Cost of living in Japan

Located off the eastern coast of Asia, Japan is an island that lies in the Pacific Ocean. The natives of Japan pride themselves on their homogeneity that they have developed through centuries of tradition. Unorthodox to Western culture, Japan has thrived for a long time by hosting tea ceremonies, Buddhist- and Shinto-inspired gardens and the practice of calligraphy.

Japan is also known for its serene beauty, housing 60 active volcanoes, including Japan’s highest mountain top, Mount Fuji, which peaks at 12,388 feet in elevation. As it stands, Japan has proven to be quite successful as a country, boasting favorable statistics such as a 100 percent literacy rate for both men and women, a life expectancy rate of 86.6 years for women, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world at 2.8 percent.

This being said, Japan has also proven to be one of the most expensive countries to live in, ranked 17th in the world according to the Independent.

Here are five facts on the cost of living in Japan:

  1. Renting a one-person apartment in the center of Japan cities is estimated at 81,890 yen per month. The price of rent increases to 90,594 yen per month for a three-bedroom apartment. On top of the already high rent, the cost of living in Japan is further increased by 20,120 yen for basic utilities in a 915-square-foot apartment, such as electricity, water, heating and garbage.
  2. The cost of living in Japan varies in price compared to the United States. For example, consumer prices are 14.36 percent higher in Japan compared to the United States, and the prices of groceries in Japan are 17.77 percent higher than the price of groceries in the United States. However, the United States has a staggering 50.64 percent higher rent than Japan does, and restaurant prices in the United States are 44.77 percent higher than in Japan. According to the Independent, the United States slightly edges out Japan in terms of living expenses. The cost of living in Japan is ranked 17th in the world, while the United States is ranked 15th.
  3. Insurance prices in Japan total to roughly 422,604 yen yearly. Health insurance totals out to about 155,532 yen yearly, while pension insurance adds another $267,072 yen in yearly insurance costs. Insurance prices are considerably affordable considering the yearly base salary of Japan is three million yen, but with a yearly income tax of 63,240 yen, the average net salary for people in Japan comes out to 2,514,156 yen.
  4. Rent in Tokyo is noticeably more expensive than the average cost of living in Japan. Tokyo contains a population of 13.491 million people, roughly 11 percent of Japan’s total population. Monthly rent for housing in more expensive areas of Tokyo costs about 256,432 yen, and utilities for one month costs about 17,835 yen. Other luxuries to decorate one’s housing in Tokyo are also expensive, including 78,987 yen for a 40-inch flat screen television, 24,654 yen for an 800-watt microwave and 906 yen for laundry detergent.
  5. Due to the high cost of living in Japan, Japan maintains one of the highest suicide rates in the world at 41.7 per 100,000 people amongst men. Main reasons for the high suicide rate in Japan are attributed to adverse economic conditions and unemployment rates.

Overall, the cost of living in Japan is high, yet it is not inconceivable to imagine settling down in one of the many cities in Japan. Japan offers a chance at success with its high success rates in education and strong labor force, thereby offering a steady income to afford the cost of living in Japan.