Japan can be a very cheap place to live, it can also be a very expensive place to live. Japan varies quite a bit depending on where you choose to live. Rent can be expensive in some places whereas food can be cheap and vice versa. We will be going over the top 10 most expensive cities to live in Japan.
Number 10: Osaka
Osaka is a beautiful, lively coastal town. It is the capital of Osaka prefecture and although it isn’t as expensive as some of the other cities on our list it can still cost you a pretty penny to live there. Lets breakdown some of the costs of living associated with Osaka. Rent for a one- bedroom apartment will cost you about ¥70000 yen per month. In the city center, it goes up to about ¥135,000 a month if you want a three-bedroom apartment. Utilities, such as electricity, water, gas, and garbage will cost you about ¥15000 a month on top of rent. Food is cheap coming in at an average of about ¥800 a meal at a restaurant. If you have the chance, definitely check out some of Osaka’s famous takoyaki.
Number 9: Kyoto
Kyoto is a very famous town in Japan and around the world, known for its amazing temples and classical Japanese architecture. One would assume that it would be a very expensive place to live and even though on average it is more expensive than a lot of smaller towns and cities in Japan, it’s still not crazy expensive. Monthly rent in a one-bedroom apartment will cost about ¥75000 a month and moving to a three-bedroom will cost about ¥150,000 a month. Utilities will also cost you around ¥20000 a month. Still, for living in such a beautiful place, it might be worth it.
Number 8: Nagoya
Coming in at number 8 for the most expensive cities to live in Japan, is Nagoya. Nagoya is the largest city in the Chubu region of Japan. It is also the fourth-largest incorporated city in Japan. It is one of Japan’s major port cities, so being close to the ocean will increase the price of rent, but it is still somewhat affordable. The cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Nagoya is close to the same as Kyoto at about ¥75000, but if you want a larger apartment it will cost you about ¥185,000 for a three-bedroom place. On top of that, you also have ¥22000 in utilities. If you want the big city feeling without having to live in an expensive place, Nagoya is for you!
Number 7: Sendai
Sendai is our 7th most expensive place to live in Japan. Sendai is the capital city of the Miyagi Prefecture, boasting as the largest city in the Tohoku region. It is also the location of the 2011 tsunami. Prices in the city have lowered since the event of the tsunami, but lately, it has been increasing again. The cost for a 1 bedroom apartment in Sendai is about ¥76000, whereas the price for a 3 bedroom apartment is about ¥190,000. Utilities are a little cheaper than other places, coming in at about ¥16000 a month. If you want to live in a location where you are not paying a lot in utilities, Sendai is perfect.
Number 6: Kawasaki
As we get closer to the top 5 most expensive cities to live in Japan, we reach Kawasaki. Kawasaki is located in Kanagawa Prefecture and is part of the Greater Tokyo Area. It is very close to Tokyo, and thus the cost of living here is much greater than our other cities on this list. If you are looking for a one-bedroom apartment it will cost you about ¥100,000 a month. The price for a three-bedroom apartment is ¥160,000. Utilities will cost you around ¥20000 a month. The change in price between the one-bedroom and three-bedroom is not as drastic as the others on our list and that is why it comes in as the 6th most expensive city to live in Japan.
Now we are onto our top 5 most expensive cities to live in Japan.
Number 5: Nerima
Now, as we get closer to the most expensive places to live in Japan, you might see locations that are wards of Tokyo. This is because Tokyo is such a massive city that even a ward like Nermia has 700,000 people in it. The price for a one-bedroom apartment in Nermia is ¥140,000 a month and it goes up to ¥220,000 a month for a three-bedroom location. Being in a major hub does have some benefits as utilities are only around ¥10,000 a month. That being said, food costs a little bit more here as a basic lunch will cost you around ¥1,200.
Number 4: Miyazaki
Now, we have been mostly talking about locations that are on the main island of Japan. There is one location, though, on the island of Kyushu called, Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture on the south side of Japan and while being close to the ocean and beautiful beaches, it does have its drawbacks in terms of rent and utility costs. Rent for a one-bedroom location will cost about ¥120,000 a month, a three-bedroom will cost about ¥203,000. The price for utilities is around ¥21000. Living in paradise can have its drawbacks.
Now, we spoke a little earlier about how Tokyo is so large that its various wards can be considered small or even large cities of their own. The top 3 cities on our list that are the most expensive cities to live in Japan will all be part of Tokyo, or The Greater Tokyo Area.
Number 3: Shibuya
Now, if you have been to Japan at least once, you will have most likely heard about Shibuya. It’s one of the most popular places in Japan. It hosts the two busiest railway stations in the world and has several world-renowned stores and locations that you can visit. Now, it’s understandable that such a popular location would be expensive to live in, and it really is. The cost of a one-bedroom, small, apartment is over ¥150,000 a month, if you want a bigger space then it almost doubles to about ¥275,000 a month. Utilities are cheaper than average only costing about ¥15000 a month. If you love the hustle and bustle of the city life, then Shibuya is for you
Number 2: Minato
Minato is home to many embassies and domestic companies. It also hosts the locations for many Japanese headquarters for multinational firms such as Google and Apple. Now, with it being such a hot location for companies who are worth billions of dollars you can guess that rent here will be very expensive. Rent for a one-bedroom location will be around ¥170,000 a month, and again, it gets almost doubled when you get to a three-bedroom location coming in at around ¥280,000. Utilities will cost about the same as Shibuya at about ¥15000 a month. One thing to note is that food in this location is very expensive, you would be lucky to find a restaurant that has food for under ¥1500 a meal.
Now, the number 1 most expensive city to live in Japan is…
You guessed it, Tokyo, Tokyo is the most sought after location in Japan. It is right in the middle of everything and with that comes a high price tag for locations, food, and transportation. Tokyo, Tokyo, is without a doubt the most expensive place to live in Japan, and some people would even say the world. A one-bedroom location costs you about ¥250,000 a month whereas if you get to a 3 bedroom location it will cost roughly ¥400,000 a month. Utilities will cost around ¥22000 a month as well. In total for a one-bedroom location, you are paying nearly ¥300,000 a month. I guess location is everything.
Thanks for reading our top 10 most expensive places to live in Japan. Don’t forget to check out our other lists and articles for in-depth guides on Japan and living here.