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How much money should I bring to Tokyo?

Depending on where you are from, Tokyo can be considered expensive or somewhat cheap. To get an idea of how much your type of holiday would cost in Tokyo, read on.

Accommodation

If you want to have free lodging, try couchsurfing at your own risk. Cheap no-frills lodging such as capsule hotels or guesthouses cost somewhere from 2,000 – 6,000 yen per night. AirBnB (recently made legal) provide lots of options from bunking in from 1,000 yen per night to nicely furnished apartments in access of 10,000 yen per night. 3-star hotels start from around 5,000 yen per night per person in Tokyo, and more luxurious hotels go from at least 10,000 yen per night per person.

If you want to have free lodging, try couchsurfing at your own risk. Cheap no-frills lodging such as capsule hotels or guesthouses cost somewhere from 2,000 – 6,000 yen per night. Recently made legal, AirBnB provide lots of options. From bunking in at 1,000 yen per night to nicely furnished apartments in access of 10,000 yen per night. 3-star hotels start from around 5,000 yen per night per person in Tokyo. More luxurious hotels go from at least 10,000 yen per night per person.

A nicer-than-usual capsule hotel

Food

If you are out to save on food, you could go with onigiri (riceballs) from convenience stores. These go for around 100-130 yen each and are relatively filling. They can also be eaten at any time of the day. A cheap complete meal would usually set you back by around 500 yen during lunch (known as one-coin lunch) and 1000 yen during dinner. A common way to save money, even among the locals, is to wait for 8-9 pm and then head out to the supermarkets to buy the discounted bentos.

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One of the more value-for-money one coin lunches

If you are ready to spend on food, lunches would go from 1,000-2,000 yen at fancy places and upwards of 2,000 yen for dinners. If you are going for really good food (i.e. Michelin starred restaurants or restaurants that score higher than 4.0 on Tabelog), be prepared to spend at least 5,000 yen per person. Hotel meals tend to be pricier, going from 2,000 yen for breakfast, and even more for lunch and dinner.

As for alcoholic drinks go for 100-300 yen per can in supermarkets and convenience stores. Another cool way to have drinks is through a nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) at an izakaya. These typically cost 1500-3000 yen, giving you 90 mins to drink whatever you can handle.

Transport

In good weather (spring/autumn), walking long distances is quite pleasant and a good way to save money while taking in sights. Public buses within the city typically cost 100 yen (for community buses) and 200 yen for long-haul ones. Trains rides within the city start from 140 yen and can go up to 300 yen if you are taking the Toei Subway lines. Read more on trains and subways here.

Don’t forget to look into Rail Passes if you intend to travel across cities in Japan.

While taxis are usually a convenient form of transportation during holidays, fares can be quite exorbitant in Tokyo. While the base fare has been lowered to 410 yen within Tokyo recently, it quickly goes up at a rate of 80 yen per 237 meters. A 10 km ride, say from Roppongi to Ueno would cost you around 3,000 yen. If you find yourself needing to catch a cab, try using this site to estimate the costs.

For cost of travelling to/from the airports, refer to the following post:

Travelling To and From the Airports in Tokyo

Other expenses

Larger gardens, shrines, and temples tend to have admission charges of a few hundred yen. Attractions like small theme parks, museums and zoos tend to cost from 1,000 yen. Disneyland and Disneysea single-day passes cost 4,800 yen for kids and 7,400 yen for adults. If you need help with getting tickets (possibly with a discount), check this article.

Getting yourself a dedicated wireless router would typically set you back 1,000 yen per day but there are many options out there:

On internet access, SIM cards, data plans, mobile routers and WiFi in Tokyo

Have we missed anything? Drop us a comment if you have any questions.

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