How Much Does a Trip to Japan Cost?

Visiting Japan is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, so knowing how to do so on a budget is vital information
Visiting Japan is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, so knowing how to do so on a budget is vital information | Su San Lee / Unsplash
Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

The Land of the Rising Sun is one of the most desirable places to visit on Earth, but it can also be one of the most expensive. Here’s everything you need to know about budgeting a trip to Japan.

From neon-lit modern cities to ancient towns, temples and castles, and from verdant forests to snow-capped mountains and remote islands, few countries have so many different reasons to visit. Yet so many people never pluck up the courage, put in the planning hours or save up the budget to make the journey over to Japan. Even some who do never leave Tokyo.

This is all you need to know about the cost of a trip to Japan.

How much do flights to Japan cost?

For travellers in the west, you could barely pick a more far-away destination. It’s a long flight and, naturally, not a cheap one. There are several factors to consider when trying to save money on a flight to Japan.

The most significant is when you want to travel. Peak seasons here take place during cherry blossom season between late March and April, as well as the traditional July-August summer holiday period. Golden Week (late April or early May) can also see a hike in prices, as can the festive period. Save money by avoiding peaks seasons, booking well in advance and being flexible with travel dates and flight times.

Another thing worth noting is Japan’s post-Covid travel boom. As one of the last country’s to finally swing the doors back open to the wider world, there has been a huge demand for places on planes and in hotels. This is why, as ever, booking early works a treat.

We recommend checking multiple flight comparison tools, as well as going direct to airlines to look for the best deal and customer discount offers. Ultimately, you should be ready to pay somewhere between $500-$1,500 (or £500-£1,500).

How much does it cost to travel around Japan?

Fortunately, as a nation well-versed in the art of tourism and hospitality, Japan can cater to a variety of travel styles and budgets. For every luxury hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant, you can find budget hostels and capsule hotels, as well as endless supplies of street food for the soul.

Travel networks, meanwhile, are impeccable, so you can get around on buses, subways and local trains, as well as the famous Bullet Train network which, while a little pricier, is pretty affordable for longer journeys. The prices of accommodation, transport, food and activities are fairly similar to what you’d expect in first-world western countries. So an extended period of time will make a chunky dent in the bank balance but, with the high quality of tech, infrastructure and customer service, you’ll still feel like you’re getting a good deal.

There might be cheaper destinations out there, but there’s nowhere quite like Japan

Why booking a trip to Japan with Culture Trip is great value for money

Travelling solo in Japan is doable, but if you want to venture outside of Tokyo’s magnetic grip, then booking a spot on our expertly curated, small-group trip is an excellent choice.

First of all, financially, things can spiral quickly when you’re going from place to place without a set plan. Booking a pre-planned itinerary gives you the clear conscious that the bulk of your trip is already paid for by the time you land on the runway. Who wants to worry about budget while on vacation, anyway?

Even if you fancy yourself as a good pre-planner and penny-pincher, getting an authentic travel experience in Japan can be easier said than done. There are a lot of tourist traps, while language and cultural barriers are vast, so digging beneath the surface requires a little help.

Not only is our itinerary designed to bring you closer to the many cultures of Japan – be it through sushi-rolling classes or a stay in a traditional ryokan – but, crucially, the tour is led by one of our Local Insiders. We ensure that our guides are infused with a lifetime of knowledge, experience and insight, as well having a rolodex of local tips and connections. They will be friendly, accommodating – as is very much tradition with Japanese hospitality – and a huge asset in your quest to discover the real Japan.

Japan by Train: The Grand Tour

Our 12-day Rail Trip in Japan offers you an extensive Japanese experience, without the hassle or cost of organising things solo. We wanted to offer Culture Trippers a chance to see as much of the country as possible in a realistic length of time, and our Travel Experts were able to do just that thanks to Japan’s world-beating rail network.

No trip to Japan is complete without riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) and seeing Mount Fuji up close

You’ll get to experience the high-tech thrill of riding the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) as we go from Osaka to Tokyo, calling at Hiroshima, Kyoto and Hakone. This gives you the chance to discover Japan’s most culturally and historically significant cities, from the beautifully preserved, ancient streets of Kyoto to the more recent tragedies of Hiroshima and the kaleidoscopic, sensory experience that is Tokyo.

But our trip, much like Japan, is far more than just a collection of amazing cities. Along the way we’ll take you to Miyajima Island, Arashiyama bamboo forest and high into the Japanese Alps. You’ll cruise on Lake Ashi, with views of Mount Fuji, soak in onsen (hot springs) in Hakone and hike to volcanic geysers in the Great Boiling Valley.

Immersive, authentic experience include visits to a traditional local villages, sake tasting, sushi rolling, taiko drumming and market tours. You’ll watch sumo wrestlers train, meet geishas in Kyoto and try okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, not to mention plenty of opportunities to sing the night away in karaoke bars with local patrons. You’ll even spend a night in a traditional ryokan inn, to experience the principles of hospitality that have existed here for millennia.

Stretch those beck muscles on a walk through Arashiyama bamboo forest

As well as the ryokan, our trip includes a night in a luxurious spa hotel, as well as nine other nights in superb boutique city accommodation – there’ll be no rubbish hostels with Culture Trip. Breakfast is included every days, with two paid-for lunches and four dinners across the trip, not to mention daily tips on how to spend your free time. All the activities mentioned in the itinerary are part of the price, so all you need to worry about is the flights, travel insurance and having an in-date passport!

Prices for our trip start at £2,659, or $3,271, depending on what time of year you wish to travel. So, by booking nice and early and capitalising on cheap flights, you could get the complete Japan experience across 12 days, for just over £3,000, or just under $4,000. All you’ll need to bring is some spare change for extra food and souvenir shopping!

Check out the full itinerary and book your spot today.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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