Cost of Living In Japan for Singaporeans

The Cost of Living in Japan

In my previous post, I have shared about the Taxes in Japan. This post, I will share with everyone my thought on the cost of living in Japan and my own consideration.

To be honest, this is probably my greatest concern in our relocation to Japan. To start with, I already have a job ready in Japan so the income is taken care of. However, till date, my wife’s company does not have any position available in Japan that does not require Japanese speaking pre-requisite.

Although we have been taking Japanese language lessons, but we are likely at the level of N5 (lowest Japanese language level). Most Japanese language speaking pre-requisite require a minimum of N2 certification.

So I have to assume the worst case scenario where I will be the only sole bread winner. With some calculation referencing from few websites, I tabulated the table below:

Description Cost (SGD)
Pension  $763.11
Prefecture and Town Tax  $834.00
National Health Insurance  $486.00
Japan Rental  $2,000.00
Daily Expensese (Transport, food, necessities)  $2,260.00
CPF  $1,680.10
SG Insurance  $404.20
SG Mobile Phone Subscription  $180.00
SG Conservancy Charges  $99.50
Utilities  $150.00
Internet  $46.64
TV  $61.92
Compassion  $52.00
Nursing home  $1,200.00
Japan Income Tax  $1,668.00
Total:  $11,885.47
There are many cheaper shopping options in Japan, even though their cost of living is high. (Photo from

Reality Check – How Can I Support The Above Expenditure?

After breaking down all the expenditure, I concluded that I will need to negotiate my pay package properly next year. My initial intention to get paid in SG dollars by my SG office is going out of the window.

First, the currency exchange rate is around $1.3 SGD = 100 yen. That means if I continued in SGD, my salary will be 30% lower when I am in Japan. On top of that, the living standards in Japan is higher than Singapore. So we are looking at a 50% drop in my income if I remain paid in SGD.

Taking again the worst case scenario where I am unable to rent out our house in Singapore, the amount of salary I need to negotiate for will be around $14,500 SGD.

Japan Izakaya in Hirayama – Izakaya is a cheaper and tasty option for Japan food. (Photo by Satoshi San,

My Dependance on God for Provision.

To be honest, I was stressed after breaking down the cost of living in detail, considering the worst case scenario. But that is good, because I know I have to trust God for His provision in this journey. There is no way I can do it on my own. If you are reading this post, please agree with me in prayer that:

  • I am able to negotiate a very good pay package.
  • We are able to find good tenant to rent out the whole house.
  • We can find a cheap and good house while we are in Japan.
  • My wife will be able to find a good job opportunity that allows her to work in Japan, before we relocate.

If you have stumbled upon my post and have any advice or questions to ask, feel free to leave me a comments!

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