be hard to get the credit card set up at the beginning but keep trying (Mastercard often works better than Visa on Japanese websites). Then once you’ve booked you can collect the tickets from machines at the station which is pretty easy.

Good luck with all the planning! Erin

Hi, Good Day! Great Information for people read this including me. Arigatou Gozaimasu. I wish i can go travel to Japan Its my Dreams when i was kid 7 years old when i already know and read Manga books Doraemon. Geertings from Indonesia.

THanks for your recommendation on hotels and restaurants, i know something about it.

Thank you for the lovely Japan Blogs – it is making our travel planning fun! It would be really helpful to understand the areas to stay in within the cities, especially first time travelers to Japan.

Thanks JK! Our Kyoto guide has tips on the best area to stay (Gion or downtown) and in Tokyo, we recommend Shinjuku for first time visitors. Enjoy Japan!

Wow, an amazing blog, Erin. This is helping us so much plan our trip. It is great to see you updating it regularly too. It’s becoming a daily read.

Kind regards,

Thanks so much for this post! As is often the case I am following you around the world and now I’m going to Japan. Look forward to reading everything you’ve written on it!

Good to hear you are going to Japan, Ruth! I hope you enjoy it as much as we always do!

We are a very active retired couple and love exploring different cultures, sights, and exploring nature. We are planning on going to Japan for the first time for 3 -4 weeks, around the third week or so in Sept to mid October or later. We will travel with just carry on luggage and backpacks. We love touring on our own, or booking individual tours at the different places. We are open to basing in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima(?) plus other places and doing day trips from these places. What would be a good itinerary for our 21+ day trip? Thanks so much! We love your website! Bunny

Hi, I lost my comment somewhere on your blog 😅 So, me and my partner are going to Japan for 4-6 weeks in sept/october. We want to travel in a slow pace and want to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, hiking around Kiso Valley (and Kumano Kodo?), Nagano, Kanazawa? We also want to explore some nice nature, visit onsen, sleep at a roykan etc. Hokkaido would be cool but i don’t know if we will have time with that. Do you have any tips where we must go? I think our plan is to be at least 7 days each in Kyoto and Tokyo, we want to stay for minimum 2 nights at each place. Would you recommend to start in Tokyo? Is it worth to start a week in a busy town with jetlag? Should we go somewhere else (where?) for a nice start on the vacation?

Thank you! /Johanna

Hi Johanna!

I’m planning a solo trip from ~May 21-June 21, but i’m worried i’ll hit the rainy season and humidity. What to you advise? I’m limited to May 21st as my earliest trip start date due to school!

I think it makes sense to start with Tokyo if that’s where you are flying in to. That way you don’t have to worry about travelling elsewhere and you have enough time there that you can plan for the first few days to be pretty relaxed – wander some neighbourhoods, eat etc.

Sounds like you have plenty of time to do everything you want. You could easily use that time in central Japan, but you could add in Hokkaido if you really wanted (we still haven’t made it there). Enjoy!

Hi Erin, is it advisable to visit Lake Kawaguchiko in November? And, do you think it is possible to do a day trip to Lake Kawaguchiko having Tokyo as the base?

We haven’t been in November but we definitely would. You will likely see the autumn colours too (generally peak around mid-Nov), which would be beautiful.

It will likely be colder than Tokyo, but as long as you are prepared with warm clothes it should be enjoyable.

And yes, it is possible as a day trip from Tokyo – many people go by train or on bus tours. Just be aware that Mt Fuji is often hidden in cloud, so if you stay overnight you increase your chances to see it. But you could also try to choose a clear day for your day trip. Enjoy!

Our Lake Kawaguchiko travel guide has more details.

Thank you for creating this! I’m making my way through reading all of your posts. I will be visiting Japan for 14 days for the first weeks in April with my husband, a 7 year old, 10 year old and my two of my adult siblings. We’ll be a big group but I’m very excited as this is my first time and have always dreamed of going. Wondering if you have any advice for the younger kids or any kid entertainment? Thanks again!

Travelling with kids isn’t our area of expertise so I don’t have any specific recommendations except for Tokyo Disney, which we love. Tokyo DisneySea is our favourite park—it’s the only one in the world and has plenty to offer for kids and adults. Enjoy!

Absolutely love this perspective on travel! It beautifully captures the essence of what it means to explore the world. Travel isn’t just about ticking off destinations; it’s about slowing down, immersing yourself in new cultures, savoring moments, and absorbing the rich tapestry of life that the world has to offer. 🌍✈️🌏

Thank you so much for this! I have started notes and saved the page so that I can come back and check out all the links. :) I am wanting to take my 14 (would be 15 then) daughter alone (we do girl’s trips every year without dad) to Japan. She loves all things Cherry Blossoms! We try and do her spring break time (next year will be the first week of April), but I am concerned about that being too short of time period. Could we do it? If that is all the time you had, would you have a ‘base in Tokyo and then do some excursions from there (which is how we like to travel)? I am also worried about the language barrier and us being able to navigate since sometimes Google translate will not work. Thanks again!

Hi Jennifer, With one week I would focus on Kyoto, which is a better location for cherry blossoms and also has so many beautiful temples and gardens. It’s more traditional Japan (although there is a modern part too). Ideally, you’d fly into Kansai Airport which is closest.

If you have to fly into Tokyo, you could spend a few nights there before taking the shinkansen train to Kyoto (the quickest one is just over 2 hours).

If you really want to see the more modern side of Japan or don’t want to take the train, then Tokyo would be a great base. You can still see plenty of cherry blossoms there.

We don’t speak Japanese (although we are trying to learn this year) and have always managed. The Japanese are very helpful and will always try to help you out, even with a language barrier. And there are an increasing number of signs in English. Just make sure you have data on your phone as Google Translate and Maps are super helpful (you can download Japanese offline in Translate too).

Be sure to book accommodation far in advance for the cherry blossom season (ideally 6 months+).

Enjoy Japan! Erin

Hi Erin, My husband & I are travelling to Japan in August as he is competing in the world masters swimming competition. We have to be in Fukuoka for the competition and then he have 9 days to explore the country ending up in Tokyo for our flight home. Could you advise what we should do at this time of year. Do you think it is sensible to base ourselves in Kyoto and then take daily trips from there using the JR Pass, (do you recommend we get the Green pass). Your advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.Pia

Hi Pia, that’s exciting!

If you don’t want to move around too much then I do think Kyoto is a great base. There’s so much to do (including festivals in August) and lots of possible day trips. You could finish up with a couple of nights in Tokyo.

If you want to add some extra places you could stop in Hiroshima on the way to Kyoto for the peace memorial and nearby Miyajima Island. It’s a quick journey on the bullet train from Fukuoka.

You’ll need to work out your route first to see whether a rail pass is worth it. It probably won’t be worth it for day trips but could work out worthwhile including the shinkansen up from Fukuoka and on to Tokyo.

We’ve never used a green pass but if you want a bit more space you could consider it.

Also bear in mind that around the Obon holiday (13-16 August) the trains will be busier than usual so book your seat in advance.

Enjoy Japan!

Hi Erin – great post, thanks for your comprehensive insight! My partner and I are heading to Tokyo for NYE and planning on heading from there to Kyoto around the 2nd for a couple of nights. I understand that Japan can be very quiet during the first week of January. Do you have any experience travelling at this time? If so, do you have any suggestions about how to make the most of the trip while the country is a bit quieter? Thanks in advance :)

Hi Sarah, We haven’t been to Japan at New Year. The important thing to bear in mind is that many businesses will be closed on some or all days between 29 Dec and 4 Jan. So make sure you look at the hours of any restaurants and attractions you want to visit and work around them.

I think Kyoto will be lovely at a quieter time of year especially as it does get so busy. There are so many temples and shrines to explore and they stay open over NY. Enjoy!

Wonderful website and tips. I know one of your dont´s is rent a car, but we are hoping to visit Shirakawa-go, Gokayama and Takayama, and have found no easy way to get there from Tokyo or Kyoto on train. Do you have any recommendation on how to do that?

Many many thanks¡

Hi Natalia. You can get to Takayama from Kyoto or Tokyo easily by changing trains in Nagoya. The journey from Nagoya to Takayama is beautiful.

The other villages can be reached by bus from Takayama (Shirakawa-go is easiest), but yes, a car would give you more flexibility to explore the countryside around here.

Maybe look into renting a car for a few days in Takayama? Just remember you’ll need an international driving licence, which you’ll need to get in your home country.

While a car could be useful in the countryside, I wouldn’t want to drive in the cities and the train between cities is probably quicker.

I’ve written a bit about Takayama in our 2 week itinerary: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/japan-2-week-itinerary/

Have a wonderful trip to Japan! Erin

Hello Enrin, your tips makes me very enthousiatic to plan a 4week trip to Japan. Is that a good way to tour? (Will be half september-half oktober).

forgot to say ;-) we plan to travel with a campervan: is that a good way to tour?

That’s a great time to visit and a nice amount of time to explore. I don’t think a campervan or any rental car is the best way to travel though. Driving (and finding parking) in the cities is a challenge and it’s much easier to travel by train.

A campervan would only be advisable if you want to focus on rural areas like Hokkaido.

Remember you’ll need an international driving licence, which you’ll need to get in your home country.

Hello Great Blog. full of advices How do you suggest to travel the “alps” from Kanazawa that one can reach by train to takayama and around ? would that be the place where you rent a car?

