Just How Expensive is Tokyo for a Week?

The biggest concern people had when I told them I was going to Japan for 5 weeks was the price.

“Oo Tokyo will be expensive”, “I hope you’ve been saving your pennies” or words to that effect that don’t sound like a TV grandma were sent my way. I reassured them I’d be fine and that from my research “it didn’t look as expensive as London”.

The cost of Tokyo

After visiting for almost two weeks I’ve decided that it definitely isn’t. In fact, on the scale of cities, I honestly haven’t found Tokyo to be that expensive at all. You can get a sushi feast for less than a fiver, one way on the metro is around £1 depending on where you’re going and I’ve paid an average of £15 a night for a mixture of accommodation.

I absolutely loved Tokyo. I’d recommend it to anyone, which is why I want to put your mind at rest about this rumoured ‘expensive Tokyo’ I’ve been told to expect. I kept a diary of all my Tokyo expenses for the first week I was there – here it is broken down into categories.

Cost of food in Tokyo

cost of food in tokyo

  • Piece of sushi from 7/11 shop or similar = 100¥ | 55p
  • Sushi feast (see above) at an average restaurant = 550¥ | £3.09
  • Cashew nuts = 170¥ | 96p
  • Ramen lunch with oolong tea = 1000¥ | £5.50
  • Frozen yogurt with 4 toppings = 640¥ | £3.59
  • Big sushi lunch deal in Ginza = 970¥ | £5.45
  • Things out the breakfast machine = 320¥ | £1.79
  • French toast ice cream and coffee = 1380¥ | £7.76
  • Sushi dinner in Shinjinku = 850¥ | £4.77
  • Disgusting noodle breakfast = 604¥ | £3.39
  • Sweet potato cake and coffee = 650¥ | £3.65
  • Hot dog and breakfast smoothie = 450¥ | £2.53
  • Kebab and oolong tea at Jojola in Harajuku = 600¥ | £3.37
  • Pik n mix sweets = 500¥ | £2.81
  • Katsu curry = 650¥ | £3.65
  • Hungover junk food at 7/11 = 800¥ | £4.49
  • Sushi in Ryogoku = 950¥ | £5.34
  • Dinner at the Robot Restaurant = 1000¥ | £5.62

Cost of transport in Tokyo

cost of transport in tokyo

  • Train from the Narita Airport to Asakusa = 1100¥ | £6.13
  • Metro from Akihabara to Ueno = 140¥ | 77p
  • Metro from Karamae to Odaiba = 380¥ | £2.12
  • Metro from Odaiba to Ginza = 380¥ | £2.12
  • Metro from Ginza to Asakusa = 200¥ | £1.11
  • Metro from Asakusa to Shinjuku = 320¥ | £1.78
  • Metro from Shinjuku to Ebisu = 320¥ | £1.78
  • Metro from Harajuku to shinjuku = 160¥ | 89p
  • Metro from Ueno to Ryogoku = 220¥ | £1.23

Cost of drink in Tokyo

Cost of drink in Tokyo

  • Water at the airport = 110¥ | 61p
  • Coffee at Excelsior Café in Akihabara = 350¥ | £1.95
  • Orange juice at Time Out cafe = 500¥ | £2.78
  • Gin and tonic at Tower Records Cafe = 650¥ | £3.62
  • Brown stone cocktail and beef jerky at Brooklyn Parlour = 1500¥ | £8.35
  • Drinks on pub crawl = 500¥ each x2 | £5.50
  • Golden Gai beer, sake and meat stick = 1000¥ | £5.50
  • Other bar = 500¥ each | £2.78
  • Coffee at Mercedes Benz connection = 410¥ | £2.28

Cost of accommodation in Tokyo

Cost of accommodation in tokyo

  • 3 x a 10-bed dorm at World Ryokan in Asakusa 2200¥ x 3 | £12.25 x 3 = £36.75
  • 2 x Capsule hotel 4500¥ x 2 | £25.04 x 2 = £50.08
  • 3 x a 4-bed dorm at Anne Hostel in Ryogku 2500¥ | £13.91 x 3 = £41.73

I’d recommend all the places above. All were in a great location and had great facilities. I moved from the first one because it wasn’t very sociable, and I wanted to try the Capsule Hotel. I’d definitely recommend Anne Hostel over the other one though – more space, better bathrooms and a lot warmer!

