is japan really that expensive??
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 12:59 PM Last Post By: Regulus
Sep 26, 2012 2:01 AM
is japan really that expensive??hi everyone :)
i am planning a trip to japan in the new year. i have a few questions :
is it really that expensive.
what sort of accomadation is cheap?
is the transport like bullet trains expensive?
and can i be a sumo for a day???
very important ;)
look forward to chatting :)
Sep 26, 2012 3:52 AM
Sep 27, 2012 11:01 PM
2The first few days of January tend to be slow moving for japan because of the new year holidays. So I hope you are coming after that.
Having lived in London and Tokyo, I would say London was more pricey than Tokyo for me (esp food), tho with the currency right now I can't make a direct comparison.
The cheapest range of accommodation in Tokyo would be between 2,500 - 3,500JPY. If you are just going to sleep there, it should be OK. If you want to relax in your room, maybe not a good idea. I would say, pick a convenient area, because you don't want to pay extra transportation to travel to and from your accommodation.
If you go up to 5,000 - 8,000JPY per night per person, you can get a descent room at a cheap business hotel.
Anything above that would be pretty descent.
http://www.jalan.net/kakuyasu/130000/ (list of cheapest range accommodations - JP site, need to view with translator)
Yes, even Japanese people consider bullet trains fairly pricey (though it is a pretty quick way to get to places).
For example, Tokyo - Osaka would be between 12,000 - 15,000JPY one way.
If you go by long distance night bus, it would be between 5,000 - 10,000JPY one way, so students might opt for this.
Airplane is usually competitive with bullet trains but depending on your destination flying might be cheaper.
Best thing to do is to decide which areas in Japan you would like to visit, and find the best transport. There are long distance trains apart from bullet trains too.
In 2013, the January sumo tournaments are between Jan 13 - 27 so if you are in Tokyo between this time you would be able to watch it.
Sep 27, 2012 11:18 PM
3Regarding food, if you are tight on budget you can eat for less than 1,000JPY per meal (even nice restaurants in Tokyo offer lunch for between 800 - 1,200JPY so lunch is the best way to eat good food at a cheap price).
If you buy pre-packed food type stuff at convenience stores, you can probably do less than 700JPY including a bottle of drink but I wouldn't wanna do that for days in a row, because Tokyo has so many good places to eat.
If you go to a cheap "izakaya" (Japanese pub-type place) chain, the food there is pretty cheap so you can probably eat a good amount and even have a couple of drinks for around 2,000 - 2,500JPY?
There are also some "teishokuya" (set meal-type place) chains that offer good set meals at a cheap price.
(http://www.ootoya.com/grand_01.asp -JP site but you can see pics and figure out the price)
And places that offer a huge selection of high-quality freshly packed meals are basement floors of most major department stores (if you are buying food to eat back in your room this is a better option than buying food at convenience stores). You can also get food at supermarkets which is still better than convenience stores.
If I were you what I would do is to explore good places to eat for lunch as it's always a good deal, and then try and save money for dinner by picking economic options.
So I could happily survive for a week with 3,000JPY per day for 2 meals plus snacks in between.
If you are going to a more rural place, the best bet would be to opt for an accommodation with meals included, and they tend to give you lots of good food. You would probably want advice from a Japanese person on this, because the best booking websites with the best deals are in Japanese, and you'd want to get the best out of your stay. You can drop me a line if you really need help, would be happy to help.
Sep 28, 2012 4:22 PM
4To save money in Japan:
- Visit smaller cities instead of big ones.
- Buy food in convenience stores or stand-up ramen places, rather than sit-down restaurants.
- If you go to restaurants, do it at lunch time rather than dinner. Get the special, if there is one.
- Avoid alcohol, or buy it in a vending machine and drink it in your hotel/hostel rather than in a bar/restaurant.
- Go to big grocery stores and eat the free samples. You can buy pre-made food here too. It's probably cheaper in a convenience store, but there's more variety in a grocery store.
- Take buses rather than trains.
Sep 29, 2012 12:44 PM
5The general recommendation here on the TT is that you should budget at least 8000 yen per day per person and the usual comment is that this will require that you watch your pennies all the time and can forget about alcoholic beverages and coffee. A more comfortable amount is probably 10,000 yen per day but this will still be tight. Note that this really doesn't allow for much money for traveling from place to place.
Whether this is expensive depends upon where you are coming from, the current exchange rate, your budget, your interests, etc.
Oct 2, 2012 6:09 AM
Oct 2, 2012 7:10 AM
Oct 4, 2012 9:22 PM
Oct 7, 2012 12:59 PM
9is japan really that expensive??
The answer is yes, but it doesn't have to be.
There are many bargains to be found for the savvy and informed, if you know where to look. A lot depends on what you are satisfied with as well. If you want a clean and decent place, without all the fancy perks, you can find them even in Tokyo.
Two budget chains with hotels across Japan are the Toyoko Inn and Superhotel chain. In Tokyo especially you can find some independent places at less than half of that. Have a look at
and no, they are not rat holes, nor stinky rooms with snoring strangers.
And if you have never stayed in one before, I recommend you spend at least a night in a Japanese Inn or ryokan. There are some inexpensive ones in Tokyo, like the Kimi , the Tama , the Taito and the Tokyo Ryokan.
There are cheaper ways to get around as well. Look into tourist passes, or going by bus
like http://willerexpress.com - you can also get an airpass for JAL and ANA. See:
There are also cheaper carriers like Jetstar, and Peach.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$77.39 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$104.93 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$494.90 per night