lifestyle

The top overpriced products in Japan

47 Comments
By Michelle Lynn Dinh

Tokyo and its big city cousin to the south, Osaka, are consistently voted among the most expensive places in the world in international polls. Japan in general is notorious for its high prices, prompting many potential visitors to choose a different, more cost-effective destination. Sure, from an outside perspective, prices in Japan are more than most are used to, but what do those who actually live there think? Japanese website, Ameba News, asked 570 working Japanese adults to name any products they felt weren’t priced correctly, whether too expensive or too cheap. The results may surprised you.

Of the 570 people who responded to the survey, just over 40 percent (237 voters) felt that the prices of some products sold in Japan don’t reflect the product’s value. The remaining 333 thought things were priced fairly in Japan.

Respondents who thought prices weren’t accurate were then asked to reveal the products they thought were unreasonably priced. Here are the results:

#1 Delivery pizza (28 votes)

In Japan, pizza delivered right to your doorstep can set you back around 3,200 yen for a large. The price is high to offset the cost of delivery, but not too bad, comparatively, considering it’s not customary to tip the delivery-person.

#2 Designer goods (25 votes)

Designer goods, by nature, are overpriced, so we’re not too surprised to see this one on the list. A Louis Vuitton bag or Hermes clutch might land on this list in any country.

#3 Movie tickets (6 votes)

The price of movie tickets has been steadily increasing in most countries, but watching a feature film in Japan is exceptionally expensive, where the average ticket price is a whopping 2,000 yen. Better skip on the popcorn.

#3 Cell phone fees (6 votes)

Having a cell phone is an expensive necessity (or luxury) in any country, but Japan is ranked as having one of the highest average phone bills in the world.

#3 Make-up (6 votes)

Of course make-up is going to be expensive, but one commenter lamented the high price of organic cosmetics specifically: “Even though it’s cheap abroad, it’s expensive in Japan, sometimes over three times the price.” (Tokyo/female/31)

It seems there are so many overpriced items in Japan, the voters were split on which to choose. Here’s just a small sample of the other products mentioned in the survey:

Macaroons “They’re expensive considering they’re so small you finish in one bite.” (Aichi/female/25)

Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) at tonkatsu restaurants “I think it’s strangely expensive.” (Shizuoka/male/31)

Caviar “It’s too expensive.” (Saitama/male/32)

Gasoline “It used to be 95 yen for a liter, and it’s even more expensive now. It’s troubling.” (Kagoshima/female/26)

It’s worth noting that although this was a survey asking if Japanese citizens felt that the pricing of products were a bit skewed, most respondents thought products were too expensive, rather than unexpectedly cheap (however, a simple trip to the 100 yen store might fix that).

Are these results accurate? Nearly ever foreigner living in Japan seems to be complaining about the high prices, whether it's rent or a sandwich. Do you agree with the almost 60% of respondents who felt there weren’t any particularly pricey products in Japan. Or do the 237 voters who identified overpriced items have it right?

Source: Ameba News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- The King of Pizzas? We Sample Domino’s Pricey New Luxury Pizza -- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right -- The Taste of Luxury in a Can: Japanese Canned Food Worth Your 100 Yen

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


47 Comments
Login to comment

Gas at 95 yen per litre sounds like a pleasant dream here in Vancouver, BC, Canada...This morning I paid the Canadian equivalent of 135 yen per litre!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The prices seem rather comparable to those here in Boston, Mass. USA. Gasoline here $3.85/ gallon. And a large pizza with all the pictured toppings is about right with delivery and tip. I think people having trouble thinking in terms of Yens. Wherein 1 yen = 1 cent on average.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OTC medicine like Ibuprofen.

