Six things that foreigners feel are overpriced in Japan

Six things that foreigners feel are overpriced in Japan

TOKYO —

Japan is perceived as being an expensive country by many foreigners. Some things are expensive, while others are cheaper (depending on which country you are comparing prices to, obviously).

Recently, lifestyle website Madame RiRi carried an article, giving six examples of what foreigners in Japan found to be more expensive than back home.

1. Dining

Although there are many restaurants offering reasonable prices due to the prolonged recession, many foreigners still say that food in Japan is expensive. The main gripe is that the servings are too small, so it costs more for people who eat a lot. Furthermore, some foreign people felt that international foods such as peanut butter, tacos, pizza, and so on are fairly expensive.

2. Fruit

The land of 10,000-yen melons. Foreigners are puzzled as to why so many items of fruit are considered luxury gift items — 2,000 yen for a piece of gift-wrapped fruit in Japan that might cost $2-3 in the U.S. Pineapples and bananas are the only cheap fruit, it seems.

3. Education

Japanese education is certainly expensive. For example, many foreign people say that rucksacks (used by Japanese elementary schoolchildren), school fees , examination fees for entering university, and so on, are exorbitant. Japan also has cram schools, which are not very common abroad, and that adds to the cost of a child’s overall education.

4. Movie tickets

The average price of a movie ticket in the U.S. is $7.95 (about 640 yen). In Japan, you’ll have to shell out at least 1,800 yen.

5. Alcohol

The price of beer in Japan is four times more expensive than in Germany and twice as expensive as in the U.S. Also, wine prices in Japan are four times more expensive than in France. There is saying that German people drink beer like water and French people drink wine like water because they are so cheap.

6. Skin care products

Some foreigners said that skin care products in Japan are three times more expensive than in the U.S. Generally speaking, Japanese people may spend a lot more money on beauty products than people in other countries.

The above items are just six examples. There are plenty more. If you spotted something that strikes you as being too expensive in Japan, share your comments here.

Source: Madame RiRi

  • -9

    Familienprobleme

    Usually that extra money you pay is for some extra service or better quality. You many necessarily want it though.

    Movie tickets might be more expensive, but the seats are clean and in good condition and you don't walk out with bubble gum stuck to your shoe.

    The Japanese fruit is expensive but also meticulously grown. It don't think its remotely worth the effort though.

    Eating out costs but I would rather have that than the wilted bland vegetables and sloppily cooked food I would get at home even if they do give you more. There are several foods I never liked until I came to Japan and got them served right. Quality does count.

    And wine prices seem on par with everywhere else at the grocery store. All alcohol is more expensive at bars and non-family restaurants though because you are paying to pretend you are part of the nobility and have some schmuck with a towel over his arm pour your drink with panache. I could do without that. But in Japan, this delusion of grandeur seems to be the order of the day.

  • 8

    Farmboy

    <Also, wine prices in Japan are four times more expensive than in France. >

    France MAKES wine, so of course it will be cheaper there. However, if you aren't talking about restaurant prices, retail wine prices in Japan compared to the US for similar quality French or Italian wine are very reasonable, especially if you go to one of the online Rakuten shops.

  • -3

    some14some

    Agreed except Education and Skin-care never used these two categories (personally).

  • 22

    Geoff Gillespie

    What happened to CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays on this list? No recommended retail price to the stores, the price on the obi strip is the price you pay everywhere...and that price is ridiculously high. Japan remains just about the only country in the world where an imported disc is cheape than the domestic version.

  • 16

    tmarie

    I am going to have to disagree with some of that list.

    Alcohol is dirt cheap here compared to Canada, the UK... if you buy it from the shop and not out eating.

    Eating here can be cheap for lunch sets. Dinner can be pricey but it actually cheaper now than it was 10 years ago.

    Skin care? No idea as I bring mine from home. I can't find a face cream that isn't a whitening one!

    I will agree with the fruit comment and movie tickets. Disagree with the comment though that seats back home aren't comfortable. I would prefer a movie home without the obachans yattering away during the movie - great seats home too!

    What I find expensive is pizza (picture reminded me of how much of a rip off it is), cheese, vitamins, feminine products, things like gel, hairspray, shampoo.... And of course, rent.

  • 4

    Okinawamike

    Milk! No one in the family drinks the stuff but me. I buy the 178 yen skim stuff, the wife buys the 289 yen whole milk and then never drinks it.

    It all goes in cereal so I don't care if it's whole or skim.

  • 2

    cleo

    The major problem with Japanese skin care products is that there are few if any cruelty-free products, which is a greater deterrent than the price. Ask the sales lady and all you get is a blank stare. Body Shop and Lush have plenty of good, non-whitening products. They may be more expensive than at home, but it's worth it.

  • 2

    Weasel

    On number 4, you might catch a mid-week matinee for $8 - but realistically you're looking at $10. Besides, it's the cost of the concessions that totally nukes the budget if you go to the theater. The wise ones BYOB, since there's only soda available.

  • 1

    Serrano

    Well, things would seem a lot cheaper if the dollar bought, say, 130 yen.

    Skin care products! Heck, even at the ridiculous exchange rate of 77 yen to the formerly almighty dollar, 100 yen for a jar of aloe skin lotion that makes my hands and face nice and smooth is cheap!
    There is a plethora of good stuff at the 100 yen shops!

  • 1

    TrouserEnthusiast

    I thought alcohol was pretty cheap here, if you buy it at a shop. Eg: About 1000yen for a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. I think that's about a third of the price of it in Australia.

    Don't buy fruit much these days...because of the expense.

    Yes, movie tickets are a rip-off.....I guess that's why most people download these days.

    When I went to the USA for a visit, I was shocked at how low the prices were for skin creams, makeup, medicine and stuff. So lucky! I don't really know about Japan as I just use Nivea products. I still think perfume in Japan is fairly cheap though.

    I think meat is fairly cheap here....if you don't buy fatty Japanese beef. Breast chicken is half the price of what it costs in Australia....yet it's difficult to find a cheap whole chicken unless it's Christmas time!

    And yeah, the DVD thing....but I'm not complaining....I am stocking up on foreign (ie. USA) DVDs from Amazon.jp. They are so cheap if they're not new releases!

    Toilet paper and tissues are cheap here at least! :)

  • 9

    Yubaru

    Cheese, meat and fresh veggies should hit that list in my opinion. Oh and by cheese I mean the "real" stuff not the processed slices that like to get passed off as cheese.

  • 0

    namabiru4me

    People complain about pizza...much of the cost is delivery. In Nagoya we have a place named Mama Maria. The pizza are 1/2 price if you pick them up. Got 3 large, very delicious pizzas a few nights ago for less than 3,000 yen!

    As for education, you pay now or you pay later where higher education is concerned. And in the States the fees for university education are not cheap either.

  • 11

    Lyndon Green

    One word: Costco.

  • -4

    Serrano

    Pizza! Ha ha ha! I buy 3 medium fresh & delicious cheese pizzas at the supermarket for 680 yen!

  • -2

    johninnaha

    If you eat exotic food that comes from a long way from where the restaurant is, you can expect to pay a lot for it. Japanese food is expensive in London and Sydney. I don't know about other countries.

    Okinawan food in Okinawa is remarkably cheap. You can get a good, filling lunch for 500 yen. An evening meal Okinawan style with drinks shouldn't set you back more than 3,000 yen. But if you're expecting a slab of cow flesh that hangs over the sides of the plate for the price you'd pay for it in Texas, you're not going to find it.

    Beer and wine ARE expensive, but that is tax, so the government is to blame there.

    However, awamori isn't expensive and there are hundreds to choose from. Recently, we have been drinking kokuto (raw sugar shochu from Amami Oshima) which is cheap and very good. The best way to get wine in Japan is to order through the internet. Companies like Rakuten or Mattox have a good selection of wines, many are in the 1,000 yen a bottle range. Few supermarkets know how to keep wine and some even put it near a window, so that by the time you buy it, it's on its way to becoming vinegar. The companies that ship through the internet do know how to keep it and their wine is always in excellent condition when it arrives.

    Eat and drink what the locals do in any area and you'll find good food/drink at reasonable prices.

  • 3

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    Why do crab legs cost so much here? I get the same ones in Florida for half the price, and they come from here.

  • 0

    kyushugrl84

    I think i have to dissagree about the Movie theather thing. going to the movies is expensive in Japan but from what i've heard from my parents back in the US going to a movie there will still set you back about 12 bucks now. So it may be a bit cheaper in US but not nearly as cheap as this article is making it sound.

  • -1

    naruhodo1

    pamelot, exactly!! i was in san diego recently, and they were expecting 20%. i cant believe electronics and cars were left off the list! Depending where u live (outside of tokyo) and downtown of other cities, rent is at par or even cheaper. furthermore, at near 0 interest you can borrow for very cheap especially on a mortgage of a house.

  • 1

    naruhodo1

    as for pizza, going to restaurants is 50% cheaper than delivery and better pizza AND sometimes u get a salad bar included. uve got to find these deals..

  • 9

    DS

    Pizza is hit and miss. Around here, Pizza Hut has "Hut no hi" when pizza is half price if you pick up. Makes a large deluxe pizza only 1500 yen.

    The unforgivable prices are bread and rice. A 10kg bag of rice costs in the area of 4000 yen, for domestic rice in Japan. In Canada, 10 kg bags of rice grown in California can be had for less than $10.

    Bread is the same. 200 yen for six slices? Give me a break.

  • 5

    Julian Onyali

    The thing that gets me is the 'registration' and 'administration' fees they have on certain services over here. I mean stuff like: Key money (and other additional moving in costs). 10,000yen 'signing up' fees for martial arts classes (in addition to monthly fees and annual membership charges) 'Joining fees' for language schools. In fact, private tuition at my previous school in Central London was cheaper even than some group lessons here (and it was expensive in London).