You can visit places like Kamikochi by bus from Takayama so a car isn’t essential.

Hi Erin, would like to ask is hiring tour guide better or do it yourself to see all nice place in Japan?

It depends how you prefer to travel. I definitely think it’s possible to travel by yourself. A compromise might be to hire a guide for a day (or join a tour) in Kyoto and/or Tokyo.

Good Day Erin. Just doing beginning research for our yearly trip this year, and we are considering Japan. Your excellent article is the first I started with. We like to spend minimum of 2 weeks, usually longer at our destination. You suggest that using public transportation throughout the country and not to rent a car. My husand and I are seniors. My husband has difficulty (pain) after walking a short distance (100 yards). Would this destination be a wise choice for us? Before going further in my research an answer to this question is most appreciated. Regards

Hi Diane, yes, trains are definitely the best way to visit Japan’s cities. You could hire a private driver for day tours within places like Kyoto, though, which could minimise the need to walk as much when sightseeing.

It would probably be best to minimise the places you visit (such as Tokyo and Kyoto or even just Kyoto) as train stations are quite large and do involve walking. If you fly into Kansai airport you could take a taxi to Kyoto and see a lot based there.

Perhaps renting a wheelchair is worth considering. There is also an overnight luggage delivery service where you can send your bags between hotels to make train travel easier.

As we don’t have any experience of travelling Japan with mobility issues, I would look for advice from those who have. Here’s one post that might be useful: https://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+132386

Diane: As someone who recently travelled to Japan having had double knee replacement surgery less than 12 months previously, I can offer a little insight! While I agree that travelling by train is a fantastic way to get around Japan (I covered a LOT of miles!) you should be aware that not all train stations have lifts or escalators. Many stations in Tokyo have quite long flights of stairs which can be a challenge to anyone less able or in pain, especially when you have luggage. Even when there is a lift, it’s typically right at the end of the platform (often the “wrong” end for where you want to be), so I would do some research before deciding how much urban train travel you will do; it’s less of an issue when taking the shinkansen to cover a reasonable distance. I much prefer trains to coaches, but I did use buses in places and that was fine. On the topic of car hire, I probably wouldn’t bother myself but I know someone who travels widely across Japan with a couple of kids and she swears by it, not least because they can easily reach locations that would otherwise be a hassle to get to. She doesn’t use one in the cities though. Lastly, I don’t think you should be put off going to Japan – it’s an amazing country and I found everyone to be unfailingly helpful. No problem is insurmountable!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Sue.

Hello Erin,

Would you recommend visiting Jaoan with a 1.5 year old? Do the onsens have babysitters?

We don’t have any experience travelling with kids but our friends took their toddler and loved it. The onsens don’t have babysitters as far as I know.

Thank so much for all the amazing info! Heading to Japan in June for two weeks with my daughter. It’s especially wonderful to know there are some great vegan/vegetarian options.

Hi Erin… I stumbled onto your website as I’ve started looking into planning for a trip in 2024 for my daughter’s High school Senior trip. Is Mid June a good time weather wise? Super hot? Also, are there food/restaurants that are gluten free for Celiacs? You mentioned beaches are those places more expensive than the cities? I will check out all your links too. TY for all the info, this will truly help.

It will be hot but if that’s the only time you can go, I wouldn’t let it stop you and it’s cooler than July and August.

I don’t have any experience being gluten free in Japan but our friend has written this guide: https://www.legalnomads.com/gluten-free/japan/

Beaches shouldn’t be more expensive than the cities but it depends where you go. We haven’t spent much time at the beaches.

Have a wonderful trip!

hi Erin, lovely website with a lot of good information. Do you list of places to visit / see – for a 4 week trip. We wanted to do the North part of the country as well. thanks for any tips and help. We are vegetarians as well but saw that you all managed to get delicious looking vegetarian food : ).

We haven’t actually made it very far north as there’s always so much to do in the central part. See our guide to the best places to visit in Japan for our favourite places: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/best-places-to-visit-in-japan/

And yes, vegetarian food in Japan is great if you plan in advance (use the Happy Cow app).

Thanks for the info Erin. Cultural.differences are amusing at least.

Thank you so much for this guide Erin! It’s really helpful. I’m planning a 2-3 week trip to Japan around September. However, I’ve read and seen a lot of people saying to avoid this time of year due to typhoon season. Would you recommend visiting Japan around this time despite the typhoons that might hit?

We’ve been in September and enjoyed it. We did get some rain but nothing that disrupted our trip. I wouldn’t let it stop you visiting.

Hello Erin! Great information. Thank you! What percentage of small businesses (resturants, clubs, rooms, etc) are open this month (March)? What percentage may be open in May? Should I wait until September to experience Japan? Take care,

Everything should be open now so any month this year is good to visit!

How easy is it to navigate in Tokyo and Kyoto with a group of 8? We’re concerned about everything from attractions to train travel to being able to eat together. This is a trip to celebrate our friends’ 40th birthday and logistics just seem to be overwhelming!

Hi Laurie We’ve only visited Japan as a couple, but I’d say it might be a bit challenging in a big group. Many restaurants are quite small and trains can be crowded (although you can book seats together for the longer trip between Kyoto and Tokyo).

I’m sure it would be possible if you plan in advance (book some restaurants etc) and maybe break into smaller groups for some of the time. Perhaps discuss what everyone definitely wants to do and do those things together, but then have some time doing your own thing.

Good luck with it and enjoy Japan!

I’ll be visiting Japan for 10 days in March! Could you give me a little insight on the paying methods there? How much cash should I bring/have on hand? Do they mostly accept cash or do most places accept credit cards?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Susan When we visited Japan previously we needed cash for most places. We just withdrew from an ATM (the ones at 7-11 were most reliable for foreign cards) when needed so we didn’t exchange any cash in advance. Just make sure you use a card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees (this will depend which country you are from).

But I have heard that since Covid more places accept credit cards and contactless payment methods, so I’m really hoping there’s less of a need for cash now. I would still recommend always having some with you just in case.

Hello . I want to visit Japan with my 13 year old granddaughter in June. I have never been in Japan, but have traveled widely. We plan to visit Kyoto and its environs mostly but want to spend couple days in Tokyo. We do not speak Japanese but will find a way to learn some. We are coming from the US, but my home country is Finland (very Japan friendly :)). We definitely want to get bullet train passes and need to learn about cell phone communication. And we are both into adventure and are looking forward to seeing Japan. Thank you for any advice you can give us.

I plan to visit Japan soon, spiritualy a home I have never been to yet. This is due to my work and my partners need for beach and sun. I’m hoping I can convince her soon to travel with me there. Or it’s over… the Japanese have a way of life with nature that we miss here in the UK….. I have so much respect for the people of Japan. We could learn a thing or two….. I plan to beg konami tsukamoto to mentor me in order I can preserve British trees as she does her native species…… much respect.

Excellent post Erin. You’ve included some great examples of things specific to Japan that it would be great to know in advance for new travellers.

I especially liked your recommendation not to try and cram too much in and whiz around the country. This is a common mistake people make when visiting Japan. Also, not wearing socks with holes in! Once you’ve done this in Japan, you’ll never do it again LOL!

Also, an upvote for your suggestion to visit Takayama – a wonderful place that has a charming historical district that’s like stepping back in time.

Good information given u

I’m doing a project on Japan for school, your posts on Japan were all SUPER helpful- thank you so much!

Glad it helped!

Hello We are looking to travel to Tokyo with out 2 year old in October. We were told that we would need to book travel guides for us to have a visa to enter in Japan. As great as that all sounds, it’s also more then we intend to spend for our trip. How true is needing the visa to enter Japan? Should we do a tour guide for a couple days? If that is allowed.

Hi Vee, As things currently stand, Japan’s borders are still closed to independent travellers. You can only enter the country as part of a package tour that is very restrictive (you can’t do any exploring alone), and, yes, it would be expensive. You would need a guide for the whole trip.

There is a chance borders will reopen by October but really there’s no way of knowing right now. If you decide to go ahead and book in the hope they do reopen, I would make sure everything has free cancellation.

So I’m trying to plan a trip to Japan with my family next year July (4kids) but I keep hearing super expensive, anyways nanny suggestions on where or how to plan n book.? Also my chance do you have any info on Tokyo Disneyland?

yes, japan can be quite expensive but if you plan your stay well and get a rail pass if you’re hopping between cities then you should be able to manage it :)

Should we rent a car or is public transportation the preferred mode of transportation for tourists?

Public transport is easier to deal with. I wouldn’t rent a car unless you are going somewhere remote.

Is it better to custom plan everything? Like book 2-3 week stay and go whichever places we want to visit ourselves or get a package that offer planned trips?

I think it’s best to book everything yourself, but it really depends on how much experience you have travelling and how much time you have to plan it all.

I’m going to Shinjuku. Next year in June this has really helped thank you

This helped so much, im going to Japan in 2 years with my dad (to film a documentary) and this helped so much

Thanks Lillee and have a great trip!

I’d love all the great tips, but should add make sure that you keep eyed out on your train timetable…I’d went to the Takayama Festival and didn’t watch my time. I’d miss my train and got stuck in Nagoya for six half hours trying to get back to Asakusa. (Never again?)…watch your JR Rail or Metro timetable. Japan trains are on point.

Oh no, what a nightmare!

Bravo, your article full of good advice with beautiful pictures. A small precision for foreigners who wish to drive in Japan, they have to translate their driving license at a JAF center.

