How Expensive is it to Travel Japan? | Budget Travel Tips

How Expensive is it to Travel Japan? | Budget Travel Tips

I think to many people the words budget and Japan seem to be something of a contradiction. There’s this assumption that the cost of visiting Japan for a two-week holiday, would be enough to bankrupt dictator, but it doesn’t have to. In the last year’s Japan has experienced a boom in tourism. From 8 million overseas tourists in 2007,
to 24 million last year. And with it it’s led to a whole new wave of
hostels and hotels, rail passes, buses and low-cost domestic airlines, that have
made it cheaper to experience and travel the country than ever before. In fact, this year in the UK Tokyo was ranked as the cheapest long-haul destination
thanks to a fall in the value of the yen. In this video we’ll be looking at ways
that you can save money, on transportation, accommodation and dining out
and giving you a general idea of how much you could be spending on any given day. The boom in tourism have seen an explosion of new hostels and hotels,
opening across Japan especially in Tokyo. But whether you’re staying at a hotel
motel or holiday in, the cheapest place to stay in Tokyo is the area of Asakusa and Ueno, where the majority of the hostels are. So, the absolute cheapest option, accommodation wise is staying in a hostel in a dormitory where you can
find a bed for as little sometimes as 2,000 yen. If I’m traveling in a group,
that’s usually the option we go for. The second best option is staying in a
capsule hotel which is a bit more expensive, between 3,000 to 5,000 yen per night. If I had to choose between a hostel and a capsule hotel, I would usually go for a capsule hotel, just because the beds are bigger, there’s some degree of privacy with the shutter and you get your own TV! What more could you want? After capsule hotels the next cheapest
option is to stay at business hotel. Where you can find a single room for
about 5000 yen per night if you’re lucky, but typically between 5,000 to 7,000 yen. I could recommend some budget hotel chains, like “TOYOKO-INN” or “APA” hotels. But actually I found over the last year the best way is to just go online and compare prices for about half an hour. And the 3 best websites are probably
“” “Japan i” and “Rakuten Travel” and “HOSTELWORLD”
if you’re booking a hostel. you can find bargains on “Airbnb” as well,
especially if you’re traveling in a group of like three or four people,
but if you’re traveling solo I tend to find “Airbnb” works out to be more expensive.
and I use it more for the experience of staying somewhere interesting rather
than to travel on a budget. Finally the wild card option is to stay in a love hotel, where you can find a room for about 8,000 yen per night on average.
Although with a love hotel you’re paying for the room rather than
people in it so if, you’re going with two people then it still works out cheaper
than a standard hotel room. And it’s typically a lot bigger than a standard hotel room. With things like cages, teddy bear caves and jacuzzis at your disposal. Try and book all of your accommodation at least three months in advance to save
quite a bit of money. And also for hostels it’s kind of essential, given that they are still a bit of a rarity. So try and book the ball 3 months in
advance not only get a room but to get one the cheap as well. And the last option and one that I use a heck of a lot are “overnight buses” which leads us
on to transportation Japan’s transportation infrastructure is
legendary. Riding on trains is an effortless joy they’re never late, they’re always clean And passengers aren’t shouting down the phone about how drunk they were last weekend with their friends Barry and Deborah. But it is a little bit pricey especially the bullet trains. And the first conundrum most foreign travelers have when coming here, is whether or not to get the Japan Rail Pass. Where for about 46,000 yen you can travel the country freely for two weeks
on Shinkansen and local trains and save quite a bit of money and have
peace of mind along the way. To give you an idea of how much you could save, if you came to Japan for a two-week trip, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. The cost of catching bullet trains and a round trip would be around 43,000 yen. If you take into
consideration other costs such as subway trains and buses, that would likely add up to another 10,000 yen. At the minimum you’re saving about 6 thousand yen,
but probably more! And more importantly, it’ll save you the time and stress of standing around at ticket machines every day for 2 weeks buying train tickets and bus tickets, and that alone is a good enough reason to consider it. However there is an even cheaper way of traveling the country. Some friends recently visited
and we traveled the same route from Tokyo to Kyoto and Hiroshi Shima.
Instead of using 3 bullet trains on the roundtrip, we used 2 night busses and a domestic flight from Hiroshima back to Tokyo. On top of that, we probably spent another 10,000 yen traveling around the cities on the subway trains. That gave us a total of 34,000 yen! Which is quite a bit cheaper than getting the Japan Rail Pass. If you’re traveling Japan on a budget,
let night busses be your secret weapon! because as well as being half the price
of a bullet train, if you travel through the night you’re also saving on accommodation as well.
For example… We traveled on the night bus for 2 nights and thus saved 2 nights of accommodation, which would have been around another 8,000 yen. that said if you are traveling by night bus there are a few additional costs. For example… You’ll need to spend at least another 600 yen, on a bottle of wine to make sure you’re fully knocked out for the duration of the trip. I’d say 50 % of the time, I’m able to sleep on the night bus. And the other 50 %of the time… I arrive at my destination a broken man,
