Japan is one of the most amazing and unique countries in the world.
If you have ever visited Japan, you must know that it is also very wealthy and expensive.
However, it is especially true for its cities which are some of the most developed ones in the whole world.
But considering the overall situation, you can say Japan can be a cheap place to live in, and at the same time, it can also be an expensive place to live.
It actually depends on which area or which city you are choosing to live in.
Today I am right here to inform you of the top 8 richest cities in Japan.
Top 8 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Japan
From now on, I am going to describe the top ten expensive cities in Japan with the probable living cost.
But be noted that it will vary with features, the age of the building, the distance from the train station, and some other factors.
Tokyo is undoubtedly the wealthiest city in Japan, and some people would even say in the world.
It is also the richest state or richest prefecture in Japan.
The urban landscape of Tokyo mainly consists of modern and latest architecture.
Many internationally famous modern architectures, including Tokyo International Forum, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, Asahi Beer Hall, and Rainbow Bridge, are found here.
Tokyo city has the largest metropolitan economy in the world.
It is also considered a major international finance center. Some of the world’s largest insurance companies and investment banks’ headquarters are located here.
This city serves as a hub for the country’s transportation, electronics, publishing, and broadcasting industries.
For public transportation, you will find an extensive network of clean and efficient trains and subways. There are also buses, trams, and monorails, which play a secondary feeder role.
Speaking of the education facilities, Tokyo has an abundance of educational institutions, from kindergartens, primary schools to metropolitan high schools and universities.
|One bedroom rent: $1100 to $2193.08 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: $2700 to $3508.93 per month.|
|Utilities cost: about $192.99 per month.|
|Average food cost: about $39.70 per day.|
|One meal per person: around $15.88.|
And for entertainment purposes, you can go to the museum, theaters, national park, zoo, the imperial palace and attend manifold festivals and events held throughout the year.
Don’t worry about the food either. Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants.
So, by this time, you might have understood the reason why Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
This city can provide you with every facility that is needed to lead an updated and developed life.
- High standard of housing in expat areas.
- Extensive and efficient public transport system.
- Excellent schooling system.
- Lots of recreation facilities.
- English-speaking people everywhere.
- Difficult work-life balance.
- Confusing for new arrivals to navigate.
You might have most likely heard about Shibuya if you have ever been to Japan.
It is the most popular shopping and entertainment area around Shibuya Station.
This city is packed with shopping, dining, and nightclubs serving the crowds of visitors who come here every day.
Shibuya, the most colorful and busy district in Japan, is also a center for youth fashion and culture.
Many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends are born here in its streets.
So, if you are a fashion-conscious and fun-loving trendy person, this place can please you in every aspect.
There are over a dozen of major department store branches around this area, from where all types of buyers can shop.
Apart from these, it hosts the two busiest railway stations in the world and has several world-renowned locations that you can visit.
|One bedroom rent: around $1315.85 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $2412.39 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $131.58 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $24.|
Several new buildings have been opened over recent years, including Shibuya Hikarie, Shibuya Stream and Shibuya Scramble Square and more are under construction.
A prominent highlight of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the Hachiko Exit of the station.
The intersection is gorgeously decorated with giant video screens and neon advertisements, making it a famous photo spot in the city.
It is understandable now why such a popular location is this much expensive.
So, Shibuya is for you if you love the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Shopping district and busy nightlife.
- Perfect place for food enthusiasts.
- Easy access to anything through the brilliant JR line.
- This city doesn’t sleep.
- Lots of street noises.
- Busiest and crowded station in the city.
Minato is another expensive city in Japan, which is also known as Minato City in English.
Speaking of Minato, I need to say first that Minato is home to many embassies and domestic companies, which include Honda, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nikon, NEC, Sony, Toshiba, and Fujitsu.
Japanese headquarters of several multinational firms like Apple, Google, and Goldman Sachs are also situated here as well.
As this city is such a hot location for companies that are worth billions of dollars, it is quite usual that living costs here will be highly expensive.
|One bedroom rent: around $1491.29 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $2456.25 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $131.58 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $13.16.|
The education facilities in this city are also very upgraded like the capital city Tokyo. You will find a number of primary and secondary schools and universities in Minato city.
Several renowned public libraries are also here to serve educational and recreational purposes.
The city doesn’t lag behind in terms of entertainment and transport facilities either.
So, altogether, Minato can smoothly meet the demand of the modern lifestyle.
- Convenience and ease of Western-style living.
- Iconic entertainment and shopping centers like Roppongi Hills.
- The concentration of international schools.
- Ease of getting medical care in English.
- Small space for living.
- 2.5% of the area is not safe.
The previous two cities we talked about earlier are part of Tokyo or The Greater Tokyo Area.