Now this I call a detailed guide! We are hoping to visit Japan next year so I am gathering all the info I can before I start any serious planning. This post was really helpful!

Thanks Julia! Good luck with your planning!

Hi thanks for sharing this Me & my nephew are planning to visit japan for the 1st time this September can you pls recommend any place to stay or eat and should we do tour or should we go on our own ? We kinda nervous abt the trip .

You should be fine without a tour. The train system is very comfortable and efficient and if you buy a rail pass, you don’t even have to worry about buying tickets for each trip. If you ever get confused, the Japanese are very friendly and will help you out.

Here are a few posts that should give you some ideas on where to go with accommodation and restaurant recommendations: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/japan-2-week-itinerary/ https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/best-places-to-visit-in-japan/

Good luck and enjoy!

Wonderful and very Insightful Information.

I am a solo traveler from India, planning to travel to Japan for this first time, this summer for about 7-8 nights (June’2020), do you recommend going through some tour company or going on my own. How difficult is managing through Japan, without any knowing any Japaneses. Would you have a recommendation for a tour company.

I think Japan is fairly easy to manage without a tour company. The trains are a great way to travel and with a rail pass you don’t even need to worry about buying a ticket each time.

It helps to buy a local SIM card so you can use Google Translate on your phone. The Japanese are also usually very helpful even if they only speak a little English. We only speak a few words of Japanese are always manage fine.

Hello Erin, this is very useful. Thank you for sharing. Can you suggest us an 8 days itinerary for Japan. We’re visiting Japan for the first time and wish to enjoy the natural beauty and culture.

I would probably just focus on Kyoto and Tokyo in that time, perhaps with some day trips. Enjoy!

Hi! I’ve already been to Japan 2 times in the summer. The first time I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and the Island of Shôdoshima. The second time I browsed a bit more around Tokyo and in the countryside (mainly in the Gunma prefecture – gorgeous landscapes!). I am going back in February. Two places I will visit for sure are Yokohama (first stop) and Sendai (2nd stop). And I and am wondering if there are “musts” I should not miss at that time of year (are snow festivals worth it? Or anything else?) and if it would be worth it to go as far south as Hiroshima? I should have about 12 days for Sendai onwards. I haven’t decided yet if I am going to fly back to Canada out of Tokyo (I could fly out from elsewhere too). Many thanks for your help and for sharing all of this! You’re doing a tremendous job!

Honestly this guide is incredible. I’ve booked marked this as I’m currently planning my things to do for March/April 2020! Any website booking recommendations?

Thanks Alyssa! Spring is such a lovely time in Japan.

Do you mean websites for booking accommodation or tours? We use Booking.com for hotels, Airbnb for apartments (in the big cities like Tokyo), and Voyagin for tours. You might find this post helpful: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/things-to-do-in-japan/

Good afternoon! I’m planning a 1-month trip to japan in two years and would like to know how much money you think I should save up. I already have the places I wanna visit in mind and would just like some bit of info.

Thank you. :)

That’s a difficult question to answer as it depends so much on your travel style. Do you want to stay in hostels or fancy ryokan or a mix of both? Do you want to do expensive tours and activities or are you happy just wandering? Are you happy with cheap ramen or do you want to try a pricey kaiseki meal?

As a rough idea, on this two week itinerary ( https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/japan-2-week-itinerary/ ) we spent about US$120 per person a day which I’d say is a mid-range budget. There is more info in the itinerary post.

“Well there it is” I shouted as I scrolled through this fantastic information resource. An superb honest, unbiased view and answer to all, yes all, my questions. Except one…. Did you get to visit Okinawa? I desperate to get there… I will have 3-4 weeks….

Thank you so much Brian!

Unfortunately, we haven’t visited Okinawa yet. You’ll have plenty of time to add on a flight down there though. Enjoy Japan!

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

Thanks Brian!

Those photos of the dog pulling the mans underpants!?! My child was looking at this with me and now he is scarred for life!

Oh dear! You do find some very strange things in Japan.

I really enjoyed the detail you gave on your trip to Japan! This is 100% helpful as someone planning a trip there for the first time.

Thanks and enjoy Japan!

Hi Erin, thank you for taking the time to put all this great info together. One question I have is in regards to Takayama. Did you like it more than Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go, if you went? We originally planned to stop for a night in each place, however, because of availability in Shirakawa-go, we had to switch up our itinerary a little bit. To adjust, we have considered skipping Takayama and just doing Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go, but this makes me think twice. We also have the option of leaving Tokyo a day early (currently booked for 4 full days there) to keep all 3 places in the line-up. Would love to hear your input! Thank you!

I did like Takayama more than Kanazawa. It’s smaller and cuter and is surrounded by countryside. But then I do prefer small towns to big cities so it depends on your preferences. If you can fit it in I would.

We didn’t visit Shirakawa-go in the end. We were thinking of visiting as a day trip on the way between Takayama and Kanazawa but it would have meant having to use buses rather than take the train which we prefer (and we had a rail pass). If we had had time for a night’s stay there it would have been better I think.

Whatever you choose you’ll have an amazing time though!

Thank you so much for your post! It’s incredibly informative :)

I have one question, I am a woman traveling alone is there anything I need to consider? I have heard that Japan is a safe country, as you have the real-life experience, I’d love to hear what you think!

Thank you for your time, and excellent blog post!

I don’t think you need to worry – Japan is a very safe country. Have a great trip!

Nice list, and pretty accurate- thanks for sharing all the info!

I have to say though- DO try non-Japanese food. Things off the top of my head: bread from the local bakeries, 600¥ cake from fancy department stores, Starbucks (the seasonal things!). Pork buns in Yokohama, Pirozhki in Kamakura… The list is endless. Of course eat all the Japanese food too, because it’s amazing too.

But, I’m also so sorry you had such a bad experience (I’ve been there too)! The size of the nan though? Oh-my-god, right? :)

I do think non-Japanese food has improved a lot in recent years. We had some fantastic Italian food on our last trip (as vegetarians it’s a good backup option for us!).

Which places do you wish you would have stayed longer?

Kyoto (even though we had three weeks there!) and Tokyo.

Great list! It’s made me even more excited to get to Japan now!

I love saying ‘moshi moshi’ – i used to hear it when I worked in an international call centre – it’s so much better than plain old ‘hello’!

Excellent post – interesting, funny and very informative! Currently planning my Japan trip, this was a lot of help :)

Have an amazing trip to Japan!

I am visiting my daughter in Singapore and on the way back to the US my wife and I are visiting Japan (3Jun-8Jun). It is only for 5 days so unfortunately our time there will be very short. Originally I wanted to climb Fuji but the guided trip company I emailed claimed they only had a 1 day guided trips and crampons were required. Although we love to hike this may be too much for such a short trip. If anyone has hiked Fuji in crampons in 1 day I would love to hear about the experience. I still want to see Fuji up close, Kyoto, old family member used to live in Nagoya so would like to stop by there and perhaps Hakone. I just started looking for any special events that take place in the first week of June. Looking forward to this trip and a longer one next time.

Hi there :) Loved your post. I’m from Portugal but I’m a Japan fan. Went to Tokyo las year on March but this time I’m planning on 3 weeks travel around Japan. Can you help me? I already have the places to visti but I need help spliting the time… Oh and if yo see any of the plaes below that arenot woth to visit or less mportant please I’d aprreciate if you tell me: – Chiba – Nikko – Nagano and Matsumoto – Kawagoe – Kanagawa – Mt. Fuji (just planning on going near to have a view – Lake Kawaguchiko) – Magome – Takayama – Nagoya – Kyoto – Nara – Osak – Himeji – Hiroshima – Miyajima – Tokyo (and surroundings)

Thank you so much if you can help me.

Kind regards

Hi guys! I’m planning a trip to Japan in January with mum (I know it’s cold over there, but that’s the only break we’ve got!). We’re planning for a stay for around 8 days, any tips on where to go? I heard that an ideal short trip will consist of arriving at Tokyo and departing at Osaka, is that true? I really don’t know much about Japan so any advice is appreciated!

I would focus on Kyoto and Tokyo and take the train between them. Maybe include a day in Osaka if you can get a flight out from there.

We’ve written lots more about Japan: http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/japan-round-up/

Good advice. I hope to use this on my up come trip.

This is a great post! It is very helpful. I am planning to go to Tokyo this June. I will be staying in Shibuya/Shinjuku area. I don’t know which hotel to stay in and where to go first. Do you have any advice for the first time traveler? Thank you very much! :)

I am planning a trip in March 2015. Reading your website has got me extra excited already

Hi Matthew, I’m planning to travel to Japan at the beginning of March 2015 as well. If you got any great idea, we can discuss. Thanks

I am planning a trip to Kyoto to see where Reiki was started, your insights are great. Thank you

Are you house sitting for a friend or do you use a website to find/sign up for sitting jobs?

We used mindmyhouse.com

Hi guys, great blogs-thank you for sharing it. We’re planning to do a trip in December 2013 14-27/12.

Could you advise which cities we should visit using the shinkansen. We have 14 days to spend with the first 3 days in Tokyo, so it’ll leave us with 11 days in other cities.

I am confused with the the shinkansen map and which one we should take and which cities we can visit that is on the way. We are targetting to return to Tokyo on the last 3 days to do some shopping.

It is basically that 8 days, we need to use to the cities that can be visited using the shinkansen line.

