Japan’s consumption tax will be raised from 8% to 10% from 1 October, 2019. Japan activities, food, shopping, transport passes and more will include a 10% tax rate instead of the usual 8%. However, there are many exceptions to the hike. The increase in consumption taxes are to help to cover larger social security costs and for the government to settle their public debt.
Heading to Japan soon? Read on to find out how your trip might be affected by the change.
Commuter passes will also be affected by Japan’s consumption tax hike. Five Japan Railway (JR) companies have already increased their prices for their transport passes.
JR Tokai will be raising their fares for reserved seats on the Nozomi bullet trains that run between the Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations. JR East will be raising IC (Suica, ICOCA) fares on the Yamanote line and others around Tokyo. Other railway companies are also planning to increase their fares.
Food & Drinks
This section is a little tricky. If you’re travelling to Japan, you’ll probably want to dine in at certain establishments, so this means it’s really hard to avoid the tax hike. Meals served and eaten at restaurants or the establishment count as dining out and will be subjected to the 10% tax hike. However, if you’re taking food out, tax will stay at 8%.
Even if you’re purchasing a basic bento at consume it at a convenience store, it is considered as dining out. One tip is to remember to tell the cashier that you’re having it to go, or “O-mochi kaeri”. This is to avoid the 10% tax. Alcoholic drinks will also be subjected to the tax hike.
|8% Reduced Rate||10% Regular Rate|
|Bottled water||Tap water|
|Non-alcoholic beer||Alcoholic beer|
|Take out hamburger||Hamburger eaten on premises|
|Convenience store bento consumed elsewhere||Convenience store bento consumed at eat-in space|
|Amusement park food consumed away from concession stand||Amusement park food consumed at concession stand tables and benches|
|Takeout from street stall||Meal at food court|
|Drink from hotel refrigerator/minibar||Hotel room service|
Consumer goods such as clothes, luxury items, beauty products, electronics, and more will also be affected by the hike. However, since we’re tourists, there is some good news! Purchases over 5,000 yen (~RM 195) at the same store on the same day are tax-free! Products that you purchase cannot be opened in Japan.
How to save more on your trip to Japan
Another way is to book your flights and accommodation early. You can even check out Airbnbs to look for cheaper stays.
Check out our Japan travel tips. From 3 Places for Coffee & Brunch in Tokyo to Your Ultimate Guide to Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea, Travel Recommends has got you covered 😉