    For food, and supermarket food in particular, the 'big issue' is the lack of deals and promotions. In the UK, even where base prices were fairly high, you could usually save money by taking advantage of half-price deals and 2 for 1s and the like. In Tokyo, these don't seem to exist so grocery shopping tends to be much more expensive here for me.

  • 11

    ReformedBasher

    Japan is cheap compared to Australia (open invitation to those who will feel the need to prove me wrong)

    Seriously though, Japan had how much inflation in the last 2 decades? 10-20%? Meanwhile Australia managed to become one of the most overpriced countries on Earth. The average person cannot afford a home - understandable in Japan to an extent (but not entirely). Completey ludicrous in Australia.

  • 0

    Maitake

    Owning a car and learning a traditional Japanese instrument have been the most expensive things for me. Agree with Julian about those fees. When I rented a parking space, I had to shell out a man and a half as a "handling fee"... and If you want to be a member of any kind of group or organization, you will be raped for yen.

  • 1

    ReformedBasher

    As for booze, 100 yen for a can of Chu-Hi (at least in 2007) at the supermarket compared to about 3 times that for the Australian equivalent.

    Yay Chu-Hi! Kampai!

  • 1

    kibousha

    Only six ? Everything except for computer parts imho. To add a few more, rent, software licensing, transportation fee.

  • 0

    LockOn

    Agree with ReformedBasher, Japan isn't the 'expensive' country as it is reputed to be any longer compared to Australia (Sydney/Melbourne). Prices there are as expensive, if not, more. In Japan, you're also getting a higher level of hospitality, service and convenience for the price.

  • 4

    marcels

    Agree with most of the mentioned stuff but I disagree with alcohol.. In Australia you,ll pay betwwen 35 to 44 AUD$ to buy a 700ml bacardi ,sminoff vodka,JW BLK , I can pick them up here for 1000 JPY also wine is dirt cheap here as well ,you can pick up a decent bottle of Bordeaux for 1000JPY,... Compared to Australia, Japan is cheaper, absolutely no question, from Daycare to property.......

  • 4

    Triumvere

    Pizza is hit and miss. Around here, Pizza Hut has "Hut no hi" when pizza is half price if you pick up. Makes a large deluxe pizza only 1500 yen.

    Too bad a "large pizza" in Japan is more like a medium... if you are lucky.

  • 3

    y3chome

    The Japanese "Paper Trail" fee. As mentioned by others above, these silly joining/入会費 thingys for just about everything. Then they do a promotion with half or no joining fee ; they shouldnt even have it in the first place!!

    And totally agree with the supermarket deals; seems to be here "special offer" is like 50yen off. WOW!! But not enough to float my boat. Having said that Peacock, as well as having not-too-crazily priced Waitrose corner; they sometimes have 40% off frozen goods (not a fantastic selection though... wot is it that Japanese have against frozen Veg?). At Xmas was out looking for potatoes; 398yen for a bag of four tiny macqueens!!!

    Cheese is crazily priced though. Best deal I found was Yamaya, 800g block for 1200 yen (mozerella or Gouda)

  • 3

    tkoind2

    "Usually that extra money you pay is for some extra service or better quality. You many necessarily want it though."

    Nonsense. Japan's fit in one box only service is inflexible and limited. I would also call service here "managed" it rarely amounts to hospitality as it does in other countries I have spent time in.

    Finally, what extra service is there in ordinary retail shopping? Does the run down old rack of wine in my supermarket offer any add on service that the new well stocked and well organized rack in the Seattle supermarket is missing? Certainly not. And the wine guy in Seattle can recommend, very well I may add, a wine for every discerning customer and all for a range of $14-$30 for a regular wine. By contrast the novelty wine shop in Kokubunji has to ask nearly everyone in the shop before picking the most predictable bottle. So again, where is the extra service and quality?

    Japan I am very sad and sorry to inform you, but you are being ripped off fo so much here. I can understand import cost add ons, but domestically produced stuff like pizza should only be slightly more expensive to cover higher wages and costs. Not double or tripple the price and a quarter of the size of foreign competitors in other countries.

  • 9

    tkoind2

    And one more note. I don't know what others define as pizza. But the cardboard like pizzas offered by most delivery chains in Japan are not up to cheap frozen pizza quality in the US. Not even close.

  • 7

    Nessie

    Tofu and takkyubin are reasonable. The crazy items are those that are off by a factor of more than ten.

    ASPIRIN US...100 tablets = 100 yen Japan...12 tablets = 1000 yen Almost 100 times the price.

    RICOTTA CHEESE US...800 g = 400 yen Japan...200 g = 1000 yen Ten times the price.

  • 5

    marcelito

    What is way overpriced here are the highway fees - as taxpayers we pay for them to be buit and then get slugged so heavily to use them - a real " highway robbery " - weekend drive cost me around 2000 yen for 70 km recently. ( loved driving around Aussie over Christmas time ) Agree with other posters - many things in Australia are way more expensive esp. rents / mortgages, eating & drinking out, visiting a doctor /dentist..etc..some way cheaper eg. fruits / vegies, cosmetics ...Main consideration when making these comparisons though is the average salary & individual buyying power in the given country...otherwise its meaningless.

  • 12

    Noripinhead

    Has anyone else mentioned DENTAL FLOSS! Outrageous in Japan. No wonder people have bad teeth.

  • 6

    jforce

    The list is way off. Cheese, fruit, beans, gasoline, car-tax, highways, residential tax.

  • 1

    tokyokawasaki

    Vegetables & 'real' cheese are very expensive. On that point, has anyone seen swede (rutabaga) or parsnips in Japan?

  • 8

    namabiru4me

    @Noripinhead - yeah...I cringe when I run out of floss...500+ yen for string! But, it is a must have for me!

    Another overpriced item is SHAKEN. Hate it!

  • 1

    Nessie

    Vegetables & 'real' cheese are very expensive. On that point, has anyone seen swede (rutabaga) or parsnips in Japan?

    Funny you should mention it. I was at an eccentric Japanese restaurant last night and the cook served what he called "Amerikan boufu", which turned out to be parsnip. They grow them in Eniwa and Niseko, Hokkaido.

  • -5

    thepersoniamnow

    "The main gripe is that the servings are too small".... With the physical state many of these gripers are in, wouldn't this actually be educational and a favor to their arteries? A serving and a portion are actually real sizes. Look at a recipe.

  • 3

    Akula

    Domestic flights, particularly if booked at shortish notice.

  • 1

    senseiman

    I like to compare the price of cookies in the supermarket.

    Foreign brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy are in packages that are almost 100% packed with actualy cookies. The per-cookie price of those are far and away the cheapest. There is very little empty space in the boxes/packages and no redundant packaging.

    The Japanese brands like Country Ma`am are puffed up with packaging and air. They usually cost more than the import ones yet the same sized package usually yields about half as much actual cookies. You basically are paying twice as much for the privilege of getting a bunch of useless extra packaging.

    Quality wise there isn`t much difference. Basically the Japanese cookie firms are just grossly inefficient compared to the foreign brands.

    Tis sort of comparison can be done with a lot of things in the supermarket and elsewhere. Its what Chalmers Johnson called the dual economy in Japan. Youve got a bunch of export oriented industries like the auto and electronics makers who have to compete on the international market and have thus become quite efficient. Then youve got the rest of the economy which only caters to the domestic market and, until the US started demanding Japan open up its markets, didn`t have to deal with much in the way of competetive pressure.

    Mind you, even these inefficient industries are surviving. Japanese cookie makers under normal economic logic should have all been driven under by the importation of better quality, cheaper imports by now yet the supermarket store shelves are still stocked wtih lots of Japanese made cookies at grossly inflated prices. They probably have an advantage in terms of better catering to local tastes there than the foreign ones.

  • 2

    tkoind2

    thepersoniamnow. There is some validity to the serving size even for slender people like me. My healthy Thai stirfry in Seattle costs $11 or about 880 yen now. The exact same dish at the "cheap" Thai place in Tokyo costs JPY1,1000 but is less than 1/2 the size.

    Now in Seattle that stirfry can easily be shared fro two. In Tokyo people usually share dishes too, which often amounts to a couple forks full before it is gone.

    You can rationalize this all you like. But the ingredience are all locally available. The cost of prime retail space in Seattle is not that dramatically different from the site on the Chuo line of this place. And the service is about the same. So where is the dramatic cost per gram disparity coming from? Better still, why?

  • 2

    2020hindsights

    Agree with ReformedBasher, Japan isn't the 'expensive' country as it is reputed to be any longer compared to Australia (Sydney/Melbourne). Prices there are as expensive, if not, more.

    Depends on what you are talking about. High quality fresh food? Australia is cheaper.

    The average person cannot afford a home - understandable in Japan to an extent (but not entirely). Completey ludicrous in Australia.

    Why understandable in Japan? In Australia, people expect a lot more in a home. Many people plump for a small apartment in Japan that has no equity. In Australia people want a house with a backyard.

  • -7

    ebisen

    2,000 yen for a piece of gift-wrapped fruit in Japan that might cost $2-3 in the U.S.

    Bad writing - in US try buying the exquisitely gift wrapped fruit one can buy for 2000 Yen in Japan, and see how much will it cost (if you can, I bet you can't).

    One can get 1kg of average apples for 3-400 Yen, or one can pay 5-800 Yen for a single apple of extraordinary quality (fully organic Sun-Fuji from the king flower, hand pruned and picked), gift wrapped. They DO taste better than the bland tasting, chemically grown apples one buys from an average supermarket.

    The price range is so wide in Japan because the service range is also wide as well.

  • -5

    ebisen

    The main gripe is that the servings are too small, so it costs more for people who eat a lot.