Thank you in advance for your help

Hi Hemmy. I wrote up an itinerary I followed with a one-week JR Pass that might be of some help. It includes other useful tips for planning as well. Find it at:

http://www.lengthytravel.com/saving-on-travel-in-japan-with-a-jr-rail-pass-my-itinerary-tips-and-cost-savings/

Hi Jeff, thank you for your prompt reply. I really appreciate it. You’re really helpful

This site is really helpful about Japan and shows a route map: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018.html

I would definitely recommend Kyoto and probably Hiroshima as well. These are the details of where we visited: http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/japan-round-up/ .

Have a great trip!

Hi I was wondering if you could help. Basically I want to pay my mum and dad back for being such brilliant parents and helping me bring up my little boy. My dad went to Japan about 40 yrs ago he has always wanted to go back. I want to plan a surprise trip next year to Japan. I’m planning about 10 or 14 days away but not too much travelling maybe a few days in 3 places and ending up in Tokyo for 4 days to finish . Can you recommend anywhere that would be a must. I am completely lost as am not familiar with hotels or places etc. Any help would be brilliant Thanks nadya :)

It really depends what you are interested in but I’d definitely recommend Kyoto as well as Tokyo. Have a read through our Japan posts and see what you like the sound of. Good luck with it.

Thanks had a look and they’re into history so definitely Kyoto . Cheers for ur help Nadya

I going to Japan next year and through out my researches I always came across those dos an don’ts and I have to say this is really nice and short one but has a lot of information in it, which is something I really like! Keep up the good work ;D

Thanks and have a great trip.

Hello, i am starting a trip around the world in february. I start in Tokio and end in Canada in december. How many days do i need to see Tokyo and are there some real good hidden secrets? Gr. Bert

That’s a difficult question. There is so much to do in Tokyo you could spend a few days or months. We didn’t spend that much time there so can’t really advise.

Hello, with one of your Dos its not mushy mushy its moshi moshi aka (もしもし). I’ve been leaning japanese for about 9 years now i was wondering id you could correct it please

ありがとうございます (^_^)

Done. Thanks for letting us know.

Your topic is amazing, I learned a lot but can you tell me what money should i required for 1 month to travel in Japan.

It’s hard to say but you can see our budget post for an idea of what we spent: http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-travel-in-japan/

Very nice and interesting article plus points. Japan is a place I really have wanted to go forever!

I am planning a 10 day trip with my two teenage girls. We really want to see Tokyo well. I keep hearing about Kyoto is it worth seeing, it seems far from Tokyo (8hrs) and expensive to get to?

I don’t think it’s that far if you get the bullet train. You can look up train times and prices on this website: http://www.hyperdia.com/ . You might also want to consider a rail pass if you are planning to visit other places. Compare the prices on that site with the rail pass.

Great Post. I lived in Japan for a few years and loved it. I would suggest going to any matsuri (festival) that are going on during your stay. There is lots of culture to be seen at those events. Plus there is good food. Depending on the location you’re at in Japan, during August or September, there are festivals for Obon.

In the planning stages for 9 days in Japan during June 2012 (flights booked). Can anyone help me with how long to see Hiroshima/Miyajima and whether we should base in Osaka or Kyoto to do the Osaka / Kyoto / Nara and possibly Takayama?

Hi Leonie, Two days would be enough for Hiroshima/Miyajima. I would chose Kyoto as a base as we much preferred it to Osaka and there’s more to see there. You can easily visit Osaka and Nara as day trips. We didn’t go to Takayama but it is quite a bit further away so it’s up to you how much you want to rush around. You could definitely find enough to do in Kyoto with a week.

Very useful! I wish I could go soon!!! Do you recommend any specific time in the year?

We were there in summer which suited us as we like hot weather. It is more scenic in the spring or autumn as you have the cherry blossoms or autumn leaves. The spring is peak season though. My friend went in the winter and loved it as the snow is beautiful, you can ski, and you can warm up in onsens (it was too hot for those when we were there). It really depends what you are looking for but anytime has something to offer.

I think Japan is going to be my next trip abroad, and this list is extremely helpful. I love that it addresses those smaller opportunities and moments and not just the big sites to see. Bookmarking right now!

Glad you found it helpful. Yes, for us travel is always more than just about the big sites. So far we are really enjoying Japan and soaking up the cultural differences.

Oh I forgot one of the highlights of Kyoto (besides the monkey park) is a trip on a little train that takes you outside of Kyoto and up into the mountains to Kurama and Kibune. You can then do a walk up over the hills from one village through to one of the big shrines at the other village. There are onsens at the end to rest in. A really lovely walk out in the countryside and the train trip is so much fun.

Sounds wonderful!

We stayed in Kyoto in 2008 for a week and went back there last year for a quick day during a week long trip to Osaka. The best thing about Kyoto is it’s location to other places for day trips – Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himiji (although the castle is covered in scaffolding). You can get a cheaper Kansai Japan rail pass for four days (about $80?) to get to all these places.

Make sure you get to the Nishiki Market for fresh food – our post at is a big band width one with loads of pictures and we have more posts on our trip last year. Also, the rice burger at MOS burger is vegetarian and yum.

We will be in Tokyo from Sep 23 for a week of exploring Tokyo and surrounds. Thanks for the onsen tips nearby, will be looking for some there.

Thanks for all your tips Alison. Your post on the Nishiki market is fantastic – we will definitely visit although I’m not sure I’ll know what most of the things are! Looks like we’ll be in Tokyo around the same time as you!

Oh yeah, JTB (Japan Travel Bureau) has an excellent series of booklets on different topics. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have Kindle versions, but probably worth the price to pick up one or two. For example: http://www.amazon.com/Look-into-Japan-Your-Pocket/dp/4533013813/ref=pd_sim_b_1

I love Kyoto though it has been years since I was in Japan and longer since I was specifically in Kyoto. My recollection is that it was easier to find English speakers there, though I tend to agree the not speaking the local language is harder in Japan than many places. To make up for that though, the people are probably more willing to be helpful than anywhere else I have ever traveled. Anyway, the number of incredible temples in Kyoto is impressive. Also, if you will be there for the fall foliage (Kouyou in Japanese) you will indeed be fortunate as it is incredible in Kyoto.

I would also point out that Japan is definitely one of the safest places in the world to visit.

Also worth mentioning is that Japan is a country where many towns and cities are famous for something very specific (knives, a certain type of food, pottery, etc.) so always try to find out what a place you are visiting is famous for.

I can’t recall how far away it is from Kyoto, but I think not too far is a place called Takayama which is one of my favorites. Especially if you can make it to the Fall festival which is one of the most impressive festivals in all of Japan, though there are many all around the country and throughout the year. Good festival street food is always available too, though I can’t recall if any of it is vegetarian friendly.

Many famous things in Japan come in 3s – 3 famous gardens, 3 famous shrines, etc. One of the 3 famous shrines is Ise Jingu which is a bit south of Nagoya and one of my favorites if you get a chance to see it. Nara is also quite special and not too far from Kyoto.

Speaking of food, you’ll have no trouble satisfying a sweet tooth as there are many good bakeries to be found, especially in the train stations. And, a popular chain of restaurants called Mister Donut is good and ubiquitous. You may also be surprised by how many people get a quick meal at the local convenience store.

If I think of anything else I’ll add it later. Ganbatte ne! (“good luck”)

Thanks so much for the advice Jeff! Unfortunately we are only in Japan until the end of September so I think we’ll miss the foliage. I had been considering Takayama though so glad to hear you like it.

Great post and very informative. The Japan Rail pass is a must if you plan to to a lot of traveling and the 100 yen shops are great for souvenirs.

Japan Australia

Am really hoping to make it to Japan sometime in the next 12 months – bookmarking this!

Hopefully we’ll have lots more posts about Japan when we get there next month.

Hi, it’s Mariko, came to check out your blog. Interesting article but I can’t keep my mouth shut on a few things. Please DO try non-Japanese food in Kyoto… we have such a great selection of Brazilian, Nepalese, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian restaurants it would be a shame if you stuck to only Japanese food. Also, Kyoto is probably the vegetarian capital of Japan if there ever was one. There are a lot of veggie and vegan places as well as a special kind of buddhist vegan meal that you have to pre-book, but is very nice.

A lot of people speak English here (not necessarily GOOD English, but…) . Almost everywhere in Japan there are English translations of Japanese signs (subway, trains, buses etc. ).

….I swear I’m not a jerk! I just want your information (and the info for anyone else who reads this) to be up to date. Don’t hate me, Amy!

It sounds like Kyoto is a lot more cosmopolitan than other parts of Japan. We are really looking forward to trying the vegetarian food, especially the Buddhist meals.

Thanks for your comment and of course you’re not being a jerk, :o)! The post is based on our 3 week experiences in Japan so obviously would never be definitive in anyway. I’m sure that other non-japanese food is great (apart from the Indian curry we had in Fukuoka!) but I guess my point for fellow travellers is that Japanese food is so delicious why waste your stomach and yen on other food during your stay!

I’m sure too that many people do speak english, in our encounters this was rare even in Tokyo, but again Japanese is such a beautiful language why not go ahead and dive in and try to speak it!

Lastly too, in our 3 weeks there were indeed occasional english transport signage to be found, but we also had many experiences standing at a bus/ subway terminals not having any clue as to where to go or what to pay. Again though, this isn’t a bad thing, sometimes the best thing about being intrepid travellers is being able to figure things out!

