For many travelers Japan is a dream destination with its beautiful temples, fascinating culture and the Tokyo neon lights. Bruce Moerdjiman from the Netherlands visited Japan for almost 4 weeks. He noted down all his Japan expenses for Bunch of Backpackers (Thank you Bruce!). Take a look at his overview of costs to travel in Japan and our tips.
This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.
COSTS 26-DAY JAPAN TRIP*: 2500 EURO (3350 USD)
DAILY TRAVEL EXPENSES*: 96 EURO (128 USD)
*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights.
EXAMPLES OF PRICES IN JAPAN
These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.
Standard Japan expenses
One night in a hostel dormitory: 16 euro (21 USD)
One night in a double room in a simple guesthouse: 40 euro (53 USD)
A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 1 euro (1,3 USD)
A local beer at a bar/restaurants: 6 euro (8 USD)
A glass of coca cola in a restaurant: 3 euro (4 USD)
Lunch at a local restaurant: 10 euro (13 USD)
Dinner at a local restaurant: 20 euro (26 USD)
Notable Japan expenses
Three week Japan Railpass: 417 euro (560 USD)
Tokyo AirBnB 7 nights: 450 euro (604 USD)
Kyoto Ryokan: 416 euro (560 USD)
SOME DETAILS ON THIS TRIP
About the backpackers: Bruce Moerdjiman
Destination and travel period: Japan in April 2014 for 26 days.
Visited places: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, Hyuga, Fujikawaguchiko, Miyazu
Type of trip: Independently and solo.
Accommodation: standard (hostels, guesthouses, ryokan, airBnB)
Transportation: standard (mix of transportation)
Food: budget (local places and cheap western places)
Exchange rate at the time of travel: 1000 Y = 7 euro
Japan budget tips by Bruce
- Scout good on AirBnB and Booking.com for budget hostels/dorms which houses expats. Because expats stay for extended periods, they maintain the dorm and make it liveable, better than capsule hotels. They can also advise you on where to eat cheap.
Additional Japan budget tips by Manouk
- Stay the night at a computer cafe. In most of these cafe’s you have your own cubicle with a comfortable chair. I did it while traveling in Japan and it was fine. There are no showers though. Another option is to spend the night at a 24h onsen or a spa.
- Izakaya’s have great food and are relatively inexpensive. Other cheap eat places are food vending machines and big Japanese food chains.
- If you want to go for a night out, do as in your student days, and drink beforehand. You can buy bottles of liquor and beer from the convenience store.
- It’s obviously cheaper (especially when staying in a ryokan) to travel together.
- The JR pass seems expensive, but if you travel around Japan you will save money with it! If you buy a JR pass from a company, compare prices because these tend to differ.
- Just as Bruce I also spend four weeks in Japan. To minimize the costs I did two weeks of volunteering at a bird park in Tokyo. In exchange I was given free accommodation and 3 meals a day. I also made loads of Japanese friends and learned some Japanese. Great way to start my Japan backpacking trip.