When considering a trip to Japan, you may want to know how much it would cost. Is Japan expensive? Well, travel costs in Japan are cheaper than in most Western countries with similar service standards and living costs, but they are about twice as expensive as other Asian countries’.
The most expensive time travel to Japan is March to April, and the cheapest time is from mid-January to February.
How Much Is a Private Japan Tour Package?
In general, a private Japan tour costs US$350–400 per person per day (with 2–4 people), including private car, private guides, local 4-star hotels, tickets for attractions, and full-day itineraries. Thus, the total cost is around US$2,500–2,800 for a week and around US$5,000–5,600 for 2 weeks.
The main costs of a trip to Japan are international flights, hotels, tour guiding, and private transport. Not counting international airfares, approximately speaking, private transport costs account for 40% of a trip’s cost, an excellent guide accounts for 30%, hotel spending about 15%, and attraction tickets and intercity transportation is the last 15%.
If you take public transportation within the city, you can generally save US$100 a day, but it typically requires you to walk 20,000 more steps.
March to May (cherry blossom season) and October to November (red maple season) are peak seasons in Japan. We suggest that you book a Japan tour at least 6 months in advance to reserve the perfect hotels and professional guides for these times.
The Cost of International Flights to Japan
The cheapest period to buy flight tickets is mid-January to February, costing about US$900–1,500 from the U.S. The most expensive month to buy flight tickets is April, when the cost from the U.S. is around US$1,600–1,800. From June to July the airfare is US$1,000–1,500, and in December the cost is US$1,000–1,600.
The cost of flights from the U.S. to Japan varies depending on when you fly and the airline you choose. For example, round-trip economy tickets from New York or Los Angeles to Tokyo cost anything from around $800 to $1,800 on average for 2023.
Direct flights from Europe to Japan are fewer and most require at least one stopover. A round trip from London to Tokyo is in the range US$1,500–2,000 on average for 2023.
To buy the cheapest flights to Japan, we recommend you book at least 3–6 months in advance, especially if you are going to Japan during the busiest times, such as cherry blossom season from March to May, the red maple season from October to November, and around New Year.
Suggested reading: 2-Week Japan Itineraries for Families And Couples>>>
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Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with…
For the reasons above, I decided to book again with Asia highlights for our trip to Japan this year in September. Until now it’s been a pleasure dealing with Albee Ning. She was so efficient and pleasant in adjusting our itinerary. Whenever I had any questions I could count on her to answer promptly. I am very lucky to have her as our organiser for our future trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with Asia Highlights when we went to China in 2018. We were extremely satisfied with the exceptional services rendered by our organiser, Robert Hui and private guide William.More
Mrs Cristina Hidalgo Loris, Apr 2023
Albee Ning and Asia Highlights - wonderful to work with.
I and my daughter planned a trip to China and Japan. We worked with Albee Ning who was fantastic in developing a itinerary based on our desires and needs. She was extremely responsive, taking into account all of our requests and worked closely with us, it wasn't just selecting from one of several pre-developed itineraries. We decided to postpone the trip until next year and received the guaranteed refund, minus a small deposit on next years trip. We look forward to working with her again on next years trip and trips in the future. We highly recommend Asia Highlights and Albee NingMore
Nancy K, Apr 2023
Handcrafted tour of Japan by Asia Highlights
My initial inquiry to this company (based in China) was answered in under 10 hours by an amazing travel consultant, named Alisa. She is such a professional in the ways she conducts herself and serves her clients. Alisa is a great communicator and listener. She is very open to requests for additional experiences which require research on her part to arrange. Alisa also provides very detailed information about each experience, location, guides, private car transfers, trains, hotels. This approach is very appealing since detailed communication is so useful and important to me. Alisa also makes the process simple and easy to follow. Answered tons of questions and created the perfect tour for us. We are looking forward to this once in a lifetime visit to Japan and are so grateful we have had the chance to work with Alisa at Asia Highlights!More
Laurie Lee, Feb 2023
Great Overall Experience
Our guide in Tokyo, Fuki, was outstanding. We saw things we would never have otherwise seen, if Fuki had not been there.More
Todd Hankinson, Dec 2022
Plenty of options and personalized tours as needed
