a The Transit Lounge: The Cost of Living

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Wednesday, June 9

The Cost of Living

When people found out I lived in Japan, one of their first exclamations is usually "That must be an expensive country to live in." Before I moved to Osaka, many years back, I thought the same thing. But in reality, the cost of living in Japan is relatively low. I am always surprised as to how it ends up on lists on par with Copenhagen and Paris. Yes, to travel and live the tourist life within Japan is expensive, but day-to-day? No way.

Look at a few scenarios.
Bottle of water
Japan: 120 yen ($1.60) *no matter where you buy it from
Australia: $5 at Sydney airport, at least $3 everywhere else

Japan: Under 1000 yen ($13.30) for a lunch set which includes a main rice dish, miso soup, salad, dessert and a drink.
Australia: $14.50 for a small plate of hokkien noodles and a small fruit salad

Hair Cut & Colour
Japan: 9000 yen ($120)
Australia: $150 minimum

Can of Coke
Japan: 120 yen ($1.60) *no matter where you buy it from
Australia: $3 at the servo

Japan: 500 - 1000 yen ($6.65 - $13.30)
Australia: $16

Also the service in Oz is really lacking, as is the quality of clothes, shoes etc. I know I will get used to it in time but is was a huge shock! While Australia may not be exactly price-friendly, the pros of being back far outweigh the cons.

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