Japan may be one of the most creative and inspiring places on this planet, but its exciting and diverse appeal can sometimes be overshadowed by the reputation of being somewhat costly.

Speaking at the Japan Adventure Travel Mart in Sydney last night, Japan National Tourism Organization’s (JNTO) Sally Miles said it’s a common misconception among travellers, particularly Australians, to assume the country is overly expensive when in reality it’s quite competitive.

“It can be expensive if you compare it to its neighbouring countries, but it’s actually very cost effective and in some cases, competitive,” the Business Development and Marketing Assistant Manager explained.

For example, a lift pass at the ski resorts in Hokkaido, Nagano or Tohoku during the popular ski season can cost a traveller between $40-$90 a day, depending on the resort. That’s at least $35 less than a one-day pass at Australia’s Thredbo or Perisher.

Japan dining

Then there’s food, which varies in price depending location and dining-style, but a large bowl of Ramen can be anywhere between 500 and 700YEN, which converts to about AU$5.

“That’s $5 for a giant bowl of Ramen,” Miles stressed.

Plus, there’s convenience store food, which sells for less than 500YEN and according to Miles, isn’t “like getting a sandwich from 7/11, they’re fulfilling and taste excellent”.


Increased air competition between Australia and Japan, including All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) return to Sydney and Qantas’ direct flights between Melbourne and Narita, have made airfares more competitive, with a return flight from Sydney to Haneda currently selling from $863 return through ANA and Sydney to Narita through Japan Airlines selling from $876 return.

And finally there’s cross-country travel, which is easily done through the country’s high-speed rail system, which is cheaper to purchase before leaving Australia.

“The other very important part of Japan, which a lot of Australians love aside from the culture, the food and the experience, is the value for money situation that Japan offers,” regular visitor to Japan and Chief Financial Officer at Larry Adler Ski and Outdoor, Scott Adler, said.

Another misconception the country’s tourism leaders are aiming to squash is the belief that there isn’t much for adventure outside of ski and snow.

“While it may not be your first thought to go to Japan for a beach holiday or a golf holiday, rest assured you certainly can do that there,” she added.

“Yes, there is excellent snow in Japan but there’s also lots more to do. There’s rafting, there’s golfing, there’s mountain climbing, beaches, surfing and pretty much anything you can think of you can do in Japan.”

Have you travelled to the Land of the Rising Sun?