Cost of Living
Living expenses will vary depending on each student's individual lifestyle, but the following is a list of estimated expenses for the average student.
|Item||Approximate Monthly Cost|
|Rent||30,000 - 60,000 yen|
|Basic Food||30,000 - 50,000 yen|
|National Health Insurance||2,000 yen|
|Mobile Phone||4,000 yen|
|Local Transportation||12,000 yen|
|Leisure Activities||25,000 yen|
|Total||117,000 - 167,000 yen|
Rent costs will vary widely depending on the type of accommodation and its proximity to campus. Generally, newer apartments close to campus tend to be much more expensive than older apartments that may require a commute by bicycle or bus.
- Water and Sewer Services
Depending on your accommodation, water and sewer bills may come separately, be combined into one bill, or be included in the monthly apartment maintenance fee.
Most apartments in Japan use natural gas to power the hot water heater and cooking stove. Charges are calculated monthly and statements placed in your mailbox. Payments can be arranged to be carried out by automatic bank transfer, paid monthly at a convenience store, or in some cases linked to major credit cards.
Electricity bills vary widely depending on usage. If you are frugal, limit the use of heating and air conditioning, and turn off lights and appliances before leaving your room, the bill can be fairly reasonable. However, using your heating and air conditioning 24 hours a day or forgetting to turn off your lights can quickly result in a very large electricity bill. Bills are calculated monthly and statements placed in your mailbox. Payments can be arranged to be carried out by automatic bank transfer, paid monthly at a convenience store, or in some cases linked to major credit cards.
High-speed internet connections can be set up at most apartments throughout Japan. Major providers include Yahoo!BB and NTT Flets, and monthly fees are approximately 4,000 yen.
- Basic Food
On-campus cafeterias provide a wide range of affordable meal options, and numerous grocery stores and markets in the local area make self-catering easy. In addition, various restaurants located near campus cater to students and offer a wide variety of menu options at very affordable prices.
- National Health Insurance
All students residing in Japan for more than 90 days are required to join the National Health Insurance system. This insurance covers 70% of incurred medical fees. To provide assistance with this payment, the Kyoto City International Foundation reimburses a portion of the National Health Insurance cost to international students living in Kyoto City.
- Mobile Phone
Many students decide to purchase a mobile phone while in Japan. Major carriers include au (KDDI), SoftBank, and NTT Docomo. Prices can vary widely depending on both the type of phone and the service plan. Please note that depending on the length of your visa, you may be ineligible for certain service plans.
- Local Transportation
Bicycle is by far the most popular mode of transportation for students. Used bicycles can be purchased starting at around 5,000 yen. Students who commute by train or bus may qualify to receive a student discount on a commuter pass.
Costs Associated with Renting an Apartment
Initial costs required when renting an apartment in Japan can be very expensive. Additionally, most apartments do not come equipped with basic furnishings such as a refrigerator, cooking stove, lights, or furniture. Please be prepared to pay the following expenses when signing your rental contract.
|First Month’s Rent||1 month’s rent||No|
|Deposit (shikikin)||1 - 3 month’s rent||Partially, depending on the condition of your room when moving out|
|Key Money (reikin)||1 - 3 month’s rent||No|
|Real Estate Agent’s Fee||0.5 - 1 month’s rent||No|
|Fire Insurance (2 years)||Approx 15,000 yen||No|
|Total due upon moving in||3.5 - 8 month’s rent + fire insurance|