cursing the day that buses were ever invented. The 2 best websites for booking are… Willer Express and Japan travel
Which are both in English and nice and easy to use. in recent years though, Japan’s also seen a steady stream of low-cost airline carriers popping up.
For example to fly from Sendai to Osaka, cost as little as 5,000 yen with
“Peach Airlines” far cheaper than by train and even by bus. And if you still want to
know if the Japan Rail Pass is worth it or not,
you can use the Japan Rail Pass calculator on the Japan guides website.
where you can input the length of time you’re staying and your itinerary to get
a rough idea whether or not it’s worth it. And if you want to save even more money there’s an even cheaper way than by traveling by bus. You can travel by… “skateboard” No seriously! I’m not even trolling you, I know it going who travelled all the way from Sapporo Hiroshima on a skateboard.
It took him 33 days and he saved at least 5,000 yen which is the cost of traveling by plane.
The only question that remains is… How budget are you willing to go?? Yeah I would have… I would have… just flown it… The cheapest style of restaurant to eat out in Japan are the fast food restaurants. The three main ones are… Sukiya Yoshinoya and Matsuya Which can be found on most city streets across the country. And all of which sell the same style of rice bowl dishes covered
in toppings the most popular being Gyudon, which is thinly sliced beef. So you got rice, beef and three kinds of cheese. All for 490 yen and without the cheese… It’s 350 yen which is disturbingly cheap! It’s not something you’re going to write home to your family about… probably but it is very filling. After you’ve had this, the next six hours you’re soaring. Also it comes with Tabasco.
This isn’t product placement. It’s not just randomly there, they give it to you with the bowl to give it some flavor. Although be careful because you do get Tabasco all over your hands and it does look like… I’ve committed murder!!! Fast filling and without the same sense of guilt that comes from eating at a western style
fast-food restaurant is the ideal place to drop into for any
budget traveler, or just people like me who are lazy!
And can’t be bothered to cook at home. Slightly healthier than Western fast-food,
although if you’re like me and you smother your food in 3 kinds of
cheese you are going to lose those a groundbreaking health benefits. Another good cheap fast food option are the standing restaurants, dotted around train stations. Where you can order a bowl of soba or udon, from the vending machines for as little as 400 yen. And if I’m in a hurry around lunchtime,
I’ll quickly dive in and grab a bowl of “Mushroom Soba”
Tastes surprisingly good as well! But then again even if you’re a budget traveler, You probably didn’t come all the way to Japan just to eat a bowl of rice with 3 kinds of cheese for 2 weeks. Or maybe you did!? But fortunately there’s a really easy way of
saving money if you’re going out for the evening. There are a few Japanese words you really need to know before you visit. And one of those words is “Nomihoudai” which means all you can drink! It’s the holy grail of a cheat night out. Where for around as little as 1,200 yen, you can drink as much as you can from the
extensive drink menu, for up to 2 hours! It’s pretty good for 1,500 yen, you get all the alcohol you can drink and all the meat you can eat. OH MY GOD!! (chuckling) It’s less of a barbecue, more of a… just a general… general FIRE!! Some types of restaurants also have
“Tabehoudai” all you can eat. Particularly at “Yakiniku” grill meat restaurants such as this one. Just be careful who you leave in charge of the barbecue… His food is on fire! If you do some research online, finding bars and restaurants with “Nomihoudai”
is pretty easy to do. If you’re not a big drinker, but still fancy a beer though the cheapest place to buy alcohol is at the supermarket or
convenience store. One really good thing about Japan is you can actually drink alcohol out in public. which you can’t do in the UK. So you can come in here you
can grab your your ah… “One CUP Sake” which is basically just a kind of a jam jar
filled with cheap sake. And go off down the park and have a bit of
fun! That said, it’s not that great so… probably avoid that unless it’s your first time drinking sake. Because then you won’t know, you won’t have anything to compare it to. It’s also a great place to pick up
breakfast or lunch, such as onigiri rice balls or cheap ready meals. Soba noodles, 348 yen pretty cheap! The perfect thing for like a picnic or a light snack. Finally to give you a rough idea of the price of certain popular dishes, here’s a full price breakdown with meals such as sushi and yakitori, unsurprisingly being amongst the most expensive. And “Wagyu” beef being so expensive I didn’t even bother putting it on the list. So there you have it!
Traveling Japan on a budget! This video was made in collaboration with the
“Japan National Tourism Office London” If you’re looking for ideas and advice on traveling to Japan, you can check out the glamorous website at “”
which is one of the best resources for planning your trip to Japan.
And if you’re not a native English speaker, the JNTO website comes in 15 languages which you can find at, I’ve also put a link to their Facebook page in the description box, if you’re looking for more ideas for your trip. But for now many thanks for watching guys, and if you are watching this in preparation for an upcoming trip to Japan, just want to wish you an awesome
trip! Have a good one!! Oh, I really shouldn’t wink like that at
the end… It just… just looks a bit creepy and awkward… Maybe I’ll give a friendly SMILE. (||゚Д゚||)

