Inexpensive trip to Japan:
how to reduce your outlay?

When talking about travelling in Japan, a particular adjective often comes up: expensive. While this used to be true, it is no longer the case today. It is entirely possible to organize a trip to Japan for a low price. Advice for an inexpensive trip to Japan.

Japan: a destination which is too expensive?

Texte richeJapan is a destination which has a reputation for being expensive. But this received wisdom does not stand up to the facts, and here is why.
In the 1980s and 1990s, an economic bubble existed in Japan. This had important repercussions on the cost of living, making the archipelago a relatively unaffordable holiday destination. However, things have changed over the last twenty years or so. Prices in yen have not changed in 25 years, while in Europe living standards have risen considerably, particularly in terms of wages.
We can also note that the price of air travel has fallen sharply, and the same can be said for the cost of accommodation and other forms of transport. This is not necessarily something that most people know about, and the prohibitive prices charged by certain travel agencies only serve to reinforce this misleading impression. These agencies often work alongside many intermediaries, and the partnerships they form with service providers tend to increase the price of trips to Japan. Yet it is entirely possible to organize an inexpensive trip to Japan, as long as you make the right choices.

Organizing your inexpensive trip to Japan: tips for reducing the costs

Currently, the average cost of a 14-day trip to Japan is 2000€ per person, which is relatively affordable for a distant destination. There are several elements which can have a great effect on your budget.


As for all such trips, it is possible to reduce the cost of plane tickets by booking them well in advance. Choosing a flight with a stopover often provides an opportunity to make extra economies. The most affordable return flights are often available from Asiana Airlines, Alitalia, Qatar Airways, Air China, Cathay Pacific or Turkish Airlines. Prices with Air France, Japan Airlines or All Nippon Airways are often higher, but this goes hand in hand with the direct flights they provide. To travel to Japan at lower cost and to enjoy lower prices for direct flights, make sure that you keep an eye out for special offers throughout the year.

As a guideline, here are the average prices for Paris-Tokyo flights:
        • Flight to Japan for one person: lowest prices 530-650€ and around 700-800€ with Air France or Japan Airlines.
        • Flight to Japan for two people: 1160€ with the least expensive airlines and 1500-1600€ with Air France and Japan Airlines.
        • Flight to Japan for a family (2 adults, 2 children): around 2000€ minimum and 2800-3000€ with Air France and Japan Airlines.

Useful tip:
Travelling in off-peak season, i.e. not during the French or Japanese school holidays, means that you will be able to benefit from the most attractive prices.


If you are planning to move between cities during your trip, the train is the best way of getting around at a lower cost. In order to optimize the costs of your train travel, the Japan Rail Pass is a must today. Each of these train tickets is issued for a specific person; they are aimed at tourists, allowing unlimited travel over the 20 000km of the JR (Japan Railway) network. You will thereby pay less than if you buy your train tickets for each journey separately. For 7 days, the cost is around 209€ for an adult, 418€ for two people and 628€ for a family of two adults and two children. The JR Pass is also available for 14- and 21-day periods.

For local travel, for example, the Suica card allows you to monitor every yen that your metro, local train and bus travel costs. This practical virtual wallet can also be used in konbini as well as in selected restaurants.

If you wish to travel to the countryside, you will need to go by car. You can find rental deals for less than 100€ per day.


An inexpensive trip to Japan also involves choosing accommodation wisely. Much like the plane tickets, the earlier you make your bookings, the more choice you will have, as well as the possibility of benefiting from lower prices. In terms of accommodation, everyone has their own preferences. You will be able to choose between:

        • Youth hostels, which are always the least expensive choice of accommodation;
        • Capsule hotels, which are inexpensive but cramped for space and only an option for people travelling alone;
        • Hotels, which are often Western in style and available at variable prices;
        • Ryokan, traditional Japanese hostels which are generally more expensive, but which provide you with an exceptional experience;
        • Rental of Japanese houses, the most economical alternative when you are travelling in a group. They also allow you to live like a local during your stay.

Did you know?

Japan Experience offers a service for renting Japanese houses. They can accommodate up to six travelers and they allow you to enjoy a comfortable stay as well as providing an experience of the Japanese lifestyle. For an even more pleasant stay, our Travel Angels can provide you with a reception service and provide the assistance you require during your stay. The best addresses in the district, explanations about habits and customs, modes of travel, use of household equipment: make the most of their useful advice and ask any questions you may have.


In Japon, you can eat well without spending a vast amount of money – indeed 11 € per person and per day is sufficient on average. Of course, this average can be higher, depending on how many treats you allow yourself (be aware that if you are travelling with children or if you are a gourmet, there are temptations absolutely everywhere in Japan). To eat for less money, head to small restaurants and stalls which charge low prices, as well as chains which can be found everywhere. You can also make use of the 100 Yen shops which sell a wide range of products including food for less than a Euro, as well as supermarkets. The latter provide excellent special offers at certain times of the day.


In order to economize on fees, make sure that you change your currency before you set. Avoid doing so at the airport, where the exchange rates are often highly dissuasive. For the best exchange rates, head to the Bourse district in Paris, around rue Vivienne, or to specialized websites. Japan Experience recommends, for example, Comptoir Change Opera. Make sure that you exchange enough money because most of the transactions you undertake in Japan will require cash and any withdrawals you make will probably involve you paying banks fees.


Everyone will have a different budget for shopping, but you can make savings on any presents you may wish to buy by making a few purchases in the 100 Yen shops.


Japan Experience offers a variety of tours which are adapted to different travelers and different budgets. Whether you set off alone or in the company of one of our guides who specialize in all things Japan, by train or by car, take a tour of one or several of the archipelago’s regions, all for a fixed budget.

Further reading:
Inexpensive tours in Japan


There are many other ways of reducing the cost of your trip to Japan. You can, for example, choose to travel in the off-peak season. Apart from the fact that plane tickets will be cheaper (see above), you will also be able to find cheaper accommodation if you set off during the second fortnight in May (after Golden Week), the first fortnight in October or alternatively during the winter.

Other advice for low-cost travelling in Japan:

5 Reasons to Travel to Japan in Winter

The Grutt Pass

Free wifi

Visiting Japan by Bus

Travel by night bus

Japan Experience provides you with assistance in preparing your stay. Whether you want to go on a tour with a guide or independently, simply rent accommodation, reserve your plane tickets or find activities, make the most of our useful advice for organizing a trip to Japan which is inexpensive but which fulfils your wishes. Prepare a trip to Japan that suits you, with total peace of mind.