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Tokyo falls to 9th most expensive city for expats due to weak yen

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I guess there are some lists you don't want to be number 1.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Nothing much in Tokyo.boring day.keep on recycling the same old story.

I'm going to the beach.

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

It is expensive city.

I don't know about you guys but I spent anywhere between 100 000 - 200 000 on foods for two per month. Nothing extravagant but not udon or rice or frozen processed food all the time. Just fresh food and fruits.

Plus rent went up as landowner said there is inflation so the new contract will be higher.

6 ( +25 / -19 )

I think a salary of at least 500 000 yen per month should do if you live in Tokyo.

Less than that will be just a painful experience.

6 ( +29 / -23 )

Why anyone would want to live in Tokyo anyway ?

Yuk !

-30 ( +25 / -55 )

People in Tokyo often comment that London and Paris are more expensive. For the central bits that's true, but it's a bit like judging Tokyo only on Minato-ku. Certainly, there is a culture in Japan of cheap lunch sets and 100 yen shops and cheap public transport - sure, visiting as a tourist you don't feel ripped off - but beyond that, considering all criteria, I'd argue Tokyo is just as expensive.

Notably, healthcare is paid direct in Japan rather than from VAT etc (imagine manually paying €120 each month), while city tax is per person rather than per household. What a couple would pay together will likely be higher, in spite of the 10% consumption tax.

Foor food, many non-Japanese items are either hellishly expensive or of lower quality if they aren't (think Kraft Parmesan...) And vegetables! Yes, you can sit down to eat for 700 yen, but it's likely to be all factory grade meat and processed carbs. It's a very expensive country in which to be a vegetarian. Or eat wholegrain carbs.

While rent is expensive in major European cities, you only need casually peruse estate agents' windows to see how fairly average €1500 a month apts often come out looking like something that would be consideree super luxury in Tokyo. Then there's the "key money" ... and your pension payments.

4 ( +23 / -19 )

Think it’s true for a well paid couple with no children, or a well paid single person. Add kids to the mix and a mediocre salary and you are battling. Then there is life balance, opportunity for having more to do than wander shopping districts, with empty pockets. And food choices. Certainly the combined cost of taxes, key money, contract renewal payment, as above pension payments and body corporate costs, all this adds up to a sizable amount. Interesting place to visit. Mind you outside of Tokyo things are grim too.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

I think a salary of at least 500 000 yen per month should do if you live in Tokyo.

I hope you mean before deductions, i.e. 6 million per year. That's about the starting salary of a freshly minted salaryman.

500,000 per month in hand goes a long way even in Tokyo. You can get a nice place to rent for 200,000.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

There are plenty of places to live and those are outside of Tokyo.

I can spend as little as 3500 yen (as I did last night) on a food and drink blowout but I know where to go.

Good luck in Tokyo-it’s not for me.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

These so called surveys are comparing the costs of living a New York life in various countries. Same size apartment, same food etc

Of course Asian countries are more expensive.

But if you live a more "Japanese" style life in Japan it's much cheaper in Tokyo than London. At least for accomodations, restaurants and clothes.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

A Bank of Japan survey released July 6 also showed nearly 90 percent of Japanese consumers have felt that prices have risen in the last year 

Felt? It's a fact, just look at gas prices to start! I wonder what planet the other 10% are living on!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I hope you mean before deductions, i.e. 6 million per year. That's about the starting salary of a freshly minted salaryman. 500,000 per month in hand goes a long way even in Tokyo. You can get a nice place to rent for 200,000.

ONLY in Tokyo. Folks are living in lala land if they think every salary man or anyone's starting pay is this.

It's sad that folks are so Tokyo-centric in their thinking about life in Japan.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

expat = immigrant

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You can keep ALL those places. No desire to set foot on chinese territory, although I have always wanted to visit Taiwan, due to its proximity to Okinawa.

I prefer the Middle East, strangely enough. See you by the pool in Jordan.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

they better quickly open up their border to all tourists, restore the visa wavier and stop the 72 hours PCR test and allow personal trip.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I expect to get hired to a contract job in Jordan before that ever happens Maledae2.

I basically gave up waiting, as soon as I get that email, I’m gone.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I guess Tokyo is much better than Otay Mesa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unsure how this affects my plan to move to Ashgabat ......

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Expat petite bourgeois buying minshuku's etc around my area , initiating spats and power struggles within themselves and older Japanese folk....funny to observe.....thats another aspect of the lower yen.

