Travel cost is one of the big doubts that all travelers who are thinking of traveling to Japan. A few months ago I traveled to Japan. Today, here, I share my experiences about the budget trip for Japan.
Compared with other Asian countries, Japan is true that it is a more expensive but not prohibitive destination. Knowing how to travel, where to sleep or where to eat, in the end, Japan is a destination that anyone can visit.
The budget for Japan trip
To help you prepare your trip better and know the prices of transport, accommodation or meals. I have prepared this post where you will also find tips on how to save and make the trip cheaper.
One of the main expenses that you are going to have on the trip is the accommodation. But being a little “you can find good prices and of course, enjoy the quality and hospitality of the Japanese establishments.
Staying in Japan is not cheap, especially if you are not looking for options in hostels or shared dorms.
But this does not mean that prices are prohibitive, if we compare them with Europe or the US, yes, prices are above the average of the rest of Asian countries.
With this information, you can get a real idea of the average expenditure based on your budget. Take note:
Cost of accommodation in Japan
If you travel alone to Japan, the best option is to always look for shared accommodation to reduce costs.
Take advantage to make your overnight trips if you know how to play well with the destinations you can save many nights of accommodation.
If you are a Booking dot com user, become a member of your Genius plan. With this membership, you get discounts on all your accommodations, so at the end of the trip, you can save some money.
Another way to save on accommodation is to do Couchsurfing. The main advantage you have with this, is especially that you share the stay in private homes, with local people. They are also usually happy to show you the peculiarities of their culture.
Interestingly, transportation is not one of the most expensive things you will find on the trip. Being a very touristy country, Japan has a series of advantages when it comes to moving that very few countries have. We are referring to your famous Passes or long-term tickets to travel unlimited for 7 days, 15 days or 21 days by train or bus.
The Japan Rail Pass is oriented to travel on the famous high-speed trains of the country. These trains quickly allow day trips from one destination to another. It is ideal for those people who do not have many days of travel or who do not want to waste a lot of time on journeys. The cost of the ticket is high. In the end, the amount of journeys is added in comparison with the cost of buying the tickets separately. It is an investment that is very worthwhile.
A much cheaper option is the Japan Bus Pass. With the JBP you can move around the country by bus. It is true that the time to cover distances is much greater than the time taken by the high-speed train. The JBP has the advantage of being able to travel at night, thus saving money on accommodation and gaining time.
In this case, it is not worth much traveling by plane, except if one of your destinations to visit is the island of Hokkaido. The prices of domestic flights are expensive. If we compare them with the bullet train and they also have the inconvenience of the time and extra expense of the trip to the airport. Even so, punctually you can find very good offers.
If you travel alone, you will not have many options. Perhaps the most advisable thing is that you combine night trips by bus to travel long distances with train transfers for short distances. If you travel as a couple and especially in a group, you can choose to rent a car. When sharing the cost, there are times that go cheaper than buying 2 bus or train tickets. The best thing is that there are many interesting routes to do by car in the country.
Transport in the city
Since Japan is a developed country, all major cities have a wide public transport network. It allows them to travel easily and comfortably. The great advantage that Japan has is that in all these big cities it is offered to the tourists Combined Notes. Enjoy unlimited trips and with several days of duration in some of the cases. These tickets are perfect for touring each city. In some cases, urban transport is included in your Japan Rail Pass ticket.
In many of the destinations, you can travel the city on foot or by bicycle. Except for Tokyo and Kyoto, the other interesting cities are small and have attractions close to each other.
The eating cost in Japan
Lovers of Japanese cuisine are going to be very happy because one of the cheapest things on the trip to Japan is food. The average prices of the restaurants are accessible to everyone, with a very good price-quality ratio between 3 and 5 dollars on average.
The best way to eat cheaply in Japan is to look for restaurants with a local atmosphere. The famous Japanese fast food chains (Ramen, Sushi) that exist in all the cities of the country. Take advantage of the many street food stalls that can be found.
How to save money on the meal?
Find accommodations where breakfast is included. Take advantage of the mini market numbers you will find and where you can buy all kinds of products and pre-cooked dishes. This option is ideal for breakfast or a light dinner. It is normal that last hour of the day, the prices of the products go down by half. Take advantage of that moment to do the shopping. Also look for food vending machines or Jidohanbaiki. You will be surprised by the variety of products you can find.
Save extra charges on travel?
In case you want to do tours with local guides you can choose between doing them in English. In these cases, the tours are usually more expensive because there is not so much offer of Japanese speaking guides. Travel with a is better if you are alone.
Shopping at Japan
Japan is known worldwide for being the best place to shop for electronics, telephony and computer products. Being such a leading country, the prices of these products are much cheaper than in Europe or America.
When it comes to shopping, it is important that you look for stores with the Japan Tax-Free Shop banner. These stores are common in the main commercial centers of the country. In them, it is possible to save 8% of VAT on purchases over 5,000 yen made in the same store for a whole day. The only requirement that you must meet is to show your passport and keep the one received to present it at the airport when leaving the country. Also if you make the purchase with a Visa card, you will have an additional 5% discount on your purchase.
That’s my experience of the budget for Japan trip.