Monica Mo was very helpful from the beginning after I enquired about my travel plans to Japan. She listened with understanding and took careful notes and clarified things to make sure she got everything.More
Ginybel Belgira, Sep 2022
Asia Highlights especially Ms. Kanae Chida superb
Asia Highlights and particularly our Tokyo guide, Ms. Kanae Chida, were the best. When Kanae met us, she asked for details of what we wished to see and she constructed an outstanding combination of visits for the day.More
Geoff Rayner-Canham, May 2019
I have arranged a 27 day tour of China, Japan and Hong Kong China
Peggie's English is impeccable and she uses lots of nuances which usually only a native English speaker would know. I have found her very prompt in responding to emails and her knowledge is terrific.More
Ailsa West, Jul 2018
Very professional, great customer service
We travelled to Japan this May (2018). We had contacted Asia Highlights to organise our trip for us. Miss Peggie Lyoo was very helpful, super-friendly, very professional and very prompt with all her replies!More
Tibor Marton, May 2018
Great job!! We had an amazing vacation to Japan. We will use Asian highlights for all of our trips to AsiaMore
Joe, May 2018
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
The Cost of Accommodation in Japan
Japan hotel prices vary widely between low season and high season. A standard room in a 4-star hotel costs from US$200 to 280, and a 4-star ryokan costs around US$300–450 for a room per night for most of the year. However, the price may double or even triple in March and April when the cherry blossom blooms.
A ryokan is classical accommodation in a Japanese inn, where you can sleep on a tatami, wear yukata (traditional Japanese robes), enjoy kaiseki (traditional cuisine with many courses), and in some ryokans, relax in an onsen (hot spring bath). Because a ryokan has only about ten rooms, they are more expensive and harder to book than hotels. We recommend you book them at least 6 months in advance.
Early reservation to ensure your preferred hotel choices (at least 6 months in advance) is also suggested.
Suggested reading: How Long Should You Spend in Japan>>>
The Cost of Transportation in Japan
Most destinations in Japan are connected by trains, and their prices are not affected by the peak travel seasons. For a budget tour, many young travelers choose public transportation, but it may require 20,000 more steps a day. Taking private transfers is more comfortable, less stressful, saves time, and it doesn't take as much physical effort.
Public transportation is very convenient in Japan, though, especially the subway. Taking Tokyo as an example, regular Tokyo subway fares are $1–3, depending on the distance. Taxis are the most expensive option, as the starting fare is from US$5 for the first two kilometers. Shinkansen (bullet train) is the fastest and most popular way to travel between cities: a ride from Tokyo to Kyoto costs about $100.
We recommend that you take the private vehicle option (as supplied with our tours), because public transport may make you walk 1 or 2 km (a mile) more a day and stand around waiting for connections and finding your way, leaving less time and energy for the sights. An efficient and time-saving private car costs US$140–160 a day.
Suggested reading: How to Plan Your Trip to Japan>>>
The Cost of Food in Japan
Japanese cuisine is one of the main attractions for travelers who visit Japan, and it is often not expensive, such as sushi, ramen, rice balls, etc. A meal at sushi restaurant usually costs US$15–50, and a bottle of Japanese wine costs US$3–7. A bowl of ramen costs just US$5–7.
On average, a day at a mid-range restaurant costs US$30–45 per person. Luxury meals like wagyu beef or kaiseki cost US$70–110 per person and upwards. Dinner in most restaurants is more expensive than lunch because there are more choices.
The Cost of Attractions/Activities in Japan
Tickets for most attractions in Japan range from US$3–7. World Heritage sites, like Kinkaku Temple and Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, costs US$3.
There are many shrines, temples, and parks in Japan that are free of charge, like Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
Theme park tickets, such as for Disneyland in Tokyo and Universal Studios in Osaka, are slightly higher in cost at about US$60–70 per person.
Suggested reading: How to Plan a Family Trip to Japan>>>
Tips for Saving Money
1. Travel during the low season (unless you want to see cherry blossom from March to May and fall foliage from October to November), as prices are twice as high in the peak seasons.
2. Travelling a week or two before the peak seasons to avoid the higher costs and crowding, and you can still see some of the most beautiful scenery. For example, traveling from early December to December 15th is cheaper than Christmas, but you can still enjoy the same winter wonderland atmosphere in Sapporo.
3. Book flights and hotels at least 3–6 months in advance to snap up the early-bird deals.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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