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Cost of living in Tokyo?

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Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby probablynot » Wed 02.23.2011 1:29 pm

Hi all!

I've recently won a scholarship to the University of Tokyo. The scholarship comes with a bursary.
After rent and utilities/internet, I have 70,000 yen per month for living expenses (food, underground subway, leisure).

I've been told this isn't really enough. How much does it cost to feed yourself in Tokyo?
Just a couple of notes:

1) I'm very frugal with my food, from using fresh vegetables and home cooking: it only costs me £25 a week to feed myself in England.
2) I don't drink much alcohol or go clubbing or have a massive shopping addiction!

:) Personal experiences would be fantastic!! What do you suggest I budget?
Thank you for all replies :)
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby NileCat » Wed 02.23.2011 3:19 pm

Sounds great! Congratulations!
Groceries such as vegetables and fruits are expensive compared to the ones in London. Beef costs at least twice although pork and fillets of chicken are not that expensive. So the cost would depend on how much you can change your dietary habit, I guess. Also, eating out would cost high especially when you decided to taste the “authentic” traditional Japanese cuisine in the exclusive restaurants. (Be careful! Some of them wouldn't look exclusive to your eyes!) But you’d be able to find many cozy restaurants near by the university. The average price is not that different from the one in Soho, even cheaper than that in…Covent Garden, for instance.
The most annoyingly expensive things would be the tickets to museums or galleries. I think that one of the greatest things in your country is that it’s free to enter the National Gallery. :bow:
What else? Books and magazines are expensive. Use thrift shops such as Bookoff. Clothing? Versa…no! There are quite a few reasonable shops here such as Uniqlo or Shimamura. Shoes? Go to ABC-Mart. PC parts? Go to Akihabara and look for the best price in the deep end of the narrow alleys. They are much cheaper than in your country. Sundries? Don-Xuixote or many 100yen-shops like Daiso are the one. Oh, and NEVER order a pizza delivery!
What else?
:)
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby probablynot » Wed 02.23.2011 3:59 pm

NileCat wrote:Groceries such as vegetables and fruits are expensive compared to the ones in London. Beef costs at least twice although pork and fillets of chicken are not that expensive. So the cost would depend on how much you can change your dietary habit, I guess. Also, eating out would cost high especially when you decided to taste the “authentic” traditional Japanese cuisine in the exclusive restaurants. (Be careful! Some of them wouldn't look exclusive to your eyes!) But you’d be able to find many cozy restaurants near by the university. The average price is not that different from the one in Soho, even cheaper than that in…Covent Garden, for instance.

The most annoyingly expensive things would be the tickets to museums or galleries. I think that one of the greatest things in your country is that it’s free to enter the National Gallery. :bow:

What else? Books and magazines are expensive. Use thrift shops such as Bookoff. Clothing? Versa…no! There are quite a few reasonable shops here such as Uniqlo or Shimamura. Shoes? Go to ABC-Mart. PC parts? Go to Akihabara and look for the best price in the deep end of the narrow alleys. They are much cheaper than in your country. Sundries? Don-Xuixote or many 100yen-shops are the one. Oh, and NEVER order a pizza delivery!
What else?
:)


Thank you so much for responding!! I will have to look around for the best deals! I'm just initially worried that I would not be able to go because I didn't have enough money!

On the university's website, it says the average monthly amount spent by an international student is:

¥25,000 Food
¥3,000 Medical insurance
¥9,000 Hobby and entertainment
¥9,000 Study materials and extracurricular Clubs
¥12,000 Misc.

Do these figures sound right?

(Also, I love the National Gallery too! Sometimes I spend hours and hours in London's Museums! :D .....especially the Tate Modern!)
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby NileCat » Wed 02.23.2011 4:24 pm

That sounds valid to me.
However, it’s always possible that you are to find some special interests. One of my friends who was an art student spent a lot of money purchasing big books of Ukiyoe. And, the most costly thing in the world would be the creatures called girlfriends. In that sense, “hobby and entertainment” would be the one that has the widest range. (And JFYI, you can't get weed here although cigarettes are much cheaper than in England.)
Anyway, feel free to ask any question about living in Tokyo. I personally think the cost except for the accommodation is not that different from living in London, though.
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby spin13 » Wed 02.23.2011 9:46 pm

NileCat wrote:In that sense, “hobby and entertainment” would be the one that has the widest range.

I agree. Things add up really quickly and it's easy to spend more than you planned. Alcohol is quite expensive and even if you don't drink a lot, you'll have to be careful with large gatherings where, if there's some sort of set course or the bill just gets split evenly (割り勘), you just might end up paying for somebody else's drinks. Things like karaoke add up too.

Another cost to consider is transportation. Inside the city you might be able to benefit from a 定期券 but it can be expensive to get out of the city. With just a little budgeting places like Nikko and Kamakura are easy enough but a round-trip shinkansen ticket to Kyoto costs around ¥26,000. If you have the time, look into using buses for intercity travel.

NileCat wrote:And, the most costly thing in the world would be the creatures called girlfriends.

From the comment about shopping, I get the impression probablynot is a girl, but for both sexes dates can definitely get expensive. Just like at gatherings, 割り勘 is fairly common when dating too.

NileCat wrote:And JFYI, you can't get weed here

Really? Besides "adult entertainment" what do you think the yakuza do?
You're probably not as smart as you think.
Unskilled and Unaware
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby NileCat » Thu 02.24.2011 1:54 am

spin13 wrote:Really? Besides "adult entertainment" what do you think the yakuza do?

I meant “you can’t like you do there”. And I know that some foreigners’ communities are good customers for them.


EDIT:
Ah, sorry, spin13! I didn’t realize you’re living in Japan!
Please don’t take that personal. I’m a pro-legalizer. I just hate the dirty pool of the Yakuza-related people. :)
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby Eldy_エルデイ » Wed 08.03.2011 7:42 am

hi probablynot!

it seems like we gonna meet each other soon,
i also going to study in Toudai start this October on AIKOM exchange program

well, we've the same concern on our limitedness of Jasso scholarship.

yesterday i emailed AIKOM to asked about airfare and visa reimbusement, and the reply shocked me enough. they said that Jasso will not cover airfare nor visa. this makes me overworied about my living cost in Japan since i have to return the loan money for airfare and visa. do you have any info about that?

thanks :)
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby ZukoT » Tue 09.06.2011 5:47 pm

If you search on the Internet for most expensive cities in the world, Tokyo is usually number one or in the top three. But the expensive part about living in Tokyo is what is already covered for you and that is rent. Food and drinks and movie tickets and other things are expensive but not outrageous or shocking. I think you should be good with that stipend.
Zuko - Did anyone use http://www.northamerican.com/ to move to Japan?
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby toraneko » Sat 09.08.2012 4:33 pm

There are 2 good sites with info on prices. You might look at

http://web.archive.org/web/201102071220 ... guide.com/

http://www.tokyoprices.com
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Re: Cost of living in Tokyo?

Postby girlyC » Wed 09.12.2012 4:25 am

Thanks for asking. I must say it all depends on where you live. In the suburbs or outskirts of Tokyo the rent is less and stores are cheaper.
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