Now just imagine how large Tokyo is that its various wards can be considered minor or even large cities of their own!
You can also say that these two are the richest neighborhoods in Tokyo.
Now let’s explore another one from my list.
Osaka is a behemoth of a city located in central Japan and is the third largest city in Japan behind Tokyo and Yokohama.
As one of the largest cities in the world, it is no wonder that Osaka is one of the wealthiest cities in the nation.
It is a bustling metropolis with breathtaking views, mouth-watering food, historical sites, and stunning architecture.
Osaka is home to a massive population of over 19 million people, offering shopping districts and top-notch entertainment venues, making it the most popular city in Japan for tourists.
Osaka also has impressive infrastructures, making it a super city for businesses both large and small.
Osaka also has a large number of multibillion-dollar corporations that are headquartered there. These corporations range from IT and medical companies to banking and financial institutions.
Osaka is also home to numerous luxury brands and well-known department stores, like Sogo, Takashimaya, and Daimaru, and many international luxury brands such as Gucci and Prada.
The world-renowned Osaka Castle is an iconic landmark of the city and boasts luxurious gardens, expansive grounds, and beautiful ancient architecture.
Shopping districts filled with high-end stores and eateries line the streets, adding to the city’s air of wealth and prestige.
With a GDP of over $300 billion in 2022, Osaka is led by the retail sector, banking and financial industry, and manufacturing sector.
This is supported by the thriving IT industry, with the world’s largest voice recognition software and other innovative products being developed in the city.
In addition, Osaka also houses the headquarters of leading software companies. The strong infrastructure in the city enables it to remain at the forefront of international innovation.
The presence of large corporations has made it possible for the city to boast one of the highest salaries and purchasing power of cities in Japan.
This means that the people of Osaka can enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Japan.
Osaka also offers world-class recreational, leisure, and entertainment activities that entice global travelers to stay and explore the many attractions it has to offer.
From its modern infrastructure to its proximity to ancient sites and global travelers, Osaka is growing in wealth and international presence.
In the years to come, the city has the potential to become one of the richest cities in Japan, if not the world. With a strong focus on technology and innovation, it is sure to remain a top choice for businesses and tourists in the years to come.
When it comes to living costs in Osaka in 2023, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Sure, it may cost you a pretty penny to secure yourself a cozy abode in one of the vibrant city’s many districts, depending on your desired location, but for the most part you can still make do on a fairly tight budget.
In terms of housing, if you’re considering renting an apartment, the average rent prices are about 50,000-80,000 yen per month. Of course, this also depends on the age of the particular residence, as older buildings tend to come in at a cheaper price.
If you’re someone who prefers a more upmarket experience, you may be looking to rent out a comfortable one-bedroom apartment, which you can expect to cost between 80,000-100,000 yen per month.
That being said, prices can drop if you’re willing to look further afield from the core of the city and venture into the outer city districts and suburbs.
On top of an apartment rental expense, you also need to factor in other costs such as water, electricity, gas, Wi-Fi, and any other incidentals, which can add up to an extra 15,000 yen per month.
Happily, when it comes to all other general living expenses in Osaka those prices remain relatively low.
Groceries and other items such as fresh produce, packaged food, and health and cosmetics supplies, can be picked up at local stores and supermarkets that are not always going to cash-burn your wallet.
Transportation costs and entertainment activities in Osaka remain quite affordable, as well.
A single-fare ticket on the local train network, the subway, and monorail are relatively cheap at roughly 200 yen per ride. Other than that, you can expect to pay around 600-1000 yen for a bowl of ramen and at least 1,000 yen for a beer.
|One bedroom rent: $394.87 – $663.25|
|Three bedroom rent: $830.33 – $1,738.80|
|Utilities cost: about $181.52 per month|
|Average food cost: about $23.37 per day.|
|One meal per person: around $9.35|
- Ample job opportunities
- Multicultural with lots of festivals, art galleries, theatres, and museums to explore
- Navigating the city might be difficult for newcomers
Miyazaki is the capital of Miyazaki Prefecture, which is located on the southeastern coast of Kyushu.
The landscape of Miyazaki is featured by a long stretch of coast, lined with golden sea beaches and stunning rock formations.
With warm temperate weather and excellent surfing, the Nichinan Coast is the city’s popular doorway.
You will get easy access to the rest of Japan from this city because of its developed transportation system.
By air, it takes less than 2 hours from Tokyo and just over 1 hour from Osaka.
Miyazaki city and the airport are well-connected by express train along the Nichinan Coast to the rest of the city and Kagoshima to the south, and Oita to the north.
Great options like highway buses are also available to get around the main sites.
|One bedroom rent: around $1052.68 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $1780.78 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $184.22 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $18.42.|
In case you are an international visitor, you will get a Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass for unlimited trips within the region.
