The Cost of Living in Japan for International Students

It's no secret that Japan is home to some of the best universities in the world. In fact, 41 Japanese universities are ranked among the top 300 in the world, according to the latest data from Times Higher Education.

What many international students don't realize is that the cost of study and life in Japan can be expensive. Here's a closer look at the cost of living in Japan for international students.

Cost of Studying in Japan

If you're looking to study at a top university without spending a fortune on tuition, Japan is the place to be. National universities in Japan have some of the lowest tuitions in the world, and even private institutions offer great value for money.

For example, one of Japan's most prestigious private universities, Keio University, has tuition fees that range from ¥880,000 per year up ¥3,040,000. Ritsumeikan University, another top private university in Japan, has tuition fees that range form ¥784,700 per year up to ¥2,500,000. Even Hokkaido University – a public university located in one of Japan's northernmost prefectures – has relatively low tuition fees of ¥535,800 per year.

Of course, if you want to study at one of Japan's most prestigious universities – such as the University of Tokyo or the Tokyo Institute of Technology – you can expect to pay slightly higher tuition fees of ¥535,800 per year. But even these rates are very reasonable when you compare them to similar institutions in other countries.

And remember, the cost of living in Japan is also very affordable for international students. So even if you do have to pay slightly higher tuition fees at some of the country's top universities, your overall costs will still be quite reasonable.

The cost of living in Tokyo

If you're thinking of studying abroad in Tokyo, you'll need to be prepared for the high cost of living. A recent study showed that the average monthly cost for aninternational student in Tokyo is a whopping ¥346,535!

Rental expenses are one of the biggest costs, with a single person in Tokyo paying an average of ¥90,105 per month. Food expenses are also quite high, with a single person spending an average of ¥32,200 per month on food. And let's not forget about transportation costs - a monthly ticket in Tokyo will set you back ¥10,545 on average.

Fortunately, there's a bit of good news for international students when it comes to transportation costs. In Japan, international students are eligible for a 20% discount on transportation fares. So if you're planning to study in Tokyo, be sure to take advantage of this discount!

All in all, the cost of living in Tokyo can be quite high. But if you're prepared for it and budget carefully, you'll be able to make your studies abroad a reality!

Cost of Living in Yokohama

If you're considering studying abroad in Japan, one of the first things you'll need to budget for is your cost of living. In Yokohama, a single person can expect to spend an average of ¥238,196 per month on essentials like food, personal care items, and utilities. If you're planning to rent an apartment, be aware that the average one-bedroom in Yokohama will set you back ¥77,875 per month. And depending on your apartment's location, transportation costs could add an additional ¥11,987 to your monthly expenses.

The average monthly cost of living in Yokohama for a family with one international student member is ¥487,495. This figure includes all of the same basic expenses as for a single person, plus additional costs associated with raising children.

Of course, these are just estimates and your actual costs will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. But knowing how much it typically costs to live in Yokohama can help you better plan for your study abroad experience.

Cost of living in Osaka

Osaka is one of the most popular cities in Japan, and for good reason! It's a lively city with plenty to see and do. But what about the cost of living?

Let's start with accommodation. Renting a studio apartment in Osaka will set you back around ¥58,824 per month. If you want something a bit more luxurious, or need a furnished place to call home, prices can go up to ¥122,155.

Next, let's look at transportation costs. Osaka has an excellent public transport system, and it's very affordable too. The average monthly cost of using public transport in Osaka is just ¥10,449.

Finally, let's talk about the overall cost of living in Osaka. The monthly cost of living in Osaka, according to Numbeo, varies between ¥236,800 and ¥481,942. That includes everything from food and drink to entertainment and utilities.

So there you have it! Other major cities around the world may have a higher cost of living, but Osaka definitely keeps its costs reasonable. Whether you're looking for an affordable place to live or just want to experience all that Osaka has to offer, this city should definitely be on your list!

Cost of living in Sagamihara

As an international student in Japan, you can expect to spend around ¥174,155 per month on living expenses. This includes housing, which will cost you between ¥20,000 and ¥60,000 per month, as well as transportation, utilities, and food.

Of course, your exact costs will vary depending on your lifestyle and where you choose to live. However, in general, the cost of living in Japan is relatively high compared to other countries. For example, according to Numbeo, the average monthly cost of living in Tokyo is ¥137,831 – which is nearly double the cost of living in New York City!

So what can you do to save money while studying in Japan? Here are a few tips:

  • Choose your accommodation carefully. If you're on a budget, consider staying in a dormitory or homestay instead of renting an apartment.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many universities offer discounts on transportation and utilities for students. Be sure to ask about these before signing up for any services.
  • Cook your own meals. Eating out can be expensive, so try cooking at home as much as possible. You'll also get to experience Japanese culture firsthand by shopping at local markets and learning how to cook traditional dishes.
  • Explore Japan on a budget. There are plenty of free or cheap activities to enjoy in Japan – from hiking and cycling to visiting temples and museums. By planning ahead and doing some research, you can make the most of your time here without breaking the bank.


Studying abroad in Japan is an amazing experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Yes, the cost of living can be high, but there are ways to save money and still enjoy all that this incredible country has to offer. By choosing your accommodation carefully, taking advantage of discounts, cooking your own meals and exploring Japan on a budget, you can make your study abroad experience both affordable and unforgettable. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Japan today!



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Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
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