Saving costs of living in Japan

Written by Mike

Topics: Japan

I know Tokyo is a relatively expensive place to live in and I pay a lot for rent, but compared to the costs I would have if I lived in Australia, in some ways it is fairly cheap.

– No car needed. Trains are so good here and parking is so expensive that there just isn’t the need. With the price of gasoline, repairs, registration and insurance, cars expenses must make up a large percentage of anyone’s budget. Also, I live close to my company so I usually ride my bike to work.

– Company pays my health insurance.

– Taxes are relatively low.

– House insurance not so important. Japan is a pretty safe country and I have never given any thought to insuring my possessions (not that I would have much to steal). Also when I moved into my apartment I got a heap of stuff for free from friends.

– Food costs are relatively low. Yes, you can buy a $100 melon in Japan, but since I am always trying to diet I don’t spend much on food.

– Internet fast and cheap. When I look at the ADSL plans in Australia, I can’t believe how slow the speeds are and how expensive it is.

Domestic travel is expensive, but international flights are fairly cheap. Movie tickets are a ridiculous 1800 yen for an adult, but an overnight DVD is just 400 yen.

3 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. abe says:

    As always, an interesting post. Japan is a place I hope to visit for an extended period one day.

    Do you speak or read much Japanese? Is it hard for non-natives to conduct business and day to day living without knowing the language?

  2. Mike says:

    I think I speak Japanese more often than English these days. My reading is ok, but I obviously prefer English!

    It is not too hard getting around with no Japanese. I know plenty of foreigners that speak zero Japanese.

    Conducting or running a business is another story. I know a few foreigners who run their own business successfully, but it is not easy.

    If you have any questions about Japan I am happy to try and answer them.

  3. Internet is relatively cheap now, but it was terrible before they put in high speed lines to our area – slower than hell on dial-up plus having to pay per minute charges. I’m glad that nightmare is over!

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