Expense of living in Tokyo?

Posted by Rebecca Leo 4 years 1 month ago

How much money did you spend on food for that month? Did you need a metro pass? Bus pass? Can you walk to all the places you needed to get to? What were some unexpected expenses that occurred?


You can get by with spending about ¥1,000-1,300 a day on food at the most. If you grocery shop and make food wherever you are staying that helps a lot. Restaurants have great lunch deals as well. You absolutely need a metro pass, it is a very big city and not walkable. The classroom is pretty far out from the city center. I can't think of any unexpected expenses, everything that cost money was expected: food, transportation and accommodation. Hope this helps!

The expense of living in Tokyo isn't that bad if you know what you're doing. You can find a room in a share house from $500-100USD a month, and then if you need to save on food you can go with bento boxes that are sold almost everywhere. The bento boxes aren't necessarily sold at convenience stores - if you want freshly made bentos, there are a few small restaurants dedicated to serving cheap food for busy working class individuals that are usually located near the JR stations. These bentos go for about $5. As for transportation, you'll most likely benefit from a Japan Rail Pass if you're staying long term and have lots of places to go. What most people are talking about when Tokyo gets expensive is the entertainment, higher end restaurants, and delicate goods. The basic living fees aren't bad, but spending money to have the time of your life can get real costly.

I stayed with Sakura hostels. I had an room in a house with other foreigners and I think I paid about $800 CAD. There were some cheaper and some more expensive. As a whole I wouldn't say it's overly cheap.

It of course depends on how you want to live, but at minimum (in yen) you should expect something like:
* 50k - 70k for a single room in a dormitory or someone's house
* 250 per train/bus ticket - of course this varies, but if you don't travel far it should be around that value
* 200 - 1000 per meal - depending on your requirements - a supermarket bento costs around 300yen

On the subject of food, you can live a lot cheaper if you eat like the locals. Things like potatoes, bread or apples can be quite expensive relative to what I expected as someone from Europe. On the other hand rice is quite cheap if you get it in e.g. a 30kg bag. It's also worth considering getting a rice cooker. A small one will cost around 20,000 yen.

Check the following links for more info (the numbers appear ok)