How Much Do You Need To Earn To Live Comfortably In Japan?

28 October 2022Shopify API

Wondering how much do you need to earn to live comfortably in Japan? In this article, we will walk you through different expenses and explain how much money you will need to earn based on these costs.

Planning to move to Japan for employment? Well, then you should know how much is sufficient to live comfortably in Japan. Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world and the capital city Tokyo ranks among the top ten of the world’s most expensive cities. We cover Japanese expensive fruits here.

It seems like you need to have a high paid job to fund all your expenses in Japan, given that rent is quite exorbitant in cities like Tokyo. Although most of the expenses depend on where you live, and what type of person you’re, it can get manageable to live in Japan with the right pay. 

That’s why we’ve brought you a guide on how much you should be earning to live in Japan and fund all your expenses. Make sure to read the entire article below to know more about the living costs in Japan.

Ideal Jobs In Japan With Decent Pay

Since you’re planning to move to Japan for employment opportunities it’s best you familiarize yourself with what types of jobs in Japan offer satisfying remuneration.

This is crucial because your pay is what determines how you can live in Japan after paying all your expenses. In most countries, the salary depends on the type of industry, however, in Japan it mostly depends on the work experience of a particular person rather than the field itself.

How Much Do You Need To Earn To Live Comfortably In Japan
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Hence, let’s take a look at the average annual income of the most common job occupations in Japan and how much they’re paid based on work experience. 

Popular Job Occupations In Japan Average Annual Income (Aged Between 20 - 30) Average Annual Income (Aged Between 40 - 50)
Finance General 370 - 530 万円 580 - 716 万円
IT or Communication 370 - 498 万円 600 - 716 万円
Construction and Real Estate 360 - 453 万円 500 - 551 万円
Doctors  345 - 442 万円 540 - 694 万円
General Trading Company  365 - 500 万円 538 - 867 万円
Internet / Media Communications 350 - 446 万円 518 - 580 万円
Teachers  243 - 325 万円 423 - 590 万円
Retail and Restaurant Jobs 308 - 384 万円 450 - 496 万円
Manufacturing / Production 370 - 477 万円 553 - 705 万円
Services  325 - 403 万円 440 - 496 万円

万円 - million yen

Keep in mind that these are average figures of annual income and may be subject to change. Furthermore, in Japan, you’re supposed to pay health insurance and income taxes which will be deducted from your salary before you’re paid.

Thus the final figures of your salary may vary slightly.

How Much Do You Need To Earn To Live Comfortably In Japan?

Cost Of Living In Japan

Cost of living is a way of living for most people and it’s your cost of living that’s going to consume a larger chunk of your income.

Costs of living can be lower or higher depending on where you live and Japan is definitely a country with a higher cost of living. 

how much do you need to live in japan for a year
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According to Yahoo Finance, Japan ranked 27th among the world’s most expensive countries to live in and it’s said to have a 7% higher cost of living than the US.

When you’re moving to a new country you have to expect both positive and negative outcomes. Thus when you’re shifting to Japan there are certain costs you have to bear before and after you kickstart your new life in a new country. 

Therefore, we’ve analyzed the major costs you’ll bear once you move into Japan. And with this data, we can identify how much money you need to earn to pay your bills and fund your expenses in Japan.

Rent And Moving Costs In Japan

As you move into Japan, you need to find a place to reside. The most affordable options for accommodation in Japan are compact apartments.

If you’re considering settling in Tokyo then you have to pay higher rent than in other areas in Japan. However, you can find small apartments that charge cheap rent in Tokyo. 

The average rent in Tokyo for approximately 40 square meters ranges between 50,000 to 70,000 yen. If you prefer to move into a luxury apartment the rent can be higher than 100,000 yen. The rent for apartments outside Tokyo is lower than 50,000 yen. 

how much money do you need to live comfortably in japan
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Furthermore, you’re also expected to pay key money before paying rent in Japan which is usually non-refundable. The total amount of the key money is generally 2 months' rent.

Most apartments in Tokyo aren’t furnished which means you’ll have to spend on electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, lights, television, etc, not to mention furniture like beds, sofas, and dining tables as well. Purchasing appliances and furniture would require a large amount of money in Japan as they’re not quite cheap either.

Costs Of Utility Services In Japan

You can’t live in a place without services like gas, electricity, and water. Again these utility services can be expensive if you’re residing in Tokyo and the rates can depend on how long you use them. 

The monthly average costs for these utility services are

  • Electricity Services - 3000 - 4000 yen
  • Water - 2200 yen
  • Gas - 3700 yen

Cooking And Eating Out Expenses In Japan

This is one of the most important and unavoidable expenses out of the rest. You earn to eat, therefore you need to make sufficient money to spend on food expenses.

Metropolitan areas in Japan such as Tokyo, Shibuya City, and Shinjuku City are packed with eateries where you can get authentic Japanese food like sushi, ramen, mochi, etc.