Retail prices are generally OK, but there are very few sales, and the ones that do exist are really stingy: like "10% off." Rarely do you encounter 2 to 1 sales, for example. Also, food and other products contain a lot less volume, so in the end, middle class people do end up paying more here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

transportation is way expensive here

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Fruit!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If you read the introduction, you see that this is actually a survey of 237 people, who had already stated that they were dissatisfied with prices in Japan. Considering that the population of Japan is 130,000,000 +, I don't find this very representative sampling. By the way, Michelle, displayed prices are always "accurate" (if they say a pizza is ¥35, or ¥3,500, or even ¥35,000,000, the price is still "accurate", albeit in the former case, ridiculous, and in the latter case, extortionate).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well I just got a package of supermarket ham that cost the equivalent of four bucks for what turned out to be a paltry three slices. I'd call that pretty skewed...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Protein and cheeses. Good bread

2 ( +3 / -1 )

3 Cell phone fees

Amen to that. And the restrictive practices of the big 3 companies border on criminal, don't even mention price fixing, which appears to be the Japanese normal way of business

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I find most stuff to be quite cheap in Japan actually. I visited Australia recently and just looking at what stuff in convenience stores costs down there (about double what most stuff in Japanese conbini costs) blew my mind.

Outside movie tickets and some high quality produce, prices here are almost uniformly less than what they are in other developed countries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In Sweden a Normal pizza is larger than a large pizza in Japan, and the price for it would be around 50-80 SEK (which would be around 1200 yen). Delivery is included in that price. There are pizzerias everywhere in Sweden and it is very popular food, for example in a small society of about 12000 residents (where I used to live) we had 6 pizzerias. I should also mention that they were very delicious. Also the options of different pizzas were in an average pizzeria at least around 35. Besides Pizzas though I am very satisfied with Japanese pricing and product qualities.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

grassfed meat - real meat, not the crappy grainfed stuff from CAFOs. Coconut oil, High cacao chocolate. Mountain Bikes, Road bikes. Skis and snowboards

"where the average ticket price is a whopping 2,000"

......I never pay more than 1200. Always go to the Late show at Mall theatres - i.e after 8pm.

Amen to that. And the restrictive practices of the big 3 companies border on criminal

Ting, Ting my kingdom for Ting...(or a Japanese equivalent) I would love to tell docomo to GGF

5 ( +5 / -0 )

95 yen for a liter, I wish !! here in the UK we pay ,,,,,,,wait for it,,,,,,,,,!!!250 yen for 1 liter

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just to set their record straight for the readers outside off Japan 're. the gasoline price comment in the article....that person must have been recalling prices way, way back...in the last 5 years in Kanto a litre of gas was generally anywhere between 120 to 150 yen, depending on the yen,s exchange rate. At the moment it's around 159 yen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Petrol/Gasoline whichever way you say from my memory was ¥93 back in 1999. Prices in NZ at the time were about ¥80 per litre, now it is ¥200....Eating out, internet monthly fees, clothes and even power is all cheaper in Japan than NZ sometimes by as much as 100% and the tax rate is much higher too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bought some Contac which cost 2200 yen! Has to be double the price you would pay in the U.S.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah but the quality of the pizza is low. Conveyer belt oven, cheap cheese, not 100% mozarella, scant toppings. Gimi a break. I wanna know why green beans are so expensive. ¥200 for maybe 15 beans?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No mention of medicine. A box of 40 aspirin costs about 1000 yen in Japan, or about 8 to 10 times more than it would cost in America.

How about a bag of rice? About $2.25 per kilo in America, but if you use a coupon this April at Publix, you can get it for 3 cents per pound, or 7 cents per kilo.

Fresh corn? 200 yen per ear at Lincos across the street, I got 5 ears for $1 when I went to America on holiday.

Cola? 87 yen for 500ml at Aeon, you can get 2 liters at Walmart in America for 89 cents.

Zegna shoes? I bought mine at Neiman Marcus for $399. The same pair of shoes at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi was 130,000 yen.

2014 Dodge Challenger R/T? $26,500 brand new in America. About 5 million yen in Japan, despite the fact that there are no tariffs or duties for American cars sold in Japan, and the dollar has only a 3% advantage over the yen. Any wonder why imports make up less than 10% of the cars on the roads here?

Fresh tomatoes? 150 yen for standard variety at Maruetsu, which is about 4 times what they cost in America.

