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Comfortable living in Japan: How much per month?

Karen

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Here's another good question: How much do you think you need to live comfortably in Japan?

Of course, it's different if you live in the countryside or in a big city, so qualify that in your comment.

I live inside Tokyo, on the Yamanote loop. I can safely live on about 200,000 yen per month. To feel more 'comfortable' I prefer to have 400,000 yen per month to cover savings and also regular travel in and out of Japan.

I pay per month:

Rent, Power, Water, Gas, Cell Phone, Internet, Groceries - usually totals up to about 185,000 yen per month. I know I could move further away and save more. I however, like living close to work and other social areas.

(I won't say my salary, just that I make enough to sock away a lot of savings on a monthly basis.) :D

~K~
 
In Tokyo, within the Yamanote line, I need around 300-400 thousand per month for living expenses and another million or so to spend on p4p partners!

(No, that's not 100% a joke.)

-Ww
 
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Hi all..

For myself alone, probably 250k/month is a good comfort level. Ideally, 500k/month is a very good cushion to have. I don't need a big place since I spend most of my waking hours at WORK.

Karen: don't you get a subsidy from your company for living in Tokyo? You're on an expat package, no?
 
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Karen: don't you get a subsidy from your company for living in Tokyo? You're on an expat package, no?

10,000 yen per month. :rolleyes: The company has a tier system based on your position and where you live. Higher level management obviously would get more. 30,000 yen / month is the top I think. (This is for all workers, Japanese or not.)

Outside of that 10,000 yen, I only get travel reimbursement, like everyone else. ;)

~K~
 
Wow. You guys make loads of money. I think I can live very comfortably on about 70K a month and save the rest or send it to the States. lol But that is just me. I do not really buy anything. I save money in the winter by buying those battery powered kerosene heaters for when it really gets cold. I bought this double futon, but I use it to keep warm and turn the heater of at night unless it is as cold as it is now. I started bought a pressure cooker and now my cooking times are less than ten minutes. I found that playing video games and getting on the net was really expensive. So I limit my computer and gaming time now. I didnt realize that the PS3 was an energy hog. I am glad it is broken. lol If you are living with someone and use the bath system, soak around the same time and then turn off the gas. Save you some money that way.

I quit eating out and I do the whole asagohan breakfast, bento, and of course use the pressure cooker to cook my dinner. Might even buy the other 2 or 3 pots and cook veggies and other stuff too.

Basically, I just cut down on usage really. I still get out, but not as much.
 
I found that playing video games and getting on the net was really expensive. So I limit my computer and gaming time now. I didnt realize that the PS3 was an energy hog. I am glad it is broken. lol If you are living with someone and use the bath system, soak around the same time and then turn off the gas. Save you some money that way.

I quit eating out and I do the whole asagohan breakfast, bento, and of course use the pressure cooker to cook my dinner. Might even buy the other 2 or 3 pots and cook veggies and other stuff too.

Basically, I just cut down on usage really. I still get out, but not as much.

Eating out will kill your budget faster than anything. It's so easy to spend ~2,000 yen/day on coffee, lunch and other snacks/drinks. Going out with co-workers ramps up another 4-5,000 yen easily. I can at least expense many of nighttime escapades with clients or execs. There's no way I could hang with them out of my own pocket.

As for PC/PS3~~ I have a main PC that is a souped-up-mother of all PC's, thus it gulps energy like there's no tomorrow. The upside to leaving it running all the time? Don't have to run the heater... it keeps my place pretty warm. PS3, I use to watch videos on my TV mainly. Not much time for gaming anyway... It *can* eat up some juice too.

Downside - have to run the A/C in the summer time to keep my main PC from overheating!!!! lolllllllllllll

For salaries, at least I know Karen, Eliah & myself all work for a professional firm (aka huge international company) of some type. New hires with most of our companies don't make less than ~320k/month.

IMHO - living in central Tokyo:

Less than 3 Million Yen/Year = I assume you have a very long commute. :eek:
3-5 Million Yen/year = Survival (Teaching, Basic IT Work, New Grad)
5-7 Million Yen/year = Survival ++ Average Joe Blow/Company worker.
8-10 Million Yen/year = comfortable, probably a manager level of sorts.
10+ Million Yen/year = very comfortable, Senior Management or top bracket of middle management.
 
Yeppers, my commutes are like 2 hours each way. lol But I dont mind it. And I became a freelance worker. So, I no longer attach myself to big companies and thus I have cut down on the need to release tension on whisky and TGI Fridays. I saved a good rainy day fund doing that.

On the other hand, I wish I had the skills to work for an international company to make some coin so that in 10 years I could retire back to the US. lol

By the way, it is so much cheaper to live in the country.
 
By the way, it is so much cheaper to live in the country.

Yes, it most certainly is. I wish I had the bravery to live further out from Tokyo. I just don't know I could really survive or really be 'happy' further out from the central parts of Tokyo.

OTOH, smelling armpits on a packed train for than one hour is enough to make me stay right where I am. Seriously, nobody uses deodorant here! I hate taking the Saikyo line in the evenings to see friends out past Ikebukuro. STINKY PEOPLE!

