Surviving Hitotsubashi ICS

Life in Hitotsubashi International Corporate Strategy comes in two aspects – the administrative and the academic.

Administrative (this post). This means living in Japan, going to school, money matters etc. This can actually be a Surviving Japan post, but I think it’s a tad specific to my experience as a Hitotsubashi student.

Academic (see Thriving in Hitotsubashi ICS). These are the, well, academic aspects. If I have to explain this to you, maybe you should reconsider going to graduate school. :p

Money Matters.

High level estimate of monthly expenses, based on my experience, all in JPY:

  • 48,000 – Housing
  • 10,000 – Student’s pass for daily transportation (ICS to Odaiba)
  • 10,000 – Groceries, around JPY2,500/week (I cook at home)
  • 30,000 – Meals (JPY600 for lunch meal + around JPY400 for snacks, 30 days)
  • 10,000 – Electricity (with use of full room heater, electric stove, laundry machine, refrigerator)
  • 10,000 – Miscellaneous

Based on these, you’ll need less than JPY150,000 a month.

For the first month, you’ll also have to pay the management fee that’s equal to one month’s rent.

Get a credit card too. The school materials (cases) are via Harvard Online Publishing, so you’ll need to buy them online.

Note for YLP Scholars: For the first month, you’re on your own. Hence, get around USD2,500 ready. In my case, I should have had converted everything back at home.

For those from the Philippines, I recommend that you exchange money at Czarina or BDO.


If you’re a MEXT scholar, you’re lucky because they will take care of everything. Tokyo International Exchange Center (TIEC) is fully furnished, no guaranty etc is needed, AND they speak English.

If you don’t wanna take this great deal, good luck.

If you don’t have this option, there’s a dorm in Kunitachi that you can apply to. It’s cheaper, just a little bit further but most definitely a good deal.


Japan transport is extremely expensive. You can get a commuter’s pass though for around 30% of the total monthly fee (so 70% discount) of your registered route. For example, my normal fare is around JPY550 one way, so more than a thousand yen per day. My commuter’s pass is JPY10,000 a month.


If you don’t love Japanese food, I strongly suggest you learn to do so.


11 thoughts on “Surviving Hitotsubashi ICS

  1. Hi there! Thanks for such an informative post. I just got awarded the scholarship and cannot wait for the experience.

    Just wondering, how hard was it to get your bank account, mobile SIM and transport card sorted? How long did it take you?


    1. Congratulations! You’ll have the time of your life!

      Bank account – the admin team will do it for you. All you have to do is go to the bank with them at a set time (I think within a day or two of your arrival), and sign where they point.

      mobile SIM – i didn’t get mine personally, an upperclassman just passed hers on. But just go to any yodobashi/BIC store and you can get it sorted in an hour or two.

      transport card – unfortunately, you can only get one once you have your school ID. In our case, from October. Hence we paid the full amount for September (I took the bus from TIEC to ICS at that time so it was a bit cheaper).


  2. Sounds great! Just to clarify that it’s also the same for YLP students, right? They’ll help the YLP student to book for accommodations.

    Thank you for the quick response!


    1. For YLP students everything is pretty smooth – everything is ready once you get there. absolutely nothing to worry about. 🙂 all you have to do is follow the instructions in their emails a couple of weeks before you fly.


      1. Fantastic!

        Thanks, again! Just got an email that I got in the program. So, I’m excited and anxious at the same time. Good thing I saw this post who’s also from the Philippines.


  3. Hello! 😁

    How did you arrange for your accommodation on your first week/month? Did you book everything prior your arrival?



  4. Hi, I’m assuming you got in to ICS via the YLP here in the Philippines. Can I ask you some questions regarding it as I’m also currently in the process of doing the same thing. Thank you!


    1. Hi! Yes, I did. Sure, just comment with your questions and I’ll try to answer them. I did write about my experience on this blog so you can explore first and i’ll answer the ones I haven’t written about. 🙂 good luck!


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