Hell, even things made in Japan cost more here than they do in America, a Nikon D4 camera can be bought at Best Buy in America this week for 15% less than would it would cost in Japan, a Sony television is 25% less in America.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Gasoline is not ¥95/L. Common metropolitan price will vary from ¥160 ~ 180(over$5US / gall). Add a lot on that for rural areas

Pizza prices are exorbitant. A Large pizza here would be mediumish in most other places - that's over $US30. In my limited experience in Europe, Australia, US no one would pay such a price for so little.

CDs prices are off the table ¥2,500+ is normal.

Drug store medicines are just criminal. eg. ¥1,000 for 10 ~ 15 asprin .

Some great bargains are to be had, but in many instances people are being ripped off. The fresh food/perishable industry smacks of protectionism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Food prices are stupid high here. Absolutely ridiculous. Lower tariffs, kthnx. Stop fooling yourselves into thinking strawberries that cost 600 yen for a pint are any tastier than strawberries that cost 200 yen for a pint.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The price of everything in Japan is quite higher than any place in the world. I can still buy everything in America and pay import fees and get things for less for the most part. After import taxes some things in Japan are the same as buying them outside of Japan and importing them. A previous person wrote about the price of gas as being 95 yen a liter. I would like to know where, It is 175 yen liter where I am in Japan. Vegetables are overpriced, meat is overpriced and even though I do not eat much rice, it is extremely over priced. There is nothing in Japan that is priced right.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I long for the days when i got to pay Tokyo prices for, well, pretty much everything. I now live back in the uk on the south coast and pay over 50% more in rent for a draughty old one bedroom flat (though with heaps of character, something definitely lacking in Japanese appts) than i did for a modern 2 bedroom appt in Tokyo. As stated Petrol in UK is ¥250/ltr, coke usually about ¥250 for 500ml bottle, my city tax has doubled, even with a single persons discount applied as my partner is a post grad student. Pizza is about the same price to be fair and is no better in general. Cosmetics are, if anything, more expensive here also. I earn more now but have considerably less disposable income due to significantly higher cost of living here. Only thing that seemed to cost slightly more was running a car. Petrol shot up in price during my time in Japan, though still way cheaper then europe, but is offset by other associated costs; I got the shock of my life when i put my first car through its first Shaken. And very quickly learnt that self shaken was the way forward. New alternator for an Impreza STI at ¥80,000 almost brought on a panic attack. Its all relative of course and if you are Japanese, or from the USA for example, then current prices for goods in Japan will certainly seem high. My sister relocated to Queensland 7 years ago and reports that the UK is siginficantly cheaper for most everday items such as food, clothing etc. and when visiting me in Japan she felt positively loaded and went back to Aus with a lot of her spending money due to cheapness of public transport, eating out and the cost of visiting attractions in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nihon-shu is inexpensive in Japan. You can buy great sake for under 1200 yen per bottle. I live in Vancouver now but everytime I come back to Japan I load up on bottles of sake, pay the duty on it and still come out ahead.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Highway prices.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cosmetics are, if anything, more expensive here also.

When I go to the UK I go on a cosmetics shopping spree because it's so much cheaper - half the price, or better. I find eating out in Japan is cheaper than in the UK, though the UK has Japan beat for supermarket prices, not to mention variety.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a single who spends half his time in Japan, and has done his own food shopping for more than 25 years, I can unequivocally say Japanese people are paying far too much for what keeps them alive - just about everything I need for a healthy diet is horridly expensive, compared to where I spend half my time (Victoria, BC). But I still love it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some things definitely are more expensive, (pizza, movies and fruit for example) but overall, after living in Tokyo and Osaka for 6 years, I don't find it as expensive as some people say it is. Depends what you buy, where you buy it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

you can get a good delivery pizza for around 600 yen in Italy. pizza prices here are outrageous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One has to understand why prices are so high. Real estate to begin with makes everything that comes after it expensive. As for OTC products, the Bufferin and Contac are under licence while the drug companies want only their own meds sold here and not imports. Land for farming is limited in size and weather conditions cause prices to vary wih the seasons. Only looking at the price surface without understanding the interior of prices is very simple thinking.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Veggies and fruit. Bananas are the cheapest, other fruit are way too over priced! I usually buy my kiwis, grapes and mangoes from Costco as well as some of my more hard to get favorites like Brussels Sprouts. Everything else at the local market, forget it. I can only indulge myself into eating only a certain amount of oranges and apples a week.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Highway fees, definitely, especially when you come from a country where you pay none. Beef. Imported spices. Pension and health insurance contributions - rip off! Visits to the doctor (free where I'm from). On the other hand dentists in Japan are a lot cheaper. But anything seems expensive when your salary keeps on dropping as mine did in my last years working in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems that many people are posting Tokyo prices on here.