~K~
 
IMHO - living in central Tokyo:

Less than 3 Million Yen/Year = I assume you have a very long commute. :eek:
3-5 Million Yen/year = Survival (Teaching, Basic IT Work, New Grad)
5-7 Million Yen/year = Survival ++ Average Joe Blow/Company worker.
8-10 Million Yen/year = comfortable, probably a manager level of sorts.
10+ Million Yen/year = very comfortable, Senior Management or top bracket of middle management.

Actually - I know some girls that live in a guest house arrangement and can live in central Tokyo on 2m/year. They have guest houses strictly for women as well as mixed houses that can be pretty cheap. I guess however, if you are living on your own and pay everything, then I think it is tough.

The majority of the people I work with now are more in the 6-8m/year range. The senior team leaders are well above 10m/year, so it varies from company to company.

What's sad? We have people with high-level degrees working in the mail/messenger center. They adapted the name to "Messaging Logistical Services" ... Japanese staff still call it the mail room. :eek:

~K~
 
I live in the country, but I leave so early that I do not have to worry about packed trains in any direction. Plus, I am going from the country to the country so it is really not all that bad. Some lines are really bad and some are not. The ones where I saw people explode out of the train after the door opened, I avoided at all costs until one day I had to actually go to work later than usual. I about died from the lack of oxygen. Forget the smell, it is the threat of death from sultry air that I worry about. lol
 
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As far as living out in the middle of nowhere, it has its good and bad points. I do not know how it would be for a female. For me it can get really boring, but then again, I do not have to hear the TV blair at 4am as you might in an apartment complex. Neighbors don't bother me. Had a homeless man try to steal some water. Other than that, no trouble. Language can be a problem, but I get around that. Even now, the country Japanese girls love when I come into their McDonalds. Even got the manager trying to practice English. I love smiling people and not that fake smile, that smile that you get when you know they are smiling just because they are interested in you kind of smile. Not that fake smile that you get in Tokyo that says, I am just doing this because I am forced too. That is all I have to say about that.
 
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I live in the country, but I leave so early that I do not have to worry about packed trains in any direction. Plus, I am going from the country to the country so it is really not all that bad. Some lines are really bad and some are not. The ones where I saw people explode out of the train after the door opened, I avoided at all costs until one day I had to actually go to work later than usual. I about died from the lack of oxygen. Forget the smell, it is the threat of death from sultry air that I worry about. lol

Ouch! No room to breathe or to have air circulation!

As far as living out in the middle of nowhere, it has its good and bad points. I do not know how it would be for a female. For me it can get really boring, but then again, I do not have to hear the TV blair at 4am as you might in an apartment complex. Neighbors don't bother me. Had a homeless man try to steal some water. Other than that, no trouble. Language can be a problem, but I get around that. Even now, the country Japanese girls love when I come into their McDonalds. Even got the manager trying to practice English. I love smiling people and not that fake smile, that smile that you get when you know they are smiling just because they are interested in you kind of smile. Not that fake smile that you get in Tokyo that says, I am just doing this because I am forced too. That is all I have to say about that.

I usually try and go out to the country side, to get away from the crowds and those fake smiles you are mentioning. I know exactly what you mean. I try to go at least once a month to some random small town north or northeast of Tokyo. There are some great places to go in the southern direction, usually on the Tokaido line.

If it were feasible, I'd live somewhere in the countryside but still near a Shinkansen terminal for commuting. I did look at this before and the company has a policy of having to live more than 90km from the main office in order to qualify for a company sponsored Shinkansen commuter pass.

Karen - she's way too much of a city girl to live too far out from her shopping and friends, lol.

Now... if I could telecommute to work, I'd perch myself somewhere up in the mountains or further inland... pipe dream... yeah.
 
Tokyo is extremely expensive and taxes are very high. 35% plus federal income tax and 8% national consumption tax added to nearly every purchase.

500,000 yen (5,000 dollars) per month is needed to be comfortable if you live by yourself.

In fact big cities in Japan are so expensive, many people can't afford to live by themselves, don't get married, or can't even afford sex. This is partially why the Japanese birth rate is so low and that they have among the lowest sexual frequency rate in the world.
 
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IMHO - living in central Tokyo:

Less than 3 Million Yen/Year = I assume you have a very long commute. :eek:
3-5 Million Yen/year = Survival (Teaching, Basic IT Work, New Grad)
5-7 Million Yen/year = Survival ++ Average Joe Blow/Company worker.
8-10 Million Yen/year = comfortable, probably a manager level of sorts.
10+ Million Yen/year = very comfortable, Senior Management or top bracket of middle management.


Wow! This is such an eye opener...
 
Tokyo is extremely expensive and taxes are very high. 35% plus federal income tax and 8% national consumption tax added to nearly every purchase.

500,000 yen (5,000 dollars) per month is needed to be comfortable if you live by yourself.

In fact big cities in Japan are so expensive, many people can't afford to live by themselves, don't get married, or can't even afford sex. This is partially why the Japanese birth rate is so low and that they have among the lowest sexual frequency rate in the world.
And it has been stated that this is why there are a bunch of 30 something virgins living at home. Sucks to live in Tokyo. My electric bill was 50,000 yen!
 
