Cost of Living in Tokyo 2019

No doubt the cost of living in Tokyo is one of the highest in the world. It even ranks as #1 in Asia for Highest Cost of Living Index (2019) according to this site.

Here is an estimated breakdown of my current expenses so you’ll get the feel of how much you are expected to prepare every month. I live alone but I have friends who visit and stay sometimes.

A) Monthly Rent and UtilitiesCost in Yen
Apartment Rent
2DK layout; 35sqm
Electricity (in winter time)5,000
Gas (in winter time)3,000
Mobile Phone
Sim Only Contract
Home Internet
FLET’S Hikari fiber; 1Gbps
Total per month108,200
B) Meal Expenses (Work days)Cost in Yen
Total in 21 days44,100
C) Meal Expenses (Non Working days)Cost in Yen
Total in 9 days14,400

Total Monthly Expenses = A + B + C.

= A) 108,200 + B) 44,100 + C) 14,400
= 166,700 yen (or ~80,000 pesos) per month

Remember the estimate above doesn’t include recreational expenses like travel, dining and drinking out with friends, and buying furnitures and other stuff.

Note: In Japan, drinking parties with colleagues could happen a lot more often than you expect. You can refuse to join but joining helps to “build” team spirit.

Living in Tokyo

I’ve been living in Tokyo (in Suginami and Setagaya) for about 4 years now (and another 2 years in Yokohama). It definitely costs a lot more to live here in Tokyo specially when you compare it to living in Metro Manila. Before I moved here in Japan (Mid 2013), I remember I could live with a monthly budget of 30,000 pesos.

I live in a residential area of Tokyo but I work in Central Tokyo (Nihonbashi). Lunch in Central Tokyo on work days are expensive but I work as a Senior Software Engineer on a great international company so it’s not really a concern for me right now. That’s also a reason I have some leeway on the size of my apartment even though I live alone.

My apartment is 2DK which means I have 2 bedrooms, a dining+kitchen (DK) room, and a separate area for bathroom and laundry. It is 7 minutes from the nearest station.

Reducing the estimate above is very possible. For example, instead of renting a 2DK apartment, you can also rent a smaller studio type one (e.g.1K or 1R) which costs from 50,000 yen to 70,000 yen. Even cheaper if you are willing to walk more from the station. You can also go for a sharehouse which is also cheaper than having your own apartment. A sharehouse is like dormitory. You rent your private bedroom but the living is shared. You may or may not have your own private bathroom.

You can also cut expenses by preparing and cooking your own food. Buy ingredients in supermarkets and prepare your lunch and dinner ahead of time. I’m not sure how much you will save from this but I guess it will be about 20-30% on your food expenses.

Living in Tokyo is financially hard specially for us Filipinos since most of the time we have families who we need to support back in the Philippines. I’m single but I send money to my parents every month.

There you go. You now have an idea on how expensive living in Tokyo is. If you have questions, feel free to comment or send me a message.

Snowboarding in Japan

We, Filipinos, don’t experience snow and winter in the Philippines. This is the main reason many of my foreigner friends here in Japan would usually be surprise when I tell them I love snowboarding.

I live in Tokyo for about 6 years now and every winter season, I find time to go to ski resorts on weekends. I will usually go on weekend snowboarding together with friends or former colleagues.

We book group ski/snowboard packages online which come with the following inclusions:
Round trip bus ride from Tokyo / Yokohama to the ski resort
– 2-Day Ski Lift Pass/Ticket
Rental gears (jacket, pants, ski or snowboard, and boots)
– Overnight stay on a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn; with dinner and breakfast)

Some of our usual snowboarding destinations are:
Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture
Zao in Yamagata
Naeba in Niigata
Myoko in Niigata

We’ll be organizing some group snowboarding trips this February and March. We’re not sure where to go yet but I know we will enjoy the snow again.

Feel free to comment or send messages.

Japan Holidays: 10-Day Golden Week 2019 and New Emperor’s Coronation Day

Yup, you read that right.

Starting April 27 (Sat) until May 6 (Mon) 2019, there will be a rare 10-Day non working holiday because of the annual Golden Week celebration and because of the new emperor’s accession to the throne.

This will be the first time in about 200 years that a living Japanese emperor will step down from the throne.

April 27 – regular Saturday
April 28 – regular Sunday
April 29 – Showa Day (Monday; original Golden Week day)
April 30 – Abdication ceremony of the current emperor (Tuesday)
May 1 – Accession of new emperor (Wednesday)
May 2 – Public Holiday (Thursday)
May 3 – Constitution Memorial Day (Friday; original Golden Week day)
May 4 – Greenery Day (Saturday; original Golden Week day)
May 5 – Children’s Day (Sunday; original Golden Week day)
May 6 – Children’s Day (observed) (Monday; original Golden Week day)

This 10-day holiday will definitely be a very busy week for all of us. As of writing, available flights from Tokyo and hotel accommodations are starting to run out of available slots.


  • The last enthronement ceremony was held in November 12, 1990 for the current emperor, Emperor Akihito.
  • After modern Japanese emperors die, their names are changed to reflect the era in which they ruled. Emperor Akihito will be renamed Heisei (meaning “peace everywhere”).
  • The emperor’s birthday is a national holiday in Japan. December 23 is the current Emperor’s Birthday (Akihito). The next emperor’s birthday is February 23 (Naruhito).
  • Naruhito will become Japan’s first emperor who was born after World War II.
  • Akishino, the younger son of current Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, will be the first in line to the throne after Naruhito’s coronation.
  • In 1817, Emperor Kōkaku was the last emperor to abdicate his throne.

UPDATE: The Abdication Ceremony of the current emperor and the start of the Japanese Reiwa Era will happen this Golden Week but the actual Enthronement Ceremony will happen on October 22, 2019.

Related Post:
Japan: New Era and October 2019 Enthronement Ceremony