The start of April is a very special period in Japan. Every year by this time of the year newly graduates are entering working life or still at most universities new students start their studies from April. Therefore it is not surprising that many households are newly set up. A recent survey with Nikkei Shimbun (questioned 600 people, half male and half female) about their experienced cost, when they had to get their first household electronic goods and all the furniture. About 8% had not actually experienced the step of setting up their own home. Plus a rather high percentage with 18% had no idea how much they had actually spent.
Total amount spent less than JPY 10,000: 10%
More than JPY 10,001 – 30,000: 16%
More than JPY 30,001 – 50,000: 19%
More than JPY 50,001 – 100,000: 24%
More than JPY 100,001: 5%
To be honest, I wonder how those 10% of the respondents could organize a new home with less than JPY 10,000. I remember that when I had set up my own space in Tokyo, although I had tried to save some money by buying a lot of second-hand household goods, but I still ended up with a total amount close to JPY 100,000.
When I compare this sum to the costs I had as a student in Switzerland or then as a working adult in Los Angeles in the US, the amount of JPY 100,000 still seems unbelievably low. Although Tokyo is perceived as a very expensive city in global comparison, from my personal experience, I believe compared to larger cities in Switzerland or US the basic living costs are not so high in Tokyo. I would even argue the challenge lies in Japan that the salaries are rather low compared to the other places I have worked and lived.
In your case, do you remember how much you had spent on your first place that you called home? Looking forward to hearing from your experience,
Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)