However, it’s not advisable to always rely on restaurant meals as they can be much more costly than homemade. Hence, if you’re looking for more affordable ways to spend on food then it’s wise to get groceries and cook for yourself. 

how much do you need to make to live comfortably in japan
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If you happen to live in the city then you need not worry about buying groceries since there are countless supermarkets and stores that provide pre-packed and ready-to-eat meals for reasonable prices. 

According to Japan Today, a survey was conducted to determine the expenses a single person has in a rented apartment. This survey displayed the responses of over 300 participants on how they spent their money on food.

Those who never cooked food and relied on restaurant meals had to pay almost 38000 yen monthly while those who cooked for themselves only underwent over 20000 yen per month

Transport Costs In Japan

Not everybody can find a place to stay that’s in close proximity to their workplace. If you happen to find an apartment close to where your office is located then you’re very lucky as you don’t have to undergo transport costs to reach your office. 

In Japan, public transportation is the most frequently used mode of transport by several residents, especially buses and metro trains. Railway services in Japan also offer discounted rail passes that are eligible for unlimited traveling.

average salary in japan per month
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In addition, some workplaces in Japan even pay for their employees’ transport expenses. If your office undergoes your transport costs then you don’t have to spend any money.

Otherwise, you can opt to use public transportation methods which are much more cost-effective and reliable than using taxis or renting a vehicle. 

Bicycles are another popular transportation method in Japan and if you live in Tokyo then you can effortlessly reach your workplace on time by cycling. Plus there are several bicycle parking in Tokyo city and they’re the cheapest of all transportation options. 

Moreover, taxis aren’t an ideal transportation method for work because taxis in Japan charge exorbitant rates and they might only be budget-friendly if you’re traveling with a group of people.

Is Entertainment Expensive In Japan?

After a long week at work, you definitely need to have some leisure time for yourself. Don’t fret because Japan has countless entertainment activities and the Japanese people know how to enjoy their lives.

Tokyo is where most of the magic happens, as you’ll come across several restaurants, clubs, gaming arcades, departmental stores, bookshops, anime conventions, and whatnot. 

salary needed to live in japan
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You can shop for clothes and accessories for reasonable prices at several stores in Japan like Uniqlo and there are also 100 yen shops where you can purchase most household goods, stationery, jewelry, accessories, and even some snacks and food for cheap prices between 100 yen.

The prices for shopping and spending on leisure activities depend on how long you do it and what activities you decide to spend on. Hence there can be significant variations in the average amount of money spent on entertainment activities between different people.

How Much Should You Earn To Live In Japan?

We thoroughly went through the basic expenses you’ll have to undergo when moving to Japan and by looking at the average figures we could finally come to a conclusion as to how much is required to live comfortably in Japan. 

Let’s prepare an estimated budget with the data we’ve mentioned above to figure out the total expenses one person would undergo in Japan. And with the results, we can rule out the bare minimum that’ll help us to live in Japan.

Costs of Living In Japan  Monthly Average Amount (Yen) Monthly Average Amount (USD)
Rent and Moving Costs 70,000 $467
Costs of Utility Services 10,000 $66
Cooking and Eating Out Expenses 30,000 $200
Transport Costs 10,000 $66
Entertainment / Leisure Expenses 25,000 $166
Total  145,000 $965

The average monthly total required to live in Japan after considering the basic costs is roughly 145,000 yen which is $965. Be lucky YEN is cheap now.

Keep in mind that we didn’t cover any contingency expenses that one has to endure unexpectedly and furthermore these figures are only an estimate. Therefore, a salary of over 200,000 yen is the bare minimum required to survive in Japan.

How Much Do You Need To Earn To Live Comfortably In Japan: FAQs

How much do you need to live well in Japan?

Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in. There are several expenses a person has to cover when moving into Japan for employment. The rent of a compact apartment in Tokyo costs between 50000 to 80000 yen.

There are other expenses such as buying groceries, utility services, transport costs, and leisure expenses which can vary from person to person. The average monthly amount required to live well in Japan is between 200000 to 300000 yen.

What is a livable salary in Japan?

The average monthly salary that’s considered the bare minimum in Japan is above 200000 yen which is the salary most teachers earn in Japan.

There are several expenses a person has to undergo in Japan such as rent, utility services, food, transport, shopping, etc. With a salary of above 200000 yen per month, a person can cover most of these basic expenses in Japan.

What salary is needed to live comfortably in Tokyo?

The basic salary that’s sufficient to cover most of the everyday expenses in Tokyo is between 200,000 to 300,000 yen. This is the primary salary for most people above the age of 20 earn.

As they gain more experience in the work field and reach mid-career, the salary can increase up to 400,000 to 500,000 yen. With this salary, they’ll be able to spend more and live comfortably in Tokyo while also saving a part of their income.

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