Shawna asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 8 years ago

How can I live for 1 month in Japan on $2000?

Hi everyone, I'm moving to Japan this November to teach and have been struggling to save up enough money. We don't get paid for one month, and the company recommends that I arrive in Japan with 200,000 yen ($2600 approx) to live on initially. But so far it looks like all I'll be able to save up is around $2000. I do not have to pay key money or a deposit on the apartment (100sq ft), just the first month's rent of about $500. I have to set up the utilities and am responsible for my own food/drink for the whole month. I will live within walking distance to work, so I won't have to pay for bus fare or the train. The company gives us $200 for a small "start-up" budget, so in essence I will have $2,200 when I land (168,700 yen approx). If I kept a very tight budget and only spent money on:

- food

- rent ($500)

- setting up gas/water/electric

- setting up internet OR a landline phone (instead of a cell, I was going to skype my family)

- international phone cards (to phone home once a week in case I can't afford internet)

Could I conceivably do this? Would I ever be able to eat out with coworkers or friends? What other money-saving techniques can I use? Oh! And I will be living in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Thanks!


-Borrowing from friends/family is not possible, I asked everyone I know (60+ people) when I graduated college and I got a total of $150. My parents have no money at all. My credit is horrible (can't get a credit card). The only money I have now comes from my job at Panera.

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's possible but very tight. You can squeeze by with 30,000 yen for food if you are very frugal (buying fruits and vegetables from cheaper street vendors, buying bread at a discount near its expiration date, and so on) - you don't have to eat just rice every day - that's total nonsense.

    But is your place already furnished? Does it have a bed or do you need to buy a futon? Getting stuff for it can be very high - look for some other foreigner's sayonara sale to pick up some things cheap - including the telephone subscription account, which otherwise will cost you almost 40,000 yen. There are over 8500 foreigners in Shizuoka City, but many don't stand out like you will.

    Get some basic info on your upcoming home like a city made video at



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  • Paulh
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Setting up a landline you actually have to buy the phone line and that can be as much as 50,000 yen. If you go to an Internet cafe you can do all the Skyping you want for a few dollars. Buying a mobile phone is expensive also, You may need to pay a deposit. Try getting a prepaid phone for the first month.

    You will probably not be charged for utilities until 6-8 weeks after you arrive by which time you should have received your first pay check.

    You can live cheaply and frugally the first month (convenience store food though cheap is not that nutritious but you wont starve).

    You can live on cheap ramen and onigiri. Avoid going out in the first month/

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  • 8 years ago

    It will be extremely tough in a country like Japan. If you are used to eating small portions and not spending on the essentials then it might be possible but i wouldn't push it. Can't you borrow money from family, relative or close friend to make up the difference?

    Source(s): Sorry to hear. Japanese banks won't loan money to you as you are not a permanent resident. As a last resort, try asking the company for a one month salary advance (works in some jobs) and see what they say. All the best
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  • 3 years ago

    that's not criminal to artwork and not utilising a artwork visa. What you prefer to do in simple terms isn't sensible. except you prefer to instruct for unfastened. Many intense college childrens prefer to dangle out in the parks on the week ends. Many love the prospect to prepare their English with a gaijin.

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  • 8 years ago

    >What other money-saving techniques can I use?

    Just keep eating "rice only" in the 1st month. That's what poor people in Japan are doing.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    bye going on a diet of minute rice ever day

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