[Basic Knowledge] Cost of living in Tokyo, average and breakdown basis, for your great life in Tokyo

This page is for the people :

  • Who have plan to move to Tokyo
  • Who have interest in life of people in Tokyo
  • Who want to know living cost in Tokyo


I’m really interested in life of foreign culture. I want to move to other country someday.


That’s nice. How about Japan ?


Yes, it’s one of my target. However, I have no idea how much does it cost to live in Japan…


No problem, I would like to introduce living cost in Tokyo, as largest city of Japan.

This page is about

  • Total living cost in Tokyo (without any housemate basis)
  • Cost items to live in Tokyo
  • Break down cost per each item

With reading of this page, you will get above listed knowledges as well as Japanese have. I will be very glad if you could read this article to the end.

Thank you !


SHINTA / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.

Average living cost in Tokyo per month

The average cost to live in Tokyo without any housemates is approximately JPY 142,000 per month. This is average cost and it could be changed with various factors effective on each detailed item. I would like to explain each items and factors which can be make impact, in next paragraph.

ItemsAverage Cost in JPY
House rent76,000
Utility Cost8,700
Communication cost8,400
Food expenses 43,400
Others 5,500

House rent cost in Tokyo

Area (Ward, not station)Market price in JPY
Edogawa, Katsushika65,000
Suginami, Ota77,000
Shibuya, Shinkyuku93,000
Chuo, Taito 100,000
Minato, Chiyoda117,000

The average cost is 76,000 per month. It’s really changeable, with factors, like location, built years, square meters, floor height, security systems, etc. And in general, there’s no equipment in apartment for rent. If you need to have rent with equipment, like TV, refrigerator, wash machines etc, you have ask brokers to find living place with your request.

The most important factor is location. House rent cost is quite different in each area. Here is a brief comparison of market price in each areas, for room with kitchen, bathroom, and toilet.

Utility cost in Tokyo

ItemCost in JPYSupplier
Electricity 4,500TEPCO
Gas2,500Tokyo Gas
Water1,700Local government

Utility cost in Tokyo consists of expenses of electricity, Gas, water and sewer services. In most of cases, these utility costs are NOT included in house rent cost. If you want to find house including utility cost, you need to tell it to broker.

In Tokyo, Electricity is supplied by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power), and water is by local government. As for gas, in most of cases, it’s supplied by Tokyo gas, as piped gas. However, in some case, Propane gas is used, which is quite higher than piped gas. So I would recommend you to check type of gas in advance.

Communication cost in Tokyo

Communication cost is essential to live in society in 21st century. This cost is mainly for cost of mobile phone. Cost depends on provider of mobile phones. Currently, three mega providers, NTT docomo, SoftBank, au have large market share. And other providers, and MVNO also provide mobile phone network.

Currently, as per the request by the government, three mega providers have plan to decrease fee of data communication through mobile phone network. It is expected that the amount of this item will be decreased in near future.

  • Mobile phone fee : JPY 8,000 in mega providers
  • Mobile phone fee : JPY 3,000 in MVNO providers
  • Fixed internet line : JPY 2,500 – 5000 (in some case, included in rent fee)

Food expenses in Tokyo

Food expenses is approximately 30% of living cost in Tokyo. The amount can be easily changed. It depends on what kind of life you will have in Tokyo. The cost of eating out is less than other developed countries. However, if you eat out everyday, the cost can be higher than the average.

Just for your easier understanding of prices about food relevant cost. I would like to describe the list of food, which we can get all over the world.

  • Big Mac : JPY 390
  • Big Mac meal : JPY 690 (with French Fries, Drink)
  • Starbucks coffee: JPY 290 (Drip coffee, short)
  • Starbucks Caramel Macchiato: JPY 390 (short)
  • Coca Cola 500 ml plastic bottle: JPY 140
  • Kellogg corn frosties 240g : JPY 300

Other costs

Needless to say, there some costs other than above listed, transportation, to study something, clothes, hotels in travel to other areas, etc. You might have better to make some buffer in your plan, for this item.


Now you got knowledge about average cost per month to live in Tokyo. I hope Tokyo will be your strong option of city where you will start new life.

In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

Average living cost in Tokyo

  • Total cost : JPY 142,000
  • Rent cost : JPY 76,000
  • Food expenses : JPY 43,400
  • Utility cost : JPY 8,700
  • Communication cost : JPY 8,400
  • Others : JPY 5,500

** per month, without any housemate **

Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !


Tokyo is waiting for you !