Cost of activities in Tokyo

cost of activities in Tokyo

So, my grand total for the cost of a week in Tokyo – including all food, drink, accommodation, transport and activities – was 86,400Y / £483.84.

Seeing Richie Hawtin at Womb, Asgeir at Liquid Room, going to a maid café, eating endless sushi, playing on Purikura, talking to a robot, using a Japanese toilet, going in a spaceship, sleeping in a capsule, seeing a panda, meeting Olaf the snowman and watching the Sumo Wrestling Championship 2015 – PRICELESS!


The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival in Photos
The 52 Coolest Things to Do in Tokyo: No Messing About
tagged in money, tokyo


  1. by Dave brett on February 6, 2015  10:21 am Reply

    Looks like I'll be living off cashew nuts on my next visit. Great blog post about costs of Japan, often people are put off by the price but compared to the UK if you get a JR. rail pass, stick to Couchsurfing, Internet cafes and pod hotels and buy food at ¥100 shops, your be fine :)

    • by Vicky on February 6, 2015  10:30 am Reply

      I tried couchsurfing. In fact I emailed about 30 people and no one wanted me! Love Lawson and 7/11. Might go there for dinner in fact :)

  2. by Sarah on February 6, 2015  11:11 am Reply

    Started reading your site a couple of weeks ago. I'm currently saving up to take an extended trip to Japan next year, so I'm loving all these posts!

    • by Vicky on February 6, 2015  2:48 pm Reply

      Great news! Keep saving Sarah – you'll need it for all the amazing food opportunities I decided to skip for the sake of my bank balance!

  3. by Scott on February 6, 2015  1:54 pm Reply

    Wow, really helpful breakdown of costs. Thanks for that. I wish I could keep track like this for my own travels but it drives me crazy.

    • by Vicky on February 6, 2015  2:45 pm Reply

      Yeah, I wanted to do it for the whole trip but after a week I decided that was plenty!

  4. by Olga on February 6, 2015  2:14 pm Reply

    Tokyo sounds quite reasonable! I always thought it wasn't that cheap but, it turns out, some European capitals are way more expensive!


    • by Vicky on February 6, 2015  2:44 pm Reply

      Yeah, I actually thought Tokyo was pretty good. It was the rest of Japan that was pretty expensive!

  5. by Sam on February 7, 2015  1:13 pm Reply

    These prices are all pretty reasonable, and similar or cheaper to what you'd pay in Western Europe, I think, especially the public transport.

    • by Vicky on February 7, 2015  1:29 pm Reply

      Yeah definitely. Tokyo isn't as expensive as people think. Transport was well cheap! It's £4.50 a ride on the tube in London (if I remember right). Also, water is free out the taps everywhere, and even when I bought it in the airport it was only 110 – imagine how much that would be in a London airport!

  6. by Erin El-Tawil on February 12, 2015  3:52 am Reply

    Japan has so many cheap options!

    I think you missed some opportunities to get day rail passes. All of the Rail companies offer day passes for tourists. If there is a line you take a lot you can just buy a single pass for around 500-700 yen and use that the entire day. If you're spending a long time in Japan the 200-300 yen savings add up to 20-30 US dollars!

    Also, in a pinch or for suppppperrrr cheap accomodations you can rent a booth at an internet cafe and sleep in the reclining chairs. You rent by the hour so these are ideal for when you miss the last train or need to get from place to place.

    • by Vicky on February 14, 2015  6:18 am Reply

      I looked at those but then you had to stay on specific lines didn't you? Like you couldn't jump between them? I'll definitely check that out for sure next time I go though. And yeah, I looked at those manga cafes, another one for next time!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites