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Nakameguro in Tokyo

Living in Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 15, 2023

Summary: People often describe life in Japan as exciting, vibrant, and full of opportunity. Expats love the culture, the food, the people, and the convenience of living in Japan. The average cost of living for an expat is estimated to be around $2,000 to $3,000 per month, depending on the city and lifestyle. The population of Japan is approximately 126 million people, and the largest cities are Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo. The cons of living in Japan include the language barrier, the high cost of living, and the lack of diversity. Additionally, the Japanese work culture can be quite demanding, and the cost of living can be quite high.

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What do I need to know about living in Japan?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Japan, they said:

"Expats should research the cost of living in Japan before retiring there, as it is generally more expensive than other countries. It is also important to understand the language and culture of Japan, as this will help to make the transition smoother. Additionally, expats should be aware of the visa requirements for retirement in Japan, as these can vary depending on the individual's circumstances. Finally, expats should research the healthcare system in Japan, as this will be important for their long-term health and wellbeing," remarked one expat living in Japan.

"If you are retired military you will have an easier time especially if you speak the language. Be prepared to spend quite a bundle to set up your home. Rental deposit, utility deposit, agent's fee, and other miscellaneous charges will total at least $1000 and as much as $3500 to get you in your new home. There is only one free English Channel, AFN, and satellite television access will cost another $50-$90/monthly," wrote one member in Okinawa.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Nakameguro in Tokyo

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