I certainly don’t hate you (!), in fact I apologise if you found anything in the article to be of offence. I certainly did not mean to, and again after only 3 weeks in your amazing country, the list was only ever meant to be a broad guide to anyone else going to visit.

All the best,

Totally agree about the non-Japanese food!! I loved Japanese pizza so much I would go back just for that :D

Awesome Amy my husband and I who have never been overseas before have chosen Japan as our first overseas destination for our honeymoon and soaking up any information we can get ?

Glad everyone likes the post! Love your story too Erin! I remember our friend Noriko said that, after living in Manchester for awhile, she was glad to return to her homeland of convenience!

Oh, how I want to see Kyoto! Bamboo grove, old temples, aaaah…

I know about this website: http://www.vegietokyo.com/info4vegie/articles/article2.html Though it’s for Tokyo mostly. Hope it’s helpful :) Have fun on your trip!

Thanks for that – the article is really useful.

100 Yen shops are soooooo brilliant. Get some tabbi socks too. Shinkansen, though expensive, are so worth it – you can travel vast distances so quickly and it is a breath of fresh air to use any Japanese public transportation after the British version! Gavin and I were due at Tokyo airport one cold wintery day. Woke up at 4.30am to catch our bus to Tokyo (4 hours away) to find snow knee deep. Freaked out, how would we get to Tokyo now? Needn’t have worried – Japanese workers were all out clearing the roads and our bus rolled in right on time.

Really good post, Amy you sure squeezed a lot into your 3 weeks! Erin x

I love that story! I can’t wait to try the bullet trains and enjoy everything being super-efficient and on time.

Really great posts, I have been to Japan several times and you are spot on!

Oh I love Japan so much and I haven’t even been there yet! This is a great list – it solidified everything I was thinking about our upcoming trip to Japan. My 3 years of Japan in college might finally pay off…haha.

I’m excited to hear about your 3 weeks in Kyoto too!

When will you be in Japan Ashley? We can’t wait for our trip too. Kyoto seems like the perfect place to base ourselves.

Won’t be there until January! But super excited cause I’ve wanted to visit fooooorever.

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

GREAT post – you’ve got a little bit of everything here =) Let me know if you need any ideas on Tokyo – I spent about 10 days in and around that area last year =)

Any highlights of your trip in Japan that you can share would be much appreciated!

Toni, I am going to Japan for 10 days at the end of June. Can you give me the scoop of MUST SEE sites that you really liked?

I DO :) would love some recommendations if still relevant

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Japan on a budget: 17 ways to get more for your yen

Rebecca Milner

Mar 28, 2024 • 7 min read

Tourists walking on the street of Tokyo, Japan.

These top tips to low-cost living can help you stretch your budget on a trip to Japan © Monzenmachi/Getty Images

Japan has a reputation as an expensive place to travel, but it’s an image that doesn’t hold up on the ground.

With a little strategy, a visit can be very reasonable – budget-friendly, even. Many of the country’s major sights, for example, cost nothing, and free festivals take place year-round.

With these top tips on finding the best-value places to stay, the right transportation tickets and places to eat that suit all tastes and wallets, you can make your yen go further on a visit to Japan .

A guide to daily costs in Japan

  • Capsule hotel room: ¥4,000 (US$30) 
  • Basic room for two: ¥8,000 (US$60)
  • Self-catering apartment: (including Airbnb) ¥6,000 (US$45)
  • Coffee:  ¥400 (US$3.50)
  • Sandwich: ¥300 (US$2.20)
  • Beer/pint at the bar: ¥600 (US$4.50)
  • Dinner for two: ¥5,000 (US$38)
  • Hour of karaoke for two:  ¥2,000 (US$15)

1. Consider staying in a business hotel

These economical (and, to be honest, rather utilitarian) hotels offer the best prices for private rooms with en suite facilities.

It’s possible to find double rooms for as low as ¥8,000 (and single rooms for as low as ¥6,000), though these will be a little more expensive in cities like Tokyo , Kyoto and Osaka .

Look for places that include a free breakfast buffet – they can be substantial enough to keep you going for hours. 

2. Book direct at a guesthouse or hostel 

Japan has fantastic guesthouses and hostels all over; not only are they generally clean and well-maintained, but friendly English-speaking staff are usually on hand to offer near concierge-level service.

A double or single room is comparable to a business hotel (but usually has shared facilities); dorm beds cost around ¥3,000.

Some places do charge extra for towel rentals, so you can save a few yen by bringing your own. Note that rates are often slightly cheaper if you book directly rather than through a booking site.

Two young people sitting in adjacent pods at a capsule hotel

3. Sleep in a capsule hotel in the cities

Capsule hotels, which offer small rooms with enough space for just a bed, provide a budget-friendly place to spend the night.

A capsule berth costs slightly more than a dorm bed in a hostel (¥4,000 per night), but you get more privacy.

You probably wouldn’t want to stay every night in a capsule, but they’re good for saving money in cities where hotels are pricier. 

4. Go camping in the summer months

If you really want to do Japan on the cheap, you can rely on its network of well-maintained campsites in rural or resort areas; prices range from ¥500 to ¥1,000 per person or tent. Note that many sites are only open in the summer. 

5. Swap a night in a hotel for an overnight bus ride 

Long-distance buses, like those operated by Willer Express , are the cheapest way to get around, and longer routes have night buses, which saves a night on accommodation. There are also bus passes, which can make this an even cheaper option. 

A hand holds up a passport-sized document labeled as Japan Rail Pass in front of barriers at a Japanese train station

6. The Japan Rail Pass is a great travel bargain

Like the famous Eurail Pass, the JR Pass is one of the world’s great travel bargains and is the best way to see a lot of Japan on a budget.

It allows unlimited travel on Japan’s brilliant nationwide rail system, including the lightning-fast shinkansen (bullet train).

There are also more regionally specific train passes that are cheaper, so examine your itinerary carefully before deciding. Purchase a pass online or from a travel agent like JTB in your home country.

7. Ride local trains for less with the Seishun 18 Ticket

The Seishun 18 is another great deal, but with very specific conditions: for ¥12,050, you get five one-day tickets good for travel on any regular Japan Railways train (meaning not the shinkansen or any high-speed limited express trains) during a limited period of a few weeks.

The Seishun 18 Ticket is only available at certain times during the year – during school holidays (the ticket is designed for students, but there’s no age cap) – and can only be purchased from JR ticket windows in Japan.

If the timing works, and you’re a fan of slow travel, this is a unique, ultra-cheap way to get around in Japan .

8. Consider renting a car to go beyond the cities 

Highway tolls and petrol in Japan are expensive; however, renting a car can be economical if you’re traveling as a group or family, or are plotting an itinerary that takes you away from major rail hubs. 

9. Take domestic flights with low-cost airlines

Japan has several budget carriers, like Peach , Jetstar and Air Do , that offer bus-like pricing on some routes – just be sure to factor in the time – and cost – of going to/from the airport. 

A young man walks down an urban street holding his phone. There are many Japanese signs on the buildings behind him

10. Japan’s shrines and temples are free to visit

The vast majority of Shintō shrines in Japan cost nothing to enter. Likewise, the grounds of many temples can be toured for free (often, you only have to pay to enter the halls or a walled garden). 

11. Eat cheap food and meet locals at a traditional festival

Throughout the year , festivals take place at shrines and temples and through city streets. They’re free, an excellent way to see traditional culture come alive, and are well attended by cheap food vendors.

12. Opt for hikes and walking tours

Going on a hike or a trek is free and can be the most rewarding part of your trip: explore an up-and-coming city neighborhood , walk  old pilgrimage trails or rural lanes, or get up into the mountains in one of Japan’s national parks . 

Japan’s cities, especially Tokyo, have some fantastic buildings designed by many of the big names in Japanese architecture. With a little bit of planning, you could chart your own architecture tour. Ask at a tourist information center or your accommodation for suggestions.

13. Spend time relaxing in the city parks 

Urban parks are generally free to enter (and some gardens are, too) and are popular with locals on weekends; pack a picnic and settle in for an afternoon of people-watching. If you time your visit right, you could be bathing in the beauty of Japan's cherry blossoms . 

14. Shop for cheaper goods at a local market 

Many seaside towns have fish markets, some rural spots have morning markets, and some cities still have their old-fashioned open-air markets. Visits here are a great way to connect with local culture and are often a source of cheap, fresh food. 

People ordering at a Yatai Street food vendor in Japan

15. Choose the right dish in the right place to save money

You can get a good, filling meal in shokudō , Japan's answer to the greasy spoon, for under ¥1,000. A steaming bowl of tasty ramen can be picked up in many places for as little as ¥600.  

Tachigui (stand-and-eat counter joints) sell soba (buckwheat noodles) and udon (thick white wheat noodles) for even less – starting as low as ¥350 per bowl.

Many upscale restaurants in Japan offer a smaller course at lunchtime for significantly less than they charge at dinner, so for a bargain deal have your larger meal then. In all restaurants in Japan, tea and water are complimentary, and tipping is not required. 

16. Bentō are a budget alternative to a meal out

These "boxed meals," which include a variety of dishes, can be picked up for under ¥1,000 at supermarkets. Department store food halls sell gourmet ones for a little bit more; visit just before closing to buy them on markdown.

17. Get everything you need and more at the convenience store

Convenience stores are the best friend to all budget travelers. They stock sandwiches, rice balls, hot dishes and beer, all of which you can assemble into a very affordable (if not exactly healthy) meal. Accommodations always have kettles, so cup noodles are always an option. 

