Initial costs

Initial costs for living in Japan will depend on where you live and how much furniture/appliances you need. Generally, renting an apartment and buying furniture and appliances may cost anywhere from JPY 200,000 - 400,000 on average. If you are a regular student, you may move into the student dormitory. The rent for a single room is only JPY 10,000. However, you will need to buy some other things like bedding, heater (A/C), kitchen utensils, etc. For further information, please refer to the Handbook for International Students.

Living costs (per month)

Many students and scholars that visit NAST agree that living in Japan can be quite expensive. While expenses depend on the lifestyle you choose to live, here is a general idea of how much some things may cost during your stay.

  • Food: JPY 20,000 - 30,000 (cooking for oneself) (Eating out costs about JPY 1,000 for lunch and JPY 2,000 - 3,000 for dinner.) The cafeteria is on campus offering inexpensive dining options
  • Water and utilities: JPY 10,000 (may be more expensive seasonally)
  • Consumable goods: JPY 2,000-4,000
  • Rent (for a single or studio apartment):
    Student dormitory: JPY 10,000
    UR public housing: JPY 35,000~60,000
    Private housing: JPY 20,000~60,000
  • Mobile phone service (for a phone bought in Japan): JPY 2,000~8,000

Housing

Housing in Japan:
Unlike many other countries, shared housing is not common and many landlords will not allow or discourage sharing an apartment or multiple renters. Therefore, students not living in university housing often either live at home or in single-room apartments. Generally, when renting a private apartment, you will pay shikikin, a security deposit (1-3 month's rent), reikin, key money (1-3 month's rent), and commission for the real estate agent (1 month's rent). Moreover, a contract renewal fee is often required. Reikin is not refunded, but shikikin will be returned to you if the room has been maintained in the same condition as when you started to live. You may be able to negotiate the shikikin and reikin amount, and some properties don't charge them, so please confirm the conditions with the real estate agent.

There are 3 types of housing available for students and scholars: on-campus housing, UR public housing, and private housing.
On-campus housing is the cheapest and most convenient option available for both students and scholars, but there are a limited number of rooms available. Short-term housing includes Guesthouse Sentan and the student dormitories, and long-term housing includes Takayama Science Plaza, student dormitories and staff housing. Guesthouse Sentan and Takayama Science Plaza are furnished but the monthly cost for these may be more than double the dormitories or staff housing. The dormitories or staff housing are very reasonable, but they are only sparsely furnished. The rooms do not have heating/ air conditioning, mattresses, or curtains, and the showers are shared. Please be prepared to purchase the necessary items for the option you choose.
For off-campus housing you may choose UR public housing or private housing.
UR housing are public rental units provided by the Urban Renaissance Agency. They don't require Reikin or commissions, and all you have to pay is 2 month's rent as Shikikin, the rent per diem, and the management fee, so you save on initial costs. In addition, if there is no request to cancel the contract, the contract will automatically be renewed every year without fees. UR housing doesn't require guarantors (or guarantor companies), unlike when renting private housing. The disadvantage of the UR housing is the inconvenience of access and the unit age. Some are far from the station, and others don't have elevators or drains for a washing machine. For private housing realtors are usually required and shikikin and reikin are often necessary. The rental system for private housing is traditionally based on long-term rental and costs can be quite high due to this. However, international students and scholars with families may found private housing more appealing. Please keep in mind that a guarantor of some sort is required. In addition to traditional private housing, there are also furnished apartments that may be rented by the week and 'share houses' where you can rent one room of a house.

CISS (Center for International Students and Scholars) ciss@ad.naist.jp

For inquiries or further information you may contact the respective section below:

  • For information concerning international students
    International Student Affairs Section: ryugaku@ad.naist.jp
  • For information concerning NAIST employees & international scholars employed by NAIST
    Welfare Section (Personnel Division): fukuri@ad.naist.jp
  • For information concerning other international scholars
    International Affairs Section: kokusai@ad.naist.jp