    I pity such a person, as I am fairly sporty at 85Kg, 187cm, but almost never felt that the portion is too small. Plus, there are so many "tabehoudai" - "eat as much as you can" places of every kind (Japanese, Italian, Indian, etc, etc) of fairly high quality that this is also a non-issue...

  • 2

    2020hindsights

    thepersoniamnow. There is some validity to the serving size even for slender people like me. My healthy Thai stirfry in Seattle costs $11 or about 880 yen now. The exact same dish at the "cheap" Thai place in Tokyo costs JPY1,1000 but is less than 1/2 the size.

    My gripe about food in the US and increasingly in other western countries is that the portions are too large. That achieves one of two things: wasted food or fat people. Unfortunately, people are used to these sizes and will feel ripped off if they get less. My father also used to say you should leave the table feeling a little hungry. I'd have to agree.

  • 1

    ReformedBasher

    "The main gripe is that the servings are too small"....

    5 years after coming back, my wife, me and 4 year old son still share a "regular" serving of fish and chips in Australia. For years I told my Japanese friends that overweight Australians are rare, only to return and see how things had changed.

    At the same time there are a lot more people who do excercise but never shut up about it. I'm a guy and I really don't care about how far you've run blah, blah. Girls who work out though are cool :-)

    Anyway, the servings in Japan are fine by me. There's always desert if your still hungry.

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    Did I mention tax in Australia is about 30%? I'll take the Shaken and Reikin anyday thanks.

  • 0

    Samantha Ueno

    Just returned to America last year....fruits here are cheap and tasty for me! In Japan, of course foreign foods like cheese, peanut butter, etc are more expensive but I always shopped at discount places (Gyoumu super, discount vegetable stands, etc) and managed to cook healthy Japanese food, Chinese, Korean, Italian, American, etc. foods using lots of fresh or frozen vegetables and some minimal meat and fish. I almost never threw out food either. I almost never went to the movies in Japan unless it was really worth it. Glad I'll be raising a kid in the US, won't have to pay for k-12 education plus juku...unless I want to.

  • 5

    Maitake

    One thing I am wondering if others here have experienced is the ambiguity as to where your money goes when you pay say a 親睦会 (Shinbokukai) or a 町内費 (Chounaihi). When I asked where the money went to for these things, I got very ambiguous answers.

    For the shinbokukai, "oh, well it's for the enkais." and when I said it seems a little expensive for the whole year vs. the few enkais we have, I got "well some of the money goes to the green tea and coffee for the office, and the refrigerator.." the refrigerator? give me a break!

    I don't even think the native Japanese people here know where the money goes exactly. There is nothing like a Shinbokukai or Chounaihi in my home country. But when I pay money I want to know where every yen is going. It seems there are all kinds of little fees here like those mentioned above, that people just pay and don't really ask why.

  • -8

    cleo

    One thing I am wondering if others here have experienced is the ambiguity as to where your money goes when you pay say a 親睦会 (Shinbokukai) or a 町内費 (Chounaihi).

    If you stay in your neighbourhood long enough and integrate, one day you'll find it's your turn to be on the Chonaikai committee, and you'll be complaining that the 町内費 isn't enough to do all you're expected to do (Organise an annual neighbourhood BBQ, 3-times annual clean-up-the-streets, parks and meeting hall campaigns, annual emergency fire/earthquake drill, twice-weekly clean-up of the refuse stations and recycling stations, regular campaigns to remind people not to park in the street, pick up after their dogs, etc etc etc.. That's my experience, anyways.

  • 5

    Julian Onyali

    One other thing to remember (at least for Brits, some Europeans and Americans) and is that the relative value of the currency has drastically changed over the past 4 years. When I first came to Japan on holiday, I thought everything was cheap (or 'reasonable' at worst) in comparison to the UK. Now, although many prices actually seem to be the same now as they were before, the fact that the pound is worth so much less means things are 'reasonable' at best.

    That still doesn't excuse some the business practices discussed already but we shouldn't ignore the impact of the trends in currency exchange.

  • 6

    Nicky Washida

    Perhaps in the interests of not jamming the server and bringing the site crashing down we should be asking what 6 things foreigners think are reasonably priced in Japan??!

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    FamilienProblem: "Movie tickets might be more expensive, but the seats are clean and in good condition and you don't walk out with bubble gum stuck to your shoe."

    In the days of old movie theaters in North America were as you mention; sticky floors, no reservation system, somewhat dirty feeling, but these days those are few and far between, if at all. What's more, theaters in some nations are CLEANER, and still a fraction of the price of a ticket in Japan. In Korea your average movie ticket (cheaper for matinees, another thing Japan doesn't do!) is about 800 yen and the theaters are VERY good. And what's with "Ladies' Day"? Ladies' Night was a thing created for BARS to bring in more women, because that in turn would bring in more men, who tend to drink more. It makes ZERO sense to have a cheaper day for ladies but not for EVERYONE once a week. Some theaters are fortunately starting to realize this, and one movie theater company has been talking about lowering ticket prices across the board (not by much -- only to 1600, but it's better than nothing).

  • -3

    sauldjaguar

    cellphone plan bill..the mobile companies are ~~curse! better to use a pre-paid cellphone..

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Anyway, I agree with the list, more or less, although I've always found alcohol to be relatively cheap in Japan. A bottle of whisky or case of beer in Canada is a LOT more than here, thanks to high alcohol taxes in Canada (although the beer's a lot better and there are far more varieties).

    And pizza isn't a LITTLE more expensive, it's a LOT more expensive (to have delivered), and the sizes much smaller (forget about 2 for 1, too!), but some companies are starting to offer half price pizza all through the month.

    And yes, food at the grocery store is generally more expensive, especially produce and rice. I remember when I first noticed that many people go shopping only for that night's dinner, and the ingredients can cost up to or more than a meal out at a mid-range restaurant. Hopefully Japan joins the TPP sometime this century and that changes (or at least brings the OPTION to change).

  • 0

    iceshoecream

    DVD's and CD's and some software are insanely expensive here. Photoshop Elements is $99 in the US but here is 15000yen. Fruits and yes, pizza too. Tho I don't mind paying good money for a well done pizza. Alcohol is just about the same but education, those backpacks for kids are "wow".

  • 3

    Johannes Weber

    Well, fruits and veggies are pure horror. After the first shopping at a Japanese supermarket, I thought I must have misread the price tags. 150 Yen for one apple. At home, I get a kilo of them. And even if I want to buy the same sort of apples, which have to be imported from Asia - it is still less than half of the Japanese price!

    Other basic food stuffs as well. Like rice, bread, milk and yoghurt. The reason is that many Japanese people don't cook at home, I guess. Japanese milk is far too expensive. And they do not have milk, which stays fresh for more than a week. This is really poor quality. Cheese is a pain in Japan. But since most Japanese don't have any greater interest in cheese...

    Many of the other prices are rather fair, actually. They might be high, but in many cases there are good reasons for that (e.g. the construction cost of TX has to be paid off by the revenue from its commuters). And some things are truly cheap. Like Yamanote line or so. Some city buses tend to be a rip-off compared to other public transportation fees, though.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    Alcohol is not expensive! Only in restaurants and that compares with other countries. I don't know of any other country that offers a ten dollar, 90 minute nomihodai. I had one last night. Great stuff!

  • 0

    It"S ME

    Agree with others alcohol and eating out can be expensive depending on your choice of place. My local 100Yen Lawson carries a 500ml can of Chu-hi with 8% of alcohol for 142Yen.

    Now if you want certain overseas brews, ec than you will pay for those.

    Also agree that delivery pizza is pricey, but many charge way less than those and at lunch-time I can get a Pizza(not a slice) for 500Yen(and that is proper pizza with proper italian ham, etc).

    As others have said the cheap and good stuff is out there just shop around, ask around and you will find.

  • 2

    Laguna

    It's not the prices themselves, it's the huge gap between the expensive and the cheap that I find amazing. Three or four hundred percent price differences for essentially the same item are not uncommon in this country. I've learned to be very selective about where I shop - this store for item A, that store for item B.

    It takes a bit of shoe leather, but once used to it, I've found living in Japan to be quite reasonable.

  • 5

    Gurukun

    Hotel room pricing sucks! How does Japan charge by individual pricing rather then a set price for the room. I don't understand how me and my wife pay more for the same type of room that a single person is staying in.

  • 0

    LoveNot

    skincare is expensive because Japanese women love to overuse it. I think this is the only thing whose price will never go down.

  • 0

    sunhawk

    i can easily spend 3000-4000 yen to have a pizza barely 12 inches across delivered. when i'm in the united states i can spend that much and have 4-5 pizzas that are 18 inches across delivered.

  • 0

    Hategobo

    @tokyokawasaki I saw Swede and Parsnips in Nissin Deli in Azabu Jubon about 6 months ago, you needed to remortgage the house to afford the cost of one very sick looking wilted parsnip. Veg in Japan, if its not leak or turnip is very expensive and very poor quality,and why is it not sold by weight and not piece? The mankiest potatoes I have ever come across being sold at premium prices......what price would a Jersey Royal be?

  • -2

    Dragoncloud64

    Pizza is expensive as crap. I went to the grocery store to see 400 yen for 2 do it yourself SMALL plain pizzas ( and not to mention right under It I can buy the large already made supreme pizza for 300 yen, are you kidding me)! For 5 dollars In america I could have made 2 plain large pizzas. Milk and cheese are pretty expensive too. Bread on the other hand, It depends on where you go. I can get 8 slices of crustless bread for 99yen or 65yen, but the expiry date is usually close, but it's usually fine once I put it in my fridge.

    Skin care products are here are particulalry expensive, it was 700yen for a 300ml sized bottle of lotion. I could have bought the same size lotion botttle for 4 bucks back in US.

