We all picture the Land of the Rising Sun as distinctive to each other. A magnificent scene of cherry blossoms and snowy Mount Fuji behind! A Manga-themed bar with wacky karaoke and neon lights! A gorgeous Shinto Shrine feels like a world unto itself, full to the brim with spirituality, history, and an atmosphere quite unlike anywhere in the everyday world! Japan, the land of rituals and cutting-edge technology melting in the same pot. The land of contrariness!
Japanese culture has always been a curious case for outsiders. Since the period of gallant Shoguns, Japan has symbolized a Neverland which we watch like a blooming tea ball flower in the pot. Slow, tranquil, and enchanting. Even today, this compelling country is a sine qua non for travelers around the globe and probably, it leads most bucket lists for “10 places to visit before you die”. Besides its glamour, as the mecca of technological innovation, Japan is a bearing calibration of the modern world. From Bullet Trains to Smart Toilets, it is a dimension of the future ahead of us.
Saving and Investment in Japan
Considering the prodigious potential of business mingled with breathtaking culture and spectacular panorama, Japan commits a new era full of opportunities for those who dare to step in and settle down. No matter whether you are a blogger interested in Japanese culture, a Fin-Tech entrepreneur looking for nouveau investments or just a modest traveler dreaming to live in Kyoto one day, there are some tips for saving money in Japan so you can live on a budget.
“When you join another village, follow the rules” – a Japanese saying.
Did you know that there is a specific Japanese method of saving money, Kakeibo, pronounced “kah-keh-boh”, translates as “household financial ledger”? Yes! Some say it will get you sooner or later once you move to Japan whereas others believe you need to work it out to reveal it. Although it was considered a way to save money at first glance. The idea focuses on mindful spending and saving are pretty interlinked, and the small changes using the Kakeibo method can have a cumulative effect on your soul as well as your bank account. Basic Kakeibo-themed practices such as asking yourself “Will I actually use it?”, “Do I need this?” or “Can I live without this item?” can make miracles when you are planning to purchase a pair of sumptuous Louboutins.
How to Save Money in Japan
Japan is ranked as the third most expensive city to live in by the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2020. However, there are still many ways you can be wiser with your moolah while still residing in Japan. Here are some:
Unarguably, most of our budget goes to getting around when we are in a big city. Luckily, Japan is well-known with its comprehensive iron net reaching even the tiniest villages. Getting a JR (Japan Railway) rail pass will give you unlimited access to Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) and JR use within the period of time. For the closer distance, you can also cycle or utilize convenient bus schedules. For example, a bus ticket between Tokyo and Osaka is around 4000 yen single-way whereas the same trip costs at least 9000 yen. It is also advantageous to fly with a low-budget plane to save some yen. There are various meta-search engines that can help you to find the lowest flights.
The rents are not only pricey but also ridiculously turgescent in Japan. Mainly apartments will ask for shikikins (a kind of consignation) and reikins (gratitude money to accept you, yes seriously). You pay them once but they can be a heavy hunchback for new arrivals. A sharehouse can also be a life saver instead of a typical apartment. Plus, you will meet new people and expand your social routine. Another way is to find a house with a shower. Since the Japanese are highly obsessive about having an ofuro (bathtub), it will be evidently cheaper. Please note that it is always a smart choice to choose a residence close to work or a convenient train station. You will not only save money but also time which is more valuable.
No matter whether it is for groceries, clothes, or furniture, stopping by a “100 Yen Shop” is always a good idea. On the other hand, making good use of point cards can be pretty useful to save money in the long run. Actually, every store offers a membership rewards system, either their own or one that also extends to other stores in Japan. Accumulated points may enable you to have advantageous discounts or totally free items. How about shopping online to find the lowest price or utilizing recycle shops or craigslist for high-quality second-hand items? Garage sales, flea markets, bazaars, and resales are great spots to gather electronic goods, sports equipment, DVDs, second-hand books, clothing, children’s goods, and many other household items. This is a perfect way of saving and investment at the same time.
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