watercolorgriever said: How expensive is it for you to live over in Japan? I've had numerous people tell me different things, but I'm curious as to how it is for you. A few friends and I would like to visit, and I'm actually thinking about staying there.
People ARE going to tell you different things because it IS different for everyone. Generally, Japan is viewed expensive but I find that is rather relative. I grew up in a very cheap country, my mother earns about 40,000 yen a month, and that is about average there. I have lived in a couple countries and while some things are really cheap in Japan, some things are much more expensive in comparison.
First of all, I think you should consider how you would stay here. Coming here and staying might not be that easy, and the cost of living very much depends on your circumstances. I’d say about 90% of the international students/researchers here are on a scholarship which is usually enough to cover life expenses. If you want to work, that’s a different story, because most likely you’d need a job waiting for you even before you can get a visa (but then you’ll get help with relocating and all that stuff, and your salary should be enough to cover all of this).
I live in a very old but cheap student apartment paying 18,000 yen per month for it (it’s without bills but I know that it IS very cheap compared to what my friends pay. It’s a 18sqm apartment which is a common and good size for a single person. The same apartment otherwise is at 35,000 yen and up depending on the location). I spend about 15,000 yen on food and things a month - I find most fruits and vegetables very expensive while fish is generally very cheap. Mind you, I live in a small city just outside of Tokyo, I noticed supermarket prices were slightly higher in both Kyoto and Tokyo (and apartment prices in Tokyo can be just insane). A night out or getting around in and between the cities can be a bit steep and that’s extra on top of these.
Once you know your way around here, you know better how to save money (something you probably wouldn’t do as a tourist) and what is worth it in your area. But in the end, there is no good answer to this question, because it really depends on your situation.