    Also I noticed cased floss is incredibly expensive, around 500 yen for the cheapest thing of floss (and it's slighty bad quality). In us I could buy about 6x that amount of floss for the same price, in better quality.

  • -1

    Hategobo

    My previous post,that should be Leek of course (Slap wrist).

  • -2

    LoveNot

    Fruit and vegetables are very expensive in Japan. And sold in too small packages. I do not know who told the Japanese people that their diet is the healthiest in the world. With the small amount of vegetables and fruit they eat, I disagree completely.

  • 0

    nec123a

    agree with everything except food. If you eat Japanese it is very competitive.

  • 6

    gogogo

    Foreigners do not equal American.

    This list is for American Vs Japan, food and gas and movie tickets are cheap in America compared to the rest of the world.

  • 3

    It"S ME

    Agree with gogogo.

    Said that fresh spinach at the super is pricey, at Hanamasa I can get 1kg of frozen for under 600Yen. My local green-grocer provides me 10kg bags of potatoes and Onions at a fair price. Just ask and most will furnish.

    As for the smaller sizes in shops on meat, veggies, etc is an increasing trend due to couples and singles not wanting to buy larger packages. I can now get even Rye-Muffins in double pack vs the standard 4.

    Don't buy Toilet-Paper, etc at the super, check your chemist they often beat them price-wise. As was said use a bit of the leather on your shoes.

    Also use sites like "Shufoo", etc.

  • 2

    supermonk7

    If you live there a while, you figure it out. Not expensive in the least.

  • 4

    Foxie

    What is really outrageous are international plane tickets. I really don't understand why there is such a big price difference for the exact same ticket.

    Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is really cheap. Costco has great deals, also with toilet paper. Buy your vegetables on Tuesdays and they are half price at Aeon.

  • 0

    Elvensilvan

    Agree with gogogo.

    Compared to the Philippines, almost everything here in Japan is expensive, from cigarettes to canned drinks to SMS charges. I could buy a 50-kilogram sack of rice as compared to the 10-kilo bag here.

    But to be fair, computer parts, some gadgets, internet rates, cellphone plans (not the call rates though) and some other stuff here are cheap. One can also get reasonably-priced items if you could surf the Japanese internet.

  • 16

    yagura

    When I first came to Japan (almost 20 years ago), I was sort of surprised how much certain items cost compared to similar items back home. I'd buy a can of pop, convert the cost back into U.S. dollars and think to myself "Wow, that was expensive. I could have probably got two or three cans for the same price back home". Probably everyone does something similar when they first arrive here. And, I've experienced similar things when I've visited other countries as well as tourist converting the cost back into not only US dollars but also yen.

    However, I am not a tourist. I live here, so I just try to think in terms of yen. I just buy things that I want or need because I want or need them. I don't worry about how much the same item may cost in some other country. Knowing that my can of pop is cheaper in some other part of the world, does not make it taste any worse. If I feel that something is too expensive for the value it provides me than I just don't buy it. Seems kind of simple to me. At some point, if you're choosing to live in Japan then constantly comparing your life to how it might be somewhere else seems to be counterproductive.

  • -1

    iceshoecream

    Other things that I find really expensive, and my two main complains, are the national medical insurance (although the actual med. costs are lower than back in the USA) and the costs involved with moving to a new place (apartment/flat).

  • 8

    Rev Head

    When foreigners live, earn and pay tax in a country, then they should not compare that country to home it never works, home will allways be better. I have lived abroad for 13 yrs and in 8 countries and we just need to accept the differances. Complaining doesent fix it if you are not happy go home!!

  • 0

    mokgohan

    itunes Apps. Almost everything published by Japanese companies at the itunes apps store site is about 4 times what I'd consider reasonable.

    New release DVD's are way too pricy, so you just have to know where to look. I only haunt the bargin bins- yesterday I picked up Star Trek on Blu-Ray for 1000 yen and a Dble Mixed CD of electro for 290.

  • 2

    Cletus

    It"S ME

    Your suggestions are fine if you have nothing better to do with your time than go from shop to shop buying one or two items at each to ensure you get value for money. But if you then factor in petrol and your time then it isnt that efficient. The problem is Japanese supermarkets are just too small and have limited ranges. In order to get everything on the shopping list you end up going to several different shops which is annoying.

  • 20

    ExportExpert

    Six things that foreigners feel are overpriced in Japan

    No: 1 would have to be the YEN

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Cletus.

    I don't need to venture further than 2 train-stations away for all my needs(mostly done by bicycle). Like I said ask around and find out what are the recommended spot.

    I did for the area I lived in for the last 10+yrs. Don't whine if you aren't willing to spend maybe 10-20min a day to get the info.

    If convenience you want that comes at a cost to your wallet. again that is your choice and no-one elses.

  • 0

    Cletus

    It"S ME

    I don't need to venture further than 2 train-stations away for all my needs(mostly done by bicycle). Like I said ask around and find out what are the recommended spot.

    As l was trying to point out, shopping in general is over priced in Japan. In other countries you can go to one supermarket and get ALL your needs in one spot for a reasonable price. Yet in Japan you need to travel to various shops to get your shopping done. While you may spend a couple of Yen less per spud by the time you factor in the travel and time spent doing it it would be cheaper to buy the overpriced, under sized, and not ready spuds at the supermarket.

    Quite a lot of things in Japan are overpriced for the quantity and quality that you get and fresh fruit and vegges are probably the best example, followed by travel (domestic airlines and intercity trains), also the fact you have to pay for TV (or are supposed to anyway).

  • 5

    y3chome

    Agreed with comparing to prices back home ; comparing stuff back with UK prices around 10 yrs ago isnt helping, and i anything is depressing. I try not to but sometimes cant help meself

  • 4

    JapanGal

    Onsen are a rip off as you can only check in late, but they make you check out real early.

  • 3

    snakes9000

    Recently, I'm feeling things are getting underpriced. Grand!!

    One liter of Jim Beam at the hardware store for 1480 yen. Unbelievable, I can't get it in Kentucky for that price.

  • 1

    JapanGal

    I get 8 slices of bread for ¥88

    I only use one slice per sando, which keeps me slim.

    Try eating less, even if you are big.

  • -8

    Robert Dykes

    "One word: Costco." yeah.... cause I can go to the movies at Costco. Do they have fresh sliced fruit too? I do not think I can sit down at a Costco with my wife and order a stone oven baked pizza.

  • 3

    fimpi

    Cell phone plans! Unlimited data in my home country (Sweden), less than 1000 yen. In Japan it's 5500 yen + a silly ISP charge of 315 yen. Calling rates are about 10 times more expensive here too.

  • 2

    JeremiahW

    Cigars, cognac, caviar, truffles, pinkie rings, a good monocle.

    I suffer.

  • 0

    Dotakun

    what about planes/trains/automobiles!! domestic airfare is ridiculous, cheaper to go overseas!
    taxis cost 1000 yen/3kms, if anybody knows any other country that is more expensive, please let me know!
    what about highway tolls!!
    shinkansen costs double/triple compared to amtrak in the U.S.

  • 2

    Nessie

    One word: Costco." yeah.... cause I can go to the movies at Costco. Do they have fresh sliced fruit too?

    They have fresh fruit and knives. From there, the math's not hard.

  • -1

    choiwaruoyaji

    Quite a few foreigners that I meet in Japan are so mean and stingy it seems that everything here is overpriced for them.

    You can go to the 100 Yen Shop with them and they'll still be complaining about how expensive it is...

    What is it about Japan that seems to attract these skinflint foreigners?

  • 3

    choiwaruoyaji

    It's also interesting to see some of the comments about how cheap pizza is in the US compared to Japan.

    OK, the pizza might be cheaper, but sheez, look at the terrible cost in terms of lard-rangers...

    Cheap pizza is killing America...

  • 2

    tmarie

    I buy the 178 yen skim stuff, the wife buys the 289 yen whole milk and then never drinks it.

    The problem is your wife, not Japan. Milk isn't expensive here.

    I will also add in that gym memberships are a rip off. 10-9, 10-11 if you're lucky. Crappy machines, few decent classes, they cater to the old farts.... Before anyone tells me to join a Gold's, I will mention that not all of us have them around. Just like not all of us have a Costco nor an Ikea - damn you Nagoya.

    Foreign magazines here are also disgusting in price.

    What is decently priced? 1. Alcohol - from a shop, not a cafe/bar... 2. Tobacco. I don't smoke but damn, it is waaaaaaaay cheaper here than home 3. English newspapers. Yes, they are small and whatnot but at least we get them on the same day as the locals and they aren't too expensive. Try finding a Japanese newspaper abroad. They'll be a week old and cost a fortune. 4. Bananas. Way cheaper here than home. 5. Anything from the 100 yen shop. You can buy way more decent stuff here than 1.00 or 1 pound shops. Cheaper to with the exchange rate. 6. Lunch sets. I had soup, pasta, all you can eat pizza, a drink bar and three little pieces of cake for 1200 yen. Would have a heck of a time finding that home.

  • 1

    It"S ME

    choiwaruoyaji,

    Just came back from a spot of shopping and got lots of foods (2kg chicken, 2kg mince, veggies, rice and other stuff that will fed me and my son for over 2 weeks and paid less than 6.000Yen/ we do keep a 2-3 week stock of food though, plus we bake our own bread).

    Got an electric hot-plate at home(less than 3000Yen) and you can make your own pizza, okonomiyaki, teppanyaki, etc cheaply.

    And before people say we ate cheap, we do to stuff like Beef Stroganoff, Tandoori Chicken, etc and way more on a regular basis.

    Like I said delivery pizza can be pricey. And I had US, etc delivery pizza and they all were meh, compared to Pizza in Italy.

