Aug 26, 2016

Expensive Tokyo

When you see Tokyo on TV, it is described as one of the coolest and awesome destination to be.

Visiting Tokyo is great, but how about living in Tokyo?

OK, first, what makes Tokyo awesome? Is it the cute and beautiful ladies? Is it the technologies and its advancements? or is it the Japanese people?

There is no certain answer to this question. But I can tell you that when you get here, you will immediately fell in-love with the place.

There is a saying "There is no golden pot at the end of the rainbow". Well, this applies to Tokyo too. It is not the place that makes it an awesome experience, but with who you are with while you are here.

I recently moved here because I wanted to challenge myself. With no Japanese skills, can only speak English, no friends, no connections, nothing! And you think that is the worse part? No no no no no... The worse part is paying for your place!

In Japan, there are room choices. 1R, 1K, 1DK, 1L, 1LDK and so on.. to make this simple, 1R is a small room with bathroom, kitchen and everything, but it is all fitted in a small space. Now, 1R room in Tokyo will cost you about 100 thousand yen! That is about 1000 dollars per month. That doesn't include your electric bills, your water bills, everything. That is for the room only.

So, how can I keep this up if I wanted to live here?

Well, if you are reading this, you are one lucky b*****d! because I am going to teach you how to live cheaply in Tokyo.

First, the place. Where oh where are you going to stay in Tokyo for a price lower than 100kyen?

Before I teach you the technique, be aware that Japan is full of trains. We can use that in our advantage!

So, here's the technique: DON'T live in the city! Instead of living within Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Ueno, etc... Live next to the city. A place that is not so busy. Such as Chofu. or HachiOji, or Chiba. These places aren't really far.

In my case, I am living in Chofu. Chofu is just 30 minutes away from Shinjuku, and Shinjuku is part of the main city of Tokyo. So, instead of paying 100kyen, for the same type of room, I am paying for 40k. That's about 400 dollars per month. Yes, it is still not cheap, but it is cheaper than 100k right?

Second, Tissues!

Ok, tissues are cheap, but you can get it for free too! Now, in Japan, instead of handling bypassers some advertisement papers? I forgot what that is called. flyers? The paper that is given to you as form of an advertisement on the street? yeah! Instead of giving you flyers, they will give you tissue papers with their flyers inside it! Ask any Japanese! They will give you free tissues! Now, if you collect enough, you will get a supply that lasts for months! I have around 50 here in my room right now.


Tokyo is not just famous for its amazing places, but also food! Food in Tokyo is like art. They are so serious about it. It is a bad manner here if they serve you ugly-looking food. Even if it is delicious. It has to look good. However, good food will cost money. My weekly allowance for my food is around 6000 yen. That's about 60 dollars per week. Ouch! Now, how do we solve this problem? oh I know! we just buy in the grocery and just cook right? Well, if you cook a lot, it will also cost you money because of the gas you used.

I found a solution! do you know that ministove? The small stove with a gas cartridge? The one you use for "shabu shabu"? You buy that and make that your stove. one gas cartridge will  last me a month.. and 3 cartridge will only cost 400 yen.. That's 4 dollars. So, you can now cook a lot while not paying for gas bills.

Forth, Electricity.

We are now living in a new era, where we depend on technologies. Will it be for work, or entertainment, we are dependent on technologies. and technologies needs electricity. Electricity in Tokyo.. Well, it is expensive af! So, how do we deal with this? If you are living here during the summer season, watch this video for making your own cheap air conditioner.

The link is https://www.facebook.com/hakcer/videos/vb.100000099840018/1213360912010559/?type=3&theater

watch that and create your own cheap air conditioner for the summer.

In winter, close every window, your door, every thing that is connected outside. insulate them. and you will feel less cold in no time! But it is hard though. You can't escape the cold. Just use heater if needed.

That's it for now!

I hope you had fun reading this blog.

I'll post more when I have a free time.

Thank you so much!



It was always my dream to explore and experience the culture in Japan. After so many preparations, I finally found myself here living in Tokyo. and my Japanese is really bad! So, what's stopping you from exploring? language barrier? culture shock? trust me, it is just the beginning.


  • SalarymanJim

    on Aug 26

    Some nice tips. This tissue thing is a good one, although it requires a bit of discipline to keep up with. At least that's what I used to find. I'll throw another one in here; make your own drinks at home to take to work, on days out etc. With so many vending machines around, you can be dropping coin without even realising it. Re-use plastic bottles, tap water for your water, maybe a coffee flask for winters and summers. Saving money and doing your bit for the environment. Everyone's a winner (except for the vending machine people)!

  • karl

    on Aug 26

    @SalarymanJim thanks for the comment! :D don't buy from the vending mahine. It's expensive. Unless you have no choice. :D anyway, keep the awesome going!

  • Tomuu

    on Jan 11

    The point about cooking is interesting. Where I come from it is clearly much cheaper to cook at home rather than going out to eat. In Japan, I'm not sure there is much difference, especially if you are single.


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