So, you have a couple of weeks off and want to go to the land of sushi and anime but have no clue as to how much spending money for Japan (2 weeks) you need.
As a fellow budget-conscious, spreadsheet fanatic I am pleased to be of assistance.
This post (and video above) is going to break down all the costs associated with traveling Japan for 2 weeks, the budget I used, plus a free travel planner available for download.
Having spent two weeks myself traveling through Japan (Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka) I know what a realistic budget is to have a good time.
So how much spending money for Japan 2 weeks do you need? Keep on reading.
DISCLAIMER: This post goes over my exact costs for traveling to Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka. Not everyone is going to the same cities, so your budget could vary more or less depending on where you go and how frequently you move. Keep that in mind as you form your travel itinerary.
Read all the way to the end because I share a few tips that will help you save money during your travels around Japan, no matter the city.
Psst. . . Looking for more guides around Japan? Check out my other posts.
- One Week in Tokyo: The Ultimate Bucket List & Travel Guide
- Top Things to do in Kobe: Japan’s Most Underrated City
- Tokyo Disneysea vs Disneyland
How Much Does It Cost to Fly to Japan
Your long-haul flight is one of the biggest expenses you will face. If you book without doing any kind of research, you might be missing out on far better deals. Cheaper ones.
Here are a few tips on getting cheap flights:
Keep an eye out for special offers. Subscribe to airline email notifications, tour companies, etc. They often run flash sales.
Be flexible with your travel dates. This is always a tough one if you’re working a 9-5. At least it was for me when I worked a desk job. I had PTO that needed to be approved ahead of time, which meant I couldn’t be ask flexible as I hoped. And in some cases, making sure my schedule aligned with my travel partner.
If you find yourself in this situation, be upfront with your boss, or whoever approves your time off. Let them know that you are looking around these dates but might jump at whatever date is the cheapest. I’m sure they will have no problem with it. Glass half full ya’ know?
Follow Scotts Cheap Flights. This one, in particular, is great. You get daily emails with super cheap flights to destinations all around the world. I can’t say for sure a Japan destination will be on every email, but surely one. Keep an eye out.
If you enjoy playing travel roulette and will go wherever you can get some seriously cheap flights.
Travel Hack with travel rewards credit cards. Ahh, the points game. I will say I’m not a super pro when it comes to travel hacking, but I’m getting better year-after-year. I have earned many free flights from my efforts.
How Much Spending Money for Japan 2 Weeks?
The best way to explain this part is to show you exactly what I spent during my 2 weeks in Japan.
I am a budget-conscious traveler with a few intentional splurges here and there, so if you’re like me then this is exactly what you can expect to spend. I would triple for luxury.
- Tokyo Airbnb (10 nights): $884
- Kobe 4-Star Hotel (3 nights) $272.36
- Osaka moderate hotel (1 night) $80.35
Food & Drinks $793
- Tokyo $230
- Kobe $500
A huge chunk of this spend was a Kobe beef dinner costing $270. Even in Kobe, the beef was not cheap.
- Osaka $63
We were only in Osaka for one night. We were catching an early flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand from Osaka’s airport.
That said, we didn’t explore Osaka. We pretty much got dinner at a nearby restaurant (a Hawaiian burger bar of all places) and relaxed in our hotel room.
- Shinkansen Bullet Train $280
- Tokyo Local Transportation $128
- Kobe Local Transportation $11
- Train from Kobe to Osaka $30
- Sake Tasting in Kobe $30
- Ropeway to Herb Garden $20
- Teamlab Borderless $60
- Senso-Ji activities: $2
- Arcade Games: $8
- Rides at Tokyo Dome: $5
- Street Kart tip: $5
- Disneyland: $103
- Shopping in Harajuku $162
- Kit Kat candy to take home $7
TOTAL SPENDING MONEY FOR TWO WEEKS IN JAPAN: $2,881 for two people.
How much spending money do you need per day in Japan?
Flight, lodging, and transportation aside, you should expect to spend around $42-45 per day in Japan. That’s for all your meals and activities per person.
Now if you’re like me and need to know your total per day cost including everything but long-haul flight, then you should plan to spend an average of $102 per day in Japan per person.
How to Budget your Money in Japan
At this point, you saved money for your trip and are ready to explore Japan. When you’re in awe you are likely to get distracted by the cost of things. “When in Rome” “Who cares I’m on Vacation”.
Those are fun and all until you look at your bank account.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure costs stay low during your two weeks in Japan.
Dine at markets and/or pick up groceries from a local supermarket and cook at your Airbnb or hostel.
Skip booze or buy purchase at supermarkets. Booze is a huge expense, especially when you’re getting a couple of drinks a day. If you can’t avoid it (guilty) then go to bars during happy hours. Always be on the lookout for deals advertised outside of bars.
Pay attention to plate designs at conveyor belt sushi restaurants.
Save money on accommodation by staying in a hostel, capsule hotel, or outside the city. You can easily find hostels in the $20-30 range. I love using hostelworld.com.
Purchase the Japan rail pass if you plan to move around. Bundling transportation costs will save you money in the long run.
How to Save for a Trip to Japan
First things first, you need to save yo’ money. While this is going to be the trip a lifetime, I never recommend getting into debt. For that, one must whip out the piggy bank and tuck some Benjamin’s away.
Here’s how I save for all my trips which is applicable to saving for Japan. Same method. Different city.
Ask yourself when you want to go then what you absolutely want to see. If you’re not sure what the best things to do in Japan are you can start with my guide to Tokyo or Kobe.
How much are flights for the dates you want to go and are you flexible? If you’re flexible on dates then set some price alerts for a few airlines or Skyscanner and when the price gets to your threshold, book! One of the biggest money savers when it comes to travel is cheap airfare.
Calculate a rough estimate of your trip costs. For example, let’s say two weeks in Japan will cost you $6k and you want to leave 6 months from now.
That means you need to save $1k per month. If that is not achievable then you need to leave at a later date or lower your budget or spend less time in Japan.
To start tucking money away you can temporarily divide a portion of your paycheck to deposit money into your savings account on payday. Out of sight out of mind.
Cut out unnecessary expenses. You don’t need to go out to bars and restaurants every weekend with your friends. Instead host game nights, cocktail mixers and cook at home. I love playing host at my house.
Pick up a second job. I love working side hustles to help me save for travel quickly. You can find all kinds of jobs from teaching English online to work liquor demos at your local liquor stores. I’ve made as much as $40 per hour sampling spirits at Total Wines & More.
I’ve also done freelance photography and videography jobs that have earned me as much as $500 a day. Get creative and brainstorm what services you can monetize in your spare time.
Bucket List Budget
Snag your FREE Bucket List Budget and Travel Planner. This planner includes: travel budget breakdown, savings tracker, checklists, and itinerary templates.
Well, there you have it. I hope this gave you a good idea of how much spending money for 2-weeks in Japan you will need. There’s a lot of upfront prepping in order to afford such vacations, but in the end, it’s always worth it. Just stick to the plan and before you know it, you will have saved up enough to travel without needing to rack up debt.
Psst. . . Looking for more guides around Japan? Check out my other posts.
One Week in Tokyo: The Ultimate Bucket List & Travel Guide
Top Things to do in Kobe: Japan’s Most Underrated City
Tokyo Disneysea vs Disneyland
Does this seem manageable or still too expensive? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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