  • 0

    Cletus

    tmarie,

    Completely agree, some places in Japan seem to cater well for the foreign crowd with Ikea, Costco to name a few but for some reason Nagoya isnt on of them. We actually have pretty slim pickings here when it comes to being able to get foreign foods or even a decent selection. And yes TMG is one option but l want a Costco......

    Oh and the 100 yen shops are the best.

  • 0

    oberst

    Commissary , and thank you, Oconus Cola.

  • 5

    cactusJack

    I think taxi rides are expensive...and those white gloves don't help.

  • -16

    j4p4nFTW

    Food may be more expensive in Japan, but it is the most delicious food on the planet. More Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world! And Japan often takes a bland dish from overseas, such as pizza, and level up the dish with corn, tuna and squid and mayo so it increases in the delicious and thus costs more. Food in Japan is also higher quality than anywhere else in the world, so it must cost more. Ramen is another dish that came from overseas but was power up in Japan, and now many visit Japan to challenge a ramen!

  • 3

    y3chome

    j4p4nFTW Don't buy into the lie that Japan = Higher quality. Yes there is higher quality food widely available, but there is also not particularly good/so-so quality sold at the "Japan = Quality" premium. And Food + Japanese Mayo does not really qualify as adding deliciousness. In most cases it makes food unbearable.

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    1. Alcohol

    You've well and truly lost me there. Alcohol and drinking out here can be done DIRT CHEAP in Japan compared to Aus, UK and US. I've had nomi-hodais - yes with real beer - for less than $10 for 2 hours! The most I've ever paid for 2-3 hours of hard-core drinking in Japan has been $40. In Sydney I wouldn't even be drunk for twice that! Yes - Japanese beer in the shop can be relatively expensive - go to costco and get foreign beers for much cheaper - or instead drink dirt cheap japanese liquor like shochu!

    Most things here are cheaper than back home. My accomodation is a third of what I'd pay back home - restaurants are also much cheaper.

  • 2

    BurakuminDes

    Also, wine prices in Japan are four times more expensive than in France.

    Never been to France - but I have bought high-class Aussie reds in Japan cheaper than I bought them in Adelaide, where they are from...

  • 0

    wipeout

    Foreign magazines might be disgustingly expensive but you can subscribe to them. Then they'll be sent to you from whichever country they're published in. You'll have to cover the cost of postage, of course, but in that respect, you're no different from the sellers in Japan. Assuming those people are gouging you, you're going to save money on the difference between the fat cat Japanese price and the very reasonable price set by the subscriptions department of the magazine in question.

  • 0

    WhatMeWorry

    A six pack of Asahi Super Dry in the U.S. IN BOTTLES!! ~ $8. Here in Japan, 1140 yen (~US$14.25). In fact, most competitor beers are priced the same here. Price fixin'?!! Overpriced? Yes. This is the domestic market and NO, I don't feel like I get superior service when I pick up the six pack up off the shelf in the supermarket. I switched to Asahi Clear a long time ago. Same taste. Same buzz. Half the cost.

  • 1

    cloa513

    Some movie theatres in Japan have hard armrests and crammed in seats so its uncomfortable for all patrons- I went once and I could see the Japanese suffering.

    All-you-can buffets are cheap so you are not going to get thin in Japan from poor value at other venues.
    Medicine after NHS at doctor's offices is cheap.
    My Japanese wife dislikes Japanese cheese and other Japanese food products.

    Costco isn't as cheap as people make out- I went to Shinmisato and only bought 3 items and then got my membership fee back- its not worth the membership ( and transport fee) unless you have a big family and like their standardised products- some stuff isn't even cheaper than local specials. Fresh food wasn't cheap either. Electronics isn't cheap at Costco. Its really bad that you can't peruse before choosing to join.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    yagura: "At some point, if you're choosing to live in Japan then constantly comparing your life to how it might be somewhere else seems to be counterproductive."

    Fair point, although you need not necessarily be comparing cost of living to what it might be if you were living somewhere else, you could simply be contrasting with other places to prove that it is simply too expensive here ('it' being the thing you wish to buy). I've stopped doing the mental conversion you speak of for the most part, but in particular with movies and pizza and produce I simply cannot, and I've been here near as long as you. Other things, like the cost of commuting and what have you, I've stopped comparing (until I travel to another country and realize how cheap it is).

    One more thing I meant to add that is extremely expensive: CHEESE! And now, I don't mean the sawdust they sell off as 'shred cheese', or the edible oil cheese slices, smoked cheese snacks, or the low quality brie or what have you -- I mean an honest block of cheese. It's hard enough to find a block to begin with, but the biggest block you can get you get at CostCo or some food import place and it's about 1kg for more than 2000 yen.

  • -2

    Serrano

    "DENTAL FLOSS"

    Cripes, 100 yen is too expensive?

    "YEN"

    Ho!

    "I switched to Asahi Clear a long time ago"

    They've improved it! "Umasa appu"!

  • 1

    hatsoff

    Restaurants, taxis, hair salons and barbers...there's no tipping here, so that cuts down on those 'invisible' costs back home. Alcohol is cheap from the supermarket. Back packs (randoseru) are expensive, for sure, but are expected to last throughout elementary school and so on. So divided by the years, maybe not so (we have one that is hand made and has excellent craftsmanship - we saw them making these things in the workshop out back).

    Pizza viking at Shakey's is cheap. A burger from McDonald's costs 100 yen. But there is a whole load of Japanese food available that is reasonable.

    If you're in Japan insisting on eating mostly foreign (imported) food then of course it's going to be expensive. I'll agree with Japan-grown fruit being expensive though. Overall, I'd say living in London is more expensive for me than Tokyo.

  • -1

    ThonTaddeo

    One thing I'm not complaining about is the low cost of wines and spirits with alcohol over about 14%. Could the taxes be lower on that because native Japanese sake has alcohol at this percentage? Whisky and spirits are cheaper here than in the US, whereas beer is much more expensive.

    I drink lots of milk and am not a big fan of paying quadruple the US price. But my most outrageously overpriced item is the same as Smith's: cheese. All kinds of European cheeses are in my US supermarket for $6.99 per pound, and here you pay more than that for 100 grams, which works out to over $30.00 per pound!

  • 3

    wipeout

    "shinkansen costs double/triple compared to amtrak in the U.S."

    It might be valid to compare the shinkansen price to true high-speed rail in other countries, especially France which has been the only other country in the game for most of the shinkansen's history, but it doesn't really work to do a direct comparison with the US. Their fastest train runs on conventional track and can achieve speeds of 150 mph but averages less than 70, which is frankly unimpressive. This is unlikely to change while it shares the line with slower trains. In other words, this is unlikely to change.

    The shinkansen network in Japan is a dedicated service, so the track and even many of the stations are purpose-built. It's expensive because both building and running costs are high, which is one reason why for decades, France and Japan were the only countries doing this. I don't know anyone who says using the shinkansen is cheap, but it's clearly a useful enough service to attract passengers, and I am sure it's widely considered to be priced fairly if the only alternative is a poorer, slower or less regular service (the UK could provide a blueprint for this, if Japan is ever interested). The railways keep Japan running, and the shinkansen is an important part of that.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Overall, I'd say living in London is more expensive for me than Tokyo.

    Having lived in London and Sydney before Japan, have to agree with hatsoff. As for fruit and veges being way overpriced in Japan - blame the government (both LDP and DPJ) for protecting an industry that should by rights be dead it is so inefficient and uncompetitive. To be honest, my only "overpriced" gripe is proper domestic beer - ie Yebisu and Premium Malts. What's up with charging almost 300 yen a can for this beer? I love the stuff but not at that price!

  • 1

    888naff

    Japan is cheep and simple compared to the UK full stop. Add simple transport to the list.

  • 1

    888naff

    there's also some things you cant even compare price on because you can only get that level of service or infrastructure etc in Japan, whether it because other countries are years or decade behind or just don't get it.

  • -2

    Serrano

    "fruit"

    A mouthful of fresh blueberries from Chile is 500 yen.
    Jeepers creepers!

  • -3

    BurakuminDes

    there's also some things you cant even compare price on because you can only get that level of service or infrastructure etc in Japan, whether it because other countries are years or decade behind or just don't get it.

    That's right - like the Japanese rice which is apparently 700% better than the Japonica rice from California! Jokes aside, I know what you are saying. I love getting my morning croissant put in 3 different plastic bags here and getting the bow. Wouldn't get that back home.

  • 2

    southsakai

    I'm from Fiji and i can tell you one thing. I find living in Japan much cheaper to living back home. The price of food and clothes here in Japan is definitely cheaper and much greater quality too! This is not a joke, I'm not kidding.

    1. Dining

    I don't find dining in Japan expensive at all and I eat quite a bit. It depends where you go to eat. If you are a bit street smart, you can eat very well in Japan without spending your whole wallet. I've lived in Australia and I find Japan has a much greater variety of food at cheaper prices.

    1. Fruit

    Have you ever tried high quality Japanese fruit, these premium budo, melons, watermelons, strawberries ? I say it is the best in the world! The taste is just phenomenal with these fruits. Here in Japan, farmers treat their produce like little babies till maturity. I've never tasted fruit and vegetables as tasty as they are in japan - so i don't mind spending $$ on it because i know I'm getting the very best for my family. The high quality strawberries here just blow my mind!

    1. Movie tickets

    You're comparing prices too much the the US. I was spending a similar amount watching movies at Hoyts cinemas in Sydney so no difference.

    1. Alcohol

    The price of beer is expensive? You got to e kidding right. At around Y100 a can or a few yens more, c'mon beer is not expensive here and if you look around, you can get really great wine on the cheap here too. Japan has one of the best selections of wine no doubt!

    What's expensive in Japan and domestic public transportation and Pizza!

