Costs in Japan


Facilities and utilities

The typical monthly rent in Japan for a one-room apartment (20–40 square meters), without utilities, ranges from 50,000 to 70,000 yen. Similar-sized flats in central Tokyo and adjacent popular neighborhoods typically start renting for around 100,000 yen per month. On the other hand, gaijin houses are affordable and generally hassle-free solutions to think about for individuals who want to stay in the city but don't want to rent traditional apartments.


For those who have a current residence card and a Japanese bank account, mobile phones are easily accessible. Traditional subscription plans start at about 6000 yen per month, but cheaper options are available from bargain operators at about 2000 yen per month.

People who want access to the internet at home should think about purchasing a pocket wifi device (monthly costs start at 2,500 yen) or signing up for broadband or fiber optic internet (monthly fees from 4000 yen). Other choices for internet connection include paid wifi hotspots and manga cafés.

Household goods and services, and entertainment

100 Yen Stores offer a wide variety of goods, such as kitchenware and stationery, for 100 yen each (plus consumption tax), making them an excellent choice for people looking to furnish their apartments on a budget.

With pricing starting at 4000 yen for a trim, Japanese hairdressers are known for providing excellent service, making haircuts in Japan an experience in and of themselves. A brief head massage and a wash are frequently included with hair cuts. But you may also find locations where you can pay about 1000 yen for a quick haircut.

In most cities, you can find karaoke bars with hourly rates starting at 200 yen, game arcades, and movie theaters with ticket costs ranging from 1000 to 2000 yen.

Groceries and eating out

If you stick to Japanese foods like seasonal vegetables, fish, and soy bean products, local grocers are rather affordable. Just before the store closes each evening, pre-cooked foods are available for purchase at reduced costs. To get a sense of average costs, quality, selection, and sale days, it may be helpful to shop at other adjacent supermarkets.

Between 500 and 1000 yen, you may get a full meal at a cheap restaurant that serves ramen, soba, and udon noodles, donburi (such beef donburi), curry rice, bibimbap (Korean style donburi), hamburgers, and a variety of other foods. Look for them in and around busy commercial districts and huge train terminals.

Commuting and transportation

For one or more months, commuters can purchase unlimited train travel between their homes and work or education. Several Japanese businesses cover all or a portion of their employees' railway fares. While a wide range of different discounts are available for train travel in Japan, many rail passes like the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used by Japanese citizens. The JR Tokyo Broad Pass and the JR Seishun 18 Kippu are only a couple of the discounted train passes that are accessible to foreigners residing in Japan. For additional information, see our guide to purchasing Japanese rail tickets.

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