Better than empty villages dying a slow death though.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

To me and most of my friends it's being and feeling safe in Tokyo is what really matters.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I prefer to live within an hour of central Tokyo, but with my current wage, a 1K apartment is generally out of reach, even in areas like Nakano, Koenji, and Kichijoji. I personally recommend Yokohama as a superior alternative for those just starting their lives out in Japan. It's a fun city with a lot to do, but is also very close to Tokyo, and many of the limited express train services can get you there in about forty-five minutes or less.

But if you don't have a lot of money and absolutely have to live "in Tokyo", it seems Hachioji and Machida are decent alternatives to the special wards in terms of price.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

GuruMickToday  09:06 am JST

Unsure how this affects my plan to move to Ashgabat ......

Same here. They don't call Ashbagat “city of the dead” for no reason.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find Tokyo to be disgusting and overpriced

However Chichijima ,hachijo or Izu are very pleasant

-22 ( +5 / -27 )

Why anyone would want to live in Tokyo anyway ?

Yuk !

Why would anyone want to live in China anyway?

Triple Yuk!

2 ( +12 / -10 )

 I find Tokyo to be disgusting and overpriced

I find most non Japanese cities to be disgusting and overpriced.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

Why anyone would want to live in Tokyo anyway ?

Yuk !

Yeah right, thats why foreigners are screaming to get to back into Japan.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Larr FlintToday  07:12 am JST

It is expensive city.

I don't know about you guys but I spent anywhere between 100 000 - 200 000 on foods for two per month. Nothing extravagant but not udon or rice or frozen processed food all the time. Just fresh food and fruits.

Plus rent went up as landowner said there is inflation so the new contract will be higher.

Holy cow, are you shopping at luxury supermarkets, or eating out every day?

I used to live in Kichioji and we spent less than that.

We spend less than that in much more experience NZ for four people!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“Why anyone would want to live in Tokyo anyway ?”

i would.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

When I win the lottery in the next few months, Tokyo will not be my destination

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

“I find most non Japanese cities to be disgusting and overpriced.”

I would want to say it but couldn’t disagree

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

“To me and most of my friends it's being and feeling safe in Tokyo is what really matters.”

besides its infrastructure works, utility always in good order… anything that needs to get fixed or replaced will be done swiftly and efficiently… just my personal experience living in one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The Mercer's Cost of Living Survey 

I can’t trust a survey that fails to mention US led sanctions on Russia as a major cause.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

It’s all about you and how you feel, it all starts there.

To me and most of my friends it's being and feeling safe in Tokyo is what really matters.

In the middle of this chaotic comment section, finally someone said this ( in one simple sentence ).

Imho, I think it’s pretty amazing to be able to feel safe in a city of more than 10 million people. Also, relatively clean and with endless entertainment. ( But if you’re a inaka kind of person, that’s a whole different story. )

Why worry about vegetables, restaurants and key moneys?

Unless you’re a homeless with an extremely low I.Q., you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want.

… People burning their brains for no reason…

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Most cities in the world are expensive

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Of course Asia countries are more expensive

Iam sorry but that's completely incorrect !

The cost of living in Okinawa is much less than Tokyo and very affordable.

Health-care affordable and quality.

The cost of living varies greatly between different Asian countries so you cant generalize and say all Asian countries are more expensive.

Simply not true .

Look at the Philippines for instance .

In Japan crime is low so your money tends to go further and less to worry about in general

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Tokyo?

No space on that train? Right!

Can touch all four apartment walls within arms’ length?Right!

Keep banging into furniture in your ‘hutch’? Right!

Wait in line (always) for lunch/a coffee?Right!

Feel stressed 24/7? Right!

Constant 24 noise? Right!

No green only concrete? Right!

Pollution of thousands of cars, trucks and buses?

Right!

Etc.

There’s no escaping most of the above as money can’t buy an escape in Tokyo

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  07:24 am JST

Why anyone would want to live in Tokyo anyway ?

Yuk !

Some people like city life and they can afford it. Some don't or can't and go "yuk".

5 ( +11 / -6 )

There’s no escaping most of the above as money can’t buy an escape in Tokyo

You can, but it will cost you 1,000,000 per month in rent.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This will be an issue when they open the borders wide open. I am really enjoying Japan without tourists as everything is empty during the working part of the week.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

'm going to the beach.

nah relaxing in the pool away from the crowds is far better

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Some people like city life and they can afford it. Some don't or can't and go "yuk".