Today, I went to a local market in Nanjo-shi (Okinawa).

500 grams of the sweetest tomatoes (no dressing needed) = 206 yen

Large, tasty lettuce = 70 yen

Courgettes (zucchini) (two, fairly large) = 120 yen

Five good size beets = 130 yen

Fish is reasonably priced, so is good pork.

So, what is overpriced?

The monthly rent on my apartment = 80,000 yen

Maybe I should move!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What's expensive is the cost of my cooler bringing over American bacon and breakfast sausage. Talk about a market untapped.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I am not mistaken, the average salary and typical costs of living are comparable in Japan and Norway. However, our gas prices in Norway are around 250-280 yen pr litre nowadays. I don't own a car, as the total costs with gas, insurance and other fees would easily total somewhere between 50.000 and 70.000 yen every month here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Public transport costs (even in Tokyo and Osaka) are a lot cheaper than they are in Australia. A trip I took recently on the Hankyu Railway in Osaka (21km each way -- ¥580) would have cost me the equivalent of ¥1554 in my home city of Brisbane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My Shimano mountain biking shoes I bought on -line from England for about 89 dollars shipped to me. The same shoes were 14,000 yen at the local bike shop. How is it that I I can get Japanese goods cheaper overseas than in Japan?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good cheese. Good bread. Kiwi fruits. Limes. Lamb.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ahh but isn't it wonderful that cigarettes remain soo cheap...sooo cheap. Who needs all of those overpriced fruits and vegetables when you can enjoy two packs/day sooo cheaply.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Compared to Ireland, Japanese transport is cheap, as well as general groceries especially fish, rice, tea and vegetables, except of course fruit which is expensive. But cellphone... maybe cuz all the online cellphone games they play there and how everyone's probably on the internet all the time on commute. I still find it weird that Japanese nashi pears are 60 cent (50 yen?)each here, but in Japan they are 300-400 yen (3-4euro) each... despite them being Japanese pears.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

. When i went to Japan in 2003 it was 186 Yen to a £1 . The price of a burger was about the same in both countries. . Current price as i typed this is 171 Yen to a £1. . So it is almost as cheap as it was 11 years ago .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sliced ham is by far the most overpriced product (like someone else mentioned). Let' see - so 5 sheets of plastic, and one plastic bag, all vacuum sealed and holding exactly... TADAAAA: 4 (four) slices of ham... FFS! at the wonderful price of 400 yen... At this rate, the entire pig costs way more than a nice car...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It depends on where you buy. At the local whole seller's market a kilo pack of sliced ham costs about 600 yen where I live, although I really cannot imagine buying it since I am single. Cost of sliced bacon is about the same as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A box of 40 aspirin costs about 1000 yen in Japan

Nope. 60 Eve A painkillers cost 665 yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is Japan really that expensive when you're getting paid in JPY?? Comparatively speaking, I think the cost of living is actually less here than when I was living in the UK and earning GBP. My monthly mortgage payment is cheaper here for a start and Japanese employers generally cover the commute cost. OK supermarkets can be a bit of a rip off here, especially if you're shopping for one but eating out is reasonable. If you choose where you live within (for example) Tokyo carefully then grocery shopping plus all other necessities and niceties can actually be quite reasonable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pasta sauce. I've lived in 3 different prefectures - only one brand available in every supermarket I frequented (you know the Kagome-branded range) Why is that? It's ridiculous...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo and its big city cousin to the south, Osaka, are consistently voted among the most expensive places in the world in international polls.

Yes... but according to some people, Japan's tax rate is way too low!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I been to Tokyo early this year I found generally most items are price very decently ( clothing, foods) and the quality are ways better than other developed countries except electronics goods it is much cheaper outside Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites