How much spending money do I need for Japan?

We suggest you allow AUD$97 per day for a budget style holiday, or $200+ per day for a luxury getaway in Japan.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

For the most part, Japan's prices are similar to Australia's, although there are price differences. For example, beer is cheaper in Japan but a nice sushi meal is more expensive. Of course, the amount you'll spend depends on your style of travel. Here's a general idea of how much you should set aside based on your travel style.

How much money do I need for Japan?

Once you've booked and paid for your flights and accommodation in Japan, this is approximately what you'll need per day for food and activities.

  • Budget: ¥8,000 ($97) per day, if eating cheap and only doing budget attractions.
  • Mid-range: ¥10,000 ($121) per day, if eating nicer meals and doing one to two big attractions.
  • High-end: ¥20,000+ ($243+) per day will get you fancy sushi dinners, into all of the top attractions in the country and let you ride around in first class on the train.

These budgets assume you've organised your flights and accommodation prior to landing.

What is the best way to take money to Japan?

It is best to bring cash when travelling in Japan as the use of credit cards is limited compared to western countries.

The good news is that cash is easy to get in Japan with ATMs available in large and small towns. If in doubt, 7-11s almost always have a machine that accepts international and travel money cards.

Credit and debit cards are accepted at major hotels and shopping brands in large cities.

How much are taxis in Japan?

Taxis start at ¥489.50 ($5.96) and cost ¥410 ($4.98) per kilometre. An example price from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in the Tokyo CBD is ¥20,605 ($250.67) or from Haneda Airport to Shibuya is ¥7,078 ($86.12).

As an aside, Japan has an extensive and highly regarded transport system comprising of buses and trains. Visitors seeking to travel between regions can purchase a JR-rail pass prior to arrival, which is discounted for travellers.


How much does a hire car cost in Japan?

A car rental in Tokyo starts at ¥4,946 ($60.18) for a one-day rental from Narita Airport if booked one month in advance for a driver over 30. Medium-sized cars start at ¥5,052 ($61.48) and large cars from ¥7,515 ($91.45). All prices were found using our car hire comparison site.


How much are Japan rail passes?

Depending on where you want to travel and how long you need the pass for, Japan Rail Passes vary from as low as about $50 for a 2-day regional pass up to more than $750 for a 21-day national pass when travelling in an "ordinary car", or up to about $1,000 if you want to travel in a "green car", which is like first class.

If you're not quite sure where you're travelling to yet or prefer to plan as you're on the road, a national pass may be your best bet. As of February 2019 after currency conversions, it's $360 for a 7-day pass, $578 for a 14-day pass and $741 for a 21-day pass.


How much is food and drink in Japan?

Prices vary in Japan depending on which city you're staying in and whether you're after a quick, local meal or an immersive food experience, especially comparing the big cities such as Tokyo to the more rural areas.

Food in Tokyo can be as cheap as ¥300 ($3.65) for something light from a bakery to ¥1,200 ($14.60) for a lunch set to ¥8,200+ ($100+) for dinner at a fancy restaurant. If you're popping into a sushi train (kaiten-sushi), plates can be as low as ¥100 ($1.20) each.

A beer will cost you anywhere from ¥280-¥800 ($3.40-$9.73), wine around ¥1,000 ($12.16) and a cup of sake for ¥800 ($9.73) or more.

Some iconic Japanese dining experience include themed restaurants, where all of the decor and waiters are dressed up as anything from hospital to samurai to prisons. There's also a robot restaurant in Japan. While the robots, unfortunately, don't actually serve you meals, they do put on a show while you dine.


How much is sightseeing in Japan?

Luckily, Japan has a number of free sightseeing attractions such as markets, museums and temples.

Some of the top things to do in Japan to budget for include seeing Mount Fuji, ¥10,800 ($131.43), the Ghibli Museum, ¥3,500 ($42.59), seeing the snow monkeys, ¥13,125 ($159.72) and watching sumo wrestling, ¥26,000 ($316.38).


How much for a Japanese SIM card?

If you plan on travelling around Japan by rail, then the most convenient way to get a SIM card is to order it with your JR pass.

A second option is to pre-purchase it and have it delivered to your home before you leave. This not only gives you peace of mind that you'll be able to communicate and hook up to the Internet from the moment you land but gives you time to choose an appropriate plan.

You can also purchase a SIM card at the airport but expect to pay a premium for the convenience.

Lastly, you can pick up a SIM card in town for as low as ¥3,219 ($39.16) for 1GB for 30 days. Other options include 4GB for 15 days for ¥5,000 ($60.83) and similar.


Quick facts about money in Japan

  • Currency: Japanese yen (¥)
  • Exchange rate to AUD: AUD$1 is equal to ¥82.73
  • Cost of food: ¥600-¥4,000 ($7.30-$48.65)
  • Cost of a local beer: ¥280-¥800 ($3.41-$9.73)
  • Travel money cards for: Browse top travel money cards for Japan

Exchange rate is approximate, obtained from xe.com on 9 November 2018.

Compare travel money options for Japan

Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
AUD,USD,CAD,EUR,GBP,HKD,JPY,NZD,SGD,THB,AED
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0
$5
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Foreign currency conversion fee Interest-free period Purchase rate Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
14.99% p.a.
$0
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee), ​an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get 40,000 bonus Flybuys Points or $200 off a Coles Supermarket shop, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 14-month balance transfer.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, a $0 first-year annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
NAB StraightUp Card
0%
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

$
Name Product Card access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Internatonal ATM Fee Foreign transaction fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
0%
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases (T&C's apply).
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.

Great Southern Bank Everyday Snap Account
Visa
$0
$4.50
2.95%
Refund of international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees (conditions apply).
$0 monthly account fee. Unlimited fee-free everyday transactions.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay available. Savings Top Up tool automatically transfers to linked savings account.
Citi Global Currency Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
0%
Earn up to 0.75% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
Foreign Xchange Travel Money
$0
$9,999
In Store,Home Delivery
$0
Order multiple currencies in one transaction and have it delivered directly to your door anywhere in Australia. No delivery fee for orders over $1,000. A $10 flat fee applies to orders less than $1,000.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site