  • -3

    southsakai

    Rev HeadJAN. 16, 2012 - 02:30PM JST When foreigners live, earn and pay tax in a country, then they should not compare that country to home it never works, home will allways be better. I have lived abroad for 13 yrs and in 8 countries and we just need to accept the differances. Complaining doesent fix it if you are not happy go home!!

    Well said!

  • -9

    BurakuminDes

    What's expensive in Japan and domestic public transportation and Pizza!

    BUT the pizza in Japan is the BEST because it is usually topped with mayo and corn. You pay for what you get and it's world 's best.

  • -1

    tmarie

    While there is no tipping, I certainly spend less on taxis and hair cuts "home" than I do her. Men get decent priced hair cuts here, women get charged waaaaaay more than they need to be. Which is exactly why I stopped getting my hair cut here. That and the stylists here have no idea how to cut it. I would rather pay a 5.00 on top of my 30.00 hair cut than 7000 yen for something horrific - and takes nearly two hours.

    Same with taxis. I would rather pay a 3.00 tip and have a cab call to ask directions than no tip and be driven in circles and me having to find the location via my mobile.

  • 0

    malfupete

    could never understand the 6-slice per bag of bread rule and why everything in a bakery is "furansu-pan"

    Completely agree with Cheese being on that list.. could never find anything reasonbly priced at my local tenmaya or itoyokado.

    Fruit.. yes. I don't care how great of quality one 700yen apple is, that is absolutely insane to pay that much. Could buy a lunch box at the 7-11 for that price and be more satisfied. I also found that the selection of fruits at my local supermarkets were.. lacking. Basically had Apples, Bananas, Oranges, grapes, and the occasional melon wrapped with a bow for 5000yen. Ridiculous

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    The price of beer is expensive? You got to e kidding right. At around Y100 a can or a few yens more, c'mon beer is not expensive here

    Umm - I think you my be talking about "beer-like" beverages. You aint getting Japanese beer in Japan for 100yen! Japanese whisky and shochu on the other hand is cheap enough for homeless even...

  • 0

    irishosaru

    If I'd been involved in the survey (was there even a survey done, the article isn't clear), my answers would have been restricted to items produced in Japan:

    1. Brown bread. Coming from a country where I can get a loaf of about 30 slices for 120yen, playing 200yen here for 6/8 slices is just infuriating.

    2. Apples. Almost 100yen an apple? No thanks.

    3. Milk. Without very few exceptions, it's expensive and tastes nasty. 2 litre cartons please.

    4. Those tiny green peppers (piman).

    5. Honey.

    6. Breakfast cereal. Even the Japanese-produced stuff is crazily expensive.

  • -1

    southsakai

    BurakuminDesJAN. 16, 2012 - 11:42PM JST Umm - I think you my be talking about "beer-like" beverages. You aint getting Japanese beer in Japan for 100yen!

    Nope! I'm talking beer, real beer, not beer juice for kids. Asahi, Sapporo, etc I get them all for between ¥100 to ¥150 can here. Where are you shopping? Maybe you're referencing to drinking at your local pub instead of buying at the local Supa.

  • 2

    Triumvere

    Cigars, cognac, caviar, truffles, pinkie rings, a good monocle.

    While I applaud your sense of taste, your information seems somewhat lacking - hard liquor is dirt cheap in Japan.

  • 1

    GW

    Clearly a lot of what we pay for in Japan is of VERY VERY low value for money, until the locals clue in to what value really means we all will continue to be fleeced.

    You can find some deals, like hard booze, gee I wonder why that is, opium of the masses anyone! SSakai you CANT buy real beer for Y100-Y150 per can unless its about to expire, I buy cases usually &about the best I cid ever do is around Y180-Y190/can, sometimes you might do a bit better on some imports.

  • 5

    manta60

    The price in Japan is relative. If you are a tourist then yes Japan is expensive but if you work here then the wages are much higher than back in your home country so its no problem to pay more. If your wages aren't higher then what the hell are you doing in this country?

  • 2

    Serrano

    "men get decent priced haircuts here, women get charged waaaaay more"

    Women can go to QB House!

  • -2

    tmarie

    **"men get decent priced haircuts here, women get charged waaaaay more"

    Women can go to QB House!**

    Do you know what "decent" means?

  • 1

    theResident

    Manta 60: You summed the whole thing up in 3 sensible sentences. Thank you.

  • -1

    Dennis Bauer

    Dinning is not exepensive in Japan you just need to know where to go, and when in rome do as romans do Ramen setto!

    Movies (cinema) are expensives, i usually buy the Blu ray second hand new prices are too expensive!

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Why do crab legs cost so much here? I get the same ones in Florida for half the price, and they come from here.

    For the same reason that so many other products are over priced.

    If it was direct from the fisherman to your table it would be cheaper, but still not "cheap" overhead costs are high to say the least.

    This is a country full of middle-men/women who take their cut.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    1. Fruit

    The land of 10,000-yen melons. Foreigners are puzzled as to why so many items of fruit are considered luxury gift items — 2,000 yen for a piece of gift-wrapped fruit in Japan that might cost $2-3 in the U.S. Pineapples and bananas are the only cheap fruit, it seems.

    Geez I was hoping that you would have written about the 50,000 yen strawberry!

  • 0

    y3chome

    All this dedication of resources to expensive fruit, not the most efficient use of resources methinks. Oopps I forgot, this is Japan.

  • 0

    nisegaijin

    1. Fruits - absolutely, even though they are imported they are far more expensive then let's say Hong Kong, which imports everything as well
    2. Alcoholic Drinks - 12 dollars for a pint of beer? really?
    3. Non-Alcoholic drinks - how many times did you go to average family restaurant, asked for a coke, which got you a tiny glass filled with ice with some coke in it and no refills! for 400 yen!?! that's 5 bux!
    4. Video games. Way more expensive than in the US
    5. Movies, DVD and Bluray. A season of 24 on bluray costs about 150 dollars!
    6. Electronics. Most of the digital goodness can be bought in the US for a lot less. Digital cameras, tablets, cell phones, etc.
    7. Laptop computers. I gave this a separate line item because after seeing a selection at Best Buy in Hawaii I can confirm that only a fool would consider buying a Laptop in Japan.
    8. Pizza. about twice the cost in the US... 3 times if you consider size as well
    9. Cars and car ownership. Especially imported cars are ridiculously overpriced. BMW tried to sell me a 3 series for 8 million yen! It would cost me half that in the US. Add to this high gasoline prices, insane parking fees, ridiculous taxes and insane tolls. They only thing cheaper than US is insurance.
    10. Real estate and home ownership. Everything in that industry is rigged and price fixing is most common, If you are a home owner prepare to pay a very high price for almost anything, and a small crack in sink means that you have to remodel your entire bathroom.
    11. Taxi... enough said
    12. Taxes... give me a frigging break!
  • 2

    2020hindsights

    The price of beer is expensive? You got to e kidding right. At around Y100 a can or a few yens more, c'mon beer is not expensive here and if you look around, you can get really great wine on the cheap here too.

    Are you kidding? You can't even get happoshu for Y100! Really great wine is imported and not cheap.

    However, Chu-Hi and the like are dirt cheap compared with other countries because they are not taxed as much. What other country has a 'beer' tax (tax based on MALT content not ALCOHOL content). Only in Japan.

  • -2

    tmarie

    I'm thinking some of you complaining about drinking must live in Tokyo. I am appealed by the prices of a drink in a bar/pub in Tokyo. The rest of the country doesn't pay what you guys pay. 500 for a draft here no problem. Maybe 700-800 for an import. You guys pay about 1200 which is a shocker. I don't think you guys make more than the rest of us in terms of % to cover that. If you want to live in Tokyo though, you pay the price. Which is why I would never even dream of living there. Rip off capital of the world. London is cheap in certain places - all depends on where you go.

  • -4

    tmarie

    Appalled damn it - certainly not appealed!

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    @ SouthSakai:

    At around Y100 a can or a few yens more

    Please tell me the name of this beer and the shop I can get it in. I will be there tonight. Seriously I have never seen any beer in Japan for 100 yen or a few yen more. (unless it is one of those tiny 100mL cans).

  • 0

    zichi

    I buy good beer for 100-130 yen/can. Sometimes, I buy microbrewery beers but even those are only 600 yen/bottle.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    @ zichi - which of the big four make this beer, whats it called and where can I get it?

  • 0

    Ash 'Vanguard' Baker

    Moan Moan Moan!! some things here are very well priced, i love Ramen

  • 0

    GW

    come on you guys & yr mystery Y100 "real beers" fess up man, I dont buy it haha!

  • -3

    Elbuda Mexicano

    GASOLINE??? Petrol for those UK folk, but then again I have no idea what a liter of petrol costs in the UK but I do know that back in the USA and Mexico it way cheaper than here in Japan for GASOLINE, way too expensive!

  • -2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Shoes?? Come on, you can get shoes that cost say 10$ USD back in the USA and here they want to poke your eyes out with the same crap shoes but for say 30,000 yen!

  • 0

    Scrote

    Elbuda: Good point about the shoes. Nice shoes are about three times the price here, so I buy them back home. Some of the difference is due to an import duty on leather shoes.

    Chemists can be extraordinarily expensive here, particularly aspirin, dental floss and vitamin supplements. Fortunately the first two are light, compact and easy to bring back from abroad and we have a couple of years supply at home now. My wife orders the vitamins from the US, saving 50% or more.

    What about mushrooms? Six piddley mushrooms for Y198! I saw a huge box of mushrooms in the UK recently for Y120. Someone in the Japanese mushroom business is coining it. Same with cheese: the Yen gets stronger, yet imported cheese gets more expensive. We hardly buy it any more.

