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Living expenses in Japan + rent

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  • Living expenses in Japan + rent

    I received a proposal to go to work in Japan: Osaka or Nagano, not sure yet, to work with IT.
    I will earn about 300.000 yen/month, with 2 bonus payment per year, more transportation and living aids, and health and pension insurance.

    1 - Anyone could tell me if it is enough to live with wife? Is it possible to save some money? Have anyone already had the same experience?

    2- How much does it cost to rent a 50m2 (2 rooms) appartment with toillet and kitchen?

    3- How much do you usually spent with food?

    Thank you very much for your advices!!


  • #2
    Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

    1 - Anyone could tell me if it is enough to live with wife? Is it possible to save some money? Have anyone already had the same experience?

    It's possible, but unless your wife has some income, you will have a fairly frugal lifestyle with minimal travel.

    2- How much does it cost to rent a 50m2 (2 rooms) appartment with toillet and kitchen?

    A basic 2LDK (2 bedrooms, that is) will rent for about 70,000-80,000 yen/month. A 1LDK (one bedroom place) will rent for 50,000-70,000. A lot depends on precise location within the city. You may have to pay 2-5 months' rent equivalent just to move in (key money).

    3- How much do you usually spent with food?

    Figure 30,000-40,000 yen/month for 2 people eating not very fancy meals (and not including alcohol).


    • #3
      Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

      Well, I received the proposal yesterday. It is a big Japan enterprise in the electronics market, located in Daito City (Osaka-fu). I am 24, and I will work with C/C++ Real Time Software for embedded systems. I speak no Japanese, but I speak English, Portuguese and French fluently.
      As I told before, I will earn 300.000 yens /month, but they told me that I will not receive the 2 bonus per year because it is not common anymore in Japan.
      1- Is that right? Japanese enterprises don't give those bonuses any more?

      I was doing some calculation, and I will earn exactly 250.000 yens/month after taxes.

      2- My rent will be 65.000 yens for a 1LDK with 6 tatami. Is it expensive or the normal price? I intend to bring my wife three months before I'll arrive in Japan... Is it possible for a couple to live in an apartment like that?

      3- I will have no transportation cost since the apartment is just beside the enterprise, but they told me I will spent around 10.000 yens/month with light/gas/water. Do you think it is ok, or it should be more?

      4- I will have to study Japanese, which they told me that cost around 30.000 yens/month, but the enterprise pays 50%. Does this cost right? Should be more? Less?

      5- I expect to spend around 40.000 yens/month with food for me and my wife. Is it a good number?

      6- In the end, I could save something like 115.000 yens/month, if I do no extra hours work. Is it possible to have fun and maybe travel a little bit with this money?

      7- That is the most important question... My wife has recently graduated in two faculties: Internacional Management (1 year work experience) and Fashion Design (6 months experience). She is brazilian (as I am), and speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish fluently, but no Japanese. Could you give me any ideas of possible jobs for her? Where could I find it?

      8- Does anyone know anything about Daito City?

      Thank you again for any hints )



      • #4
        Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

        1) you either get 1 year salary divided into 12 monthy payments, or 1 year salary divided into 18 payments, with 2 x 3 monthly bonuses. Often a few of the months are dependent on performance evaluation. It depends on company and what you negotiated initially.
        2) For a short time - may get claustrophobic after a while.
        3) Maybe more, esp in winter, unheated apartment?
        4) How many lessons? How much time? Who knows? In your time?
        5) Big eater/ small eater? Lots of rice? Again, maybe more.
        6) Yes, of course, if you can save that, see 2-5 above. BUT, need clothes, TV, Japanese lessons for bored wife, etc..
        7) No Japanese? Not much chance. Companies in Osaka work in Japanese. Cannot talk to colleagues/ customers. Evening bar work, after a while?
        8) Quiet, close to Ikoma hills, good for walking, typical suburban Japan, not much to do. Easy access to Osaka.


        • #5
          Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

          I find one thing really strange sometimes..

          Japanese salarymen, whose current average salary for last year was 330000 yen, seems to live pretty okay supporting a wife and 1-2 kids. (And lots of them have to pay pension, along with housing mortgage)

          Do the average non-Japanese people really tend to spend much more than the average Japanese in Japan?

          Here is my rough breakdown on cost.

          Housing in Kansai should be slightly cheaper, especially if you are not in the city.
          So 2LDK could be about 80 000-100 000+ yen.
          (You are getting a 1LDK though, and if you are creative enough, you can turn the Dining room into a convertible sleeping space.)
          Electricity/Water cost would be about 20 000+ per month for 2 person
          Food, I would say 50 000+ yen for the two of you.
          Commuting, might be 10 000+ yen per month per person.
          Miscellaneous fund (soap/shampoo/stuff) 20 000+ yen per month.

          That would be a total of 190 000+ yen per month, for a 2LDK apartment. (Discounting education)

          I do have to agree with the ridiculously high "Start up cost" for living in Japan though...

          Post Edited (02-18-04 15:21)


          • #6
            Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

            Mahou - mortgages are often available through company affiliated programmes, loans are commonly taken and repaid at bonus time, wives are often working on a couple of tax-free/ undeclared part-time jobs, parents may be living with them, and providing loans/ subsidies, baby-sitting services, etc..

            Japanese men/ families well-off? Overseas vacations - very few.
            Company subsidised ryokans around the country.

            See inside the house. Big TV/Media Centre - no books, no culture, little sports outside of company activities. Small cramped kitchen, tiny bath, many would be regarded as slums in the West. Little storage space.

            Parents out together? Rare
            Family service/ weekend duty with kids.

            Education - see what paulh and I wrote on another thread on the costs of education - huge debts there. Local/ international schools? Clubs? Uniforms? A couple of marriageable daughters - more expense.

            Office - subsidised canteen, transportation paid, settai-expense account, used broadly.

            Average salary - for who? With or without bonus.

            Foreigners probably do pay more, as we do not have access to many of the subsidised facilities available to Japanese. We also probably maintain a higher quality of life.


            • #7
              Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

              Thank you guys for your replies...

              But what about vacations and trips... I know that in Japan, we do have only 10 days vacations per year, and the enterprise chooses when you gonna take it. But they told me Japaneses never take it anyway, they used to sell it like extra-hours...

              1- Well, if I plan to visit my home country, in what period do japaneses have more holiday days?, like National Vacations I mean something like 1 week for Christmas + New year... Do they celebrate that?

              2- There are any other period in the year when it's possible to have a whole week (or more) for traveling?

              Thank again for your fast answers...



              • #8
                Re: Living expenses in Japan + rent

                New Year - Shogatsu Dec 30 - Jan 5
                Golden Week - around April 28 - May 5
                O-Bon Aug 12-18

                These are the main holiday times. Sometimes, factories have extra time off for maintenance, or give 3 days to be had anytime between July and September. Xmas is just for expensive dinners and shopping, normal working day!