Travel Guide: Japan on a Budget

Japan is an incredible country but is notoriously expensive for travellers. Accommodations can very expensive, and the costs of entertainment can be very high, especially in big cities. With a bit of planning, you can still enjoy some delicious cuisine, unique culture and amazing historical sights without a huge cost.

Here are some tips on how to travel to Japan on a budget:

Get a JR Rain Pass

If you are planning some long-distance travel around Japan, get the JR pass. Sometimes the pass doesn’t make sense for shorter trips but if you are travelling between major destinations a long distance apart, the pass can cuts rail costs hugely compared to point-to-point tickets.

Passes come in 7 and 14 days and need to be validated at a Rail Pass office once in Japan. Make sure to double-check all your info on the pass, as it has to match your password info exactly.

Try Air B & B or pod hotels

In some cities is possible to get really reasonably priced Air B&B apartments accommodations, rather than hotels. This can save costs on longer-term accommodation and have a kitchen too to save on dining out. Cutting down on dining out to just once a day will save a lot on meal costs.

Self-cater to Save on Meals

7-11 and Family Mart continence stores have decent ready meals for much cheaper than sit down restaurants. Grabbing something to eat quickly will save on food costs and allow you more time to travel around and visit sights.


Temples and historic sights aren’t very expensive in Japan typically. Skip the shopping and spend time seeing cultural sights or experiencing the beautiful gardens and public parks around Japan. The natural wonders here are priceless (and cost less).

Cust Costs on Drinking

If you like to have some drinks while travelling, there are vending machines EVERYWHERE in Japan that have a selection of beer and other alcoholic drinks. Opt for a few drinks from the machines to supplement drinking in bars, where drinks are almost 3 times the cost.

Take Public Transit

The metro is a great and cost-effective way to get around major cities. Grab a metro map and use the coloured lines and stop numbers to navigate your way around. It’s quite easy, and public transit in Japan is clean and safe. Taxis are very expensive and should be avoided where possible. If going out late, or to enjoy the nightlife in an area far from your accommodation, try to stay up until the next metro starts running instead of taking a taxi across town. Transit runs both very late and very early in major cities.

Japan is a great country to visit! Even on a budget it’s easy to enjoy the country and its incredible culture. Have fun exploring and safe travels.

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