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For Budget Travelers

Essential Info

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Budget Travel Hints

Like many countries, Japan can be an expensive place to visit if you don't plan ahead, however there are a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts, which help to make Japan an affordable destination for even the most budget conscious traveler. It is worthwhile taking the time to decide which options will best suit your stay.

Transportation

If you are flying to Japan with one of the country's national carriers, Japan Airlines (JAL) or All Nippon Airways (ANA), and intend to take a domestic flight during your stay, it is worth buying your domestic ticket in conjunction with your international ticket. Both JAL and ANA can offer considerable savings on the cost of internal flights purchased in this way. Contact JAL or ANA for further details. See the transportation section of this site to find out more about discounts on domestic airfares.

With the Japan Rail Pass, foreign visitors to Japan can enjoy discounted travel on nearly all services of the extensive JR Transportation Network, including the Shinkansen or 'bullet train'. There are also a variety of other rail passes, which offer significant reductions on rail travel in Japan. Long distances buses and local train services are other low-cost transport options.

Taxis in Japan are expensive so long taxi rides are best avoided. Fortunately Japan's efficient and affordable local transportation networks mean that taxis are rarely required.

Railways
Railways & Buses
Domestic Air Service
Passenger Boats
Buses & Taxis
JAL
ANA
Japan Rail Pass

Accommodations

The cost and quality of accommodation in Japan is comparable with that of most other developed countries and there is something to suit every taste and wallet.

Accommodation Search
Welcome Inn Reservation Center

Attraction

Outlet malls
Free Attractions
Japan for Free(Practical Guides)

Dining Out

Dining out in Japan doesn't have to be expensive. Restaurant dining in Tokyo for example is certainly no more expensive than in most other world capitals and is often better value for money. Wherever you travel, restaurants in popular tourist areas will always cost more. Follow the locals and you will generally find both lower prices and more authentic Japanese cuisine. Avoid restaurants that don't list their prices outside the door. The people who can afford to eat in these places don't need to know how much they will have to pay. Budget dining can usually be enjoyed at more casual establishments such as Izakaya (Japanese pubs), Shokudo (general eating places, often with set meals), and Okonomiyaki restaurants ('Japanese pizza' places).

Comparing Prices

Recent improvements in the foreign exchange rate have meant more favorable prices for overseas visitors to Japan. The price chart in the following page is designed to give an idea of what you can expect to pay for a variety of everyday and travel-related items in Japan.

Recent improvements in the foreign exchange rate have meant more favorable prices for overseas visitors to Japan. The price chart below is designed to give an idea of what you can expect to pay for a variety of everyday and travel-related items in Japan..

FOOD and DRINK
Can of drink 120 yen
Cup of coffee 400 yen
Can of beer 230 yen
1/2 liter of mineral water 130 yen
Bowl of Japanese noodles 700 yen
Breakfast service in a coffee shop 500yen
Big Mac 280yen

TRANSPORTATION and TOURS
7-Day Japan Rail Pass 28,300 yen
One-day pass on the Tokyo Metro subway 710 yen
One-day pass on the Toei subway 1,000 yen
Airport Limousine Bus
(Narita Airport to Central Tokyo)
3,000 yen
2km bus ride 210 yen
5km taxi ride 1,600 yen
One day guided coach tour
(from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji)
10,000 - 15,000 yen

ACCOMMODATIONS
Youth Hostel 3,000 yen per night
Guesthouse
(single room)
From 4,000 yen per night
Economy Class Hotel
(single room)
From 7,000 yen per night
Mid-range Hotel
(double room)
From 11,000 yen per night

OTHER
Postcard stamp 70 yen
Shampoo 450 yen
Pack of 20 aspirin 500 yen

NOTE: The prices listed are approximate prices in Tokyo in Japanese yen as of December 2007

Related Information

 

Budget Travel Info