The best sausage is fish: how much does life cost in Japan

The best sausage — is fish: how much worth living in Japan

“Subtleties” continues a series of original first-hand publications about life in other countries, told by our people – immigrants from Russia and the CIS who once decided to move. We are pleased to present a new couple: Aichu and Japan. They have been together for over 15 years. At the end of the story, you will find a unique author's selection of 15 facts about the rules of life in Japan, which surprised us – and how!

Hello, I'm Aycha!

Graduating from the Faculty of Foreign Languages, I never thought that I would work in the automotive engineering field in Japan. It all started when a Japanese company, a major automotive parts contractor, needed employees. The recruitment was targeted, through personal acquaintances of the company's employees, and I was invited for an interview by a friend from the time of the language school in Tokyo. As a result, I ended up in the international marketing department serving BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen and other equally high-profile car names. Now, more than 15 years since I first set foot on the Japanese islands, I feel at home here – better than anywhere else. And my Instagram blog is a reflection of this long story, from which you will learn more than from online stories “about Japan”.

Micro singles and Japanese removal rules

The Japanese yen does not impose a fight on the US dollar, but it does not yield its position either – it has kept a stable exchange rate for many years in a row, and any operations and transactions are possible only in local currency.

Prosperous Japan has a high standard of living, respectively, stable salaries and high taxes.

The minimum salary of newly minted university graduates starts from 2300 USD, from which taxes and social contributions are withheld, in total about 300-400 USD. The reward grows every year in proportion to personal results and achievements. Taxes and deductions are rising the same way.

About real estate and rent

A rented apartment in a large city costs from 600 USD plus a communal apartment from 150 USD. Housing with a minimum budget is quite cramped, designed for one person, its area may not exceed 20 square meters. m with a kitchen in the hallway. Of course, the price also depends on the location, year of construction of the house, infrastructure, well-being of the area.

Unlike many other countries, where they try to acquire their own housing as soon as possible, in Japan, many prefer to rent it for many years (this despite the fact that banks easily give out mortgage loans for 35 years without a down payment). The fact is that renting has a lot of advantages: you can move to a new apartment with a fresh finish every couple of years, change areas to more convenient ones – or even choose “according to your mood”, you don’t have to pay a property tax that exceeds 1000 USD, you don’t need bother with repairs and other household issues. But still, the main reason that makes local residents take time to buy a home is work. Most companies have branches and branches throughout the country, this translates into frequent rotation of employees to transfer experience, maintain communications and strengthen the provinces. Own housing with such mobility can become a burden.

Unlike many other countries where they try to get their own housing as soon as possible, in Japan many people prefer to rent it for many years.

An iPhone lives for two years

Internet and communications in the country are quite expensive. Cellular communication most often comes “complete” with the device itself: every two years, cellular companies give out freshly released iPhones to the right and left on credit, which the happy owners close for 2 years at about 100 USD per month – just in time for the release of the next novelty. So do not be surprised when you see the latest iPhones in the hands of literally every first one on a Japanese train. Of course, there are also budget cellular plans from 30 USD, without regular replacement of the device. But would you be able to walk around with an old iPhone 7, knowing that you can get the 11th model right now and seeing how your friends and colleagues are already flaunting it with might and main?

Trains are not a luxury, cars are a status

Trains and subways are Japanese everything and everywhere: you can easily plan a trip to a neighboring city exclusively by “railroad”, without changing to buses. The cost is tied to the distance: you can get to the next station for 2 USD, and to the end of the line – for 8-10 USD, depending on its length.

The Japanese also have cars, and almost everyone buys the latest models, but they use them only on weekends for going out of town or family trips. The tax on a car is from 400 USD and above, it depends on the engine size, year of manufacture, exhaust emissions and other things. Plus, once every 2 years, owners are required to conduct a technical inspection with troubleshooting. A liter of gasoline costs about 1.2 USD, toll roads are not cheap pleasures.

The best sausage is fish

Stores do not sell meat, sausages, fruits, vegetables and other things by weight: everything is either in small packages or individually. At first, it was not easy for me to get used to the idea that – okay, apples – even onions and potatoes need to be bought individually and very expensive. For example, apples, pears, tomatoes in season cost from 1 USD per piece, and in winter-spring – more than 2 USD. Meat is sold packaged at 100-200 g.

In general, meat in Japan is considered not very healthy food, consumed in small quantities. You will find dishes like our roast here, except perhaps in a foreign restaurant.

By the way, the Japanese are happy to try dishes of different cultures, and in Tokyo there are enough restaurants and cafes with cuisine from literally all countries: from Korea to Italy and from Russia to America. The price range is very large, from 5 to 150 USD, it all depends on the concept and level of the institution.

In Tokyo, the fact that even the most budgetary sets are tasty, satisfying and always meet strict Japanese catering standards is encouraging. And complex lunches (no more than 10 USD), which include salad, miso soup and a main course, delight not only students. Good fish – mackerel, chum salmon, tuna, saury – is very affordable, you can dine with it at least every day. And the local sushi really deserve Michelin stars. This is what it means to live on the islands. Japanese! =”(max-width: 549px)”>

Best Sausage &mdash ; it's a fish: how much does life cost in Japan

15 Surprising Facts About Japan

  1. There are practically no cleaners in Japanese companies. All employees, including middle managers, systematically clean the office together: your boss may enthusiastically clean the toilet with rubber gloves, and your colleagues in ties sweep the area.
  2. Many companies practice morning exercises with all staff.The Japanese come to the office in beautiful shoes and a suit, and already there they change into “bath” slates and a sweatshirt. The unchanging carpet on the floor gave some people the habit of walking barefoot, wearing only socks. A typical Japanese office resembles a call center, where almost everyone sits in the same room. When addressing someone, you need to get down on your knee to be on the same level with a sitting colleague.
  3. Arriving late at work (at lunch or after it), they still say “Good morning”, as this first meeting of the day.
  4. Almost every employee at the workplace has toothpaste and a brush, and at lunchtime there is a line in the toilet to brush their teeth.
  5. If a superior employee invites you to dine, etiquette obliges you to agree without fail, even if you brought food with you.
  6. Japanese companies do not have IT departments: even trainee girls can install drivers or set up printing.
  7. < li>Walking in a winter hat and ugg boots or boots in summer is fashionable.

  8. The costume of cartoon characters and the make-up of fairy-tale characters will not in the least confuse either passers-by or the person in the image herself.
  9. Children in kindergarten all year round, including winter, go barefoot. No carpets.
  10. Dog owners do not just pick up after their pets – they take the bag home, not forgetting to wash the place with water from a specially seized bottle. Any other garbage is also taken with them: there are no garbage cans on the Japanese streets.
  11. The Japanese are taught from childhood not to pick up other people's things on the street. But if they notice who lost it, they will pick it up and immediately take it to the owner.
  12. The Japanese take a bath every day. It is customary for all family members to take one bath in turn, each taking a shower beforehand. To keep the water warm, the baths are equipped with a heating system.
  13. Long queues can often be seen at metro stations, bus stops and taxi ranks. No one tries to get through first, everyone waits patiently.
  14. In especially cold prefectures like Iwate and Hokkaido, highways are heated in winter to prevent ice.

Was it interesting? Read also how much it costs to live in Chile, Jamaica or Luxembourg.

* Instagram (part of Meta) is recognized as an extremist organization in Russia.

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