I can easily afford it , but for the mortgage im paying for my 430m3 , 3 floors, home in the semi country id lucky to get a shoe box 2ldk in Tokyo. went through the back streets of Osaka last week, where i lived many years ago, the tiny parks full of kids and playing soccer in the streets, nah that not the environment for kids. there comes a time where convenience just isnt worth it. Now I have a home in Japan, ironically that I couldnt afford a similar sized home in my home country. got a pool BBQ in the back yard, kids friends come over multiple times in summer, I can drive anywhere with very little traffic, parking free, 4 supermarkets within 5 minutes, 2 shopping centers with 15minutes, ive actually got more convenience now than when I lived in Umeda, Osaka many years ago

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Tokyo?

No space on that train? Right!

Can touch all four apartment walls within arms’ length?Right!

Keep banging into furniture in your ‘hutch’? Right!

Wait in line (always) for lunch/a coffee?Right!

Feel stressed 24/7? Right!

Constant 24 noise? Right!

No green only concrete? Right!

Pollution of thousands of cars, trucks and buses?

Right!

Etc.

There’s no escaping most of the above as money can’t buy an escape in Tokyo

Now that’s what I call overreacting and generalizing too much.

The “anti-Tokyo” crowd won’t tell you this but… There’s an “escape to most of the above” – It’s all about when, how and where.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Lots of young people living in Tokyo but many don't have any aspirations of getting married, raising children and buying a house. Most salaries aren't enough to being able to afford these things.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I don't get it. Are expats working in Tokyo paid in dollars?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I don't get it. Are expats working in Tokyo paid in dollars?

Some do. It depends how you structure your contract. By "expats" I mean high level professional expats, not the unskilled foreigners who are the vast majority of Westerners in Japan. Japan has very few of the former (most choose to go to Singapore and Hong Kong understandably), but those who do, some of them do get paid in their "home" currency.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I can easily afford it , but for the mortgage im paying for my 430m3 , 3 floors, home in the semi country id lucky to get a shoe box 2ldk in Tokyo. went through the back streets of Osaka last week, where i lived many years ago, the tiny parks full of kids and playing soccer in the streets, nah that not the environment for kids. there comes a time where convenience just isnt worth it. Now I have a home in Japan, ironically that I couldnt afford a similar sized home in my home country. got a pool BBQ in the back yard, kids friends come over multiple times in summer, I can drive anywhere with very little traffic, parking free, 4 supermarkets within 5 minutes, 2 shopping centers with 15minutes, ive actually got more convenience now than when I lived in Umeda, Osaka many years ago

That sounds fantastic, and that's the way to do it, if you are allowed to work remotely or if you are working for yourself. Unfortunately, most Japanese companies don't allow remote work.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No space on that train? Right!

It's funny you mention that; I lived in a major U.S. city before moving to Japan, one with an extensive transportation system, and in rush hour, I never could get a seat on the train. I don't seem to have a problem with that here. Crowding was problematic in the 80s supposedly, but they largely alleviated much of the problem by introducing three new subway lines in the early 1990s, as well as new JR line services in the 2000s. It's pretty amazing that they've even been able to do that.

Can touch all four apartment walls within arms’ length?Right!

Not in my case, then again, I actually did my due diligence when I was searching for a place.

Keep banging into furniture in your ‘hutch’? Right!

What?

Wait in line (always) for lunch/a coffee?Right!

God forbid other people need to eat and drink coffee as well.

Feel stressed 24/7? Right!

Sounds more like your problem?

Constant 24 noise? Right!

Tokyo is much better in this regard than a lot of other places. My significant other has been living in central London for the better portion of a year, and she tells me she is ready to move back to Tokyo after having to listen to drunkards stumble around whilst shouting loudly on the city streets.

No green only concrete? Right!

Not really, a couple months ago I was walking around Kanda river and I was surprised at all the "green" I was seeing. I mean in Tokyo you have plenty of nice parks, like Yoyogi, Inokashira; you can head west to Mt Takao in the suburbs for a nice two hour climb; and other prefectures like Shizuoka and Yamanashi are only a few hours out.

Pollution of thousands of cars, trucks and buses?

I can't argue with that, but again, this is like every major city in the world. At least there isn't a lot of smog unlike China.

There’s no escaping most of the above as money can’t buy an escape in Tokyo

I'm not a fan of telling foreigners (especially those disgruntled with recent Covid-related policies) "If you don't like it here, just go back to your home country", but in your case I think you have some serious thinking to do.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I’m in Tokyo and my yearly salary is about 12 million. I guess nearly all foreigners here will be earning similar. Life is good for all.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

A Bank of Japan survey released July 6 also showed nearly 90 percent of Japanese consumers have felt that prices have risen in the last year -- the highest proportion to say so in 14 years.

