Housing and Living

Apartments and Rent

Prior to arriving in Japan, an apartment is arranged on your behalf as close as possible to where you will be working. The apartments are intended to accommodate one person. Interac will assist in the connection of utilities and associated services.

The monthly rent and utility expenses are covered in full by you. You can expect to pay in the area of 50,000 (rural) to 80,000 (urban) yen per calendar month in rent. Utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, are usually around 10,000 yen per calendar month

Like all Japanese housing, the size and design could be smaller than you are used to. The apartments usually range in size from 9 to 15 square meters (100 to 200 square feet) and include a bathroom and small kitchen. Some apartments also include a balcony. In most cases, apartments organized by Interac will have basic furnishings, which include a refrigerator, laundry machine, television, table and chairs, and a bed.

Depending on the location, the apartment may be in a multi-level building and include parking. If the building is less than four floors, it is unlikely to have an elevator.

spirit-banner-neighbors


Initial Apartment Costs

In line with general tenancy procedures in Japan, the costs that need to be met before being given the key can be significant. You can expect to have to pay around 200,000 yen on arrival. The following table shows an example of the breakdown of this cost.

(Rates as at August 2014)
JPY USD GBP EUR CAD AUD NZD JMD PHP ZAR
Agency fee ¥55,545 $535 £323 €403 $586 $574 $636 $60,243 P23,450 R5,722
Insurance  ¥20,000  $193 £116 
145 
$211 
$207 
$229 
$21,692 
P8,444 
R2,060
Lock fee
¥3,150  $30 £18 23 $33 $33  $36  $3,416  P1,330  R325
Data fee  ¥2,100  $20 £12  15  $22  $22 $24  $2,278  P887  R216
Month 1 (e.g., March 30 and 31)
                   
Rent  ¥3,500 $34 
£20 
25 
$37 
$36 
$40 
$3,796 
P1,478 
R361 
Maintenance ¥30  30c  20p  23c  32c  32c  39c  $31  P13  R3
Parking  ¥480  $5 £3 4 $5
 $5  $5  $521  P203  R49
Month 2 (e.g., April)                    
Rent ¥54,500  $525 £317 
€395  $575 $563 
 $624  $59,110  P23,009  R5,614
Maintenance ¥520  $5
£3 4  $5  $5  $6  $564  P220  R54
Parking ¥3,780  $36 £22 27  $40  $39  $43  $4,100  P1,596  R389
Month 3 (e.g., May)                    
Rent  ¥54,500  $525 £317 €395  $575  $563  $624  $59,110  P23,009  R5,614
Maintenance  ¥520  $5 £3 4  $5  $5  $6  $564  P220  R54
Parking  ¥3,780  $36 £22 27  $40  $39  $43  $4,100  P1,596  R389
Total initial cost ¥202,405  $1,951 £1,176 €1,468  $2,135  $2,092  $2,318  $219,524  P85,451  R20,851

Please note that the above amounts and cost breakdown are an example only. Actual amounts can vary depending on location. All costs associated with the apartment need to be paid in Japanese Yen and in cash.


Internet Connection

In some cases, an internet connection is included in the monthly rent fee. If it is not, you can expect to pay around 5,000 yen per calendar month for a high-speed ADSL line. An alternative, if you are living in a metropolitan area, is to obtain a "pocket wi-fi" device for around 4,000 yen per calendar month on a two-year contract. LTE/4G is normal on the Japanese mobile phone networks.


Mobile Phones

It is a contractual requirement for you to be contactable by phone while employed by Interac, so it is best to have a mobile phone. Japan has some of the most advanced mobile phone technology in the world as well as very competitive pricing plans. There are three main mobile phone carriers in Japan: NTT DOCOMO, SoftBank Mobile, and au by KDDI. Traditionally SoftBank Mobile has the most English support, followed by au by KDDI in select areas of Japan.

Interac will provide you with guidance on how to obtain a mobile phone after you have arrived in Japan. Phones brought from outside Japan are not compatible with Japanese mobile phone networks. As an example, to purchase an iPhone® on a two-year contract with an unlimited data plan, the price starts from as little as 6,000 yen per calendar month plus certain call charges. iPhone's are available from any of the three major carriers.

We recommend that you don’t worry too much about mobile phones prior to arriving as the best way to understand and decide which phone and handset is right for you is to visit a mobile phone retail outlet in person. We strongly recommend that you do not commit to any mobile phone contracts prior to arriving, even if they are advertised specifically for newly arriving English teachers.


