My partner and I are heading to Japan for the first time later in the year.
We're not ones to rough it, and were wondering how much spending money we should be looking to bring over.
We'd be doing most of the touring ourselves, so we won't be wasting money on tours and guides, and only a few meals would be at fancy hotels.
Cheers in advance,
This information is a little dated now, but hopefully it's helpful. I went to Japan in mind 2006, stayed in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. Tokyo is significantly more expensive than the other two, although I was lucky in that I didn't have to pay for accommodation there because my brother was living there at the time.
As an indication of costing, the hotels that I stayed in in Hiroshima and Kyoto were nothing fancy, but were ~AU$65-$85 per night. They were basic hotels, but comfortable. The Kyoto one was slightly more expensive because it had western style beds rather than futons.
You can (or could) get decent meals for around $20-$25 without going for anything fancy, both in and outside of Tokyo, though things may have become more expensive. If you're looking for cheaper places, Ramen is probably your best option.
In terms of spending money, it really depends what you want to see and buy, and how long you're there for. There's a lot of things that you can do for free, like visiting Harajuku and Yoyogi park, but most of the more popular tourist attractions will have some kind of entry fee (for example, the golden pavillion in Kyoto will cost you 400 yen).
The other area of expense is travelling between cities. If you're basing yourself in Tokyo, it's fairly cheap to just use the train system around there. However, if you're planning to travel around the country a bit it's worth investing in a rail pass ( http://www.railplus.com.au/japan-by-rail/japan-rail-pass/prices-info.htm ). Catching the shinkansens a couple of times will easily cover the cost of one of these, and if you decide you want to get off and check something out between your start and end points it won't cost you anything to add the extra trip.
Hope this is useful, and still at least mostly accurate.
Dave about 10 years ago
Dave your info seems to be in order. I live in Japan and you'll need to spend around 10,000 yen per day if you stay in Tokyo. Rather than going to Ramen shops though (which are nice) i'd suggest going to an Izakaya where you'll spend a little more money (perhaps 2-3000 yen per person) but the range of food is well worth it. Plus if they may have "Nomihoudai" (all you can drink) or "Tabehoudai" (all you can eat) available which will save you a heap of money, but alas, you have to ask if they have it.
The JR travel pass is a must, it will save you literally thousands of dollars as JR accounts for about 80% of all the rail roads in Japan. Plus Japanese trains are remarkably efficient (you can set your watch to the train schedule) and go everywhere so you won't need to worry about renting a car unless you are going to extremely distant locations.
Anyways enjoy your time here,
Lucas. about 10 years ago
You can sometimes save money by using the Japan Rail Pass. You'd need to work out if it's worth it and you can do that by using this planning using your pass page http://www.japanrailpass.com.au/information/planning-your-trip/ . Simply add up the prices of your travels and compare it to the JR Pass you are planning on getting.
I got mine from the same website - http://www.japanrailpass.com.au - But you can get them from JTB, HIS or Sachi Tours in Australia. I'm not sure about the rest of the world. over 3 years ago