    Still, if you work around the rip-offs you can live fairly cheaply here, which is just as well when your salary keeps getting cut.

  • 0

    Julian Onyali

    The shoes in places like Don Quixote and ABC Mart are very reasonable/cheap. I can't speak for the quality since I haven't bought any but they weren't that costly.

    Anyway, something I like about the Japan's living costs is the lack of penalty charges on the transport system.

    I accidentally travelled outside of my Teiki zone without charging my Pasmo the other day. In London, such a small mistake could've cost me the equivalent of 2,500 yen. Here, I could just pay what I needed to at my destination.

  • 0

    Matthew Simon

    This is my 16th year of living here, and I would have to say that "everything" is too expensive with the exception of farmers food at the supermarket. I am not sure if that is a Japan wide thing, but here they have the "store brand" produce and then several tables of farmers produce from local farmers. That stuff is always the best, really really fresh and cheap as hell. Everything else is really expensive here, though I tend not to notice after so much time.

  • -1

    JeremiahW

    I will add pipe tobacco to my list above. Also, a good bottle of South African white is still too expensive.

    I suffer.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "Six piddley mushrooms for Y198"

    Heck, I buy a pack of delicious ( after you saute 'em ) maitake mushrooms for around 120 yen - 2 packs mixed with 1.27 kg of Chunky Ragu Tomato, Garlic & Onion pasta sauce ( about Y850 ) will make at least 6 heaping bowls of delicious spaghetti.

  • 2

    Nessie

    Same with cheese: the Yen gets stronger, yet imported cheese gets more expensive. We hardly buy it any more.

    I load up a huge cardboard box when I'm overseas. Usually 30,000-40,000 yen worth in a box half the size of a large suitcase. Customs is curious but gives me no grief. Sometimes it gets openeted by the airline safety people for its resemblance to semtex.

    Last time I did this in Ireland, the cashier winked and said "Got mice, do ya?"

  • 0

    GW

    Although I use an electric I think razor blades are insanely priced are they not?

  • 0

    Michael Jun Sung Shim

    I spent 70,000 Yen in Japan (Tokyo+Yokohama) for one night two days and that was in June 2007 mostly on food and I went there with two people..Although generally prices in Korea is much cheaper than Japan, I heard golf courses in Japan are actually cheaper than Korea.I played golf in other countries like Switzerland,Egypt,Canada,Denmark and visited golf course in UK.I don't understand why Korean golf courses are more expensive than other countries..

    Now that $1.00(U.S.)= 77 Yen = 1,480 Korean Won so many Japanese go to Korea not only because Korea is cheaper than Japan but also the Won-Yen exchange rate gives more advantage for Japanese tourists to come to Korea and go shopping.The same can be said about Won-Yuan(Chinese Currency) exchange rate which means more Chinese also come to Korea than previous years for shopping also.

  • 2

    Wilke

    Compared to Australia, taxis aren't all that expensive.

    The 4km taxi ride from the centre of Brisbane city (Australia) to my home costs AUD15 (1,200yen). To go the same distance in Tokyo has cost me 1,000yen.

    I won't even start to compare the two countries when it comes to the vehicles' condition and the quality of service provided.

    Hot coffee, however, I have found is very expensive, and not very good at all.

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    One more outrage: bank transfers.

    Back in the US I could keep money in a checking account (which, I admit, paid little or no interest) and then write checks for small amounts without paying any extra fees.

    Here they've eliminated the cumbersome paper checks, but you still have to pay Y100 plus consumption tax -- double that or more if it's to another bank! -- every time you want to send someone money! And lots of people insist on bank transfers instead of having you hand them cash. The maintenance fee at my apartment is like this: no choice to just go hand the money to the head of the residents' association, and no ability to pay 12 months at a time. No, I'm stuck making that bank transfer every month and paying Y210 to do it, every time. Y2520 per year just in transfer fees -- try making that much in interest on a savings account!

    Even the post office makes cash transfers free. Come on, Mitsui Sumitomo and UFJ, get with the program!

  • 0

    GW

    well I guess those few who thought they were drinking cheap BEER were drinking happoshu, hahah, that stuff can be nasty!

  • 0

    Serrano

    "razor blades are insanely priced are they not?"

    They are not! 5 razors for 100 yen is cheap!

  • 0

    TrevorPeace1

    I agree with Nicky Washida. I'd like to see the six best deals in Japan (coming soon, so would appreciate the heads-up, especially in Sendai).

  • 4

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Cheese.

  • 1

    The Truth Matters

    I have to agree with the people who thought hotel pricing was too high. You pay a lot of money in Japan to stay in a really small room with most likely has no TV and smells of tobacco.

  • 0

    theResident

    Hotel pricing too high in Tokyo? Absolute rubbish. Its almost exactly the same (even at these silly exchange rates) as other major cities for a 5 Star Room. Grand Hyatt Roppongi, booked online, prepaid 46,000 Yen. Five Star Hotel in London - 350 Pounds (+17.5 VAT and service charge!) thats about the same. Five Star Hotel in New York - 550 Dollars, again do the math.

  • 1

    honey

    It depends what country you are comparing too.I can live better and cheaper in Tokyo than Canada.That country is Expensive!

  • -3

    David Juteau

    If things were that expensive... you'd all be back in your home countries making the big bucks!

  • -5

    theResident

    haha - Spot on David :) Be prepared to be thumbed down by the left-wingers here though!

  • 2

    wontond

    Of course wine is more expensive in Japan compared to France. I'm just guessing, but I bet sake is less expensive in Japan compared to France. I always thought a pizza from Domino's was too expensive.

  • 0

    kurumazaka

    Wotond, on the subject of reasonably priced domestic products, I have never understood how a bottle of Yamazaki single malt can cost twice as much as a bottle of Ardbeg or Laphroig, or four times a bottle of Makers Mark bourbon. All of the Japanese premiums are badly overpriced and I just wonder how they manage to sell any with so many top-notch imports available for so much less.

  • -2

    theResident

    Than don't watch it.

  • -1

    Franchesca Miyara Yang

    Ted, I'm married to a national and there is no way he's gonna fall for that government scam. He says that it is NOT paying for a channel per se, but paying for a T.V. tax in fact. We rarely see the NHK guy around here anyway.

    and I thought it was "then" instead of "than"...unless we have a new grammar rule I'm not aware of ?

  • 0

    Nessie

    I have to agree with the people who thought hotel pricing was too high. You pay a lot of money in Japan to stay in a really small room with most likely has no TV and smells of tobacco.

    Agree. Here, a no smoking room means no-one will be smoking there after you check in.

  • -3

    Jonathan Prin

    After reading you all, I am pleased to announce you get nearly anything cheaper in France, with outrageous ease, especially because of choice offered. Best example by now: 20euros/month for nearly unlimited calls/data and stop when you wish. I do live very well here with 3 kids, inimaginable in Japan, no future country. Yep, my wife is japanese and cooks best and varied food here. yen is overpriced indeed.

  • 0

    theResident

    I apologise for my typo Mrs. Miyara. You have basically given Ted the same answer as me, albeit more politely! It's the same in the Uk, in fact it is actually law, whether you watch the BBC or not...however as usual the left wing English Teachers who seem to inhabit this website seem to conveniently ignore that fact. No NHK guys left now since the switch to digital...pay the money or get cut off. Simple.

  • -1

    Franchesca Miyara Yang

    You're most welcome, Resident. :)

    I wasn't aware of the TV tax until hubby told me but still he's not paying until he gets finally cut off perhaps? Still, I wonder if they really cut us off, do they suspend the whole service (signal) or just NHK? Good question I think. Take care~

  • -3

    Columhcille

    SO what I'm REALLY gathering from this thread is that EVERYTHING in Japan is expensive.. lol Yah, I agree. I only ever got to be in Japan for one month, but one evening spent the night at friend's house when we first arrived, so I didn't yet realize the price of food was so high. They brought a whole bag of lovely bing cherries to the table and put them in a bowl... between mostly myself and one other foreigner, we ate ALL of them. It was only later we learned that bag of cherries cost them like.. $20. >< omg.

  • -1

    LH10

    flights to japan T__T

  • 2

    yasukuni

    Weddings, funerals, pizza, English lessons.

  • 1

    timtak

    And there was I thinking that everything is so cheap. Deflation spiral, 100 yen shops, shouchuu by the bucket load priced like water, and lately online shopts like where one can get Chinese produced merchanise imported for peanuts due to the super strong Yen. And real estate, if you like the countryside, is so inexpensive it makes me feel guitly. Sometimes houses are given away for free. Japan is consumer paradise, unless of course you want foreign stuff like high calorie pizza. Durr.

  • 1

    presto345

    Timtak, I largely agree with you.

    So many words about pizza. I personally didn't come to live in Japan and expect to see the same pizza at the same price as 'back home'. There's an abundance of high quality food at very reasonable prices. You need to know where to look. True, beer is expensive, but as has been pointed out by others, other alcoholic drinks are cheap. The Shinkansen is expensive, but regular trains are not.

  • 1

    presto345

    Ranger finds cheese expensive. True, so I import mine directly from Europe. If you don't mind buying in bulk, like 4 to 10 kilos, there are a few Japanese online shops that are inexpensive.

    Thanks so the high yen camembert prices are now greatly reduced!

  • 0

    presto345

    Thanks TO the high yen. Apologies.

  • 0

    presto345

    come on you guys & yr mystery Y100 "real beers" fess up man, I dont buy it haha!

    Of course you don't buy it, because you don't know where to buy it, haha. The discount liquor stores occasionally sell imported beer for 100 yen a can. But those actions don't last long. I think because of severe opposition from the established domestic brewers.

  • 1

    Nessie

    Thanks so the high yen camembert prices are now greatly reduced!

