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Cost of Living (Prices)


Why are things so expensive in Japan? How can people afford to live there?".

This is the first thing foreign people ask when they come to Japan. They wonder how Japanese can afford to buy expensive things, and what their salaries must be like to live here. Japan came in third among the most expensive cities in the world when Moscow came in first in 2006. Japanese pay especially high prices for food. For instance, the prices of rice and canned beer are more than twice the price in New York.

*Reference site : Currency Converter


(Reference data)
Comparison of prices of major countries as 2008
*$ : USD
Rice (1kg)
Japan : $3.54
Korea : $2.29
Hong Kong : $1.47
USA : $1.89
France : -
UK : -
Russia : $1.80

Flour (1kg)
Japan : $2.23
Korea : $1.28
Hong Kong : $1.90
USA : $1.15
France : $1.51
UK : -
Russia : $0.87

Beef (1kg)
Japan : $87.36
Korea : $57.41
Hong Kong : $12.46
USA : $9.77
France : $27.95
UK : $16.18
Russia : $9.39

Pork (1kg)
Japan : $17.61
Korea : $15.65
Hong Kong : $7.91
USA : $8.43
France : $13.92
UK : $7.99
Russia : $10.13


Average Prices of Japan as Feb 21 2011
*$1 = 83 yen (Feb 21 2011)
Beer (350ml) : 210 yen ($2.52)
Beer (500ml) : 280 yen ($3.36)
BIG Mac (McDonald's Hamburger) : 320 yen ($3.84)
Sandwich (in convenience store) : 180 - 220 yen ($2.16 - 2.64)
Onigiri (Rice ball) (in convenience store) : 120 - 150 yen ($1.44 - 1.80)
Cup noodle (Nissin) : 150 yen ($1.80)
Cigarette (Standard) : 440 yen ($5.29)

Movie theater : 1800 yen ($21.65)
Barber (Standard) : 1500 - 3500 yen ($18.04 - 42.10)
Beauty parlor (Standard) : 2000 - 5000 yen ($24.06 - 60.15)
Public bath (Standard) : 400 - 1000 yen ($4.81 - 12.03)

Gasoline (1L) : 130 - 140 yen ($1.56 - 1.68) *Sapporo
Note PC (15 inch, Standard type) : 100000 - 120000 yen ($1203.00 - 1443.60)


About me
*I lived in Saitama city near Tokyo ten years. I was living alone. The following are the cost of month.
Apartment (1 room) : 100000 yen ($1203)
Electricity : 10000 yen ($120)
Water service : 5000 yen ($60)
Gas : 5000 yen ($60)
Car Parking : 5000 yen ($60)
Food cost (in my house) : 50000 yen ($601)



Prices change in the exchange, and Yen exchange quotations are fluctuating every day. So it is difficult to know correct prices.

If this article is good for your reference, I am happy. And if you want to know something, pelaes ask me.

Thank you.

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