An alluring eastern Asian island country in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is made up of 6,852 islands. This country has a long cultural history and it is a popular destination for tourists as it has a temperate climate, majestic mountains, beach fronts, and fertile plains.
Also having one of the densest populations in the world, the larger cities in Japan are still known for their neatness, good economy, stunning architecture, cultural attractions, incredible cuisine, green space, and exciting entertainment options. Many cities in Japan have the best of both worlds where you’ll find peace, tranquility, and also all conveniences.
The idea of moving to Japan can be a tempting one and in this matter, we can definitely put ourselves in your shoes. But before you begin booking tickets, here is a list you might want to go through, the pros and cons of living in Japan.
Pros of Living in Japan
1. Quality Education
Japan is well known for its provision of world-class education for all students, regardless of them attending a free public school or a private international school. After completing their education, the students are kept to high levels of performance.
Recently, the US News and World Report gave Japan’s school system a rating among the best in the world. Great opportunities such as learning multiple languages are provided in Japanese schools, and the universities of Japan are highly esteemed.
Public healthcare in Japan is extremely affordable. There is protection for everyone and the out-of-pocket expenses are rounded off, keeping the cost of healthcare manageable. This country is making a combined effort in keeping the healthcare costs under check, and the people living here rarely face any problems regarding this.
3. Shopping Experience
World-famous for their convenience, the supermarkets will let you buy almost anything, and they are always neat, secure, and well-staffed. Several visitors from other nations might not even recognize a convenience store in Japan in comparison to their own. Similarly, Japan‘s cities are home to significant shopping centers where you’ll find almost everything you want.
4. Delicious Food
The restaurants in Tokyo received more Michelin stars than those in Paris, and to no surprise, Japanese cuisine has more to say than just sushi. Food in Japan is healthy and scrumptious.
You’ll get a palette of fresh seafood and world-class dishes which include Kobe beef that just melts in your mouth, the teppanyaki is cooked on an iron grid, and tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet).
5. Job Opportunities
If you are a westerner with fluent English-speaking skills, then you’ll very easily get a job as a teacher in Japan as there’s a constant demand for people to teach English to the students The teachers receive steady pay, and in many cases, they are provided with living quarters to help with the transition to living in a new culture. If you enjoy working with children, that could just be an easy way to make Japan your new home.
6. Public Transportation
Public transportation comes as a con in many articles, but it’s definitely not the case in Japan. The subways, trains, and buses of Japan are fast, neat, comfortable, and reliable. The public transportation system here makes it extremely convenient to get to where you want to go, even if the location is between cities. You could live here comfortably even without a car as the use of public transport in Japanese life is quite ingrained.
7. Clean Environment
Japan doesn’t agree with the stereotypical list for Asian countries as there are plenty of Western conveniences you’ll be found here, including modern toilets, free water, stores, and more. The houses are pretty well kept in Japan with their lovely gardens.
Cons of Living in Japan
1. The High Living Cost
If you’re planning to live anywhere close to a Japanese city Centre, you’ll have to expect to shell out big bucks for rent. The costs of living in Japan have been among the highest in the world for quite a while now, and even if the country has become more affordable in recent years, it is still not a cheap place to call home.
2. Work-life Balance in Non-existent
There is a culture of extreme hard-work in Japan. Irrespective of their position, the workers are expected to show up early to work and stay till late. You’ll be using vacation time instead of sick leave even when you are sick, and still, the use of vacation time is also frowned upon such that it could negatively impact your chances of getting a job in the future. With its insanely hard-working culture, Japan makes it hard to get a break-even a lot of time.
3. Natural Disasters
Within the boundaries of Japan, you’ll be experiencing earthquakes on an everyday basis, and they can also cause tsunamis having the power to destroy the island country. Nothing you can do will be enough to avoid them as natural disasters have just become a part of Japanese life.
4. Opening a Bank Account is Tough
To open a bank account in Japan, you need to be a citizen and hold proof of your residence, also, your passport and Japanese visa will also be required to open a bank account. In addition to that, there should be a hand-carved Hanko seal, which is a stamp used on official documents as a replacement for a signature.
5. Male Chauvinism
Gender inequality is a major problem in Japan as it is still engraved in the Japanese minds, education, politics, and economics. It can be seen in all steps. This is a huge disadvantage in this community and to further disappointment it comes from ancient samurai times along with their bushido code, to speak both historically and culturally. You won’t be seeing many women CEOs and women politicians.
In Japan, gender inequality is mostly so high that you might as well compare it to Muslim countries. As an independent female living in Japan, you will get terribly depressed at some point, you will inevitably start losing gender equality in society.
Cost of Living in Japan
After reading all the pros and cons, if you still have your heart set out to make a home out of this country, then here we have listed for you some basic costs of living.
The average monthly rent for a one-room apartment in Japan (20-40 square meters) can be somewhere around 50,000 and 70,000 yen. To live in a similarly sized apartment in central Tokyo and popular neighborhoods close by, you’ll have to pay about 100,000 yen. On the other hand, Gaijin houses are affordable, and generally hassle-free options to think about for those wanting to stay in the city and preferring to not rent conventional apartments.
Electricity is commonly the most expensive utility followed by gas and water. For one person, the average cost of utilities is just below 10,000 yen a month: around 4000 yen for electricity, 3000 yen for gas, and 2000 yen for water
An average restaurant will cost you roughly between 1000 and 3000 yen. Many restaurants offer inexpensive teishoku (set menus) during lunch hours, costing around 1000 yen. You’ll also get good deals at lunch boxes (bento), sold in convenience stores, train stations, and at temporary stands in business areas.
Both artisanal and coffeehouse chain cafes are found in most cities. A simple cup of coffee at a coffeehouse chain will cost an average of 300 yen, while the boutique cafes tend to be slightly more priced.