Nope, prices started rising immediately the now deceased Abe Shinzo became prime minister with his

buy my Abenomics that continues till date to wreck havoc to the living standards of the public. Either the

bank of Japan was out of touch with reality or the general public was in a deep slumber.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Larr Flint

100 000 - 200 000 on foods for two per month

That sounds very expensive.

My wife and i live in Okinawa yaeyama islands .

I do all the food purchases and cooking for us .

It might interest you to know that we spend around ¥15000 a week on food.

No processed foods at all .

Well balanced nutritious meals for two 3 times a day.

At the height of the pandemic when our funds were low ¥7500 a week for two people's food was our budget.

Rent .electric , water .propane. wifi and phone -all together average ¥110000 a month.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The thing is that most Japanese looked on with pride that one of their cities was the most expensive one in the world to live n.

Fast forward a few years and it is more than apparent that Japan’s days as a major player have also come and gone.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

When I told my friends and colleagues outside of Japan that average lunch for office workers in Tokyo financial districts ie Marunouchi and Nihombashi is around jpy 1000, they told me it’s cheap.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The area of Tokyo I live in fresh fruits and vegetables are extremely reasonable and I have not noticed much in price change with regards to food. Now, I am waiting for my electric bill to come in and see if it will have jumped lots compared to last summer's bill.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

 having to listen to drunkards stumble around whilst shouting loudly on the city streets.

Here you get beta-males revving sports car engines all day long, though.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In short there is nothing to be proud of/ sad about being up or down this list. I am happy and feel blessed with what we can afford comfortably here in Tokyo thinking of other places where people are suffering from war and all sorts of shortages.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Even if you can touch all four walls, at least there is affordable accommodation In Tokyo, unlike New York for example, where apartments are bigger but ordinary people are just priced out of the rental market or parts of Australia, where middle class people are sleeping in tents.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The word "tumbled" is good in this case. Still expensive as hell, though.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

LMFAO, who wants to live in a country where you are locked up can't go anywhere. You can't withdraw your own hard earned money out of the banks and if you live down stream of a river the city up stream dumps river over flow on you and washes out the city you live in. Floods, people swan diving from high rises, corrupt official and shoddy construction. Who wants to live in a dump country that only thinks to build but when a natural disaster comes everything falls down. It's like everything that comes from China it may look good but its crap!

In a separate Asian top 10 ranking, Chinese cities filled six spots, a development Mercer put down to the Chinese yuan's strength making the country's mainland more expensive to live in.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

where is this paradise?!!!

i wouldnt call it paradise, but it certainly better living than Toyko/ Osaka, ah the aromas of city living lol

there are literally millions of unused homes in Japan, the most affordable ones tend to be in the rural and semi rural areas. im in a semi rural area in that im around 50minutes commute to Osaka, 40 minutes if I take a my bike, not that i need to go to Osaka everyday. Many Japanese commute longer than that buy train everyday. Even if I had to commute to Osaka everyday id happily do so, the lifestyle in rural Japan craps all over big city living

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I’m in Tokyo and my yearly salary is about 12 million.

my gaijin friend doesnt live in Tokyo, and he makes about that every month, yes legitimate Japanese business pays his taxes . Life is good for him

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

9th place ? I guess the bureaucrats are looking at this, and thinking there's more room for increasing inflation yet more and pushing Tokyo up the list again.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I watch walking and driving videos of Tokyo and i like that city, looks very clean, all the cars are clean and in good condition, and people walking on the street look like very decent. My city is the total oposite, everything dirty, cars dirty , people dirty and looking dumb as dorks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“It is expensive city.

I don't know about you guys but I spent anywhere between 100 000 - 200 000 on foods for two per month. Nothing extravagant but not udon or rice or frozen processed food all the time. Just fresh food and fruits.”