Keep planning your trip to Japan:

Save this guide to the top things to do in Japan . Find out what to expect during every season from cherry blossoms to winter skiing .  Before you book your trip, read these t op things to know before you go .   Do you need a visa? Discover more here. Want to see Japan by train?  Railway enthusiast John Walton shares his advice.  

This article was first published May 15, 2012 and updated Mar 28, 2024.

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  • Top tourist attractions in Tokyo: the best sightseeing spots

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Explore By Interest

Tokyo tourist attractions.

Explore Tokyo’s historical sites, romantic places and some of the other unique places that make this city so special. Check out our Tokyo tourism guide, complete to find our recommendations for famous places and must-visit locations. From historical sites to the Tokyo of the future, there is lots to see and do.

Get to know the history of Edo and more at Tokyo historical sites

Amid the glittering high rises and bustling modern streets, Tokyo’s long, rich history lives on.

Sensoji Temple

Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple is a tremendously popular destination for visitors. Beyond the iconic Kaminarimon Gate is Nakamise Dori souvenir-shopping street, which leads to a complex of fascinating religious structures.

Sensoji Temple Nakamise-dori

Meiji Jingu

Meiji Jingu (Shinto Shrine) is set in a soothing forest only a few minutes’ walk from JR Harajuku Station. The shrine was built to commemorate the virtues of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. In 2020 the shrine marks its 100th anniversary.

Meiji Jingu

Hamarikyu Gardens

Hamarikyu Gardens is a great place to relax and to reflect on the history of Tokyo when it was still called Edo. Different feudal lords used the space for various purposes, ranging from recitals and rice cultivation to military training and falconry.

Pond in Hama-rikyu Gardens

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

Spend a day away from the bustling city streets exploring a museum of relocated historical buildings. Set in a beautiful park in Tokyo’s western suburbs.

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

Olympic sites

For history in the making, check out the Olympic sites for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the New National Stadium , the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Nippon Budokan, and Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Panorama view of New National Stadium

Take your date to these romantic places in Tokyo for an unforgettable experience

Met someone new? Taking a couple’s vacation? Or perhaps even enjoying your honeymoon? You won’t want to miss these romantic places in Tokyo.

TOKYO SKYTREE

On a clear day, the world’s tallest tower offers views for miles and miles in every direction. Not for the faint of heart, but great for thrill-seekers.

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Tower

The Beautiful Tokyo Tower was completed in 1958 and remains a very popular lookout point. Just a short distance from such well-known districts as Roppongi and Toranomon.

View from park near Tokyo Tower

Sumida River

A smooth cruise along the Sumida River is relaxing, romantic, and full of photo opportunities, especially as many of the historic bridges spanning the river have recently been renovated. Enjoy the evening illuminations.

Sumida River night view

Ginza continues to present Tokyo at its most elegant and luxurious. Come here for the ultimate in shopping and delicious gourmet cuisine.

Ginza street scene

Odaiba offers fascinatingly diverse attractions on a large expanse of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. Recommended for lovers of all ages: an evening bayside stroll, admiring the illuminated Rainbow Bridge.

Odaiba night view

Discover the unknown: unique places and hidden spots in Tokyo

Looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-path? You’ll want to check out one or more of these unique places .

Jiyugaoka is a stylish district of lifestyle stores and appealing eateries. Get a sense of sophisticated everyday residential life in Tokyo.

Jiyugaoka street scene

Fashion, cosmetics, cafes and striking architecture—all within a few minutes’ walk of the station. A very chic neighborhood just west of the JR Yamanote loop line.

Daikanyama street scene

The beating heart of old-fashioned office Tokyo. Come here to find out how Japan’s corporate warriors relax after a hard day at work. Join the fun in a packed izakaya pub.

Shinbashi street scene

For many visitors from outside Japan, Kichijoji is a largely undiscovered gem, just a 15-minute train ride west of Shinjuku. Enjoy the contrasting pleasures of Harmonica Alley’s traditional eateries and chic department-store shopping.

Harmonica Yokocho Alley in Kichijoji

Anime attractions

Ikebukuro , Nakano and Akihabara are among the must-see locations for any fan of anime and manga. Big-name shops like Animate will have everything you need, but smaller shops also offer quirky souvenirs.

Akihabara street scene

Best ways to get around: transportation for sightseeing

Tourist buses in tokyo.

You can enjoy lots of attractions using tourist buses such as Hato Bus, SKY BUS, and hop-on hop-off buses. As you enjoy the view from the roof of a double-decker bus, you can also listen to knowledgeable tour guides’ explanations. Note: Some tours offer foreign language support via electronic audio devices.

SKY BUS

Train passes especially for tourists

Various passes enable visitors to travel around Tokyo at discount rates. Use the city’s outstanding transit system like a pro. Note that you may need to show your passport in order to access the following services.

These are prepaid and rechargeable. Anyone using Tokyo trains and buses appreciates the convenience of Suica and PASMO cards. As a visitor, you can use special versions of each card that are valid for just 28 days. These IC cards can also be used at some shops and cafes, and you can recharge your card near the station gates.

Suica

Train passes

Discount train passes for tourists make traveling around Tokyo more affordable. Tokyo Free Kippu, Toei One-Day Pass and Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket are valid for one day. Each offers access to different transit services. The price of each is a guide to its scope of use.

Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket

Toei Bus One-Day Pass

You can really get a sense of Tokyo and its people if you thread your way through the streets on a bus. But these are only a few of many options. For more information, see the Cheap Tickets and IC Cards page.

Toei Bus One-Day Pass

Other modes of transportation

Buses are another great way to get around Tokyo . For many, you can use an IC card. Taxis are fast, but more expensive than trains or buses. In Japan, the passenger door is operated from the driver’s seat. Just wait, and it will open. Recently popular are rentacycles, a great way to see the slow side of Tokyo.

Best places to stay near major attractions

While there is no need to stay in any specific area or tourist hotel , some parts of Tokyo may be more convenient depending on your plans. For a traditional Tokyo experience, try the Asakusa area, home to Sensoji Temple. For shopping and trends, Shinjuku is a great base. Planning to travel by Shinkansen? Tokyo , Shinagawa , or Ueno may be good bets. And for party animals looking to stay out late, dance the night away in Shibuya or Roppongi .

Hotel room image

Reference Link

Tour Guide Services by Tokyo Volunteer Guides

A selection of free and low-cost guided tours operates from the Tokyo Tourist Information Center offices in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building and Shinjuku Bus Terminal.

how much to visit tokyo japan

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Truly Tokyo

A Tokyo Travel Guide

Getting Around Tokyo

Tokyo is a huge sprawling city but it's served by one of the world's best public transport systems. Here, I'll give you all the details on getting around Tokyo easily.

JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo

The Takeaway

  • Subways and trains are the best way to get around Tokyo.
  • A prepaid Suica or Pasmo card is the BEST way to pay for transport.
  • You can buy a Suica card online for pickup at the airport.
  • Taxis are excellent but rather expensive.
  • Buses aren't recommended for short-term visitors.
  • See below for full details.

Mandarin Oriental

The Details

  • The best way to understand Tokyo is to think of it as several cities connected by a great public transport system. Each urban node like Shinjuku , Shibuya or Roppongi is like its own city. And if you jump on the subway or train, you can be in a completely different "city" in a few minutes.
  • Most of Tokyo's major urban hubs are located on the JR Yamanote Line, which is sometimes called simply the "Loop Line." The only major exceptions to this are Roppongi and Asakusa. However, these two are just a few subway stops from the Yamamote Line stops of Ebisu and Ueno , respectively. You can ride the JR Yamanote Line with a Japan Rail Pass , but if you just want to explore Tokyo for the first few days after arriving in Japan, it's best to activate your pass on the morning you leave Tokyo and use it for your long-distance train travel (ie, use the pass to pay for expensive intercity travel, not for cheap local travel).
  • A prepaid card like Suica or Pasmo is easily the best way to pay for train and subway travel in Tokyo. See below for full details.

Check Hotel Availability

Destination, check-in date, check-out date.

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Tokyo Trains and Subways

  • As mentioned above, trains and subways are the best way to get around Tokyo. For full details, see my Tokyo Trains and Subways page .

Tokyo Buses

  • Tokyo's buses are extensive and efficient, but they're not ideal for tourists. Still, if you do want to give them a try, you'll find all the details on my Tokyo Buses page.

Tokyo Taxis

  • Tokyo's taxis are an excellent way to get around the city, especially outside of rush hour or if you have to go to a place not close to a train or subway station. However, they're not cheap. For full details, see my Tokyo Taxis page .

Prepaid Cards: Pasmo and Suica

  • A prepaid stored value card like Suica or Pasmo is really the best way to pay for trains and subways in Tokyo. You can also use them for purchases at convenience stores and many other places. For full details, see my Prepaid Cards – Pasmo and Suica page . You can buy a Suica card online for pickup at the airport.

Tokyo Airport Transport

  • For information on travel between Haneda and Narita airports and Tokyo, see my Tokyo Airport Transport page .

