Living expense in Japan: 5 fundamentals you should do to save

Unfortunately, expenses for infrastructure are comparatively high in Japan. Transportation, water, electricity, communication, or rent against its size. Here, I’m going to share basic 5 (+ 1 additional) fundamental solutions to reduce such expenses that you can try right away.


Implement 3S philosophy in your room

You might be unfamiliar with the term 3S. This word is the fundamental philosophy of the Japanese manufacturing industry. In short,

  • Seiri – Sorting, distinguish what you need or not and dispose of them
  • Seiton – Tyding, arrange things so that you can find them easily
  • Seisou – Cleaning, Keep and maintain the condition sorted and well-arranged in your room

This thought prevents you from buying what you don’t need or things you’ve already had. Furthermore, the most critical thing the thought brings us is to maintain the stocks or stuff reasonably.

Buy train tickets from ticket resellers

I suppose you usually bring your Suica when you get a train. It’s a meaningful solution to achieve both convenience and saving transportation costs. But if you have some time, try searching ticket resellers around the station. At ticket resellers, usually offer 5 – 10 percent discount tickets from official prices. And sometimes as limited offers, you may find additional discounts.

Use water-saving showerhead

Many drops make a shower. Many drops from the shower waste money. In the usual case, you can save around 1,000 Yen/month by only exchanging the showerhead to water-saving type one, without any lack of usability. In the past, such showerheads were not comfortable due to low shower momentum. But now it’s improved.

Change cell phone plan to cheaper one

From 2021, the big three carriers introduce the new cellular plans that all give us a tremendous discount.

NTT DoCoMoahamo

Those three plans offer 20 GB and some extensions such as free-call, internet-sharing, or international loaming with as low as around 25 USD/month. And surprisingly, there’s no exception, no specific condition needed, and no administration fee to switch contracts. All you have to do is make a contract on the official websites of the providers.

Turn off heaters and use an electric blanket

In the terrible Winter in Japan, many of you would use air conditioners or heaters when you are in bed. But, when you are sleeping, you don’t move out of the bed. It’s a kind of a waste to warm up the whole room. Then I recommend using an electric blanket instead. The biggest merit is saving energy costs. According to an investigation by;

Air conditioner: around 16 Yen/hour


Electric blanket: 1 Yen/hour

In Japan, many electric blankets with many functions are selling everywhere. You can choose according to your preference. And there’re also other merits as well.

  • Immediate warm-up
  • Prevention of dry air
  • Comfortable as heaven

For me, electric rugs are now one of the fundamental gadgets in my life, seriously.

Change residence

Changing residence is the final solution to introduce a huge impact on your expense. But actually, this is not for reducing your rent but also other positive effects.

Change internet provider

Generally, in Japan, there’re two types of internet contracts.

  • For apartment use
  • For stand-alone house use

And the price difference is around double. Of course, the stand-alone one is more expensive. And to make matters worse, apartments don’t always use apartment-type contracts of internet. It depends on the owners’ preference. So when you change your residence, especially to another apartment, you should make sure of the internet contract.

Change gas provider

If you live in a flat with propane gas, moving to another flat with an electric stove or town gas would be a reasonable choice. The price gap between propane and the others goes double. Nowadays. flats using propane gas have been minor.

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