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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
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Kaila Imada
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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.

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