100 thoughts on “How Expensive is it to Travel Japan? | Budget Travel Tips

  1. I MENTIONED I travelled with some friends for two weeks; the total cost of our accommodation and transportation came in at £530 ($690) each. On top of this we spent at least another £600 each on food/drink, as it was their first time to Japan and they wanted to splash out and try everything. So in total around £1100 for the two weeks (NOT including their return flights to Japan from the UK). IF you have any budget travel wisdom, please share away below!

  2. Travel tip: in Tokyo airbnb is way cheaper that booking. For the same price you can stay in a “more or less ok” apartment or not so ok hostel/hotel. In Kyoto it’s possible to get good deals on booking while on airbnd not so much. Tokyo has really cheap public transport card (for foreigners), in Kyoto is best to rent a bike. It can be costly to get to small towns in Japan- we took a bus from shimoda to local beach and paid around 8eu for a 20min bus ride (if I remember correctly in Tokyo three day train pass cost 15eu).

  3. I wanna go there to make mangas and find my japanese waifu LMAOOOOOOO i was attracted to melanin for the longest but asian females juss so goddamn fine broooo!!!

  4. I just came back from Japan. I stayed there for 16 days, only hostels and capsules. To give a pretty good example, the best capsule hotel was in Kobe, right at the station and I was able to book a night for 1700 yen (about a month before I went) instead of 3000 that was the standard price. The hostels were about 1500 – 2000 per night, depending on the area. In Kyoto and Osaka it was a bit cheaper, the most expensive one was in Tokyo. I also stayed in Hamamachutso and Akihabara for the same price more on less. Skipped the JR pass and travel with the night buses (about 70 euros for a round trip) and that way I also skipped a couple of night at a hostel. I chose all the hostel locations to be in walking distance (about 30 mins) from where I wanted to go, in order to save on buses and metro. Unfortunately due to circumstances I had to ride more buses and metro than I thought (rain, typhoon, phone battery dying), but my mentality was correct.
    For food I realized that the cheap options (like 7eleven) are only a bit cheaper than ramen or small restaurants, so I ate mostly at them, occasionally cup noodles and sushi. Every time I found a big super market, the food and drinks were cheaper than the compini so I took advantage of that.
    For entertainment there is a ton of free things to do in Japan. Visiting temple, mountains, almost everywhere there was something free. Of course I had to pay for the most well known attractions (like golden pavilion) but even if I didnt visit those, I would still be feeling fulfilled.
    With some careful planing, and maybe a bit of inconvenience you can still experience the full Japan package on a budget. I am Greek btw, so if I could do it, everyone can


  6. I remember having a nice udon fress tour in Takamatsu, tasting many different udon in that area. I don't remember how much it costs, but that would be a great outing if it is another affordable option. 😀

  7. Currently, a flight from Hiroshima to Sapporo seems to be around 26.000yens, at least (5.500 in this video). So… the prices have changed a lot since this video was uploaded, or Skyscanner is trolling me.

  8. Hi. Great video and tips. Thanks. Maybe I missed it but isnt it considerably cheaper if you buy the Japan Rail Pass in your home country?

  9. Brother help me

    Im an middle class indian who wants to master my art in japan please cover these topic with regards to the coat of living and how to save it please

  10. 青春18きっぷをオススメします。

  11. One day in tokyo and i lost over 100 euros. But it includes food, arcades, maid cafes and transport.
    Ueno is an amazing place tho. Its a calm part of tokyo

  12. Hey I’m Japanese btw I really like your English accent Really elegant and beautiful, reminds me Jude Law

  13. I’ve watched a few of your videos now and there seems to be a running theme of cheap alcohol and food, which in my opinion should be commended. I’m hopefully visiting Japan over Xmas where I’ll be looking for the opportunity to put some of your advice into practice

  14. One of my favourite parts of watching the video is finding out the exchange rate between yen and pounds is incredible ?