When you are getting all these benefits, it is natural that it will cost so much to live here.
Anyway, this beautiful and gorgeous Miyazaki has some of the top tourist attractions, including Takachiho Gorge, Devil’s Washboard, Ebino Plateau, Cape Toi, and the Aoshima shrine.
- Relaxed nature.
- An abundance of delicious and fresh local produce, particularly fish.
- Lots of opportunities for surfing, hiking, soaking in hot springs.
- Good flights to Tokyo, Fukuoka, and elsewhere.
- You can be slammed by typhoons from July to October.
You May Read:
Nerima is actually the fifth-largest ward of Tokyo, where around 700,000 people live in. So, Nerima is so massive that it is considered a city.
If you are in Nerima, you will experience a slice of life of the city made for a day of urban exploration.
You cannot compare its residential area to the babes of central Tokyo like Shibuya or Shinjuku. Still, it is so much alluring, I must say.
Nerima’s biggest fame is that Japanese famous animation production was born here.
So, this Nerima City is well-known among anime fans as the birthplace of the industry.
Multiple production studios are located here.
Aside from anime spots, you will find several parks and gardens, including Hikarigaoka Park and Makino Memorial Garden, in the surrounding area.
|One bedroom rent: around $1226.64 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $1927.29 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $87.60 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $10.51.|
Another retro theme park with a large water park called Toshimaen is gorgeously illuminated in winter.
In spring, you can enjoy the stunning view of cherry blossoms in Shakujii Park and Hikarigaoka Park.
Besides these, lots of restaurants and eateries are found here to enjoy delicious foods.
And for education facilities, there are several public schools, high schools, national schools, colleges, universities, and one international school in this city.
- Quiet and peaceful residential place.
- Entertainment and quality family bonding.
- Center of anime pop culture.
- Foodie wonderland and nightlife.
- Life in Nerima is a bit slow.
- Distances between different shopping streets, restaurants, and other places of interest are longer than in the city center.
Kawasaki is a large port city in Kanagawa Prefecture, one of the main cities of the Greater Tokyo Area and Keihin Industrial Area.
It is sandwiched between the capital city Tokyo and Yokohama, which stretches along the Tamagawa River.
As it is very close to Tokyo, the cost of living here is much higher than in the other cities.
The city center lies near the highly industrialized waterfront.
The factories or offices of some popular companies such as Daiichi Cement, Ajinomoto, Nippon Steel, Showa Denko, Hitachi, Fuji, and Toshiba Electric are located here.
|One bedroom rent: around $875.98 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $1401.56 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $175.20 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $6.10.|
This city is not a major tourist destination, but there are a few attractions found around the city, including the majestic and sprawling Kawasaki Daishi temple, the popular name for Heigenji Temple.
Besides, you will find several museums such as the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum and Nihon Minkaen open-air museum in the city center.
Kawasaki is very well-connected with the Japanese capital. Kawasaki Station is only 18 minutes from Tokyo Station.
It is also easily accessible from Yokohama.
Around the area of Kawasaki Station, you will find the major shopping and entertainment center.
The West Exit of Kawasaki Station is quieter with many more offices, whereas the East one is livelier with more restaurants, shopping malls, and Kawasaki’s major hotels.
- Close enough to the city.
- Major cinemas, brands, and shopping malls are close at hand.
- Reasonable proximity to Yokohama (20–30 minutes away), if you like ports.
- Trains here terminate later than Yokohama.
- The southernmost areas of Kawasaki are polluted.
- This part is a bit unsafe too.
According to our judgment, Sendai is the 7th most expensive place to live in Japan.
This Sendai city is the capital of the Miyagi Prefecture, which boasts the largest city in the Tohoku region.
The city is also regarded as the center of the economy in this region.
Its economy is mostly based on government jobs as there are many government offices in Sendai.
Besides, the economy of this city is heavily dependent on retail and the service sector.
It is a geologically active area, and most of the mountains on its western borders are inactive volcanoes. Large earthquakes are not an uncommon incident in this city.
You will find a number of active hot springs here.
Speaking of the climate of Sendai, humid subtropical climate prevails here, which means warm, wet summers and cold, dry winters.
In case you are concerned about the education facilities, I will suggest you be relaxed.
Sendai is also known as an Academic City as there are many universities compared to its population.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that Sendai is also the location of the 2011 tsunami. Living costs in the city had lowered since the disastrous event, but it has been increasing lately.
|One bedroom rent: around $665.55 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $1663.02 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $140.04 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $13.96.|
Being home to many different festivals, this city is also considered a cultural center.
The most popular one of these feasts is the Sendai Tanabata, a Japanese star festival. You won’t find such kind of festival larger than this all around Japan.
The city doesn’t fall back in terms of culinary culture also.
