1 Month in Japan: How to Travel on a Budget

travel japan 1 month budget

Travelling to Japan is a dream come true for many, but it’s often perceived as an expensive destination. However, the reality is that Japan can be a surprisingly affordable country to explore, especially if you plan wisely and make smart choices. In this article, we will break down the travel cost of a 1-month trip to Japan, providing you with valuable insights and tips on how to make the most of your budget.

Flights: Affordable Options Await

Flights can be a significant expense when planning a trip to Japan, particularly during the high season. However, with careful planning and the use of flight comparison tools like Skyscanner, you can find reasonably priced options. For my 1-month trip to Japan, I managed to secure a round trip from Barcelona to Tokyo Narita via Paris and Amsterdam for 553€. It’s worth noting that prices may vary depending on the time of year and your destination airport.

Visa: Entry Made Easy

One of the great advantages of visiting Japan is that most countries, including Spain, do not require a visa for tourism purposes. As a Spanish passport holder, I was able to enter Japan for up to 90 days hassle-free. This eliminates the need for additional expenses and paperwork, allowing you to focus on planning your adventure.

Accommodation: Budget-Friendly Stays

When it comes to accommodation, Japan offers a range of options to suit every budget. It is entirely possible to find comfortable and affordable places to stay for under 20€ per night, especially during the low season. Instead of opting for shady guesthouses, I chose to stay in amazing hostels. By booking on the go, I was able to secure better deals and take advantage of last-minute offers. For example, I spent only 41€ for a 4-night stay in Osaka and 70€ for 5 nights in a hostel in Tokyo. Don’t worry if party hostels aren’t your scene; there are plenty of centrally located, non-party options available at similar prices.

Transportation: Navigating Japan’s Network

Transportation in Japan can be a significant expense, particularly if you plan to travel extensively throughout the country. However, there are ways to manage this cost without breaking the bank. One popular option is the 21-day Japan Rail Pass, which offers unlimited travel on almost all trains in the country. Investing in this pass can help you save on individual ticket costs and provide the flexibility to explore different regions of Japan. Additionally, consider using night buses as an alternative to save on transportation expenses.

Museums, Temples, and Entertainment: Balancing Experiences

Exploring Japan’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant entertainment scene is a must during your visit. While some attractions may come with a price tag, there are plenty of free or affordable options available. Take advantage of the numerous free temples and museums scattered across the country. I managed to visit several free attractions and only paid for a couple of the most important temples, such as the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. However, it’s worth mentioning that partying in Japan can be expensive. I indulged in a night of drinks and karaoke, which set me back around 60€. Remember that your preferences and priorities will determine the final cost in this category.

Food: Savoring Japanese Cuisine on a Budget

Japanese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its exquisite flavors and variety. The good news is that eating in Japan can be affordable, even on a tight budget. I allocated a daily budget of 2,000 yen for food, which proved to be more than sufficient. By sticking to this budget, I could enjoy authentic sushi, indulge in ramen bowls, and even try the Koyasan Tofu menu. Convenience stores, known as Kombini, offer affordable meal options that can be a lifesaver for budget-conscious travelers. With some self-control and a sense of culinary adventure, you can enjoy delicious Japanese meals without overspending.

Souvenirs: Treasures to Remember

Bringing back souvenirs is an essential part of any trip, and Japan offers a plethora of unique and charming items. However, it’s important to keep in mind that souvenirs can quickly become expensive if you’re not careful. To manage this expense, consider setting a budget and sticking to it. I opted for bamboo chopsticks for friends and family, along with some Tokyo Olympics merchandise since I visited just before the event. Additionally, I splurged on Kit Kats, spending around 50€, as they make for a delightful and widely appreciated gift.

The Total Cost: A Budget-Friendly Adventure

Now, let’s crunch the numbers. For my 1-month trip to Japan, including flights and souvenirs, I spent a total of 2,350€. This averages out to less than 100€ per day, an impressive feat considering the overall experience. Excluding flights and souvenirs, the total cost for a 1-month trip to Japan amounts to approximately 1,540€, getting close to the ideal budget of 50€ per day. It’s important to note that these costs were based on traveling during the low season, and prices may be slightly higher during the popular Spring and Summer months.

Share Your Japanese Adventures

Have you ever visited Japan? What was your budget, and do you have any tips for fellow travelers? We’d love to hear about your experiences and insights in the comments below. If you have any questions about budgeting for a trip to Japan, feel free to ask, and I’ll be more than happy to provide helpful advice. Also, if you have a passion for travel and photography, you can follow my adventures on Instagram @aniolvisuals.

Safe travels and enjoy your budget-friendly exploration of Japan!

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