I guess the expense on food and fruits you mentioned is not typical unless you are really picky and buy top, premium, organic produce everyday of the month.

in case some of you here might want to know but a typical newly built standalone home with total living space of 90-100 square meters in Tokyo with average commuting time (door to door) of 45-50minutes and a car park space would set you back around 70 million JPY. We would spend roughly 10-15000 yen on groceries per week. Lunch out for two would be 10000 yen per week. Utility is around 15000 yen a month on low season and 25000 yen per month high season where ac is on 24/7. Average dinner out, nothing fancy would be around 5000 yen each with drinks. It depends on where you dine basically. Live lobster diner can set you back 16-18000 yen for two. Top restaurants can dent 50-60000 yen for two but the sky is the limit and we don’t want to do that. You can have a good fresh beer at a local pub/izakaya for 250 yen but would pay 3-4x the price for the same beer at a premium restaurant or hotel. That’s understandable. Our commuting fee for the time mentioned above would be around 13000 yen a month with unlimited rides on the same train route. Would cost a lot more if you drive but most don’t cause it’s slower and unpredictable. Parking at central office buildings in Tokyo can be had as cheap as 2100 yen per day but most is more expensive than that… around 3000 yen I would say on average. Bike sharing charges you 165 yen for every 30 minute ride. Decent power assist bikes. Taxi is probably more re expensive here than many big global cities I know… a 2km ride or 15-20 min ride can cost you 1500-2000 yen depending on traffic. Bicycle parking is 100 yen for 8 hours is popular… but usually the first two hours are free.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think a salary of at least 500 000 yen per month should do if you live in Tokyo.

Less than that will be just a painful experience.

I think you'll find most people earn under 500k a month and still manage to live pretty comfortably in Tokyo.

The biggest expense is rent. If you want something bigger than a cupboard then it will cost. That's why I don't, have never and have never wanted to live in Tokyo.

I'm perfectly happy on the beaches of Kanagawa. Close to use Tokyo if I want, but far enough away that things are reasonably priced.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have never seen a private home with a pool in Japan. 

its only an above ground pool 8m x 4m but plenty of space for 10 people, easy to clean and drain during winter months, also helps when the last owners had a well installed prior to I buying the home, so the cost of water isnt an issue, cant really get affordable residential land in the city to home a pool this size. my land is around 800m2

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We have friends, but not in Tokyo, who have full-size pools in their homes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm perfectly happy on the beaches of Kanagawa. Close to use Tokyo if I want, but far enough away that things are reasonably priced.

and thats exactly where the best price to location homes are, just on the outskits of the city, too far for the average ,I need convenience, Japanese but not far enough that you cant commute each day if you have too.

My J brother in law just bought a used home last year, in a similar location. 19yr old, 49million new, got it for 19mil, spend a couple mil on refurbishments , got himself a near new home. being a government worker he has access to really cheap loan, around 1% interest, so his monthly repayments are around 55000yen, dont see him having any mortgage stress anytime soon

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@OssanAmerica

I find being surrounded by nature instead of being surrounded by concrete and noxious fumes more rewarding as a lifestyle.

Why pay for more but receive less makes no sense to me.

City people don't appear very happy or friendly either.

kind of desensitized.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Plus rent went up as landowner said there is inflation so the new contract will be higher.

Sounds like an excuse just to rake in more cash. I wonder how many employers have given their employees a higher salary and just said "inflation" as the reason.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@turnandburn

I find most non Japanese cities to be disgusting and overpriced

Thats ridiculous and pathetically pantomathic because its impossible you have lived in most non Japanese cities or that you have lived in most Japanese cities.

There's 814 cities in Japan and being that your not actually an expat or Japanese resident of Japan further contributes to your surrealistic sensational rhetoric.

Foreigners are screaming to get back into to Japan

That's not correct either !

Besides the article is about residents so why cant they come back ?

Why would anyone want to live in China

That has absolutely nothing to do with the article.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Dang! THAT is expensive. No thanks!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can get a nice place to rent for 200,000.

I meant that this rent is expensive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Isn't this a list of the most expensive cities, period? Is it really a list for expats? Not sure the list is really connected to expats.

There are hardly any expats in Tokyo anymore anyway. That secondment deal started to die out around 15 years ago when businesses realised it was more economical to hire on local deals. Local Japanese HR and the large recruitment agencies for international companies in Tokyo are now dominating the recruitment market and are more biased in hiring Japanese who can speak some form of English. International offices have allowed their local administration and HR to direct the market away from non-Japanese hires - probably allowing it to happen because they are too scared of local employment law.

I returned to Tokyo for a break for the first time since Covid broke and I am quite shocked, but not surprised, at how there are hardly any foreigner faces in Tokyo. Covid and the tourism ban have contributed to a vast drain of foreigners in Tokyo. I was out in Asakusa on Sunday and it was packed but with hardly any non-Japanese faces.

So the expat market in Tokyo does not really exist anymore - but isn't the foreigner drain what this ridiculous tourist ban is all about anyway? Isn't it just an excuse to return Japan to the Sakoku edict of Tokugawa? the locals seem quite happy with it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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