In recent years, Japan has increasingly attracted international students due to its prestigious universities. It became a popular destination for people who want to pursue and explore a specific field in mind. With its picturesque cities, high-quality education, and technologically-advanced facilities, Japan turned into an in-demand country with a remarkable reputation for students.

Japan has over 41 universities that belong among the best educational institutions all over the world based on annual university rankings. This recognition is a testament to Japan’s standards and quality when it comes to education, which is why many people would quickly grab the chance to secure a slot and experience university life in the country.

Continue reading and refer to the information stated below as we provide essential details about the cost of studying and living in Japan for international students.

Cost of Studying in Japan for International Students

The cost of studying in Japan is relatively low compared to universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. Many Japanese universities offer scholarship programs and tuition exemption programs for international students. The location of the school and specific degree courses can also affect the tuition fees since law, arts, and medical programs cost higher.

National universities in Japan have the lowest tuitions, while public and private schools may have different tuition costs for various degree programs.

Keio University, Japan’s first private institution, ranges from ¥880,000 to ¥3,040,000 on its undergraduate programs, with Medicine being the most expensive. Depending on the chosen course, Keio’s graduate programs vary from ¥950,000 to ¥3,500,000. Ritsumeikan University is highly recognized for its arts and humanities degrees. The first year at the university costs from ¥784,700 to ¥2,500,000, while second year and beyond runs up to ¥2,300,000.

Hokkaido University, known for its humanities and social sciences programs, offers an estimated ¥535,800 per year for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, while law school costs ¥804,000 annually. The exact goes for the University of Tokyo, the number one university in Japan, giving a minimum of ¥535,800 and a maximum of ¥804,000 on its Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The only distinction is that the University of Tokyo provides PhD programs in Medicine and Veterinary Science that cost ¥520,800 a year.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology also gives cheaper university fees than other private institutions, which range from ¥535,800 to ¥635,400 a year on its undergraduate and postgraduate offerings.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Cost of Living in Japan for International Students

1. Cost of Living in Tokyo

Tokyo is known to have among the highest costs of living in Japan. The average monthly expense for an international student in Tokyo is about ¥346,535. This comprises the estimated rental and food expenses for a single person of ¥90,105 and ¥32,200, respectively. Monthly tickets may also go up to ¥10,545. However, international students can enjoy the benefit of a 20% transportation discount since Japan offers a student commuter pass for all degree-seeking learners.

Since Tokyo is the capital of Japan, it is the center of commercial and entertainment establishments. Many citizens in Japan would also choose to live in Tokyo to have better career opportunities. This makes Tokyo an in-demand and populous city, leading to a high cost of living.

2. Cost of Living in Yokohama

Yokohama is Japan’s second-largest city, with comparatively lower living expenses than Tokyo. A single person living in Yokohama may budget an estimated ¥238,196 monthly costs, including food, personal care, and utility expenses.

A one-bedroom apartment in Yokohama costs an average of ¥77,875 per month. Transportation may also be worth up to ¥11,987, depending on the apartment’s location.

For families, in situations where a family member accompanies an international student, the estimated cost is about ¥487,495 monthly. This doubles an average person’s monthly expenses since a larger house and multiple food supplies are needed. But in comparison with Tokyo’s living costs, many people favor Yokohama since it is much cheaper and compares favorably to Tokyo when it comes to ease of transport, population size, and commercial facilities.

3. Cost of living in Osaka

Osaka is the capital city of Western Japan. It is known for cherry blossom trees, nightlife, delicious street foods, and modern architecture.

The cost of living in this Japanese city ranges from ¥236,800 to ¥481,942. House rentals are estimated to be about ¥58,824 for a studio unit or up to ¥122,155 for a fully-furnished one. Public transportation costs also have an average of ¥10,449 per month, which comprises buses and taxi trips.

With nine famous universities located in Osaka, a lot of international students pick the city as a first choice when it comes to education and the cost of living. The place also has a lesser population but can still provide for all of your needs, which is a perfect criterion for migrating students who love a more peaceful environment.

4. Cost of living in Sagamihara

A person living in Sagamihara can have a minimum budget of at least ¥174,155 per month. This encompasses typical housing, transportation, and food expenses, excluding university fees.

Depending on the room and dormitory type, housing fees for students in the city vary from¥20,000 to ¥60,000 per month. Means of transportation in the area are primarily trains, buses, and taxis, which can cost up to ¥13,708 monthly.

Basic utilities such as water, electricity, Internet, and heating may be worth ¥15,443 a month. For food expenses, you won’t spend that much if you opt to shop for your supplies personally, with an average budget of ¥35,006 monthly.

5. Cost of living in Sapporo

Sapporo is one of the top cities in Japan, famous for its culture and job opportunities that welcome tourists and students.

The cost of living in Sapporo, Japan depends on where you live, but the average rent cost for a house in a normal area is ¥43,070 with utilities of ¥16,082 per month.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can save more if you always cook at home instead of dining out. The average monthly food cost in Sapporo is ¥30,000, which is lesser than in other cities.

Sapporo provides an excellent quality of life and lower cost of living, making it ideal for most international students. The area also has more than ten prominent universities that have consistently contributed to the recognition and rise of Sapporo City in the international scene.


I hope this article on the cost of studying and living in Japan was informative and helpful.  To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.