Cost of Moving To Japan: Pros and Cons

Are you considering a move to Japan? If so, this report will walk you through everything you need to know about the cost of living, taxes, visa requirements, and more.

Ready to jump into Japan’s vibrant culture and serene landscapes? This guide is here to help you understand the specifics of life in Japan, from the cost of a one-way flight to your future tax obligations. We’re looking closely at what it means to live, work, and perhaps even study in Japan.

Our goal? To give you a clear picture of housing costs, how to navigate visas, and what to expect from everyday life. So, if you’re thinking about packing your bags for Japan, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s uncover what could be your new life in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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Japan Overview

Japan, a fusion of ancient tradition and ultramodern technology, offers a unique lifestyle that’s fascinating to many. The average cost of living in Japan is 46% lower than in the US. The overall crime rate is 17.64% lower, and the violent crime rate is a staggering 94.76% lower. But there’s more to the story…

Japan Flight and Visa/Resident Permit

A flight from the US to Japan typically costs around $1,000 and takes approximately 13 hours. Once you land, you can stay visa-free for the first 90 days.

Check Cheap Flights Near You:

Types of Visas – Japan

Beyond that, you have options: The Regular Japan Work Visa for paid employment; the Japan Highly Skilled Professional Visa for those with advanced and specialized skills; the Japan Working Holiday Visa for young people wanting to stay for up to a year while working part-time; and the Japan Student Visa for those enrolled in a Japanese educational institution.

Program Purpose Requirements Additional Notes
Regular Japan Work Visa For those seeking to move to Japan to take up paid employment Before applying for a Work Visa, your employer needs to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Immigration Services in Japan You can enter Japan and are also allowed to bring your family members with you
Japan Highly Skilled Professional Visa For highly skilled foreign professionals with advanced and specialized skills
Japan Working Holiday Visa For young people from certain countries who want to stay in Japan for up to a year while having the freedom to engage in employment as a means of supplementing their travel funds
Japan Family Visa For those who have a family member who is a Japanese citizen living in Japan To be eligible for a family visa, you need to be married to a Japanese national, be the dependent child of a Japanese national, or be the spouse or dependent child of a foreigner residing in Japan This type of visa can be issued for up to 3 years and can be extended. With a family visa, you can work if you are married to a Japanese citizen or a permanent resident of Japan
Japan Student Visa For those enrolled in a Japanese educational institution Your school needs to send you the Certificate of Eligibility so you can continue with your student visa application A student visa is issued for different durations and up to 2 years. You can apply to extend your stay three months prior to your visa expiration date. With a student visa, you are not allowed to work more than 18 hours per week

Japan Taxes

When it comes to taxes, Japan’s personal income tax rates range from 0-45% for residents, with an additional 2.1% surtax and a 10% local inhabitants tax. While these taxes are higher compared to those in the US, the significantly lower cost of living could offset this.

>> Calculate your salary after taxes in Japan <<

Japan Housing Market

Looking for a place to stay? The average rental price in Japan ranges from $651.45 to $1,364.68 per month. If you’re considering buying, the average price of a house falls between $273,000 and $455,000.

Japan Summary


  • The cost of living is significantly lower
  • Both renting and buying property is cheaper
  • The overall and violent crime rates are lower


  • Personal income taxes are higher
  • Dual citizenship isn’t permitted
  • The language barrier if you don’t speak Japanese

References (2023). Cost of living in Japan compared to United States. Retrieved from (2023). Crime rates by country. Retrieved from

World Population Review. (2023). Murder rates by country. Retrieved from

Numbeo. (2023). Cost of living in Japan. Retrieved from

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan. (2023). Travel & Visa. Retrieved from

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