  15. Just like any other country in the world, eating in Japan depends where you go. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you like…

  16. お寿司が食べたいなら、わざわざ銀座まで行かずに回転寿司で充分美味しいし、メニューも豊富。一人当たり1500円くらいでお腹いっぱいになります。

  17. For food:
    In the morning, skip the big breakfast and just go all out with a previously hard boiled egg (you boil yourself the night before) and a good cup of coffee. Feel free to add a rice ball to make the fullness last longer. I don't know the cost of a single piece of fresh egg in the supermarket, but it can't be more than 30 Yen. A good cup of coffee can be one of them instant coffees or ready to brew ones from convenience stores. You can buy in bulk and one cup shouldn't cost more than 100 yen. One rice ball can cost up to 150 yen. So, you have yourself a power breakfast at less than 300 yen.

    Then, just make do with a really heavy lunch at around 1 PM or so. Splurge on lunch, probably 1000 yen if you're into big yet reasonably priced meals that's good for two. For context, the famous Ichiran 5 at Ichiran Ramen costs 1500 yen if I recall plus one free ramen refill. That pretty good until the next day if you eat past 2 pm.

    If you get hungry past 6, buy yourself a 350 yen meal at 7-11, FamilyMart, or Lawson, or during the evening sale at Don Quijote's food floor where every food is either 50% off or buy 1 take 1.

    That's a max 1500 yen per day in Japan or about 500 yen per meal per person which is quite a lot for most people. If you're not really a big eater, you can get that down to 1000 yen or so. In dollars, 1500 Yen is like $15.00 You get to fill your belly at $15.00 a day. If you're a big guy or girl, and you're used to spending upwards of $20 per day on food, you will not be hungry anywhere in Japan.

    For travel, I don't really recommend the JR passes unless you're going to be literally only using JR lines. The really good places in Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo often make use of Subways which the passes don't work with. Not to mention the amount of walking you'll be doing in some of them will make you want to spend a bit more for subways anyway. If you don't mind walking, then you can make the JR passes work wonders, especially in Tokyo and Osaka and their respective surrounding cities. If you're staying for ten days minimum, and you're going to change prefectures halfway (i.e. Tokyo to Osaka), then perhaps the bullet train pass can work. Plus points if you use the bullet train again, and again, and again within the same travel week.

    For most tourist, they only use the bullet train once per week if they ever do since each prefecture has a lot of places to visit.

  18. 9:30 You can drink alcohol in public in the Uk? or at the very least, everyone I know does and has never even had a single problem around it?

  19. The night bus is not as economic as you may think. You lose your sleep and you need to wait until the check in time of a hotel which is 15.00. So what are you going to do sleepless with a suitcase for so many hours?

  20. It is illegal to use skateboards on busy roads in Japan.
    However, the criteria of busy roads are ambiguous.
    Japanese police often take a harsh attitude towards foreigner.
    It is not recommended that foreigners travel by skateboard in Japan.

  21. I'm trying to travel to japan with my friend but the only problem right now is the plane ticket? Does anyone know cheap plane ticket for japan, and if there is any cheap business class ticket?

  22. 7/11 is love, 7/11 is life. Honestly, 7/11 is a godsend since they are almost everywhere. In fact, in Osaka, there are literally two on the same street just parallel to each other. Just on opposite sides of the street.

  23. The only reasons i want to go to japan is to go to akihabara to get some sweet anime figures and to go explore the beautiful sites also to try some of the food like ramen

  24. 漫画喫茶、インターネットカフェに泊まることも追加して。おじさんのいびきがうるさいけどね。女性だと、鍵付きの女性専用エリアがあるお店があるから、非常にイイ!

  25. One thing I will add is that I have traveled pretty extensively around Japan both by train and overnight / highway bus and the overnight / highway buses do not always have toilets so if you are having a couple of drinks on the bus, you may not be able to hang on until the next roadside service area stop so you may need to get pretty inventive as I needed to………. Just one thing you might want to check before catching the bus! Love your videos Chris.

  26. That Japan Railpass calculator just saved my budget. I was about to buy it and I’d only use it to go from Osaka to Kyoto, Nara and the longest one would be there to Tokyo.

  27. I hope tourist behave as much as possible. I represent myself as a individual but many people think that some few idiots of any race represent everyone in that r

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