Sending Money Home

We know many ALTs often continue to have financial commitments in their home country while they are in Japan. It is reasonably simple to transfer money out of Japan once you have registered with a service provider or bank. One such service that is popular amongst the foreign community in Japan is the GoRemit Shinsei Overseas Remittance Service offered by Shinsei Bank.


Examples of Monthly Budgets

Here are two examples of a typical monthly budget of an Interac ALT. These examples are provided as a guide only.

In the first, the ALT has been working for Interac for four months, lives in a rural town in Hokkaido, and leases a car.

(Rates as at August 2014)
JPY USD GBP EUR CAD AUD NZD JMD PHP ZAR
Base salary ¥230,000 $2,217 £1,336 €1,668 $2,426 $2,377 $2,634 $249,453 P97,100 R23,694
Car allowance  ¥20,000  $193 £116 
145 
$211 
$207 
$229 
$21,692 
P8,444 
R2,060
Gross salary
¥250,000  $2,409 £1,452 €1,813 $2,637 $2,584  $2,863  $271,145  P105,544  R25,754
Income tax
 ¥13,000  $125 £76  94  $137  $134 $149  $14,100  P5,488  R1,339
City tax  ¥3,000  $29  £17  22  $32  $31  $34  $3,254  P1,276  R309
Car lease  ¥20,000 $193
£116
€145
$211
$207
$229
$21,692
P8,444
R2,060
Health insurance ¥5,000  $48  £29  36  $53  $52  $57  $5,423  P2,111  R515
Rent and utilities  ¥58,000  $559 £337 421 $612
 $600  $664  $62,906  P24,486  R5,975
Food
 ¥30,000  $289 £174  €218  $316  $310  $344  $32,537  P12,665  R3,091
Mobile phone ¥4,000  $39 £23
€29  $42 $41
 $46  $4,338  P1,689  R412
Net ¥127,000  $1,128
£680 €849  $1,234  $1,209  $1,340  $126,896  P49,395  R12,053

In the second, the ALT has been working for a year and a half in Osaka and does not need to drive.

(Rates as at August 2014)
JPY USD GBP EUR CAD AUD NZD JMD PHP ZAR
Base salary ¥230,000 $2,217 £1,336 €1,668 $2,426 $2,377 $2,634 $249,453 P97,100 R23,694
Gross salary
¥230,000  $2,217 £1,336 €1,668 $2,426 $2,377  $2,634  $249,453  P97,100  R23,694
Income tax
 ¥12,000  $116 £70  €87  $127  $124 $137  $13,015  P5,066  R1,236
City tax  ¥19,000  $183  £110 €138  $200  $196  $218  $20,607  P8,021  R1,957
Health insurance ¥11,000  $106  £64  €80  $116  $114  $126  $11,930  P4,644  R1,133
Rent and utilities  ¥72,000  $694 £418 522 $759
 $744  $824  $78,090  P30,397  R7,417
Food
 ¥30,000  $289  £174  €218  $316  $310  $344  $32,537  P12,665  R3,091
Mobile phone ¥4,000  $39 £23
€29  $42 $41
 $46  $4,338  P1,689  R412
Net ¥82,000  $790
£476 €595  $865  $848  $939  $88,936  P34,618  R8,447



Examples of How Much Daily Items Cost

Here are some examples of the costs for various everyday items in Japan.

tile-milk
1 liter of milk
¥180
tile-bottle-water
600 ml bottled water
¥100
tile-coffee
Take-out coffee
¥200 - ¥500
tile-beer
Glass of beer
¥500 - ¥600
tile-hamburger
Hamburger
¥300 - ¥400
tile-bananas
Bunch of bananas
¥100 - ¥200
tile-hamburglunch
Hamburg lunch
¥800
tile-bento
Bento (lunch box)
¥500
tile-sandwich
Boxed sandwich
¥280
tile-gym
Gym membership
¥8,000 per month
tile-haircut
Basic haircut
¥2,000 - ¥4,000
tile-jeans
Jeans
¥5,000
tile-mens-shoes
Business shoes
¥7,000
tile-running-shoes
Sports shoes
¥7,000
tile-womens-heels
Heels
¥4,000 - ¥6,000
tile-tshirt
T-shirt
¥2,000
tile-cinema
Cinema ticket
¥1,200 - ¥2,000
tile-hotel
1 night hotel stay
¥5,000 - ¥8,000
tile-gasoline
1 liter of gasoline
¥165
tile-smartphone
Smartphone
¥6,000 per month
tile-razor
Men's razor
¥1,000
tile-otc-lozenges
Throat lozenges
¥500
tile-shampoo
Shampoo
¥300 to ¥600
tile-womens-sanitary
Feminine hygiene
¥1,000