Tokyo is one of the most expensive places to live in the world…!
For those who are interested in living in Japan, I wrote about the cost of living and contracting an apartment.
Below is the cost for a single person living in Tokyo and what you need to know when choosing a place to live.
Average rent in Tokyo
There are 23 wards in Tokyo and the rent differs depending on the area you stay.
For a single person, 50,000yen to 70,000yen per a month (100 yen is about 1 USD. The price is for a single room which is about 20 to 40 square meters) is the average price of the monthly rent in Tokyo.
Expensive wards in Tokyo are located in central Tokyo,
and Minato ward is the most expensive place to stay.
(The rent there is about 60% more than the average rent in 23 wards. To check more about Minato ward/Roppongi, check the link here: Roppingi)
Below is the list of the most expensive wards of Tokyo (Average monthly rent).
Below are the least expensive wards
(The numbers are as of 2019. Reference: https://www.homes.co.jp/chintai/tokyo/23ku/city/price/)
Besides the rent, you need to pay utility fees every month.
For a single person, it costs about 10,000yen per a month.
(4,000 for electricity, 3,000 for gas ,and 2,000 for water)
※You will also have to start paying local inhabitant tax (called 住民税 Jyumin Zei) from the second year on in Japan. It costs about 16,000yen per a month in Tokyo.
If you are eating out or buying food everyday, it costs about 40,000yen per a month.
You could save money if you cook ,but things are expensive in Tokyo.
At least 20,000yen per a month is needed.
It depends on the work you do, but if you need to pay for the transportation,
you have to pay about 4,000 yen a month for your commute.
You can use train and bus to get anywhere, so you won’t need a car in Tokyo.
They keep time and very comfortable except the rush hour time in the morning and evening
(Around 7:00am and 17:00pm).
Internet and Mobile phone
They cost roughly around 8,000 to 10,000yen per a month.
Income Tax, pension and Health Insurance
The amount you have to pay varies depending on how much you earn. For a person who earns 250,000yen per a month (which is the average income of a single person), about 40,000yen is needed to pay.
All in all, you will need about 160,000yen per a month to live in Tokyo.
(If you don’t go out for shopping or drinking!)
If you would like to save money, you could think about living outside of big cities.
Among all prefectures of Japan, Gunma, Yamaguchi, Tokushima are the cheapest places to live.(Average rent per a month is about 36,000yen in those areas)
Contract an apartment
It depends on the apartment, but there are usually 敷金(Shikikin) and 礼金(Reikin) that you need to pay when you move in.
It is a deposit. Usually the amount for 1 to 2 month rent is required to pay as Shikikin.
It is usually nonnegotiable as they are to cover any damages done to the apartment outside normal wear-and-tear.
When you move out, the landlord will check the condition of the room you used.
If you made no damage to it, deposit will be sent back to your bank account.
礼金 Key Money
It is the money paid to the landlord when moving into an apartment as to show the appreciation and the money is not returned after the lease is canceled.
It is an old custom started after WW 2 when everything was in the rebuilding phase.
It was very hard for land owners to maintain the building for living, so people would pay Reikin to help them.
This custom still remains to today, but it is negotiable.
If the place you would like to live in has expensive Reikin, you should talk to the owner.
In recent years, landlords and real estate agencies offer Reikin-free rental housing and they do not charge the amount.
更新料 Renewal fee
Contract is usually for 2 years and every 2 years, you need to renew your contract.
The average amount is about the 1 month rent of the place you are living.
I hope this helps you make a plan to move to Japan.
As I got a lot of help from locals when I was in the U.S, I really want to help you with your stay in my country.
If you are thinking about coming to Japan and need some help, just let me know!
See you next time!
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