Japan Travel Budget Breakdown

We departed Australia on November 1, arrived in Japan on November 2, and stayed until December 3. For the purpose of budgeting we are including any costs from November 2 onward, including the flight to Japan. The expenses outlined below are for 2 people and are in United States dollars (USD).


November 2 – December 3

Total Number of Days


Total Expense

$4,139.54 USD

Average Daily Cost


**Overall, Japan was less expensive than we thought it would be, particularly housing and food. Note that 10 days of our trip in Japan was at a silent meditation retreat, which meant that we did not have housing/food costs during that time. As a result, we did splurge a bit more (eating out, nicer AirBnBs, etc.) during the three weeks we spent in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara prior to the meditation retreat. Also, you will see below that 26% of the Total Expense listed above was the flight to Japan – once in the country, costs were quite low.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE – Credit Card Points

We used credit card points to pay for a portion ($675) of the flight from Australia to Japan. The average daily cost listed above assumes we PAID for the airplane tickets to give a more realistic cost for others using this as a guide, especially considering how expensive we found the flights to Japan to be. However, our actual Total Expense and Average Daily Cost were as follows.

Total Expense

$3,464.54 USD

Average Daily Cost


If you are interested in learning what credit cards we used to accumulate points prior to our trip, click here for our blog post on that topic.


Transportation (airlines, trains, subways, buses, etc.)


$646.95 – Our actual cost taking into account that a large portion of the airline tickets were paid for using credit card points.

  • The airline tickets to get to Japan were quite expensive, taking up a full 26% of our total expense. Using the credit card points for this trip certainly helped the budget.



  • The majority of our time was at AirBnBs, although our last 10 days was at a silent meditation retreat which had no fixed cost other than a donation at the end. 

Food (restaurants, sake, snacks, etc.)


  • There were many affordable food options in Japan. We ate all of our meals at restaurants, food vendors, or pre-made food available at stores (7-11 has great, quick options). We prepared our own meals three times total.





  • Bathroom supplies, comfortable pants to wear for the meditation retreat, meditation retreat donation, laundry, Japan guide book, etc.

Mobile (SIM card)


What does this not include?

While these are costs associated with our travels, they are not country-specific, which is why they are not included in this expense report. 

Trail Wallet

To help keep track of our budget and expenses, we have been using an app called Trail Wallet, which is what allowed us to easily track and report category-specific expenses. Click here for a separate post about Trail Wallet. 

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Categories: Destinations - Japan