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Living on a Budget in Japan

No one should have to really budget in Japan if they know how to make money.  But if I had to, and I’ve done this before, I can survive off of 3000 yen a week, which is roughly equivalent to $40.00 U.S., on just yakitori from the convenience store and little snack foods I can add to rice.

I get a 5kg bag of rice and steam a cup full, which in turn lasts me for about a day or two.  Leftovers I store in the fridge.  You can buy 100 yen spicy chicken breast from any convenience store chain and add it along with some other additional seasonings. 

Another favorite is pasta.  Just boil up some pasta and instead of using tomato sauce, use two pinches of salt and a squeeze of lemon.  This gives the pasta a light and refreshing taste that can fill you up.

My  number one favorite though is Jiro Ramen of Kannai which is loaded with garlic.  Fills me up every time and at a very good price.   The golden rule here is quality and quantity combined while not trying to break the bank here.  


  1. Back in the day, I used to eat rice and spam 3x a day for 2 years. And free sashimi from my fisherman friend in Hawaii.

    I was poor as hell but it was mine and it is the part of my life that taught me the most.

    Plus I spent Friday night Saturday and Sunday picking up girls on Waikiki beach.

  2. This is interesting and really made me think. Though this is for one person, if you had a wife and kids would you need to times it by person? If you did, it seems expensive doesn't it?

    I would like to link to your post from my blog, in a discussion about this post of yours, may I have your permission?

  3. Hi Chris!

    Man, I eat spam now. I love that stuff because it's good, and especially with hot rice. I like to burn mine a bit. Even at the best of times I still eat Spam. I know about Waikiki.


    Sure! You may link to your discusion group. If I had a wife and kids I would definitely modify my list and I can probably explain that in greater detail a bit
    later on. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Have you tried eating real food - fresh fruits and veggies - and been able to stick to that budget?

  5. Okay Anonymous, I'll indulge you since you don't want to identify yourself...Dragonlife...

    To answer your question. Have you ever heard of this company
    Daichi no Kai? I used to order a fruit and veggie pack once a week for 1400 yen a box. It was enough to feed two to three people. I stopped the service because I couldn't keep up with all the veggies they were sending me once a week. There are other services that provide similar services, but this company is the best according to the housewives community.


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