The Cost of Living and Studying in Japan


As we mentioned in our article on obtaining a student visa in Japan, international students must go through immigration security at the airport upon arrival.

In addition, if you are staying in Japan for more than three months, you must have your passport stamped. You must have your passport stamped in order to apply for a residence permit.

We advise you to always carry this permit with you to avoid penalties. These penalties can be as high as ¥200,000 (about $1785).

In addition, you must go to the municipal office of your locality to register. This will cost you about $10. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the cost of living and studying in Japan this time.

The Japanese currency that you will use for all your financial transactions is the Yen. There are 3 Yen bills: ¥1000, ¥5000, and ¥10,000. Moreover, there are 6 coins: ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, and ¥500.

The cost of living in Japan for students

Paying with cash is a common practice in Japan even though there are many stores that accept credit cards. Checks are also not widely used for daily transactions in Japan.

In addition, the monthly cost of living in Japan (including tuition) is approximately ¥138,000 per month for international students.

In general, the Shikoku region is the cheapest with an estimated living and study cost of ¥104,000 per month. In contrast, Kantō is one of the most expensive regions to live in, reaching ¥154,000 per month.

Note that the capital city of Tokyo is located in the Kantō region. Living expenses can reach ¥158,000 per month in the city.

This amount is also high in Tokyo because of the high cost of rent, transportation, and other services.

The university entrance exams will normally cost you 30,000 yen.

Other expenses related to the cost of living and studying in Japan

Student housing prices in Japan

Many Japanese universities offer low-cost housing for foreign students. However, these places are limited. The monthly rent for university housing varies everywhere from ¥25,000 to ¥50,000, depending on the type of room and the options available.

You can add a cleaning service for ¥9,000 and Internet and gym access for ¥10,000.

You can usually rent private student housing which will cost you between ¥30,000 and ¥90,000 per month. You can usually stay in a guest house for ¥20,000 to ¥100,000 per month.

Some students prefer to rent their own place of residence. However, renting a private furnished apartment is very expensive and can cost up to 150,000 yen per month. And finding the right apartment will take a lot of time and patience.

In general, unfurnished apartments are more affordable. However, buying your own furniture will still require a lot of money and effort. But the rent for unfurnished apartments is 120 000 per month.

Food and drink

Meals in cheap restaurants cost between ¥700 and ¥800. And in slightly better restaurants, you will have to pay between ¥3,000 and ¥4,000. On the other hand, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC will only cost you ¥650-900.

On the other hand, if you prefer to prepare your own meals, here is a list of some essential products to have with their prices:

  • Pepsi 1L, ¥300.
  • Mineral water 1L, 130¥.
  • Pasteurized milk 1L, ¥190.
  • Fresh bread, ¥185 to ¥500.
  • 1 kg of white rice, ¥500.
  • A dozen eggs, ¥200.
  • 1 kg of cheese, ¥1000.
  • One kilo of boneless chicken breast, ¥600.
  • 1 kg of beef, ¥1900.
  • Fruits and vegetables cost between ¥300 and ¥850 per kilo.

Cost of transportation

Train fare for international students costs about ¥9,000 per month.

Cabs cost ¥980 for the first kilometer and ¥640 more beyond that. Hiring a cab for an hour costs ¥4,300. The cost of a liter of gasoline is ¥125.

Note: 1€ is equivalent to about 121¥