    Domestic Camembert is cheap and not bad. I'd go for Brie if I were importing.

  • -2

    Franchesca Miyara Yang

    Has anyone tried the Camembert from Meiji?

  • 0

    Green Wowser

    Organic veggies.

  • -1

    Lazzaris Alberto

    Pizza expensive?! Maybe if you want to eat on those "posh" Italian restaurants, where the pizza doesn't have half of the taste of a Italian one. My advice for Pizza eaters is COSTCO, 1200y you can eat a huge one, full of cheese.

  • -1

    JolienJM

    Similar to the previous mentioned Aspirin: Paracetamol (also called Tylenol or Acetaminophen). Here I would pay, what was it?, 10 euros for 10 tablets? Whereas in the Netherlands I get 50 tablets for 1 euro. I use them to stop upcoming migraine attacks, which unfortunately I have very frequently. Luckily a friend is bringing me some when she comes to visit soon, which should bridge the period until I go back.

  • 0

    JolienJM

    @ Franchesca Miyara Yang

    I have some camembert from Meiji and thought it wasn't too bad. However, the brand of camembert I had before that one (Snow brand?) was not camembert in my book (It tasted all right-ish when I did not compare it with camembert anymore), so maybe I'm biased by that one.

  • 1

    kiss1969

    Dining out, education and alcohol? You are kidding? You are obviously not from Sydney... This place rocks compared to Oz

  • -1

    garomakaikishi

    4 movie tickets really? one must be an airhead nobody goes to movies nowadays anyways and to fork out 1800 yen is just nuts.

  • -1

    Serrano

    Rent and car parking.

  • 2

    Paul Dinning

    Japan is so cheap for EVERYTHING compared to Oz. Even including the airfare, I can have a much cheaper overseas holiday (with careful budgetting of course) than I can ever have at home. Except for the movies, but I get my fix at the Japanese Film Festival when it's in Sydney. Food, transport, accommodation, sights, ski-ing... everything is radically cheaper in Japan. As for fruit, if you are nice to people and stay in cheap places it's amazing how much good quality free fruit is around that doesn't make the grade for sale. No melons of course...

  • 0

    Serrano

    "if you are nice to people and stay in cheap places it's amazing how much good quality free fruit is around"

    Dang, I'm nice to people and stay in cheap places and I have never seen good quality free fruit...

  • -2

    bellsmyre49

    Cigarettes are much cheaper in Japan than they are in the UK.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    If you live in Japan, you will have the time to find specialty stores and discount stores for almost all produce. This way, you can buy cheap meat, cheap soft drinks and basically cheap everything in supermarket pricing. Well, if you want to live in Tokyo instead of a suburb, you will need to pay a humongous fee, usually, for a parking space for your car.

  • 0

    jessebaybay

    Everything seems reasonable to me. Probably cause im from Australia, where the cost of living in the major cities is pretty much exactly the same as japan. If anything I find most things to be cheaper.

    It's understandable that people coming from North and South America, Indo-China areas find it to be overly expensive. Stuff in the US is much much cheaper. BUT you have to tip ALL THE TIME!!

    As a general rule countries with a higher cost of living have better paying jobs though, so it evens out. I think the minimum wage in Aus is 2 or 3 times that of Americas? Which means there is no need to tip.

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Well, the last time I have pizza in Japan, I went to Costco so.... Expensive... night train, onsen, gasoline prices, highway tolls, rental cars.

  • 0

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    AH! WHO CARES about movie tickets, if i don't go to there

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    Missing 7) EVERYTHING in Japan is very very expensive!!!

  • 0

    mtwildman

    O'Sake is excellent and cheap compare to what i get here in the US that is not nearly as good and more pricey... And the fish in Japan is much cheaper and so good...i miss it...if your in Wakayama the mikan are almost free!

  • 1

    Aliasis

    Definitely to all. Especially fruit. I'm constantly shocked - just today, apples at my supermarket cost 200 yen EACH. It's insane...

    I could add... well, pretty much EVERYTHING is more expensive in Tokyo than where I'm from. I can't think of a single thing that's cheaper here besides maybe manga and sushi (but even that depends on where you go).

  • 0

    joeshmoe

    Uh duhhhhh haven't these gaijins figured out that Japan is nothing but one giant marketing center. It's just like New York but more widespread. The Japanese have figured out how to "milk" you for every penny they can for things that cost diddly in the states. They know that their kids need to get a good education so that they can make enough money to be able to survive comfortably in Japan therefore they will pay the price. You don't have to be a genius to know you're getting robbed. Maybe that's why some people want to get the heck out of Japan but when faced with living in a crazy place like the U.S. Japan starts looking much better because at least in Japan they rob you and you KNOW you're being robbed. In the U.S. the crooks rob you blind both legally and illegally. Crime is so bad that you have to always worry about getting ripped off. Then there is the government and the institution called the IRS and State taxes. They rob you to pay their overpaid government workers who in some states make more than their colleagues in the private industry yet in other states they get paid less but work much less and only do EXACTLY what their job descriptions read and nothing more and nothing much because they are secure and lazy. So you choose between getting ripped off right to your face or the sneaky methods they use in the U.S. or by real life criminals. So what is a citizen to do? True, sadly true.

  • -1

    Virtuoso

    If you base Japanese prices according to consumer purchasing power relative to the number of hours of labor performed, there is very little difference from the US and other advanced economies. Fruit sold as gifts is irrelevant and should not be counted -- instead, how about the inexpensive fruit sold by greengrocers that is intended for home consumption?

  • -1

    Priest

    Great to read so many complaints about things that overpriced in Japan. Trying shopping around, use coupons you can download from the internet.

    Pizza Hut: Large PIzzas-1500 or less (half price and has been for 2 years). Booze? In Kansai-try Yamaya. DVD Shops-100 yen for a week???

    Instead of whining about Japan or Japanese attitudes etc (the default for most posters on JT) how about posting where to buy things cheaply (as some have done)??? Alternatively, you could return to your native country if things are so bad in Japan.

  • 0

    mastertigurius

    One word: Tabehoudai!

    1200 yen for a 2-3 hour facestuffing-fest is pretty good value for your money, though I think you'd have to pay extra to have one of the waiters roll you home afterwards.

  • 0

    iceshoecream

    The prices of some software (Adobe Photoshop Elements, games like Diablo, etc) in Japan are 1.5 of what they are in the US.

  • 0

    Chandra Lindmark

    I hope to visit Japan next Spring .All your comments and the article make me some what scared but I will try work harder and save more.

  • 0

    It"S ME

    Chandra.

    Join the forum. I have been here for 15yrs and can get an authentic italian lunch-time pizza for 500Yen.

    Japan don't need to be expensive. Friend stayed at a hotel for 3000yen/night and private room granted shared bath.

    Easy to get a good lunch-meal for under 1000Yen or less.

  • 0

    Nessie

    There is saying that German people drink beer like water and French people drink wine like water because they are so cheap.

    ...and Americans drink beer-like water. I'll show myself out.

  • 3

    Elliot Patton

    A word on the movie theaters: People who say that Japanese theaters are nice need to visit another Asian country. When I visit Hong Kong, Singapore, or Korea, I always make it a point to go to the movies. When I went to see the new Batman movie in Japan, I ended up paying out 2000 yen for ticket and popcorn and sitting in a poorly air-conditioned theater with bad sound and seats that were uncomfortable. When I went to see the new Bourne movie in HK, I paid 950 yen for the ticket, popcorn, and soda The theater was freezing cold, the seats were deluxe, and the sound and screen were excellent. Also, all the Cantonese movies are subbed in English!

    BEER. Asahi and Kirin are priced like luxury items in Japan. Go to HK, though, and you'll find that those 500ml cans of Suntory Premium Malts that cost Japanese 300 yen can be had for 9 HKD, or 95 yen. I refuse to buy it unless I leave the country.

    TAXIS. The taxis here are outdated, small, and slow, but you'll pay 3-4 times more than you will for a breakneck ride in a big, new, air-conditioned Hyundai in Korea. Seriously, 660 yen just to sit down? I hope the cabbie gets a sizable chunk of that cash.

    Japan's uniquely consumer-punishing brand of price-fixing will have to cease at some point. Things like low-cost carriers (fly Peach!) and online shopping are helping to break the spell, but we definitely need some more real competition here. Thanks for the opportunity to rant.

  • 0

    Jeroen23

    Things for everyday use should be low priced, like food and clothes, taxi's and transport. The current inflation policy will drive prices even further (let alone overseas travel or import). In Singapore and HK food and transport are low and affordable priced because these are regarded as basic living conditions. At the same time housing prices and salaries are also high. But there (expensive) schools are still cheaper. The argument of quality and service does not justify the ridiculous prices. (Even rice is expensive!) And on top of that most people can not properly speak English. I save as much I can and buy overseas. Just a principle that I not going to pay the high prices. Unfortunately I have to pay the overpriced food and the subway. The rest of my money I send overseas. The country has the highest national debt of all developed countries so sooner or later Japan has to pay for that also, but at what cost?

    I guess Japan is a land for the Japanese, nice to visit but not for long stay. Don't get me wrong the country has lots to offer and is very beautiful but because it so expensive it is hard to enjoy.

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • Reservations and Operations Executive

    Reservations and Operations Executive
    Destination Asia Japan、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥2.0M ~ ¥3.0M / Year
  • Marketing & Communications

    Marketing & Communications
    East West Consulting (イーストウエストコンサルティング株式会社)、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable
  • Country Manager

    Country Manager
    Gallo Japan KK、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable
  • Business Development Leader

    Business Development Leader
    GPlus Media K.K. / 株式会社ジープラス・メディア、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable Commission Based Depending on Experience
  • IT Operations Manager

    IT Operations Manager
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ

More in Lifestyle

View all

View all