It is renowned for being the birthplace of several traditional Japanese dishes and their unique decoration.
- Ease of living with all sorts of amenities.
- A friendly place for expats to live.
- Good public transportation and safety.
- Many seasonal events and festivals.
- Geologically active and prone to natural calamities.
- Radiation from plants may make you worry a little bit.
Nagoya is the capital and the most densely populated city of Aichi Prefecture.
It is one of Japan’s leading industrial cities, located at the head of Ise Bay.
Nagoya is a significant port city, but its economy is so versatile that it has much more to offer than just that.
The automotive industry is the leading industry in the city. Headquarters of many of Toyota’s high-end brands, including Denso, Lexus, and Aisin Seiki Co are situated here in this area.
In addition, the famous Mitsubishi Motors has a division in this city. Beyond that, you will also find some aircraft manufacturing and ceramics industries in Nagoya.
There is also some tech stuff going on here too, as expected from a Japanese city,
Several railways, including the high-speed Shinkansen or New Trunk Line railway service that run between Osaka and Tokyo, meet on Nagoya.
The city is well-connected to some other countries through its port and to the north side of the town by Nagoya Airport.
Nagoya has an abundance of cultural and educational assets.
An important highlight of this city is Nagoya Castle, which was originally built in 1610–12 but destroyed by fire during World War II. However, it was rebuilt later in 1959.
You can find the preserved collection of the Tokugawa family in the Tokugawa Art Museum.
|One bedroom rent: around $657.19 per month.|
|Three bedroom rent: about $1621.05 per month.|
|Utilities cost: around $192.77 per month.|
|One meal per person: around $7.01.|
Two of the country’s oldest and most highly esteemed Shinto shrines, the Atsuta Shrine and the nearby Grand Shrine of Ise, are also located here in this city.
Renowned educational institutions are Nagoya University, Nagoya City University, and Nagoya Institute of Technology.
Some other institutions include Aichi Cultural Centre, Citizen Hall, Chunichi Hall, and Misono Theatre.
Also, there is Higashiyama Park, which is famous for its zoological and botanical gardens.
- A lot of entertainment, cafes, restaurants, and places to relax.
- Best transport network.
- Not overfilled with people.
- Efficient healthcare system, highly qualified doctors.
- Clean air without pollution.
- Very good safety.
- Bad English, hard to communicate with locals.
- Many smokers.
Well, these are the top 8 wealthiest cities in Japan.
Living in Japanese cities is so expensive. But what do you think the particular reasons are?
Well, the answer is actually three-fold: geographical location of the country, Japanese culture, and the capital city Tokyo.
As Japan is 124 miles away from mainland Asia, many everyday goods have to be imported, which ultimately raises their price.
Besides, rich Japanese culture demands high-quality items and services that cost a lot.
On top of that, the capital city Tokyo has been consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Being the most populous city in Japan, its high costs influence the rest of the nation.
Now that you have known the reasons, I have nothing more to inform you.
Let’s wrap up this writing now.
Richest Cities in Japan: FAQs
Where do the rich live in Japan?
The wealthy in Japan primarily live in the major cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Tokyo has some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the world, such as Roppongi Hills and Azabu. The wealthy also favor exclusive resorts and beach towns, such as Atami on the Izu Peninsula and Karuizawa near Nagano.
Is Tokyo the richest city in Japan?
Yes, Tokyo is the richest city in Japan. Not only is it the largest city in Japan, but it has a large, diverse economy that produces almost one-fourth of the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of the entire country.
The city is home to many of the world’s largest and most successful companies and businesses, such as Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and Hitachi, and is an international center of finance, IT, and fashion.
Tokyo also boasts a bustling tourism industry, as people come from all over the world to experience the city’s unique culture and attractions. With a high cost of living, the city is likely to remain the wealthiest in Japan for years to come.
What is the wealthiest suburb in Japan?
The wealthy suburb of Tokyo, Japan is Minato City, located between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Bay. This affluent city is home to the highest average income level in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and some of the world’s most recognizable corporate headquarters, such as Toyota, Marubeni, and Mitsubishi.
According to Business Insider, Minato City area is one of the most desirable places to live in Japan due to its stunning skyline and world-renowned shopping districts.
Many of the high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes are located along the ultra-luxurious Roppongi Hills and Omotesando areas. Through its sought-after location and numerous entertainment options, Minato City has become one of the most sought-after places to reside in Japan.
If you love to lead a luxurious life and are capable enough to afford it, then the richest cities in Japan can fulfill your desire.
Be noted that the cost I have mentioned here can vary depending on several factors.
Anyway, though the living cost is so high in these cities, the lifestyle you can get here is totally worth the money.
I hope you will have a great time living here.
Thanks for reading this article.