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 Replies to “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. For inexpensive food, I like to go to MaxValu after 8PM .They had a big discounted, 50% on all ready-to-eat food. And, for all-you-can-eat food, I like On-Yasai shabu and Yakinuku King, especially lunch meal .

  3. Hey mOOOOOM cAn We Go tO jApAn NoW!!?!?

    Edit: No but seriously anything/anywhere outside of Norway is cheap af to me so budget or no budget I’mma come back from Japan 16 kilos heavier and fluent in taxi

  4. Df the money are so confusing… American dollars are easy to use… 3000 yen is what? $27? Shouldn’t it be 30? To be a simple money? Lmao

  5. I'd go but i know how bad i am at Japanese and i know how bad it is when i don't know a language in another country XD

  6. it freaked me out to see that tabasco bottle in the video because i'm from a town about an hour away from where it is made and bottled and i forget it is sold worldwide sometimes

  7. $64 for a single room? damn, go to ramania and get a brand new appartment for $80 with two bedrooms for one night.

  8. Planning a trip to Japan Tokyo first stop group of 10 in February.. your videos are amazing! Trying to learn as much of the language as I can

  9. Third party booking isn't always cheaper. 70% of the time, it actually costs more to do that, than book directly with me. Far as my property. Then you're that third party companies customer, not mine. The booking company pays me with their card, you pay the booking company. Any dispute requires you to deal with said booking company(headache to nightmare). Call a local gas station and see if they have hotel coupon books, if so I bet that rate is cheaper most times. Not sure of Japan, far as gas stations with hotel coupons. Third party booking is great though, for businesses. I pay 0… 0 for marketing in 2019, thanks to Google and how customers shop now.

  10. How would I get in contact with someone who's has been to japan and has some useful advice for because struggle to find the right place

  11. Hah! U can speak,read Japanese. And 400 yen pretty cheap to u or as per ur country.. I guess according to India's survey.. a whole family will survive for a day within 1 to 2 dollars.. which is not more than 250yen if am ri8.
    And from watching animes I learned many Japanese words and have a dream to live in Japan atleast for 1 year…
    But I recently considered the possibility that am not gonna be so rich from India that I can live in Japan even for 1 month…it's pretty much sad… But unless someone give a charity case favour, I can't ever be in Japan more than 1 week or so.

  12. Tf Japan is pretty damn cheap everyone always tells me it’s super expensive but when I went it was really cheap

  13. 10 USD all you can drink for 2 hours..
    Was just out in Saigon last night 4 hours we dropped between 3 of us 45 beers about ha ha
    I think that place would kick me in the first 45 minutes

  14. I’m a Japanese and I watched this video to improve my listening skill.
    This video is easy to understand!
    I think this video will help many foreigners who plan to visit Japan.
    I want to say Japanese fast foods like Sukiya and Yoshinoya are cheap and really taste good!
    I enjoyed watching this video.
    Thanks for introducing Japan!

  15. Earlier this year, after airplane tickets, jr pass, and vaccines. My month long trip to Japan cost me about 200 000Â¥

  16. What about bikes? Are renting bikes for like a week significantly expensive? I want to go biking around Hiroshima for two days and I'm curious if the bike cost will be high

  17. I live in the US, a vacation in Japan is cheaper than the US. Only thing that would be a big cost would be the flight from here to Japan. Everything else is basically cheaper. Average motel cost $50-$60, average Hotel is about $100 a night. Domestic flights if you can get one with Aligent Air is about $100, usually one way. A Japan trip seems pretty cheap.

  18. 6:18 so your telling me persons skate from Hiroshima across massive coverage of water straight to Sapporo……….seems logical

  19. 日本で英語のみなんて知的障害者がウーワーわめいてんのと変わらんよ。英語を話す人が優位みたいな風潮あるけど、英国って何か完全自力で作れるのかね?スコッチウイスキー?音楽も今は全然だね?エドシーランが人気らしいが、日本の秦基博の方がセンスあると思う。

  20. 日本はそれほど仏教に熱心ではないし、仏教の教義を知らないよ。なぜこれ程寺が多いのか?それは日本の出自、ルーツを隠すため。仏教や寺院が多ければ完全なアジアの国に偽装出来るでしょ?本当のルーツはイスラエルだよ。イスラエルがバビロニアやアッシリアに滅ぼされ、大陸をさ迷ってたどり着いた場所。それが日本だ。ハンガリーやフィンランドがアジア出身だがヨーロッパ人と変わらないのと同じだよ。

  21. this guy is so damn funny with his sudden exclamations like maybe you didnt come to japan for mushroom soba and 3 types of cheese or maybe you did lol

  22. Having gone to Japan earlier this summer, I wholeheartedly second his recommendation of getting a Japan Rail Pass, it makes life so much easier and saves on the taxis and trouble of buying train tickets, although you'll still have to figure out which line to take and where to go to reach said line. You just show your pass at the entrance ways to the platforms and off you go, simple as that.

    I also second his recommendation of staying in Ueno, that's where I stayed and I thought that it was fairly centrally located for the Tokyo area.There's lots to see and do in the immediate area, plenty of restaurants all around both inside and outside the train station there. It's also really close to Akihabara as well as Harajuku and if you're into Pokemon, the Pokemon Cafe isn't all that far from there either.

  23. Great videos! But how is living in Japan for an extended period of time? Would you recommend renting/buying a home? Or would just staying in a business hotel be your recommendation? How is finding a good job in Japan for a foreigner?

  24. The grill place with the all you can drink, do they have other drinks besides alcohol if your just interested in the food?

  25. I would be a zombie if I had to sleep on a night bus. The ease o
    And time saving a bullet train provides is a small price to pay for my back and neck not killing me the next morning.

  26. I'm Japanese, so I can't speak
    English well.
    Please be careful.
    Love hotel is the place to make love with partner or………
    And then, where to play strange too.

  27. lollll my family got a free hotel room in tokyo the last time we went to japan 😂 (its literally free ) The only hotel we paid for is when my family went to Osaka

  28. Their vacation boom is from China. Those are the people I want nothing to do with. I want to see Japan and experience Japanese culture. To be around a bunch of pigs from China would ruin that experience. Japanese I like, the Chinese and even Koreans I really don't like being around.

  29. Even cheaper option is to get SEISHUN 18 ticket if you are in a group. Look it up. There are few things that needs to be considered using this but it's great if you really want to explore Japan.

  30. seems like the japanese have to world in love with them thats why so many tourists try to visit japan when it doesnt even have good beaches, great salesmen , im heading to china for sure

  31. i’m in japan rn, and if u need a quick bite, 711 egg sandwiches or fruit sandwiches are delicious and quick. also yoshinoya is 10x better than the ones in america and i still don’t understand why

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