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Is Sushi Cheap in Japan? Find Out Before You Go

When planning a trip to Japan, the expenses all start to add up pretty quickly. You may need to buy a bullet train pass to get around Japan, if you’re traveling from far away then the flights definitely aren’t the cheapest, and Tokyo is actually known as one of the most expensive cities in the world. So you start to wonder, what about food in Japan? Is sushi cheap in Japan?

Outside of Japan, sushi is a luxury meal that usually costs quite a bit. In the USA, going out for sushi in my family was considered a special occasion. But is that the case in Japan?

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to Japan was to try sushi and other traditional Japanese foods, but being a budget traveler, I was pretty worried we wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Is Sushi Cheap in Japan?

The surprising answer to this question is: YES, sushi is cheap in Japan. It is definitely possible to find affordable sushi and to keep your food budget quite low while visiting this amazing country.

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There is a type of sushi restaurant in Japan known for cheap sushi, called “Conveyor Belt Sushi” or kaiten sushi.

cheap sushi in japan

I’ve written a whole post about the Best Conveyor Belt sushi restaurants in Tokyo just to prove that sushi can totally be affordable!

So, is sushi expensive in Japan? No, sushi doesn’t have to be expensive in Japan if you know where to look!

How Much Does Sushi Cost in Japan?

But how affordable is sushi in Japan?

At a cheap sushi restaurant, the prices are usually split up by colors. For example, you sit down in front of a conveyor belt and you see different color plates pass by in front of you with different types of sushi on them.

The cheapest sushi plates usually go for about $1-$1.50 per plate, which can come with many pieces of sushi on it.

The more expensive plates are usually black and can be $3-$5 per plate.

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While eating out at multiple affordable sushi restaurants, we ate until we were full and never spent more than $15 on a meal for the BOTH of us!

In fact, one of the cheapest sushi places cost us only $8.11 total!

the cost of cheap sushi in Japan

Here is exactly how much sushi cost in each of the cheap sushi restaurants we ate at in Tokyo:

Prices were similar, if not slightly more expensive, outside of Tokyo. We ate affordable sushi meals in Nara and Kyoto as well! But the best cheap sushi we found was definitely in Tokyo.

The restaurants listed above are also restaurant chains, so there are more locations than just the ones linked above.

Of course, you could also spend hundreds of dollars on sushi in Japan if that’s what you want to do, but for those of us who are wanting to experience sushi in Japan while on a budget, I just want to make sure you know that it’s possible!

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Is Sushi Cheaper in Japan?

Yes, sushi definitely can be cheaper in Japan! Most likely much cheaper than what you are probably used to in your home country.

For example, in my hometown in Arizona, the cheapest sushi plate listed was $4 and it only came with 2 rolls of sushi.

Eating the same amount of sushi as we did in Japan, we probably would have had a bill of $40 or more in Arizona versus the $8-$10 bill we had in Japan.

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