How expensive is travel in Japan? Can you travel Japan on a backpacker’s budget? During my solo female RTW trip, I spent 3 weeks in Japan, visiting Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka and documented every penny I spent! Read on for my full breakdown of Japan travel costs from train fares and hostel dorms to laundry and convenience store snacks.
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Table of Contents
Flight to Tokyo $279.68
Train from airport $4.30
Local train fare in Tokyo $62.35
Train to Hakone $13.98
Local train fare in Hakone $6.04
Train to Kyoto $104.53
Local train fare in Kyoto $2.53
Train to Osaka $5.05
Local train fare in Osaka $24.83
Shinkansen bullet train to Tokyo $118.33
Narita Express train to airport $13.44
I decided to wing it with my Japan train travel and purchased tickets as I went. If you’d like an easier way of seeing the country, I recommend using a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) which will give you more flexibility and freedom in getting around.
3 nights Couchsurfing in Tokyo $0
6 nights in 8-bed dorm at Emblem Hostel in Tokyo $109.67
1 night at Tent in Hakone $31.61
5 nights in 10-bed dorm at Guesthouse Origami in Kyoto $67.64
2 nights in 6-bed dorm at Bonsai Guest House in Osaka $36.08
Because of the cost of travel in Japan, hostel dorms were a must for my trip! If you’re new to hostel stays or are tired of bad hostel experiences, read up on my hostel booking tips for solo female travelers.
2 breakfast in airport $15.05
1 breakfast at Tent hostel $4.51
1 lunch at Island Vintage Coffee $15.53
1 lunch at Tsukiji Fish Market $1.84
2 lunches at The Round $20.08
1 lunch at Tokyo Station Ramen Street $8.21
1 lunch at Cafe Aaliya $10.82
1 lunch in Harajuku $9.74
1 lunch at Nishiki Market $17.06
1 lunch at Excelsior Caffe $8.30
1 lunch in train station $5.88
1 lunch in airport $8.30
2 dinners in airport $28.63
1 dinner at Tent hostel $10.82
1 dinner at Katsukura $20.74
1 dinner at Mizuno Okonomiyaki $13.62
1 dinner at Atchichi Takoyaki $4.51
1 cherry blossom latte at Starbucks Shibuya Crossing $4.45
1 snack on Nakamise Street $1.80
1 snack from a vending machine $1.23
5 snacks from a convenience store $23.87
10 days worth of groceries $34.17
Fukuro No Mise owl cafe $17.54
Tokyo SkyTree $18.07
Hakone Ropeway $25.34
tea ceremony at En $22.55
calligraphy class at Kafu $45.09
Other Costs: $5.86
gifts/souvenirs at Ishikawa Brewery $2.25
laundry at hostel $3.61
Total Budget for Japan: $1239.33
Average Spent Per Day: $61.96
How I Saved in 3 Weeks in Japan
Finding free things to do
Self-guided walks around neighborhoods like Harajuku in Tokyo or the Gion District in Kyoto are easy on the wallet and a great way to soak up the atmosphere of Japan.
Tokyo is one of the best places to try Couchsurfing as a solo female traveler. I had a wonderful host and saving on a few nights of accommodations was a great perk.
Cooking about half my meals
Japan had well-stocked, sizable grocery stores and I took full advantage. Eggs, dry pasta or rice, and mixed vegetables are among my go-to staples for hostel cooking.
Ultimately averaging about $60 per day, my Japan travel budget was on the higher end of my overall round-the-world trip budget. This was, however, much cheaper than I expected 3 weeks in Japan to cost, and I still felt like I had a great experience with dining and attractions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.