How Much Does It Cost to Live In Japan?

The cost of living in Japan depends very much on where you live, your lifestyle and likely expenses.

Having said that, living in Tokyo or Osaka is more expensive than living in the countryside.

Japan is just gorgeous and if you love traveling, you might miss it here because going anywhere can be very expensive, too.

The bottom line is that Japan is very versatile and you can easily live either way. If you are looking to live on smaller amounts of money, there are many means to do so.

If you are looking to live luxuriously, Japan has many ways to do so too.

Cost of Living Index:

Japan : Cost of Living by City



The food, if you want to eat outside, is relatively expensive, but worth the price given the quality and variety (though not the quantity). Cost of eating out at a restaurant is around 10-15$ per person for a non-expensive restaurant. Rates of meals usually don’t change much depending on the area of the country.



Cooking your food is much cheaper than eating out, and if you’re one of the people that like to know exactly what they’re eating, all the while saving their money, this is the winning combination for you. Japanese supermarkets offer cheap, fresh and versatile products and if you plan on cooking all month, it will cost around 400$ monthly.



Transportation is extremely well organized in Japan. It is well connected via trains, both between cities and within a city. The frequency of local trains is astounding, as every 5 minutes you would find a train at a station. Public transport isn’t expensive at all, but taxis are rather expensive with starting prices around 6$.



Utilities aren’t exactly through the roof, but they aren’t cheap either. If you live in a larger apartment of about 85m2, the basic utilities like gas, electricity, heating and cooling will cost you around 190$. The price of the bills goes up during winters and summers (heating and cooling affect your wallet greatly).

Sports and leisure


Enjoying the sports activities is extremely costly in Japan! A membership in a gym or a fitness club will cost you a whopping 80$! The same goes for having some fun visiting cinema or theaters during your free time: just one cinema ticket costs as much as 16$. An expensive way to have fun, that’s for sure!

Clothing and shoes


You surely know by now that Japan is brimming with fancy shopping malls – among other things. If you want to go visit any of the thousands and monumental shopping malls that Osaka boasts – that might not be a bad idea. A pair of quality jeans costs around 60$, a summer dress half as much, while quality sneakers are somewhere around 70$.

Rent per month


Rent is somewhat high, but for Japanese standards it is not through the roof. However, rent still takes up most of the expenditure. For example, if you’re looking to rent an apartment in the city center, you won’t find one below 800$ and if you want one outside of the city center, it will cost you around 500$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Japan

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $7.83
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $3.69
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.96
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.69
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.74
Eggs (12) $2.06
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $1.84
Monthly Pass $92.14
Gasoline $1.30
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $187.24
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.37
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $42.69
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $82.59
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $21.35
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $16.59
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $61.33
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $38.94
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $73.81
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $799.94
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $540.58
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1853.47

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Japan?

An average person living in Japan, spends most of their money on food, like in most countries – this the most common situation.

The next piece of expenditure is the rent. Though it’s not skyrocketing like in some other popular tourist destinations around the world, it is still considered expensive.

Transportation is the next expense on the table, since Japan is huge and everyone absolutely needs to use at least one means of transport.

An average person also spends more money on sports activities than on utilities, which actually makes sense, since sports are through the roof in Japan!


Japan: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Though life in Japan is definitely expensive and at a high standard, so are the citizens’ paychecks and minimum wages.

A minimum wage in Japan amounts to a bit less than 1200$ which is enough for an average citizen of Japan to make ends meet.

In turn, the average monthly net salary is well over 2000$, and that makes it enough money to live comfortably and without the stress of splitting your expenses and saving on something only to have enough for something else.

All in all, Japan has a strong economy and a high standard of life.

Average Salary$2639.79
Minimum Wage$1192.8
Mortgage Interest Rate1.34%

Cost of Living by City in Japan

City Cost of Living Index
Osaka 74.53
Tokyo 84.78

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