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Cost of Living in Kobe

You'll have a lot of freedom if you live by yourself, but there are many costs that come with this lifestyle, so it's important to get an idea of how much money you'll need each month in order to live comfortably.

Living Expenses

Source: Result of Consultation with Universities in Kobe City

*Foreign exchange rates shown here are the "Reference Foreign Exchange Rates" published by the Bank of Japan on February 18, 2022.

Student A

  • Freshman from China at Kobe University
  • Housing: Two-person room in a dorm for international students
  • Method of Transport to School: Train
  • Travel Time to School: Less than an hour
  • Time to Nearest Station (One-way): Less than 10 minutes walking
Living ExpensesJapanese yenUS dollars
Rent35,000yenUS$304.35
Food Expenses (excluding eating out)30,000yenUS$260.87
Eating Out Expenses10,000yenUS$86.96
Light, Heating & Water5,000yenUS$43.48
Transportation10,000yenUS$86.96
Books & School Supplies2,000yenUS$17.39
Phone & Communications Fees7,000yenUS$60.87
Recreational Expenses3,000yenUS$26.09
National Health Insurance2,000yenUS$17.39
Other Expenses0yenUS$0.00

Total …104,000yen(US$904.35)

Student B

  • Senior from Vietnam at the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences
  • Housing: Living alone in an apartment
  • Method of Transport to School: Train
  • Travel Time to School: Less than an hour
  • Time to Nearest Station (One-way): Less than 5 minutes walking
Living ExpensesJapanese yenUS dollars
Rent43,000yenUS$373.91
Food Expenses (excluding eating out)30,000yenUS$260.87
Eating Out Expenses5,000yenUS$43.48
Light, Heating & Water10,000yenUS$86.96
Transportation8,000yenUS$69.57
Books & School Supplies10,000yenUS$86.96
Phone & Communications Fees4,000yenUS$34.78
Recreational Expenses5,000yenUS$43.48
National Health Insurance3,000yenUS$26.09
Other Expenses5,000yenUS$43.48

Total …123,000yen(US$1,069.57)

Student C

  • Freshman from China at Kobe University
  • Housing: Living alone in a low-cost apartment
  • Method of Transport to School: Bicycle
  • Travel Time to School (One-Way): Less than 10 mnutes
  • Time to Nearest Station (One-way): Less than 10 minutes walking
Living ExpensesJapanese yenUS dollars
Rent50,000yenUS$434.78
Food Expenses (excluding eating out)30,000yenUS$260.87
Eating Out Expenses3,000yenUS$26.09
Light, Heating & Water10,000yenUS$86.96
Transportation0yenUS$0.00
Books & School Supplies5,000yenUS$43.48
Phone & Communications Fees2,000yenUS$17.39
Recreational Expenses1,000yenUS$8.70
National Health Insurance2,000yenUS$17.39
Other Expenses5,000yenUS$43.48

Total …108,000yen(US$939.13)

Pricing on Everyday Goods

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau February, 2022 Retail Pricing Statistics Survey (Trend Compilation)
*Foreign exchange rates shown here are the "Reference Foreign Exchange Rates" published by the Bank of Japan on February 18, 2022.

Sample Price Index for Food Items

An illustration of an example menu.
Product nameJapanese yenUS dollars
Regular rice (Koshi hikari, 5 kg)2,405yenUS$20.91
Sliced bread(1kg)435yenUS$3.78
Salmon(100g)217yenUS$1.89
Eggs (Pack of 10)223yenUS$1.94
Chicken(100g)132yenUS$1.15
Ham(100g)207yenUS$1.80
Cabbage(1kg)158yenUS$1.37
Milk(1,000ml)218yenUS$1.90
Cheese (domestic product, 100 g)190yenUS$1.65
Mineral water (2,000 ml)103yenUS$0.90

Sample Price Index for Eating Out

An illustration of an example of restaurant food.
Product nameJapanese yenUS dollars
Bento boxed lunch with fried chicken481yenUS$4.18
Udon noodles689yenUS$5.99
Nigiri sushi bento box732yenUS$6.37
Beef rice bowl400yenUS$3.48
Curry and rice722yenUS$6.28
Hamburger180yenUS$1.57
Spaghetti676yenUS$5.88
Pizza (delivery)2,124yenUS$18.47
Coffee (eat out/at a café)512yenUS$4.45
Piece of sponge cake461yenUS$4.01

Taxes

Every person living in Japan is required to pay Japanese taxes. Here we'll be explaining taxes for international students.

Consumption Tax

Consumption tax is the additional taxation fee added onto the price of goods and services. In October, 2019, the consumption tax in Japan was changed to 10%. The price of items whose price tag includes consumption tax are "uchizei" (tax-inclusive), and those for which the consumption tax is listed separately are "gaizei" (tax-exclusive).

See more about consumption tax別ウィンドウ

Income Tax

*For those with part-time jobs

Income tax is the tax collected on the income an individual earns in a year. The tax rate is calculated and applied to your remaining taxable income once income deductions have been subtracted from your total income for the year. Generally, this tax will be paid when it is subtracted from your income by your company, so even if you are an international student working a part-time job, if you earn more than the set standard, income tax will be applied and deducted from your salary.

See more about income tax別ウィンドウ

Municipal Tax

*For those with an annual income over 1,030,000 yen

Municipal tax is the tax collected by local governments. The tax amount is determined based on the area where you live and your previous years' income.

See more about Kobe City Prefectural Tax (Japanese only)別ウィンドウ

Year-End Tax Adjustment/Final Tax Return

Every month, your company will deduct income and municipal taxes from your salary, but students do not need to pay income tax if their annual income is less than 1,030,000 yen. The year-end tax adjustment ("nenmatsu chosei") or final tax return ("kakutei shinkoku") are used to settle the excess or deficiency in taxes paid. Year-end tax adjustment is done by your company. If your company does not make this year-end taxadjustment, you will need to file a tax return with the tax office.

See more about final tax returns別ウィンドウ