Tokyo Vacation Checklist

  • For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
  • Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com and Agoda.com - often you can book with no upfront payment and free cancellation
  • Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
  • You can buy shinkansen (bullet train) tickets online from Klook - popular routes include Tokyo to Kyoto , Tokyo to Osaka and Tokyo to Hiroshima
  • You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
  • See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
  • Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals . Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport .
  • If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
  • A prepaid Welcome Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
  • World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world

Tokyo District Map

how much to visit tokyo japan

  • Imperial Palace Area
  • Tokyo Station
  • Shimbashi Shiodome Hamamatsucho Shinagawa
  • Akihabara Kanda
  • Roppongi Akasaka
  • Harajuku Aoyama
  • Ebisu Daikanyama Meguro

Disclosure: trulytokyo.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

how much to visit tokyo japan

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Japan

W ith its unique blend of traditional culture and dazzling modernity, Japan offers an incredible tapestry of experiences that captivate the senses and ignite the spirit of adventure. Yet, with so much to explore, planning a trip can feel overwhelming. Fear not, we're here to help! Travel journalist Kevin Erickson has curated a list of the must-visit places in Japan that promise a truly unforgettable journey.

  • Uncover the timeless beauty of Kyoto
  • Experience Tokyo's electrifying cityscape
  • Discover the cultural heartbeat of Osaka
  • Immerse yourself in Hiroshima's poignant history
  • Explore the stunning wilderness of Yakushima

The Timeless Beauty of Kyoto

The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, is a living testament to Japan's rich history and tradition. With over 1,600 temples, serene Zen gardens, and the magnificent Fushimi Inari Shrine with its iconic torii gate pathway, Kyoto transports you back to Japan's imperial past. A visit during the cherry blossom or fall foliage season will make your journey especially magical.

Tokyo: The City That Never Sleeps

Japan's vibrant capital, Tokyo, presents an electrifying mix of neon skyscrapers, pop culture, high-tech innovations, and bustling street markets. From the fashion hub of Shibuya to the historic Asakusa district and the otaku paradise of Akihabara, Tokyo is a city of delightful contrasts that never fails to impress.

Osaka: The Nation's Kitchen

Known as the "nation's kitchen," Osaka is a haven for food lovers. From street-side takoyaki and okonomiyaki to high-end kaiseki cuisine, Osaka offers a culinary journey like no other. Don't miss the lively Dotonbori area and Osaka Castle, a symbol of the city's historical heritage.

Hiroshima: History and Resilience

Hiroshima, though known for its tragic past, showcases remarkable resilience and peace. The Peace Memorial Park and Museum provide profound insights into the catastrophic impact of the atomic bomb, while the scenic Miyajima Island, just a short ferry ride away, offers a tranquil escape.

Yakushima: Island of Ancient Forests

A trip off the beaten path leads to Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famous for its ancient cedar forests, which inspired the animated film "Princess Mononoke," Yakushima is an enchanting realm of nature where you might even encounter the endangered Japanese macaque.

Nara: The Birthplace of Japanese Culture

Nestled in the Kansai region, Nara is often overshadowed by its more popular neighbors, Kyoto and Osaka. Yet, as the first permanent capital of Japan, Nara is brimming with historical treasures. It's home to Todai-ji, the world's largest wooden structure housing a towering Buddha statue, and Kasuga Taisha, a beautiful Shinto shrine surrounded by thousands of stone lanterns. But Nara's charm doesn't stop at its temples. The city's park is famous for its hundreds of free-roaming deer, considered sacred and protected as national treasures.

Hokkaido: Nature's Paradise

If you crave pristine wilderness, set your sights on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Here, you'll find stunning landscapes, from volcanic hot springs in Noboribetsu to lavender fields in Furano. Daisetsuzan National Park offers incredible hiking trails, while the Shiretoko Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts wildlife such as brown bears and sea eagles. In winter, the snow festival in Sapporo, the region's capital, showcases spectacular ice and snow sculptures.

Nagasaki: A Tale of Triumph

Nagasaki's past is imbued with foreign influences and a tragic history, making it a poignant visit. The Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum narrate the tale of its WWII devastation, while Glover Garden and Oura Church highlight the city's close ties with the West during Japan's period of national isolation. For a tranquil getaway, the nearby Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), an abandoned coal mining facility and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a fascinating glimpse into Japan's industrial past.

From ancient traditions to futuristic cityscapes, Japan offers a unique travel experience that transcends the ordinary. As Chris Rowthorn, a Lonely Planet writer and Japan travel expert, aptly puts it, "Japan is a world apart - a cultural Galápagos where a unique civilization blossomed, and today thrives in delicious contrasts of traditional and modern." So why wait? Begin your Japanese adventure today!

When is the best time to visit Japan?

The best time to visit Japan is in spring (March to May) for cherry blossoms, and fall (September to November) for autumn colors. However, Japan has something to offer in every season.

What should I eat in Japan?

Japan boasts a rich culinary tradition. Must-try dishes include sushi, ramen, tempura, yakitori, and regional specialties such as Kyoto's kaiseki and Osaka's takoyaki.

How can I travel sustainably in Japan?

Embrace the Japanese concept of 'mottainai' (waste not, want not). Utilize public transportation, avoid disposable items, respect local customs, and consider staying in eco-friendly accommodations.

Is Japan expensive to visit?

While Japan can be pricier than other Asian countries, it offers a range of options for different budgets. Prepaid transportation cards, affordable eateries, and a variety of accommodations can make your trip economical without compromising the experience.

  • Japan National Tourism Organization
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  • Lonely Planet

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how much to visit tokyo japan

  • JR TOKYO Wide Pass

日光などの東京近郊エリアへ行く方におすすめです!

Area Covered

Validity period.

  • How to Purchase/Use

スペシャルプロモーション

Jr tokyo wide pass、jr east pass(東北エリア)、jr east pass(長野、新潟エリア)、jr east-south hokkaido rail passのいずれかをgala湯沢スキー場で提示すると、特典が受けられます! 特典利用期間:2023/12/16~2024/5/6.

ゆきあそびを楽しみたい方に

GALA ゴンドラフリー乗車券

GALA湯沢のゴンドラを何度でも乗車可能です。ゆきあそびを楽しみたい方にお勧めです。 (スキー、スノーボードはできません)

how much to visit tokyo japan

(定価大人3,000円、子供1,300円)

スキー・スノーボードを 楽しみたい方に

GALA ゴンドラ・リフト1日券

GALA湯沢の全16コースが利用できるゴンドラ・リフト1日券です。 GALA湯沢のすべてのゴンドラ・リフトに乗車可能です。

(定価大人6,500円、子供3,000円)

(定価大人5,600円、子供2,500円)

how much to visit tokyo japan

  • ※12月29日~1月3日は土休日料金適用となります。
  • ※GALA湯沢スキー場でリフト券購入時にJRPASS提示により割引価格で販売致します。
  • ※6歳~12歳は小人となり、6歳未満は大人1名に付き2名まで無料となります。 (3名以上は小人料金となります。)

Example area covered

Railway companies and lines you can use

  • JR EAST Lines​ ​
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Izu Kyuko Line
  • Fujikyu Railway Lines​ ​
  • Joshin Dentetsu Line
  • Saitama New Urban Transit (Ōmiya - the Railway Museum)​ ​
  • Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Line (Rinkai Line)​ ​
  • JR東日本と東武鉄道で続けて運行している特急電車「日光号」「きぬがわ号」「スペーシアきぬがわ号」の普通車指定席。
  • 東武鉄道線下今市~東武日光、鬼怒川温泉間の普通電車(快速を含む)も利用できます。 「栗橋~下今市間」は東武鉄道と続けて運行する特急電車のみ利用できます。*
  • JR TOKYO Wide Passで利用できる特急列車は、JR線から東武鉄道へ乗り入れている列車のみです。始発駅も終着駅も東武鉄道の駅で運転する特急は、利用できません。

Please note

  • You cannot use the JR TOKYO Wide Pass to travel on the Tokaido Shinkansen. (This is because the Tokaido Shinkansen is operated by a different company)
  • 富士急行線内で運行する「フジサン特急」の展望車に乗車する場合は着席整理券が別に必要です(別料金)。「富士登山電車」に乗車する場合は着席券が別に必要です(別料金)。
  • Gala Yuzawa Station only operates during the winter and spring.​ ​

How much can I save?

例)東京駅からGALA湯沢・日光への旅行の場合

how much to visit tokyo japan

大人1名が上越新幹線(東京駅~ガーラ湯沢駅/ガーラ湯沢駅~大宮駅)&特急日光(大宮駅~東武日光駅/東武日光駅~新宿駅)を指定席で移動した場合、交通費は全部で約 21,000 円かかります。

JR TOKYO Wide Passを利用すれば、 この交通が15,000円で利用できます!3日間有効のパスなので、途中で宿泊することもできます。

  • During regular periods
  • See the timetable, etc. for the exact fare
  • The age of a child is defined as the age on the date of purchase. A passport or other such document is required to prove a child’s age.
  • Children under 6 years old who do not require seat reservations do not need a pass.
  • A separate fee is applicable if you wish to use the Green Car or GranClass.
  • Youth fares (including student discount) are not offered for this pass.
  • 日本を旅行中、一度に1つのJR TOKYO Wide Passしか利用できません。(有効期間を重ねて、同じパスの購入はできません)

選んだ日から連続する3日間

When using a pass

  • How to Buy a Pass
  • Reserving Seats
  • Changes/Refunds
  • Travel Terms and Conditions

Information on great offers only for pass users “&EKINAKA”

how much to visit tokyo japan

JR EAST Reservation Website​​

how much to visit tokyo japan

JR TOKYO Wide Passで行ける観光地

how much to visit tokyo japan

Chiba: Narita/Boso

These passes/tickets are also recommended

Jr east pass (tohoku area).

