Daily Life & Schools

Daily Life & Schools
How Much Does It Cost To Study At a Japanese Language School
October 27, 2023  |  By Nathan Reinholz

When coming to Japan as a student, there are a lot of expenses you will need to prepare for. The government wants to see at least two million yen in a bank account for you to get the visa, and you’ll soon realize that just moving here will take up a good chunk of that! Here are some of the costs you should be ready to pay!

What Are the Up Front Large Expenses to Study in Japan?


Obviously you’ll need to have the money ready to pay your tuition. Once your certificate of eligibility result comes out, you will need to pay the school before they’ll send you the documents to get your entry visa at the consulate. No progress can be made until you get those documents, and you won’t be able to ask for installments or delay payments until after arrival. Be ready to pay this right away or it will delay everything else!

Tuition fees differ between schools, but you can anticipate around ¥850,000 annually (about $5,700). Some schools may allow you to pay in six-month installments.

Flight ticket

You’ll also want to book a flight, ideally you will want to wait until getting your entry visa, but some people would prefer to do it ahead of time. Make sure your departure date gives you enough time to get the entry visa from the consulate.

The cost fluctuates based on the departure country and the season, making it challenging to provide an exact figure. Nevertheless, you can anticipate a range of $800.


You’ll likely need housing arrangements, either temporary or permanent. If you’re staying in a school dormitory, the cost will typically be included in your tuition. Schools usually bill you for three to six months at once, which may result in an additional expense of around ¥300,000 to ¥400,000 (about $2,000 to $2,700) on top of the tuition fee.

Otherwise, you will need to arrange payment for your housing or hotel so that you can get into the room from the day you arrive. If you’re renting an apartment, you’ll also need to consider initial costs when moving into a new place in Japan. These moving-in expenses typically range from ¥30,000 to ¥150,000, equivalent to $200 to $1,000. These costs may include security deposits, key money, agency fees and other associated expenses. It’s essential to research specific housing options and locations to get a more accurate idea of the costs you may incur. These can add up to having to pay several months of rent!

Rent in Japan can significantly vary based on housing type and location. As a rough estimate, students should budget monthly rent ranging from ¥50,000 to ¥90,000 (about $330 to $600).


Most apartments are not furnished, or have the minimum of an air conditioner, no guarantee of a bed! Be prepared to spend some money on things to make your apartment more comfortable. You might want to research which home centers are near where you live and expect to at least buy a futon for you to sleep on, and plan out what other furnishings and appliances that you think you will want.

We estimate that you’ll need to spend between 8,000 (typical bedding cost for a dorm room) and 50,000 yen or so to get settled (50 US$ to 330 US$). 

What Are the Monthly Expenses When Studying in Japan?

Although you won’t need to pay these right away, you’ll need to have some money ready for when they are due!

Phone Service

Once you sign a mobile phone contract, you’ll have to have the money ready each month for the bill, along with potential costs if you want to buy a phone with the plan. Nowadays, MVNO plans are very affordable and start around ¥1,000 (about $7) per month. 


You’ll probably want to set up an internet connection, usually there are big promotions so you should sign up at an electronics store, and then be prepared to pay for the service every month. You should estimate something along the lines of ¥3,000 ($20) monthly. 


Gas, electricity, and water will be billed to you on a regular basis.

Giving an exact number of how much money you will actually need is difficult as it will highly depend on personal preference and it will fluctuate between seasons. We would say students should budget ¥10,000 ($67) monthly to be on the safe side. Expect to have a lot of money ready regardless of what your budget is, and make sure to have a good amount in your savings to pay off any surprise expenses! 

What Are Daily Expenses When Studying In Japan?

The above are going to be your bigger costs, but there will still be some smaller short-term ones you’ll need to prepare for.


First, you’ll need to travel from the airport to your housing. Depending on your airport of arrival and your choice of transportation (bus, train, or taxi), you should budget around ¥3,000 to ¥20,000 ($20 to $130). If you take the bus or train to your school, you must consider a commuter pass. These passes can be purchased for 1, 3, or 6 months.

The price of the commuter pass will vary significantly based on the transit line and the number of stations between your home and the school. When searching for a permanent residence, remember that a commuter pass can cost between ¥6,000 per month up to ¥15,000 ($40 to $100) if you have a considerable distance to cover.


Whether you dine out or cook your meals, it’s essential to budget money for food. We recommend budgeting a minimum of ¥40,000 ($260) per month for students.

This guideline should provide a solid starting point for budgeting your studies in Japan. Our GaijinPot Study team is also here to help you get a more accurate idea based on your preferred school and location.

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