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The Cost of Living in Sendai: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Cost of Living in Sendai: A Comprehensive Guide

Sendai is the largest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region and is a cultural and economic center for the area. If you’re considering moving to Sendai or simply want to compare its cost of living to other cities in Japan, this guide will provide you with a detailed breakdown of expenses that you can expect to incur.

Housing Costs in Sendai

One of the most significant expenses you’ll have in Sendai is housing. The cost of renting an apartment in the city will depend on several factors, such as location, size, and amenities provided. You can expect to pay around ¥60,000 – ¥100,000 per month for a single-bedroom apartment in the city center.If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider living in the suburbs, where rents are generally lower. For example, in Taihaku-ku, you can find one-bedroom apartments for around ¥40,000 per month.Buying a house in Sendai is also an option, with prices varying depending on the location and the property’s size. The average price of an apartment in Sendai is around ¥270,000 per square meter.

Food Costs in Sendai

Another significant expense that you’ll have in Sendai is food. The cost of food in Japan is generally higher than in other countries, but it can vary depending on the type of food and where you purchase it.If you eat out regularly, you’ll need to budget around ¥800 – ¥2,000 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. If you prefer to cook at home, you can expect to pay around ¥10,000 – ¥15,000 per week for groceries.Fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC are also popular in Japan, but they’re generally not much cheaper than mid-range restaurants.

Transportation Costs in Sendai

Public transportation in Sendai is excellent and affordable, with a range of options available, including buses and subways. A one-way ticket on the subway costs around ¥200 – ¥300.If you need to commute regularly, it’s more budget-friendly to purchase a monthly pass. A monthly pass for the subway in Sendai costs around ¥7,800.If you prefer to drive, you can expect to pay around ¥150 – ¥200 per liter of gasoline in Sendai.

Healthcare Costs in Sendai

Japan has one of the best healthcare systems globally, and Sendai is no exception. Medical costs in Sendai are relatively affordable, and the city has several excellent hospitals and clinics for both residents and visitors.If you have insurance, you can expect to pay around ¥3,000 – ¥5,000 for a routine doctor’s visit. The cost of medication is also affordable, with many drugs available for less than ¥1,000.

Entertainment Costs in Sendai

If you’re looking for entertainment in Sendai, there’s plenty to do, and the cost will depend on the activity you choose. Visiting a museum or art gallery will cost you around ¥500 – ¥1,000, while going to a movie theater will cost around ¥1,800.There are also many festivals and events that take place in Sendai throughout the year, which are mostly free to attend.


In summary, the cost of living in Sendai is relatively affordable, with housing being the most significant expense for residents. However, you can save money by living in the suburbs, budgeting for food costs, and taking advantage of an excellent public transportation system. With its excellent healthcare system, beautiful scenery, and many entertainment options, Sendai is undoubtedly a great place to live in Japan!

The Insider’s Guide to Sendai, Japan

Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, is a bustling metropolis located in the Tohoku region on the east coast of Japan’s main island, Honshu. While Tokyo is the more popular destination for travelers, Sendai is a hidden gem worth visiting. It boasts several attractions, rich history, and cultural experiences, not to mention a relatively lower cost of living compared to other Japanese cities. Whether you’re coming for a day trip or an extended stay, here’s a comprehensive guide to the cost of living in Sendai:

Local Attractions

Sendai is dubbed as the “City of Trees” because of its abundance of greenery. One of the top attractions is the Sendai Castle Ruins, located in Aoba Castle Park. The park offers a stunning panoramic view of the city, and you can see the remains of castle walls and the stone foundation of the main castle tower. Another must-see is the Zuihoden Mausoleum, where the remains of Date Masamune, the founder of Sendai, and his family are enshrined. The mausoleum boasts intricate wood carvings and vibrant colors, reflecting Japan’s transition from medieval to early modern times.

If you’re looking for a bit of culture, visit the Sendai Mediatheque, a contemporary building that houses a library, exhibitions, and a theater. It is home to cutting-edge exhibitions on Japanese contemporary art and design. For art enthusiasts, the Miyagi Museum of Art is worth a visit. It showcases a range of artworks, from Japanese modern art to Western paintings and sculptures.

Dining Spots

Sendai is famous for its beef tongue, which is a must-try for foodies. The Sendai gyutan dishes up beef tongue in various ways, including grilled, boiled, and even raw. If you’re up for an adventure, try the “raw” gyutan, which is thinly sliced and enjoyed with some soy sauce and garlic.

If beef tongue is not your thing, don’t worry, Sendai has plenty of other culinary delights. The city is known for its seafood, particularly salmon, which is freshly caught from the nearby coast. Sushi and seafood bowls at the Ichibancho Teramachi Market will not disappoint. Another restaurant to try is the Tonkatsu Ishikawa, which serves up breaded and fried pork cutlets, a Japanese favorite.

Cultural Experiences

If you’re interested in Japanese tea culture, consider taking a tea-making class at the Rikyu-an Teahouse. The tea house locates in a historic district and provides a glimpse into the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.

For a bit of history, visit the Osaki Hachiman Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Sendai, dating back to 780 AD. You can see the awe-inspiring “stone gate” and “gratitude stones” at the shrine. Another historical site is the Jozenji Street Jazz Festival, a three-day event carefully curated to bring together jazz musicians from around the world.

Local History

Sendai’s history dates back to 1600, when Date Masamune, the founder of the city, built his castle here. The city played a significant role during the Edo period, serving as a commercial hub for the region. You can learn more about Sendai’s history by visiting the Sendai City Museum. It showcases a range of artifacts from the prehistoric Jomon period to the more recent Meiji period.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For those seeking a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, visit the Yamadera temple. It is a secluded hilltop temple with a serene atmosphere and a lovely view of the surrounding hills and forests. Alternatively, the Mount Zao is an active volcano on the outskirts of Sendai and is a popular destination for hikers and skiers.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the cost of living in Sendai is relatively low compared to other Japanese cities, which makes it an ideal destination for budget travelers. But the city has so much more to offer than just affordability. From its rich history and culture to its gastronomic delights and local attractions, Sendai is a must-see destination on your next visit to Japan.

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The Cost of Living in Sendai: A Comprehensive Guide

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!