The whole trip cost $2205 CAD. Something to note, that I read before leaving, is that despite Japan being a super modern country you will find that most places don’t accept credit card, so bring cash! This is true, I went with about 60,000 yen (for two people) and came home with under 10,000 yen. That being said, everything in and around Osaka (Nara, Kyoto) was essentially cash only – Tokyo had a lot more places that accepted card but still a lot of places, the transport system for example, that was cash only, in addition to restaurants & markets.
The daily averages on this chart are pretty skewed because of sporadic shopping, and the transportation category average is also skewed. With my flight benefits, I was lucky to only have paid $85 CAD for the round trip flight. I do think it’s interesting though that metros within a city cost roughly $10 for a day (3-4 trips). As for the inter-city transport, I bought the JR Pass, which was pricy and probably came out to a little bit more than we would have spent if we paid each train individually, but the liberty of not having to choose if “another day-trip to Kyoto” was worth the added cost, was worth it to me. This way we were able to remain based in Osaka and spend less time “homeless” in between check-out and check-in, in addition to having to pack and repack multiple times.
You can decide if the JR Pass is worth it for you here: https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/
Lodging averaged out to $62 CAD a night per person, which considering our hotel in Tokyo was $200 a night ($194), that is pretty good! We booked our lodging a week before leaving, leaving us limited options. We got a super affordable and cute Airbnb a short distance from Dotonbori. In retrospect, I would have booked something closer to the JR Namba Station because this was our start and finish point on most days (when we used JR to go to other cities) and it was at least a 20 minute walk to and from JR Namba, hard after a long day! In Tokyo we had very few choices so we splurged and got something 4 minutes from Shibuya, and it was worth it! We were minutes from mostly everything we wanted to see in Shibuya, and only 15 minutes from Harajuku. On our last day we took the metro and commuted to the other “cities” within Tokyo, but as a base, I definitely recommend Shibuya.
As for food, we ate about 2 meals a day (pancakes, sushi, ramen, dumplings) and had coffee or bubble tea almost every day. Food and drink averaged out to $46 CAD a day. We didn’t cut back in this category, but there would definitely be cheaper ways to do it if you were on a budget.
Activities, we splurged on the Robot Restaurant, at $98 for a 90 minute show (no food or drinks included). If I were to be asked if I would still have gone (now having seen the show and having paid the price) yes I would. If I were to be asked if I think it is worth $98 CAD, no I don’t think it is, but people are willing to pay! I would price it more around $60 or maybe $70 because it’s popular. Regardless, I enjoyed it. Besides that, factored in are our tickets to teamLab Planets (a must see) as well as one temple visit, a tattoo and some cookies for the deer in Nara.
As for shopping, well, that is totally subjective BUT Japan has some REALLY COOL STUFF! Stationary, snacks, beauty products, clothes. So, to each their own I guess!
Note: JPY * 0.012 = CAD