Jul 12, 2018
Japan has a bit of a reputation for having a high cost of living, and depending on where in the world you've moved here from, you may feel a bit of "sticker shock" when you check out the prices of day to day items here.
Overall though, I'd say that compared to what I'm used to in Australia, prices of items here in Japan (for the most part) are on par or actually cheaper! Grocery items are a good example, so I thought I'd do a short cost comparison. Here are a few items from the catalog of a supermarket chain back home from this week.
Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Definitely cheaper in Japan
A dozen eggs in Australia will set you back around $4.20 AUD or about 350 yen. Here in Japan at our local supermarket, a dozen eggs are less than 200 yen.
Premixed Alcoholic Drinks
Definitely cheaper in Japan
Alcoholic beverages in Australia are pretty expensive - this is a common brand of flavored pre-mixed vodka drinks, and a six pack of cans will set you back $20 Aussie Dollars, or about 1650 yen. Compare that with your average can of chu-hai at about 100 yen a can (slightly more at convenience stores!) and you'll see that enjoying a beverage or two is much more wallet friendly here in Japan.
Definitely cheaper in Australia
Fresh produce might be one arena where Australia has the upper hand over Japan. Each individual apple back in the land down under is on average about 70 cents - just under 60 Japanese yen. Compare that to apples being priced on average at 150 yen to 200 yen here, and Aussie apples look like a bargain. I will say - apple quality here in Japan to me is much better - they're much more crisp and juicy!
A fruit that's cheaper in Japan?!
Persimmons aren't very common back home in Australia - I'd never tried them until I'd lived in Japan for several years. This is one fruit that I actually find to be cheaper here in Japan. Last autumn, persimmons at my local farmer's market were priced at about 70 yen each. In Australia they're $2.50 each or 2 for $4 - even with the sale price they're more expensive than here.
Washed white potatoes
Cheaper in Australia
A 2 kilogram bag of potatoes in Australia will set you back $4. I find them much more expensive in Japan!
About the same price
Australian bread seems more expensive at the initial price point, but loaves of bread are much bigger than the 6-8 slices you'll get in Japan. An average loaf in Australia would have about 20 slices, so cost wise they're close enough to being the same. My local supermarket has the small 6 to 8 slice loaves for about 80-90 yen depending on the day.
How do you find the overall price of groceries here in Japan compared to back home?
After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!