How Much Does It Cost to Travel in Japan? – 2013

Japan has a reputation for being extremely expensive, but is this reputation justified?

Here’s the answer, based on detailed budgets shared by four top travel blogger couples.

How Much Does Cost to Travel in Japan?
How Much Does Cost to Travel in Japan?

1. Around the world travelers Dave and Vicki spent 16 days in Japan at the end of 2012. Their average spend was $73 per person per day.

– Over half their costs were on transportation, including $356 each for the 7 Day Japan rail pass (Note: the current price works out around $430 USD).

– Their total only included $176 for accommodation because they couchsurfed almost every night of their stay. They needed to send over 300 couchsurfing requests to successfully find couchsurfing hosts for their stay.


2. Excluding their flights to Japan, Gillian and Jason from One Giant Step spent $8,837.52 for 27 days in Japan, also in 2012. This averages to $164 per person per day, for two people traveling together.

They spent an average of $123.80 per night on accommodation. You can Gillian’s full spreadsheet of everything they spent here.


Note: these figures are in Canadian dollars, which are roughly equivalent to USD.

3. Steph and Tony from 20 Years Hence also spent 27 days in Japan (in late 2012). They spent $2275 per person, or $101 per person per day.

– Excluding the cost of their Japan Rail passes, they spent $81 per person per day on the ground in Japan.

-They spent 75% of their paid accommodation nights in hostel dorms, and couchsurfed for 4 nights of their stay.


4. Simon and Erin from Never Ending Voyage did a 24 day housesit in Kyoto. While they were housesitting, they only spent $24 dollars per person day. For the additional 14 days they spent traveling around Japan, they averaged $110 per person per day.


Is a Japan Rail Pass Worth It?

All of the travelers mentioned above used the Japan Rail Pass. Akila and Patrick from The Road Forks wrote a great detailed guide to help you figure out if the Japan Rail Pass is worth it for your trip.

Have you written a detailed Japan budget post?

If yes, please feel free to put the link to your post in the comments.

photo credit: bass_nroll via photopin cc


  1. // Reply

    Thanks for including our Japan budget?it’s useful to compare it to other couples’ travel costs.

    1. // Reply

      Thanks Erin – I’ve been following your blog for awhile. Super lovely to get a comment and RT from you 🙂

  2. // Reply

    Thanks for including us (and making us look like cheapskates lol). Note how everyone here opted for the rail pass but in reality if you choose to forgo it (and hence, not travel around Japan as much) you can really lower your costs A LOT. Transportation is the most expensive by far and it’s the one thing you can’t really get around.

  3. // Reply

    I have always wanted to go to Japan but did not go as I thought it would be too expensive. Its nice to know that it can be an affordable country to visit.

  4. // Reply

    I have only spent a couple days in Japan (en route home from Thailand) but I explain to people that we spent as much for 2 days in Tokyo as we did for 9 days in Thailand.

    Yes, Japan can me a little pricey, but I know some people that live there and other friends that travel there frequently, and I get the impression from them that there ARE places that are cheaper to eat and stay (transportation is just expensive no matter what) but they are well hidden and you really have to know where to look!

  5. // Reply

    Good to know, we hope to go to Japan next year – better start saving now!!

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