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The lowest cost of living in Japan?

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The lowest cost of living in Japan? 2009/7/15 23:57
After many calculations I have worked out that I need to live in Japan with \130 000 a month.

Can someone suggest some good places where I can live comfortably with that amount? I'm looking into villages and small towns as well as cities, traditional or modern, doesn't matter.

Thanks for the help!

by shki  

jobs, visa- not an issue? 2009/7/16 08:11
I would say that all cities in Japan are modern- you won't find any cities anywhere that are stuck back in the Taisho era!

So work and visas are not an issue for you? You can just go and live anywhere, in Japan, long term, and support yourself? Do you have any preferences in climate for example? There is no use us recommending Nemuro in Hokkaido if you hate the cold.

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

visa not a problem 2009/7/16 08:19
I meant like some places are not as modern as the big cities but I didn't suggest for it to go back to historic times.

Also it's a place I'm applying for with JET so I don't really worry about visas for now. JET contracts can last up to 5 years so it's pretty longterm. I just want suggestions on places to live with a low cost of living.

And thanks for mentioning the conditions, I do really hate the cold. I was looking more into places like Sendai, Okinawa, Gifu, Fukuoka, what do you think?

by shki rate this post as useful

all 2009/7/16 09:03
LOL. If you hate the cold why Sendai? Anywhere in Tohoku gets cold in winter time. But I hope you understand pretty much all of Japan besides Okinawa gets fairly cold in winter, and even Okinawa has its cold spells sometimes.

Fukuoka will have more jobs than Okinawa. Okinawa is cheap but there are no jobs.

Fukuoka is an interesting city, and if you want to you can go into some REALLY backcountry places like Miyazaki or Kumamoto which are going to be cheap to live in.

by Winterwolf (guest) rate this post as useful

ESID 2009/7/16 09:12
I'm not sure that potential JETs have that much leeway in choosing where they go, they can just give a preference for areas.

In any case, as they say in JET, ESID- every situation is different- you might end up in a place with a low cost of living but where you have to pay all or most of the rent yourself, or you might end up in a more expensive area where your rent is free, meaning you can save more money.

What matters more in my opinion is your lifestyle- you can save anywhere you live if you make the effort to.

Does JET give you 5 years now? I thought 3 was the maximum.

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

^^ 2009/7/16 09:42
Thank you for replying, I'm sorry if I sound like a newbie but it's becos I am. But I'm learning!

I know about Hokkaido being painfully cold, but I didn't know Sendai was cold. I don't mind if it's bouts of cold as long as it isn't permanently icey.

I had my heart set on Sendai and Okinawa, but I'l look more into Fukuoka and the backcountry places. Do you know more about those places that you can tell me?

With JET, you can list places you wish to be placed but they don't always place you where you want. However I still want to list the places. And I will do more research into JET.
I am a person who likes to eat good food and go to entertainment places for cheap, but I think that will be difficult in big cities.

Ya they extended it to 5 years now, used to be 3 though.

by shki rate this post as useful

from a former JET 2009/7/16 10:56
I just want suggestions on places to live with a low cost of living.

Its good to do this kind of research before applying. I'd recommend applying for prefectures that are just adjacent to major areas. For example: Chiba, Ibaraki, and Saitama put you within close range of Tokyo without the expense of living in the city. Also, if you have a good reason for choosing a prefecture you will have a much better chance of actually getting placed there.

But be aware that just because a place is not a big city doesn't mean that it isn't an expensive place to live. It really depends a lot on the particular location, for example in my prefecture it may actually be cheaper to live in the largest city once you factor in transportation costs, entertainment, etc. The people who end up spending the most seem to be those that are farthest from the big cities. Their rent may be low, but everything else is the same and their transportation costs can be much higher.

Also, I think you are mixing up modern with urban. Everywhere in Japan is modern. There's even toilets on the top of Mount Fuji. If you are looking to have the lowest living costs I would look at places that are outside major city centers but still connected by a good train line. Rural gets expensive due to poor public transportation, and a car is going to wreak havoc with your budget.

