Japan is the dream trip of a lifetime for many, but the last thing you want is for reality to come crashing down around you when you’re back home and an insane credit card bill arrives. It’s super important to get an idea of your budget ahead of time, and to prepare accordingly.

We’ve broken down how tourists from several different countries spent their hard-earned cash while in Japan, so you can get a clear idea of how much you’re likely to need. You’ll also find some different tips on how to save money while you’re here!

1. How much do tourists spend in Japan? (Overall spending)

So what are tourists really spending their money on? The chart below shows the total amount of money spent by tourists from over 20 countries from April to June, 2019. Note that it only includes the amount of money they spent in Japan, and therefore doesn’t include things like their airfare or package tour costs.

Total of how much tourists spent in Japan over 3 months. Source: http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/

Shopping rakes in the most!
Japan is an unbeatable place to go shopping. From quirky thrift stores to glamorous high-end shops, and from massive department stores and shopping malls to quiet traditional workshops; there is something for every taste under the sun.

It’s no surprise that the numbers reflect this, and that shopping makes up almost half of all total spending, at 6,404,618 yen (57,537 USD). Throw in services, which included things like theme parks, sports matches, massages, and ski trips, and a whopping 9,026,939 yen (81,095 USD) was well spent having a good time.

One potential reason that people spent so much on shopping is that Japan loves a bit of exclusivity; a plethora of souvenirs, foods, drinks, and clothes are only available here, are seasonal, or come in a lot of unusal styles and flavours. Limited availability can create a sense of urgency that encourages people to grab as much as possible while they’re here, and we really can’t blame them. That seems to be particularly true of snacks, with distinctly Japanese flavors like matcha green tea, sake, and even wasabi!

Japanese Souvenir Selection: Our Top 5 Favorite Crazy KitKat Flavors!

However, some people worry about going shopping in Japan due to disparities in size, language barriers, and cultural differences. Clothes shopping in particular can be a source of anxiety and concern. Not to worry; there are more than enough options to choose from, and there is plenty of advice to get you started.

2 million yen on transport?!
Coming in third place is transportation, which isn’t too surprising; Japan is much bigger than people often expect. Tokyo, for example, is so massive that it’s nigh on impossible to get around without hoppi…

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