Let’s plan Japan travel for 2023. As we love to be open to supporting different travelers with different budgets and expectations, we would like to introduce to you this itinerary for a week-long trip to Japan. You probably want to visit the two biggest cities and enjoy them on a budget: what about some suggestions for four days in Tokyo and three days in Kyoto? Let’s start!
The most Economical Times to Visit Japan
On average, the following periods are the most suitable dates to fly to Japan on a budget and stay in a Japanese hotel:
- January 8th to March 18th
- Early September to early December
The ultimate time to take a vacation in Japan is frequently estimated in late September. Make sure to check our ultimate guide to Japan in the Autumn season!
Cost from the airport
We recommend you take the train and avoid the taxis. It is also more economical to arrive in Haneda than in Narita so if you have the choice go for Haneda, which is closer to the center of Tokyo than Narita.
The lowest cost for one person to visit Japan for a week is 95 000 ¥-108 000 ¥ (705 USD-800 USD) (bare in mind that it depends on the person/ offers/ period/ preferences).
Food: on average in a day a budget-conscious tourist spends 3 600 ¥ (with 1 400¥ /per person with breakfast slightly low-priced). We recommend you go to Matsuya or Sukiya for your typical everyday meal that the Japanese people prefer (Miso soup, Gyudon, Gyoza…), or if you are a sushi lover check out the conveyor belt sushi shops such as Sushiro around Tokyo. At Matsuya you don’t even need to worry about your Japanese because all you have to do is order from the machine outside the shop and wait a few minutes to get your food, and even better in conveyor belt Sushi shops a tablet at your disposal for your order (most of them in English).
Transportation: on average, tourists spend 2 285 ¥/day on transportation, so we recommend you save a little bit more and enjoy freely taking the web of trains around Tokyo; by purchasing the Tokyo one-day ticket for 1 600¥. And for walking lovers among you, the city has many hidden gems to offer, discover the city, its shops and culture on foot and you won’t regret it.
Sightseeing: Tokyo has many wonderful places where you can enjoy its beautiful nature (especially in Fall), its gardens, shopping streets, in addition to its temples and shrines for free, but of course, you would want to experience more, like visiting museums, galleries, buy some souvenirs or even buy famous Japanese products that we know of good quality. The average daily expense of budget travelers per day is 5 000¥
Our recommendations for wonderful views of Tokyo for free are the following observatories:
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building rooftop observation deck
- Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center rooftop observation deck and art gallery
- And so much more!
Lodging: Finally and most importantly accommodation, on Booking.com the range of prices in Tokyo (5km around the famous tourist attractions) for a solo traveler is between 1 500 ¥ for dormitories and 2 500 ¥ for the most affordable single room options. For a full Japan experience consider the famous Capsule hotels around the city for solo travelers.
On the fourth day, you can still enjoy Tokyo and at night you could take the night bus to Kyoto for 3 200¥. It is a relatively comfortable bus where you can sleep and rest for the adventure to come. Once you arrive in Kyoto you can rest your eyes or wash up in the VIP lounge the bus service provides.
Prices in Kyoto are a bit more budget-friendly than in Tokyo, and if you are a lover of tradition, Kyoto is an open-air museum, with its beautiful temples, traditional streets, bamboo forests, and many other attractions you can do there.
Important note: Keep in mind that the earlier you book everything the best discounts you get!
The lowest cost for a couple to visit Japan for a week is (170 000¥ – 210 000¥) 1 254 USD – 1 550 USD.
Food: 7 500 ¥/day
Transportation: 3 200 ¥/day
Sightseeing: 12 000 ¥/day
Lodging: 3 000 ¥ – 5 000¥/night (depending on whether it is a dormitory or Double hotel room).
Things to avoid:
- Taxis: they are so expensive that it is better to avoid them if possible. The transportation system is so developed in both cities, so you do not have to worry.
- Shinkansen: The Shinkansen experience is wonderful, and it saves a lot of time and energy because of how fast it is, but also it is kind of expensive for budget-conscious tourists.
- Carrying little to no cash: Japan is a country that is surprisingly still using a lot of cash in comparison to other developed countries, so prepare yourself to save time and have a good experience.
- Tipping waiters: good news for you! Japan is a country that doesn’t accept the tipping culture at all, it is even considered rude and badly perceived, and it is better for you to avoid it completely.
Enjoy your stay in Japan and choose what to visit. You could even add things you are passionate about Disneysea (the only one in the world exists in Tokyo) now that you know how the budget is divided.