The Outrageous Cost Of Living In Tokyo


Photo: shimelle on flickr

Tokyo has replaced Luanda, Angola, as the most expensive city for expatriates, thanks largely to the strength of the yen against the dollar.The title was bestowed by Mercer, a global consulting firm that looks at cost-of-living data in 200 cities to help international companies make personnel decisions.

Prices for some things in Tokyo—like a trip to the movies—are astronomically high in comparison to other cities, while other things, like monthly rent, are merely expensive.

An unfurnished, 2-bedroom luxury apartment in Tokyo costs an average $4,847. The same apartment in New York would cost $4,500.

And in Tokyo's priciest neighborhoods, a 3-bedroom apartment will set you back $9,445 a month. It's second only to Hong Kong in terms of high-end property rentals.

The world's most expensive one-bedroom apartment is currently for sale in Tokyo. The 4,434-square-foot pad is priced at $21.8 million.

A date to the movies in Tokyo will set you back nearly $46. The same pair of movie tickets in New York would cost $26.50.

The cab ride home will also cost you. A 3 km ride in Tokyo costs $14.15, 150% of what it would cost in New York City.

Deutsche Bank's The Random Walk, April 2012

Order an imported beer at a Tokyo restaurant, and expect to pay $9.75. It would cost around $6.30 in New York.

A fast food hamburger in Tokyo also costs around $8.29. That's twice the price of the same meal in Shanghai.

Pizza Hut isn't cheap, either. A pie in Tokyo costs close to $25, compared to $15 in Manhattan.

Deutsche Bank's The Random Walk, April 2012

A pair of blue jeans in Tokyo costs, on average, $147. In Hong Kong they would cost $116.

A cup of coffee in Japan's capital costs a whopping $8.29. For that price, you could buy 3 cups of Starbucks in the US.

Milk is also pricey. A liter in Tokyo costs $3.21, compared to $1.32 in New York.

Even fitness in Tokyo is costly. A monthly gym membership there costs $115, compared to around $70 in New York.

The daily paper costs $6.38 in Tokyo. In New York, it would be $2.50.

At least cigarettes are cheap, in comparison. A pack of Marlboros costs more than $12 in New York, but under $6 in Tokyo.

Now see what other cities are costly to live in.

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