For years I wanted to visit Japan, but the budget would scare me off! I heard stories about expensive hotels, expensive food and expensive train rides. But Japan was a country, me and my husband Timo definitely wanted to visit!
When I found cheap flight to Japan, I didn’t hesitate too long to book the flight.
During our visit I kept track on all our expenses in Japan. And it turned out to be more affordable than I thought it would be! I even think this could be a great backpackers country, but you have to make concessions. Train tickets can still be expensive, but you can take a bus instead. Food in restaurants is expensive, but you can get great street food or buy a lunchbox in a convenience store. Make your choice!
To lower the cost of train tickets they created a Japan Rail pass. Or shorten JR Pass. This pass has to be purchased outside of Japan and you can get a pass for 7/14/21 following days. You can only get this pass when you travel on a tourist visa to Japan.
With this pass you can travel all around Japan on the Shinkansen (bullet). Not all train tickets are included, so be prepared to pay extra for some routes.
After a quick calculation, I found out this JR pass would not cover all of our train rides. Beside that, we also rented a car for 48 hours (covered in 3 days), so we decided to buy separate tickets instead.
So how much did our trip to Japan cost?
Find out below! Our exact 2 week itinerary you can find here.
Travel period: 2 weeks in November
Transportation: train, bus, metro (we choose the best price/time mode of transportation at that moment)
Tour: we didn’t book any tours on this trip. All sights and activities we visited on our own.
Accommodation: Budget to Midrange, booked in advance.
Total cost: €1260,42 per person (16 days including flight days)
So that would be an average of €78,78 per person per day. These cost are excluded international flight.
Our flights have cost € 531 from Amsterdam to Osaka and return from Tokyo Narita to Amsterdam.
Our accommodation was mainly a mix of budget hotel, apartment or guesthouse and traditional accommodation.
We spend an average of €87,13 for a double room per night. The prices would range between €40 low budget and €160 for the traditional accommodation.
Two nights in traditional accommodation were including a breakfast and a dinner and another 2 nights in a hotel in Kawaguchiko we had breakfast included.
As I mentioned we didn’t buy the JR rail pass as we thought this wouldn’t be our fit. Our total amount spend on transport was €367,64 per person, including bus, train and metro.
This also includes the €86,62 for a car rental, parking tickets and toll roads.
Given the fact a 14 day rail pass would cost €373 I think we did a good job on the transportation!
Our average per day we spend was €22,97 per person per day.
The only minor thing about getting all your tickets separate is that you have to go to the ticket booth every time you wanna take a bus or a train and get a ticket, this would take time. Mostly I used Hyperdia a day in advance to find out about the timetables. I made a screen shot and showed it at the ticket counter. Worked out well!
To travel around in cities like Kyoto and Tokyo we bought a Pasmo and an ICOCA public transport card. We needed to charge this card frequently. But this card was really clever, you can even use it to buy small purchases in convenient stores or drinking machines.
A metro day card in Kyoto would cost €6, but this would not include all metro lines and buses so be aware you might have to pay for an extra ticket.
We spend €189,10 per person on food. That would be an average of €11,82 per person per day. We had a few nights dinner and breakfast or only a dinner included.
Overall, we eat yogurt or a sandwich for a breakfast, together with some tea. Tea was mostly was provided with the accommodation. There is a kettle and cups and tea bags in every room.
For a lunch and dinner we would stick to the convenience stores and buy a lunch box (bento box). This can be heated in the supermarket itself or in the hotel. A few times we went to a (cheap) restaurant, were you have to use a machine to place your order, or just point at the pictures of the menu. Those were the cheapest options. We ate 2 times in a sushi train restaurant. You pay by plate you eat, so this way, you can control your expenses.
We spend €93,77 on other things like entrance fees, coin lockers and souvenirs. That would be €5,87 per person per day. A lot of sights like shrines and parks are free of charge, this saves a lot of money!
Accommodation: €43,56 per night
Food: €11,82 per day
Transportation : €22,97 per day
Others: €5,87 per day