1. Airfare prices:
This is going to be the largest – and also most variable – of your Japan trip costs. The factors that influence how much or little you end up paying for your flight to and from Japan include the time of year you plan to travel, your choice of air carrier, and of course your departure city. If you live near a major city, you should be able to find a direct flight to Japan without having to transfer plans en route.
In terms of costs, they really vary. For example, you should expect to pay as little as $350 (if traveling from Korea or parts of China) to $1,000 to $2,000 or more if traveling from Europe, Australia or the Americas. If your travel dates are flexible, be sure to plug in different dates into an online travel planner to see how the rates vary by travel date.
2. Transportation from the airport to your place of lodging:
If you will be landing in Osaka or Tokyo (most people do), you will need to arrange ground transportation from the airport to your place of lodging. From both Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport, you can find train service into the city for about $25. Also, a popular choice for travelers flying into Narita is to take an express bus into Tokyo for around $40. The bus will take you directly to a major train station in the heart of Tokyo.
3. Hotel, inn, and bed & breakfast rates:
Rates for a 3- or 4-star Western style hotel in a big city will usually start at around $150 or $200 per night. If your budget is more limited and/or if you want to have a more authentic Japan travel experience, trying staying in a ryokan (inn) or minshuku (bed and breakfast) for around $40-$60 per night. Hostels will cost even less.
4. Eating out:
High-end meals in Tokyo can run $100/plate or higher, but there are food options to match just about any budget. At the low end of things, you can find convenience stores on just about every major street corner that offer healthy snacks and meals for under $5.
Again, convenience stores are a great way to keep yourself fed if you are traveling in Japan on a budget. $5 per meal is a reasonable budget when you go this route. You can find tuna sandwiches, pre-made salads, onigiri (rice balls with meat or vegetable filling), chips, and even hot soup (o-den) during the winter months.