When I told people a year ago that I was coming to Japan, one of the common reactions I received was, “Oh! Japan is a very expensive country!” I want to use this post to clarify any misconceptions and reaffirm some thoughts on Japan’s standard of living.
Some things definitely cost a lot more in Japan compared to America, especially the price of certain fruits. It still amazes me that it costs at least $15 (USD) to buy one watermelon. The other day, I came across a store that was selling cantaloupes for about $75 (USD). Isn’t that just crazy?! I think it was marketed as a Father’s Day present. If my child wanted to spend that much money on a present for me, I would prefer something that I can reuse instead of a cantaloupe. Be aware that I wrote “certain fruits” cost more! There are some fruits like tangerines that are reasonably priced. So why are some fruits so much more in Japan? It’s elementary, my dear Watsons: import costs.
People used to tell me how I would be able to buy lots of electronics for cheaper in Japan. Similar to fruits, some electronics cost more in Japan than in America despite being the same or alike. In this case, it’s more about where you look and what brand you buy. If you were to buy a brand new Sony HD TV, it might be the same price compared to America or even more. However, if you were to buy the same thing at the right time, it can be drastically cheaper. I mentioned once in my blog about the high frequency of sales. If you must buy one of the more well-known brands, you would be paying more money than if you were to buy a lesser known comparable brand. You might think that it’s the same in other countries, but the quality difference between a lesser known and a well-known brand in America is drastic.
Here’s a brief list of some items I have found to be more expensive in Japan: designer clothes, steak, beef, corn, nuts, peas, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydews, strawberries, music albums, DVDs…
How about the cheaper things? Well, here’s a list of reasonably priced stuff (sometimes cheaper): non-designer (but still good quality) clothes, other vegetables like bean sprouts, unique bread (okay, obviously there’s not much of this in America), good quality electronics or electronic related things (I bought a pair of decent headphones from the ￥１００ store)…
Stay tuned next week for another update!
Il est un peu difficile à comparer les prix entre les États-Unis et le Japon parce que j’oubliais des prix en États-Unis. Je me souviens le prix des vêtements, mais ne pas des nourritures. Avec mon salaire, il n’est pas difficile pour habiter confortablement. La proportion du salaire et coût de la vie entre les États-Unis et le Japon est semblable.
今週の聖書の詩: “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
- Hebrews 10:23-24 (NIV)
I think this is important to remember. Many people want to do things for themselves. I’m no exception, but we need to remember others. Does this mean that we should self-destruct for others? Not exactly, but if we try to do good for others, why would we need to ruin ourselves in the process? Plus, let’s look at it this way. If someone were to be seriously hurt, is that really good for the people who love that person?
今週の写真: This week is a call for RANDOMNESS! YAY! Well, mainly because I don’t really have new pictures that I can post. If only Japan’s privacy laws weren’t so strict, I could post pictures of students and teachers from school events.
1) When I was in Nagoya a few weeks ago, there was a group of people practicing a dance for what I speculate to be for a festival in the near future; 2) FLASHBACK! I can’t believe it was only 2 years ago when I went with my family to California.