Cost of Living in Japan

The cost of living in Japan is a bit high, it ranks as the 7th most expensive country to live in in the world. There is quite the myth that is the most expensive. This myth ranks right up there along with the others on this incredibly long list of misconceptions about Japan like: 

  • I'll get rich teaching English in Japan.
  • Japan is so expensive that I'll go broke just on a 2 week vacation.
  • No one can speak English in Japan.
  • I  probably can't afford a meal out and if so it'll be rice.
  • Literally anyone can get a job teaching in Japan.
  • Samurai still exist.
  • Japanese women are totally subservient.
  • The cost of living is the highest in the world.

And the list goes on. So let's begin by ripping down the myths and building up some facts about the cost of living in Japan. The chart information below is from Numbeo. Note that this cost of living in Japan indicator is comprised of quite a few other indicators meaning that it is a conglomeration of a rent index, groceries, restaurant prices and a local purchasing power index.

Long time readers of our site expect a chart or some thing so because we dear not disappoint, here we go...

Cost of Living in Japan Chart -The Top 20



Cost of Living

















Us Virgin Islands
























New Zealand


Hong Kong





United States

South Korea












Cost of Living in Japan Video & A Whole Lot More

Here is a nice video that goes into a whole lot more about the costs of living in Japan. Well beyond just facts and figures on costs the video approaches the topic from the perspective of a tourist more than from the perspective of an English teacher trying to make ends meet in daily living. They touch on things such as:

  • The price of a simple meal out  at popular chain restaurants.
  • All you can eat and drink deals in the big cities.
  • The expensive of a train ticket vs. using over-night buses. 
  • Simple lodgings like a hostel, hotel, capsule hotel, business hotel
  • A can of beer or sake at a 7/11 type store. What does it cost? (What is not mentioned in this video is that  buying at a Daiei, Itoyokado, Yamaya, Gyomu Supa or Maruhachi is significantly cheaper. This includes all other food items as well.)
  • A short tour of modern convenience stores.

Return to Teaching In Japan FAQ Page

Advertise With Us

FREE E-Book. Speed Learn Japanese & Get Our Newsletter on Japanese Proverbs and Cool Expressions.

Recent Articles

  1. Find Teaching Jobs Overseas in Japan. Part-Time ESL Jobs Country Wide

    Mar 16, 18 09:49 AM

    Find Teaching Jobs Overseas and Experience Japan Through a Teacher's Eyes! Big Bustling Cities Like Tokyo or Seaside Undiscovered Gems Like Ako!

    Read On

  2. Find Teaching Jobs Abroad

    Mar 13, 18 11:42 AM

    Find Teaching Jobs in Japan on our Teaching Jobs Abroad Page. Full-time & Part-time Listings for Jobs All Over Japan. Teaching Jobs added almost daily.

    Read On

  3. Japanese Audio Books. Fast and Cheap Way to Improve Your Japanese.

    Mar 08, 18 05:13 AM

    Japanese audio books. Handy, powerful and a cheap way to get your hearing comprehension smoking. Read and speak along with native Japanese teachers to master any simple and complex dialogues.

    Read On

  4. Online English Teaching Positions Directory

    Mar 07, 18 10:20 AM

    description of picSurf through our online teaching companies directory and get a job teaching ESL from the comfort of your own home. Set your own hours and wages. We will be constantly adding to our directory as this e…

    Read On

  5. Japanese Pod 101 Breakthrough Sale. 28% Off. Ends March 2nd.

    Feb 28, 18 10:34 PM

    description of pic Learn Japanese On-line. Get 28% OFF Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS! Choose from 1-, 3-, 6-, 12- or 24-month subscriptions and unlock all of our best audio lessons, video lessons, PDF lesson notes, Pre…

    Read On

  6. TEFL Degree And 2 Years Experience in Brazil

    Feb 24, 18 10:37 PM

    Hi I am now retired and have time on my hands and have always wanted to teach English in Nagoya. I have a TEFL cert, have 2 years teaching experience

    Read On