Wha~ what are those numbers? 200-500k per month for comfortable living? All my japanese friends get around 300k per month, even the ones working in a foreign companies. Though I can't say they are top dogs, but anyway speaking about everyday expenses this sounds horrible, not an exaggeration to call it a survival. And here you bring me with my 1000$ team lead salary to a new levels of despair...(not in Japan, seems like out there one could only die with those money)
 
OTOH, smelling armpits on a packed train for than one hour is enough to make me...
That's probably me you were smelling. Sorry about that

...And here you bring me with my 1000$ team lead salary to a new levels of despair...
It's all about making the right(smart) choices. You will do just fine with $1000.
$1000 is plenty for me. And @SkinnyJames did it with just 70K($700). Although if you check his profile you'll see
skj.jpg

All those savings on liquid heaters....You might wonder if SkinnyJames survived the following year winter.....
 
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70k a month??? Where was he living, in a park?

When I looked at apartments I didn't see too many below 100k (the title is comfortable living).
If this is take home, then it all depends what you mean by comfort: AC, water, gas, electric, apartment, TV, Internet, insurances, phone and you are looking at 200k. Train, anywhere from 5-15k a month if you are just commuting.

Eating will cost about 2k a day to eat 3 cheap meals, going up to a lot more if you like variety and nice restaurants. It's easy to spend a lot here, especially living alone.

Now I've been here a while, I'd budget 400k to live the lifestyle I want to lead. Anything on top of that is spent turning the good nights out into excellent ones.
 
and another million or so to spend on p4p partners!

(No, that's not 100% a joke.)

-Ww

Jesus, does this include taking your P4P partners on helicopters rides then staying at the Park Hyatt after a 40,000 dinner?

On my highest month I did about 400,000 on mongering and unless I just quit work could"t even reasonably going higher then this.
 
70k a month??? Where was he living, in a park?

When I looked at apartments I didn't see too many below 100k (the title is comfortable living).
If this is take home, then it all depends what you mean by comfort: AC, water, gas, electric, apartment, TV, Internet, insurances, phone and you are looking at 200k. Train, anywhere from 5-15k a month if you are just commuting.

Eating will cost about 2k a day to eat 3 cheap meals, going up to a lot more if you like variety and nice restaurants. It's easy to spend a lot here, especially living alone.

Now I've been here a while, I'd budget 400k to live the lifestyle I want to lead. Anything on top of that is spent turning the good nights out into excellent ones.
Not to mention many apartments in Tokyo (and big cities) under 100,000yen (1,000 dollars), look like shit, old, or are small like a jail cell.

Also, apartments advertised in English tend to be more expensive. Becareful of this. If advertised only in Japanese, then be prepared for more bias or prejudices against foreigners.

You want a good deal or good size, be prepared to look long and very hard, unless very lucky.
 
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I'll have to post a revision on my living costs since this thread was started...

One of the things that I find with other foreigners, they come here expecting to have a 2-3 bedroom apartment as a SINGLE person which is just absurd cost wise. For those people coming here that can adjust to live here, a regular single apartment will work fine and the costs are reasonable. (cost of course is based age/amenities of the building plus the location) -- The general are I live in now, which has 1 major JR station and 1 subway station within 9 minutes walking distance either way, you can find nice apartments ranging from 45k to 85k that are average and plenty comfortable in a quiet area. You can opt for one of the new apartment towers closer to the JR station for 110-150k/month but I can tell you the noise level will suck.

As far as the discrimination issue, it really has been subsiding. I don't know anyone personally that has run into a problem getting a place. Solong however is correct about those English advertised places, they are going to be higher... (if you didn't know already, a lot of property is being bought up by non-Japanese people, so this is also having an impact on how tenants are accepted into a vacant room.)

I'll take a peek at my expenses and post back later, I did go through some changes which made my financial picture change.
 
Jesus, does this include taking your P4P partners on helicopters rides then staying at the Park Hyatt after a 40,000 dinner?

Well, not on every date...

Note that I said it was not 100% a joke, but it is also not 100% a serious post.

On my highest month I did about 400,000 on mongering and unless I just quit work could"t even reasonably going higher then this.

You could afford more if you quit work??? Does your job pay you a negative income?

-Ww
 
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Jesus, does this include taking your P4P partners on helicopters rides then staying at the Park Hyatt after a 40,000 dinner?

On my highest month I did about 400,000 on mongering and unless I just quit work could"t even reasonably going higher then this.

Not my price range, but I remember one review here about kitty which was in that range (400k) for just the one date ... of course, overnight etc. ... but if you need inspiration on how to spend more ... ;)

@TAG Manager
I guess that price range are 1room apartments and the area is near the final station of the subway? Guess comfortable living is defined differently by everyone, but a 2nd room really greatly adds to my comfort.
 
Not my price range, but I remember one review here about kitty which was in that range (400k) for just the one date ... of course, overnight etc. ... but if you need inspiration on how to spend more ... ;)

I think it was ¥210,000 for an overnight with TDE...my best recollection.

-Ww