Example area of use

JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)

Example area of use

  • Find Your Pass

COMMENTS

  1. Tokyo Travel Cost

    Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is by far the most populous city in the world with a staggering 37 million people. As a worldwide hub for technology and business, it hosts millions of visitors annually. ... How much does it cost to travel to Tokyo? You should plan to spend around $153 (¥23,999) per day on your vacation in Tokyo.

  2. 5-6 Days in Tokyo Itinerary: Comprehensive First-Timers Guide

    Complete 6 days in Tokyo itinerary for first-time visitors How to get to Tokyo from Narita Airport. Getting there: Narita Airport to Tokyo via Narita Express, approx. 1 hour. Cost: Adult Narita Express Ticket JPY 3,250 ea A popular option is also the Narita Airport Limousine Bus.At almost half the cost of Narita Express, you're able to book tickets in advance!

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

    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. ・Khaosan World Ryogoku: JPY2,300/day per person. ・IRORI Hostel & Kitchen: JPY2,800/day per person.

  4. 17 Best Things to do in Tokyo, Japan (2024 Travel Itinerary)

    1. Tokyo Skytree. Discover the tallest tower in the world! Yes, the Tokyo Skytree is not only the tallest structure in Japan but also the tallest tower globally, standing at a mammoth height of 634 meters. You can ascend the building to see breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

  5. What a Trip to Tokyo Costs in 2024

    Average Trip to Tokyo Cost in 2024. A week in Tokyo costs between $4,000 and $5,500 for two people: Average Accommodation Cost: $125 per night. Average Flight Cost: $1,500 per person. Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day. Transportation: $5 per person, per day. Total Cost: $5,345.

  6. A beginner's guide to visiting Tokyo: Everything you need to eat, see

    Related: Second cities: Destinations to add onto a trip to Tokyo. Japanese currency and tipping. In Japan, $1 gets you about 108.55 Japanese yen, so don't panic when you see astronomical numbers while scoping out prices. You'll also want to carry a decent amount of cash on you, since many places don't accept credit cards. ... There is so much ...

  7. Cost of a Trip to Tokyo, JP & the Cheapest Time to Visit Tokyo

    Budget Couple's Trip. The lowest cost for a couple to visit Tokyo for a week is $1,708-$3,610 ($244-$516 per day) Food, Travel, and Sightseeing: $48 to $94 per day for two people's daily expenses. Flights: $1,246 to $2,574 for economy. Lodging: $53 to $63 per night for one 1-star hotel room. or $21 to $61 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental.

  8. How much does a trip to Tokyo Cost?

    Asia / Japan / Tokyo /. When it comes to exploring Tokyo, travelers typically find themselves budgeting between $59 and $449 per day for solo adventures and $117 to $898 if you're traveling as a couple. Now, that's a broad range, but the typical trip, on average, is $157 (¥23,999) per person per day. This average cost covers sightseeing ...

  9. One Week in Tokyo: The Ultimate Bucket List & 7 Day Itinerary

    ADDRESS: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−6−2 T-wing ビル B2. ... How much does it cost to visit Tokyo for a week? Tokyo is known to be very expensive. It's not a lie. Because of this, we watched our pennies when it came to food and drinks. We didn't drink much alcohol and shopped at local grocery stores ...

  10. Tokyo on a budget

    Here is how to travel to Tokyo on a budget. Daily costs in Tokyo. Bunk in a capsule hotel: ¥6600/¥8000; Basic hotel room for two: ¥22,600; ... Budget Travel. Japan on a budget: 17 ways to get more for your yen. Mar 28, 2024 • 7 min read. Keep costs low when exploring Japan with these top money-saving tips.

  11. The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Trip to Tokyo: Cost, Budgeting, and

    👉 The cost of transportation in Tokyo varies depending on the mode of transportation you choose and how far you need to travel. Here are some estimated costs for transportation in Tokyo: Train/Subway: The Tokyo Metro subway system and Japan Railways (JR) trains are the most popular modes of transportation in Tokyo. The cost of a single ride ...

  12. How Many Days Should You Spend in Tokyo?

    While most travelers can take in all of Tokyo's sights in 3-4 days, I recommend calibrating your trip to Tokyo based on the length of time you plan to spend in Japan. For example, although 3 days in Tokyo may be plenty for travelers who plan to spend just two weeks in Japan, those with three weeks or even one month in Japan might consider ...

  13. How to Travel Tokyo on a Budget

    Some of the most popular options are: yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) dungo (dumplings on a stick) shioyaki (baked fish served on a stick) All will cost you around ¥150-700 (€1.00-5) depending on the portion size. If you love Tokyo, you are also going to enjoy Shanghai.

  14. Travel Budget Japan: How much it costs and how to save

    Bus Passes. One way to save on transport costs in Japan is by purchasing a Willer Express Bus Pass. This pass allows you to travel for 3, 5 or 7 days within a period specified by you. Advantages: The days of travel do not need to be consecutive, giving you flexibility in your itinerary.

  15. $285 Cheap Flights to Tokyo in 2024

    On average, a flight to Tokyo costs $982. The cheapest price found on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks cost $262 and departed from Honolulu. The most popular routes on KAYAK are Honolulu to Tokyo which costs $863 on average, and Los Angeles to Tokyo, which costs $1,025 on average. See prices from:

  16. Cost of a Trip to Japan & the Cheapest Time to Visit Japan

    Budget Couple's Trip. The lowest cost for a couple to visit Japan for a week is $1,781-$4,306 ($254-$615 per day) Food, Travel, and Sightseeing: $48 to $96 per day for two people's daily expenses. Flights: $1,127 to $2,788 for economy. Lodging: $53 to $62 per night for one 1-star hotel room. or $110 to $141 per night for a 1-bed vacation ...

  17. Calculate your Travel Budget in Japan

    Adults and teenagers from 12 years and older. Children From 6 to 11 years old. Small ones 5 years old and under. Plan your travel in Japan with Kanpai and calculate before you go the necessary budget for transportation, accommodation, and the general cost of living.

  18. The Cost of Travel in Japan: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

    Activities and entrance fees in Japan were very reasonably priced, and I never found myself outraged over the cost of anything. You'll typically pay less than $5 to enter most temples, museums, and gardens. Here's how I spread my cash around: Entrance fee for the hedgehog cafe in Tokyo: $13/1400¥.

  19. Japan Travel Cost

    How much does it cost to travel to Japan? You should plan to spend around $119 (¥18,714) per day on your vacation in Japan. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.. Past travelers have spent, on average for one day: $29 (¥4,568) on meals

  20. Is Japan Expensive? Our 2 weeks to Japan cost in 2024

    2 Weeks in Japan Trip Costs. The estimated total cost for 2 weeks in Japan is $5,530, £4,400 for 2 people. This works out to around $200, £157 per person per day, and it includes flights, accommodation, transportation, food, activities, souvenirs, and other small expenses. This is a for a medium-budget holiday with some luxury dinners, top ...

  21. Planning a Trip to Japan: DOs & DON'Ts (2024)

    Two times of year I would avoid for a vacation to Japan are: Golden Week in early May - In 2024, Golden Week is from 27 April - 6 May. This is a series of national holidays so many Japanese travel domestically, trains and hotels book up, and popular spots will be extra crowded. New Year - Late December to early January.

  22. How to visit Japan on a budget

    4. Go camping in the summer months. If you really want to do Japan on the cheap, you can rely on its network of well-maintained campsites in rural or resort areas; prices range from ¥500 to ¥1,000 per person or tent. Note that many sites are only open in the summer. 5. Swap a night in a hotel for an overnight bus ride.

  23. Top tourist attractions in Tokyo: the best sightseeing spots

    Set in a beautiful park in Tokyo's western suburbs. Olympic sites. For history in the making, check out the Olympic sites for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the New National Stadium, the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Nippon Budokan, and Ryogoku Kokugikan. ©JAPAN SPORT COUNCIL

  24. Getting Around Tokyo

    The Takeaway. Subways and trains are the best way to get around Tokyo. A prepaid Suica or Pasmo card is the BEST way to pay for transport. You can buy a Suica card online for pickup at the airport. Taxis are excellent but rather expensive. Buses aren't recommended for short-term visitors. See below for full details.

  25. The Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Japan

    The Timeless Beauty of Kyoto. The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, is a living testament to Japan's rich history and tradition. With over 1,600 temples, serene Zen gardens, and the magnificent ...

  26. The best times in the year to visit Japan

    The best time of year to visit Japan . Pick your season to visit this intriguing country. Japan is an incredible country to visit at any time of year. The streets of Tokyo always hum. The temples and shrines are always breathtaking. The lakes, mountains, beaches and nature will always leave you speechless.

  27. JR TOKYO Wide Pass| Find Your Pass

    東武鉄道線下今市~東武日光、鬼怒川温泉間の普通電車 (快速を含む)も利用できます。. 「栗橋~下今市間」は東武鉄道と続けて運行する特急電車のみ利用できます。. JR TOKYO Wide Passで利用できる特急列車は、JR線から東武鉄道へ乗り入れている列車のみです ...

  28. When's the best time to visit Japan?

    Country-wide. 29th April - 5th May. This week-long holiday in Japan features four national holidays - Showa Day (the birthday of former Emperor Showa), Constitution Memorial Day (celebrating the post-war constitution), Greenery Day (dedicated to the environment) and Children's Day. It's one of the busiest and best times to visit Japan ...