Cost Of Living In Japan

how expensive is japan

Is Japan Expensive?

If you are coming from a large city such as London, New York or Toronto then you are going to be surprised at just how much a trip to japan can cost.

Living in a foreign country is always difficult, the cost of flying, moving your belongings or starting all over again and buying new can be big, but is japan expensive? What is the true cost of living in Japan?

Currently japan is ranked 4th on the world index just behind Switzerland, Norway & Iceland, but does that mean Japan is expensive?

Like most places in the world your rent is going to be the biggest expense followed by health insurance, taxes and utilities.

The daily living costs in japan vary and will depend on the prefecture you live in and your lifestyle, below is a list of what you would expect to pay living in a large city such as Tokyo or Osaka, please note its a rough estimate.

Comparing Japan to many western countries such as the US you are going to find that a lot of daily living expenses are actually cheaper, especially if you live and eat like the Japanese do. That means plenty of local produce, noodles, vegetables and fish.

Lets take a look at the cost of living in Japan – Last Updated – June 2020
Cost of Rent in Japan

Accommodation

As expected your rent is going to be your biggest monthly expense, the rent in japan can be high due to the lack of space in major cities such as Tokyo. If you are just starting out in Japan then you may also need to pay your land lord moving in fees such as key money, security deposits, insurance and other small fees.

A small sized apartment in a popular neighborhoods such as Tokyo can start from 100,000 yen ($928) to 450,000 yen. If you are willing to travel a little to work each day then prices drop and apartments get bigger. The average Japanese person pays between 50,000 – 70,000 yen per month on rent ($464 – $630).
Living in Japan - Utility Bills

Utilities

Gas

Some Japanese homes use gas to heat their water and cook their food. Your bill amount will obviously depend on how much you use, for one person expect to pay around 3000 yen ($27) per month

Number of household members Monthly expenditure
1 person ¥3,012
2 persons ¥4,488
3 persons ¥5,061
4 persons ¥5,129
5 persons ¥5,350
6 persons ¥5,700
Average ¥4,790

(Source: Family Income and Expenditure Survey in 2019 by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)

Electricity

Computers, TVs, washing machines & microwaves all need electricity, expect to pay around ¥5700 yen per month for one person.

Number of household members Monthly expenditure
1 person ¥5,700
2 persons ¥9,654
3 persons ¥11,116
4 persons ¥11,761
5 persons ¥12,945
6 persons ¥16,031
Average ¥11,201

(Source: Family Income and Expenditure Survey in 2019 by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)

Water

This will vary due to the time of the year, a hot bath is a must in winter and cold shower in summer – 3000 yen ($27).

Number of household members Monthly expenditure
1 person ¥2,120
2 persons ¥4,098
3 persons ¥5,260
4 persons ¥5,953
5 persons ¥6,858
6 persons ¥7,757
Average ¥5,341

(Source: Family Income and Expenditure Survey in 2019 by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)

Living in Japan - Pocket Wifi Price

Internet & Telephone

Internet is relatively cheap compared to America with no data caps. You can expect to pay around $40 per month for 1Gbps. If you need internet access on the move then you have the choice of getting a data sim card or a pocket wifi for as little as $15 per month (data capped).

Hopefully this guide to the cost of living in Japan makes it a little easier for those planning on moving to Japan. It can be a daunting task

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