I am a person who likes to eat good food and go to entertainment places for cheap, but I think that will be difficult in big cities.

Not necessarily so. Generally speaking you can find good food and cheap entertainment anywhere in Japan, but big cities have more variety which can save you money.

Ya they extended it to 5 years now, used to be 3 though.

This is not entirely correct. The maximum extension is up to 5 years, but your contract isn't automatically renewed up to that point. Upon acceptance to JET you can get a 3 year visa and your contract will be extended up to 3 years assuming you don't do something illegal. The last two years, however, are conditional and you can be turned down for an extension. An actual requirement is that you have made an effort to learn some Japanese.

Basically, don't count on 5 years. Just be aware that although its rare that your extension is turned down, it does happen.

Anyway, Sira's advice is right on the mark:

In any case, as they say in JET, ESID- every situation is different- you might end up in a place with a low cost of living but where you have to pay all or most of the rent yourself, or you might end up in a more expensive area where your rent is free, meaning you can save more money.

What matters more in my opinion is your lifestyle- you can save anywhere you live if you make the effort to.

And let me add that you should choose places to live because they are near places that are interesting and that you want to visit. That will save you money.

Other than that, don't worry about your placement too much. Learn how to live a frugal lifestyle in Japan and you can save money anywhere you're placed. The important thing is to enjoy your time in Japan wherever you are.

Good luck with your application!

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

The cities are not always expensive 2009/7/16 11:35
"I am a person who likes to eat good food and go to entertainment places for cheap, but I think that will be difficult in big cities."

I agree with yllwsmrf, not necessarily the case at all. Very good, cheap food is to found in the cities, including Tokyo, and as long as you aren't going to clubs in the very centre of Tokyo, a night out doesn't have to be expensive either.

Prices at izakayas for example (japanese-style pubs), or karaoke boxes do not vary much nationwide- you would pay similar prices in an izakaya in Shinjuku as you would in Gifu.

What *is* expensive in the bigger cities is housing, but it is not the case that everything is more expensive as some people seem to think- in many cases it's the opposite, because there is more competition between businesses in the cities.

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

hmm 2009/7/16 19:11
People say that Fukuoka has the lowest cost of living for a big city/to be a big city in Japan.

So maybe living there is better, since you could have the best of both worlds.

Or living just outside of that city, even cheaper.

by Reina Jess rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/16 22:21
For that money all you can afford is to buy a blue plastic tarp and build a house by a river with the other homeless people. I'd try to find more work or more money. Japan is expensive to live in.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/7/16 22:25
No man guest-san, I am not earning that, I will be earning a lot more than that, that 130,000 yen is just money to live for things like food+entertainment etc. And on average out of the big cities, a cost of living of 80,000yen a month is pretty normal.
by shki rate this post as useful

ty 2009/7/16 22:29
thanks for the other replies, I'm looking into Chiba and Ibaraki but I think Chiba esp. is difficult to get placement :/

But I'll do more research on Fukuoka and Sendai

by shki rate this post as useful

Amagasaki is cheep compaired with USA 2011/8/30 23:25
I have liked living in Amagasaki Tano area in Hyogo Prefecture. Rent is 40,000 yen for a older appartment about 400.00 USA, there are some appartments and houses with little key money needed, that can be very expensive. Mine was 200,000 yen, with 50,000 deposit. I figure houseing is possible Starting at 60,000 yen a month or compaired to 600.00 dollares US. Food is high every were in Japan, and you cant find diffrent types of food items. I spend 50,000 on food for 2 persons. Power is about 7,500 yen a month, water is about 3,000. Gas is about 3,500, Phone is about 5,000 with internet every other month. Doctors visits and hosipital copays are expensive compaired to S.S.I. in USA, but overall cost of hosiptal is reasonable. All in all Japan in Amagasaki is good. Also getting around by bus or train to other areas is easy.
by seaqueen rate this post as useful

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