Survey: Tokyo is the fifth most expensive city in the world for expats

Nevertheless, according to the ECA International survey, Tokyo has gotten cheaper since taking second place in 2021

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
Associate Editor, Time Out Tokyo
Tokyo at night
Photo: Jean Vella/Unsplash

Aside from Japan being the number one tourist destination in the world, it’s also a popular location for people looking to relocate for work. While living in a big, world-class city doesn’t come cheap, this year’s Employment Conditions Abroad (ECA) International survey has ranked Tokyo as the fifth most expensive city in the world for expats. 

The survey results are drawn from a comparison of commonly purchased consumer goods and services including food, clothing and public transport in over 490 locations across the globe. The survey also takes into consideration ECA's data on living and accommodation, which compare rental costs in areas with expatriates in 410 locations around the world.

Surprisingly, this year's global ranking shows that Tokyo has fallen from second place in 2021 to fifth place, despite recent inflation. The other countries that make up the top five are Hong Kong in first place, followed by New York (second), Geneva (third) and London (fourth).

Of all the cities in Asia, Tokyo ranks as the second most expensive city, trailing behind Hong Kong. Shanghai (eighth overall), Guangzhou (ninth) and Seoul (tenth) make up the top five most expensive cities in Asia for expats. 

According to the ECA International report, all Japanese cities included in the survey have dropped in the rankings due to the weakened yen, high inflation and negative interest rates. The weak yen also makes Japan relatively cheaper for expats paid in other currencies.

For further details on this year’s global ranking, visit ECA’s website.

More from Time Out Tokyo

5 new Japanese movies coming to Netflix in August 2022

A giant 3D Akita inu is appearing on billboards around Shibuya Crossing

How to print your Covid-19 vaccine passport at a convenience store

Here are 7 of the most scenic seaside Airbnbs near Tokyo

The 75-minute fireworks at Lake Kawaguchiko is back this year

Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.

You may also like
You may also like