Tokyo preview


Japan has one of the highest costs of living in the world, comparable to that of London and Manhattan and is frequently ranked as the most expensive city on earth when it comes to real estate.

  • For a three-bedroom apartment in central Tokyo you should expect to pay over 600,000 yen per month (presuming the apartment is relatively new and is well furnished with quality amenities. Some of the more luxurious areas of Tokyo (like Jingumae for instance) might fetch 800,000 yen or more per month for this size of apartment - location is a prime factor in determining monthly rent.

Utility costs naturally vary depending upon consumption, efficiency (split heating and air conditioning systems are much more efficient then central heating and cooling), etc.

  • A typical water bill for a 3-bedroom apartment would likely be in the range of between 3,000 and 5,000 yen per month (water bills come bi-monthly).
  • A gas bill would be in the range of 6,000 to 8,000 yen per month.
  • The electric bill will likely be at least 15,000 yen per month, although it's not unheard of for expats to see electric bills 5 times this amount (particularly during the summer and winter months).

Miscellaneous expenses can include:

  • Cable television typically costs around 4,500 yen with Internet access being around the same.
  • Mobile phone charges naturally depend upon use but most cost between 6,000 and 10,000 yen per month.
  • Landline telephone bills can be expensive with international dialing but are generally only a few thousand yen.
  • Housekeepers are available for around 1,500 per hour and babysitters can be found for between 1,500 and 2,500 per hour.
  • Dry cleaning costs are roughly 1,500 yen per suit and 300 yen per shirt.

Schooling, as is addressed in the sections related to education, c…