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

#1: Delivery pizza (28 votes)

pizza delivery

In Japan, pizza delivered right to your doorstep can set you back around 3,200 yen (US$31) 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

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)

movie theatre

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 (US$19.38). Better skip on the popcorn!

#3: Cell phone fees (6 votes)

cell phone

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:

“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)

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

“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 every foreigner living in Japan seems to be complaining about the high prices, whether its rent or a sandwich. Do you agree with the almost 60 percent 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
Featured image: RocketNews24
Images: Wikipedia (1, 2, 3, 4), seresa