Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Here is a basic rundown on our salary. Those who are considering working in Morioka will probably find this quite useful.

The figures are all in yen. To make it easy (and about 15% inaccurate in your favor) you can simply think $1= 100 yen.

Annual Salary: 3,600,000 yen

Monthly Salary (gross): 300,000
Health Insurance: 12,500
Pension(*): 21,000
Unemployment: 2,500

Apartment Rent: 42,000
Water: 3,000-4,000
Electricity: 3,500
Gas: 5,000-8,000 (**)

Cell Phone: 2,000-4,500 (at the low end, I use only two or three times a month; the high end assumes fairly frequent use but no excesses like TV, etc)
Internet: 3,200-4,500 (price just depends on where you live and the services that are available)

Transportation: 0
Bicycles are wonderful. However, you may be up to an hour or so by bike from your school. When it gets really cold, this can be bad, so thankfully there are some buses. One can apply for reimbursement for the bus expense to and from the school.

School fees: 0-5,500
Some schools have a snack fee that you can optionally pay to eat snacks at the school. Other schools-- well, mine only actually-- collect large fees each month for, well, it's not exactly clear, but you may not be able to avoid paying it.

Net after rent, utilities, and mandatory deductions: ~190,000-210,000 yen/month

Water, electricity, and gas usage assume conservative but frequent use. My apartment has slightly higher rent than some of the others.

(*): The government returns the pension money at the end of the program, assuming we complete our contract, which is a nice little bonus at the end of the two years.
(**): Gas price is confirmed after a few months of being more expensive than originally posted. Hot showers of even moderate length are expensive. The monthly fee (for any use) is about 2000 yen; after that, it's what you use.

Final note: nearly all bills are paid by direct deposit (it's set up as part of your orientation) so the only way you'll screw up payment is if you overdraw your account.


Daniel said...

I thought the program covered your apartment? This post WAS particularly useful for me cuz I am really looking forward to going to Morioka next year, assuming I get into the program...

Patrick said...

No, the program does not cover the apartment. As far as I know, the program has not covered any apartments, whether they be in Morioka or (as used to be the case) in Iwate/outside Morioka.

Sarah said...

When you wrote unemployment does that mean Japan thinks we are unemployed?

Patrick said...

Unemployment means you have to pay for general unemployment insurance. As far as I know, we just pay this; we won't get a refund at the end like we will for the pension.

Anonymous said...

What about food expenses? Obviously that comes out of net but can you provide a ballpark idea of what groceries cost for one 18 year old on a monthly basis?
If you eat out occasionally, what can the food bills run?

Patrick said...

I can't give an estimate because it really depends how you eat. You can expect that groceries in Morioka cost about 25% more than Richmond, though. That's just a rough estimate of course, but you'll definitely pay more for many common items (fruit, meat, grains).