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In Japan! truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Japan is one of the most amazing, beautiful, and friendly countries in the world. From bustling Tokyo and zen-like Kyoto all the way to laid-back Okinawa and wintery Hokkaido, Japan is a high-tech world mixed with the politeness and respect of their past.

How much spending money do I need for Japan? 

To help you budget a trip to Japan we have researched how many Japanese Yen you will need depending on your trip budget.

Japan has a reputation for being a relatively expensive travel destination, but visiting Tokyo and other popular Japanese spots doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. If you are travelling on a backpacker budget, be prepared to spend around 8,000 ¥ per day (around £61) which should cover your hostel accommodation and basic food costs like cooking some of your meals and eating at Donburi shops. For those with a medium budget who want to stay in nicer private rooms and indulge in more drinks while experiencing more attractions, be prepared to spend 12,000 ¥ per day (roughly £92).

Prices will vary depending on where you are in the country. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for things in Tokyo:

  • Three-course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant: 5,000 ¥ (around £40)
  • Cappuccino: 400 ¥ (£3)
  • Bottle of water: 125 ¥ (95p)
  • Bottle of domestic beer: 450 ¥ (£3.50)
  • Big Mac: 700 ¥ (£5.30)

Find out more in our Japan travel money guide

Budget your Japan trip

Whether you’re a backpacker keen to explore free museums and temples or a traveller ready to splash out on the best tourist attractions, Japan can be an expensive place to visit.

Low budget

Medium budget

High budget

Overall budget for 1 day pp: 4,900 ¥

Overall budget for 1 day pp: 20,000 ¥

Overall budget for 1 day pp: More than 62,000 ¥

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • A dorm/hostel room: 3,000 ¥ (£23)
  • A meal at ramen noodle, miso or soba noodle shops: from 250 ¥ (£2)
  • A domestic beer: 450 ¥ (£3.50)


Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • A double room in a hotel: 10,000 ¥ (£77)
  • A meal at a Japanese restaurant: 2,000 ¥ (£15)
  • A domestic beer 2x: 900 ¥ (£7)

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • A double room in a luxury hotel: from 25,000 ¥ (£190)
  • Dinner at a top-end sushi restaurant: 7,500 ¥ (£57)
  • 2x Cocktails: 1,200 ¥ (£9)

Activities in budget

  • Temple or museum entry: 500 ¥ (£3.80) -often you can find temples without any entry fees too
  • A day pass for any public transport: 700 ¥ (£5.30)
  • Japanese public parks: free entry

Activities in budget

  • A temple pass in Kyoto (with unlimited transportation and access to the temples): for 1,200 ¥ (£9)
  • An internal flight from Osaka to Tokyo: from 5,770 ¥ (£44)
  • Japanese Rock Garden: 500 ¥ for entry (£3.80)

Activities in budget

  • A train ticket from Osaka to Tokyo: 20,000 ¥ (£150)
  • Mountain-biking at Yamabushi Trail Tour: 8,500 ¥ (£65) per day per person
  • Ski at one of the Niseko United resorts: from 40,000 ¥ (£300)

Things to see and do:

  • The Geisha District: aka the Gion District, Otherwise known as the Geisha District, you can spend the day here for as much, or as little, as you’d like to spend. The area is filled with fascinating architecture and if you’re lucky you may be able to spot a geisha (a traditional professional entertainer). It’s also a good area for window shopping.
  • The Heian Shrine: The Heian Shrine is a popular tourist attraction so get there early if at all possible. The garden is filled with beautiful cherry blossom trees, known as sakura, and a beautiful place for some pictures. The shrine is free but the garden nearby costs 600 JPY (5 USD) to enter. To see the trees in blossom, make sure you’re there mid-April.
  • The Imperial Palace: Visit the Imperial Palace which is home to the Emperor of Japan and a perfect opportunity to learn about some of Japan’s history and culture. Though you can’t go inside, the surrounding grounds and park are beautiful and you can see the changing of the guard.
  • Hike: Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama If you are looking for a great hike in Kyoto, this is a hill that offers a bit of a challenge and an interesting attraction at the top. Beyond the panoramic views of Kyoto, this is an awesome place to see wild monkeys and get some fun souvenir photos. Adult admission is 550 JPY (5 USD). If you make it all the way up to Hokkaido, be sure to spend some time exploring Daisetsuzan National Park. The park offers numerous trails, and some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in the entire country. It’s a far cry from the tourist trail, so you’ll get to enjoy some rare peace and quiet.
  • Meditate: There are plenty of temples and monasteries in Japan that host daily meditations, some of which even offer accommodation and allow tourists to sample monastic life. It’s a really eye-opening experience. Feeling stressed or do you just want to chill out? Give it a try! 

What denominations does the Japanese Yen come in?

The Japanese Yen comes in the following denominations:


1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen


1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen

Leftover Japanese Yen?

No problem. We’ll buy back leftover Japanese Yen at excellent currency exchange rates, leaving you with more cash in your pocket (and a tidier desk drawer).

Japanese Yen FAQs

Do I need a visa for Japan?

If you have a ‘British Citizen’ or ‘British National (Overseas)’ passport, you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket.

Should I tip in Japan?

Tipping isn’t customary in Japan, although high-end restaurants and hotels often add a 10% service fee to the bill.

Cash or card in Japan?

Many shops and restaurants in Japan are cash-only, particularly as you venture outside of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, so you’ll definitely need some cash.

The best places to withdraw cash are postal ATMs and 7-Bank ATMs in 7-11 convenient stores, which are 24 hours. You’ll often be charged a fee to withdraw cash, so it’s a good idea to withdraw one large amount in one go, or to have a decent amount of cash on you when you arrive.

Since banks will charge you a fee for overseas transactions, it’s best to bring a good amount of cash away with you. If you have Yen leftover, you can always exchange them back into Pounds when you get home with our buy back service.

Although Japan is famed for it’s technology, it’s still a very heavily cash-based society and cards might not be accepted everywhere.

Is Japan expensive?

Japan has an image of being one of the most expensive countries in the world, and if you’re staying in hotels, eating out, and traveling around a lot, it can be. … Staying in a hostel, buying a rail pass, eating relatively cheap food, and visiting a few attractions will cost around $100 USD per day

Is Japan safe to visit?

The general crime rate in Japan is well below the U.S. national average, and Tokyo, like all of Japan, is generally a safe place for visitors. Still, as in other big cities around the world, visitors to Tokyo sometimes become victims of crime, and it is important to exercise caution.

How much is a beer in Japan?

Those looking for more of a challenge might be able to pick up a liter glass of cheap beer for around 1,300 yen. For bottled beers, expect to pay between 600 – 700 yen (Corona/Heineken/Budweiser). Around 800 yen could get you a Stella Artois.

Read up before you go