Standard of living in Japan has risen considerably after the war. After the fall of the Japanese asset price bubble, a phenomenon known as the Lost Decade came about. This event helped bring down consumer and food goods prices, particularly electronics. However, Tokyo continues to remain one of the most costly cities of the world.
Now a good portion of Japanese employees enjoy advantages such as occupational benefits and job security.
More than 90% people consider themselves as a part of the middle class.
Japanese houses tend to be smaller than homes in other like Industrialised countries wherein geographical location determines the requirement for heating. Japanese metropolitan houses are stacked up close and the price difference with rural areas is substantial. A luxury two bedroom unfurnished apartment in Tokyo ranges about $4847 per month. In a posh Tokyo locality will range to about $9445 per month. One of the world’s most expensive apartments being just one bedroom at that is currently available at an offer price of $21.8 million.
Housing expenses are lower in suburban Tokyo as compared to the expensive central Tokyo. The increased expenses due to commuting to and fro from the outskirts or suburbs are less than the savings in rent. The other cities of Japan are much cheaper in this area as well. The average rage for rent can be expected to range between 50,000 to 75,000 yens. However, for those looking for inexpensive options closer to the city, Gaijin houses are a good option that can be considered.
If one is willing to stick to seasonal Japanese vegetables, rice, soya bean products and sea food, then local supermarkets prove relatively inexpensive. A word of advice for those looking to save the extra buck, visit the markets just before closure in the evenings for huge discounts. A decent meal at a restaurant comprising Noodles (udon, suba and ramen), domburi – say beef domburi, rice, curry, bibimba (Domburi in Korean style) costs about 500 to 1000 yen. There are a good variety of serves available at these reasonably priced eateries which can be found usually in business areas and big train stations. A meal at a slightly more standard eating place would cost 1000 to 3000 yen and something at the upper class ryotei ( an elite restaurant) and like does not have an upper limit. A low cost way out is teishoku or fixed menus offered during lunch hours at 1000 yen. Lunch boxes or bento are another option. A hamburger costs twice of shanghai in Tokyo at $8.29.
Water, gas and in particular electricity is costly. Telephone costs are high and international calls should be preferably made via the internet. Gas costs about 3000 to 4500 yen. Internet for home about 6121 Yen and mobile phone bills per month 7800 Yen.
A cab ride in Tokyo will cost about $14.15 for 3 kms which is one and a half times that of New York.
Commuters may secure passes for unlimited travel at great discounts. Car ownership, thanks to bi annual inspections, automobile tax, parking space fee and mandatory insurance charges is a costly affair.
The inequalities in lifestyle have risen in Japan at an alarming rate and thus the Democratic party of Japan was given a mandate in 2009 so as to bridge the socio economic gap. Irrespective, the cost of living in Japan remains one of the highest