Cost & Affordability

Living Costs

Estimate the Cost

Japan has a reputation for its high living costs, especially Tokyo & Osaka, which annually make it into the world’s top ten most expensive cities. However, living in Japan does not have to be expensive, and costs can be reigned in depending on where you are located by choosing local products and living sensibly within your salary. Below is a rough guide with estimated monthly costs for a single person living in Japan.

CategoryMonthly Rough Costs
ElectricityJPY 5,000
GasJPY 2,000
WaterJPY 1,900
Mobile PhonesJPY 8,000
Home InternetJPY 5,000


Local supermarkets are inexpensive if you stick to Japanese food like seasonal vegetables, seafood, and soybean products. Pre-cooked products can be purchased at discounted prices shortly before closing in the evening. It may useful to shop around the supermarkets nearby to get an idea of average prices, quality, selection and discount days. Examples:

  • 5kg Rice: JPY 1,830
  • 3 cuts of Salmon: JPY  418
  • 200g of Shrimp: JPY 396
  • 10pcs of eggs: JPY 218
  • 900ml of milk: JPY 258
  • 2L of Coca-cola: JPY 178


Aside from Buses, Bullet Trains (Shinkansen), and Commuter Trains, Japan’s major cities all have subway systems of varying sizes. Some are big, like Tokyo and Osaka, and some are small, with only two lines, like Kyoto and Nara.

  • Sango-station to Osaka-Station by Train: JPY 470 
  • Sango-station to Nara-Station by Train: JPY 310
  • Sango-station to Kyoto-Station by Train: JPY 990
  • Sango-station to Sannomiya-Station by Train: JPY 1,100
  • Sango-station to Tokyo-Station by Bullet Train: JPY 15,270
  • Sango-station to Tokyo-Station by Bullet Bus: JPY 5,980