Prices of Things in Japan

Items at Convenience Stores

Rice ball- 100-130 yen

Bottled drink (500 ml)- 150 yen

Pastry-style bread- 100-200 yen

Lunch box (obento)- 300-1000 yen

Chewing gum - 120 yen

Cigarettes-250-400 yen

*Prices are inclusive of 5% sales tax. (Recent law changed to force inclusion of sales tax in displayed prices.)

Meals

Bowl of noodles(soba/udon/ramen)-200 (plain soba or udon) - 900 yen (ramen with extra pork).

Lunch set ("teishoku")- 600-1500 yen (prices vary on size/quality of meal)

Dinner at fast-food sushi shop ("kaiten-zushi")- average 1500-2000 yen. Draft beer 500 yen. (Fast-food sushi shops sell plates of sushi ranging from 100 yen to 350 yen per dish and up, with 2 pieces of sushi per dish.)

A meal combo at McDonald's or similar fast food 600-750 yen for most.

Dinner at casual grill-style restaurant ("robata-yaki"/ "izakaya")-2000 yen. Beer/sake add 500 yen per drink.

Beer garden admission- 3000-4000. Summer season only. Most rooftop beer gardens have all-you-can-eat buffets and also offer all-you-can-drink deals, included in the cost of admission.

Dinner at real sushi bar(individually prepared fish) - 6000 per person or more, maybe more depending on what you order & amount of alcohol consumed. Most expensive toppings are toro(tuna belly), ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin), awabi (abalone)...

Accommodation

Fleabag hostel (shared everything)- 1500 yen (single) - Budget inns/hostel info: http://japaninfo.esmartweb.com; youth hostels info: http://www.jyh.or.jp/english/index.html

Cheapie inn/business inn/hotel (usually ensuite)- from 3500 yen(single), 5500-7000 yen(twin/double) *These sometimes include breakfast, if you are very lucky.

Capsule hotel (a 1m X 1m X 2m box) - around 3500 yen, luggage storage may be a problem,a chance that backpackers may be turned away, shared bathing/toilets.

Budget hotel/nicer business hotel (ensuite)- from 4500-7000 (single),  6000-11000(twin/double). The ever-popular Toyoko hotel chain falls into this price range. http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/hotelli...

Japanese Inns (ryokan)-these can range from 5000 per room to 50,000 per room. The upscale ryokans roomcharge include dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. Best to see the homepage and then decide. www.luxuryryokan.com

Western Chain Hotels-usually start around $100-150 for a single. 

For a good deal of reasonable accommodation options search the RakutenTravel site here: http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/en/

Transport

Taxis- prices vary from city to city and are more expensive in metropolitan areas. Around 600 yen on the meter to start. A 10-minute ride might cost you 1500-3000 yen. Fares are higher at night.

Buses- fares increase the further you go.  Buses generally start at 150 yen or so.

Trains- for local trains, the cost increases  the further you go. Sample fare on JR West: 15 kms (15 minutes)=320 yen.

Shinkansen (super-express) - quite expensive (about 6000 yen per hour) but the railpass is a good investment if you are covering a lot of ground while you are in Japan. Definitely comparable to air travel in terms of expense and speed.

The JR (Japan Railway) Rail Pass is a great way to get around the country. There are however issues that you have to be very aware of. For example not all railway services are covered by the JR Railpass as many lines are privately owned. You may find that the station you have entered has privately owned services running from one side of the station with JR services on the other! So look very carefully when planning your trip and ensure that you are travelling on a JR service.

Sometimes you may fnd that the last leg of your journey, although you are still on the same train in the same cariage has actually been completed on a "private" line or service. The only way that you know is when the conductor demands payment for this leg of your journey. Very confusing - however this can defintely happen. Be very aware that privately owned services are NOT covered by the JR Railpass!

See here for railpass info:  http://www.japanrail.com/JR_japanrail...

Entertainment

Baseball game- tickets 1500-5000 yen

Internet cafe - average 400 yen/hour, usually includes free drinks

Movie theater-1200-1800 yen. Usually a discount for students to 1500, plus the last showings at night are often discounted to 1200. Some places have a "ladies day" as well...

Karaoke- 700-1000 per hour for a "box" or cheapie studio. Karaoke bars will set you back 2000-5000 per person, depending on how much you drink and snack.

A night at a bar- 500-800 per drink. Prices are listed on menus. Some places have a "cover" which ranges for 500-1000 yen per person. If there are attractive women sitting next to you pouring you drinks, you will be in a place known as a "hostess bar" and expect to pay 5000 yen just to sit down and have one drink.

Places with live music- known as"live house", usually charge only admission, but sometimes include a drink. 

Admission

Japanese Gardens, Shrines, Temples, Castles- 300-1000 yen. (Himeji Castle, for example, is 600 yen for adults, 200 yen for children) 

Museums- 800-1500 yen. For most larger exhibits, you can go to a convenience store and get advance tickets that can save you a few hundred yen. (Called "mae-uri ken" in Japanese)

Aquariums- vary greatly, but 1000 and up. The Kaiyuukan Aquarium in Osaka is a pricey 2000 yen (but worth it!)...

Hotsprings- natural, country hotsprings are very cheap- 300-800 yen, but those high-tech places with numerous baths, whirpool jacuzzis and waterslides are from 1000 yen up...

Amusement Parks- Most are between 3000-5000 yen.  Disneyland charges 5800 yen for adults, 5000 for juniors (12-17) and 3900 for kids. Discounts are given for multi-day passes.