People were shocked to learn that eating out in the Big Apple comes with a big bill at the end of your meal.

Beloved Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe made headlines when she announced that she was moving to the U.S. last year. She’s currently back in Japan temporarily to rehearse for her upcoming role in the musical Hairspray, and to celebrate her brief return she appeared on popular talk show Shabekuri 007.

During her time on the show, Naomi talked about meeting Beyonce again during her stint as a model for Ivy Park and got to meet her crush, Shota Totsuka from Japanese boyband ABC-Z.

But naturally, the chat turned to Naomi’s time spent in the U.S. and her lifestyle there. On her days off, she commented, she enjoys walking around Central Park. “No one knows who I am in New York, so I can go for walks without any problem,” she said.

But it was when the topic turned to food and eating out that the conversation really heated up. “New York is really expensive. It’s on a level that can’t even be compared to food in Japan.” When pressed further, Naomi said, “For breakfast, a fried egg, bread, and tuna salad costs about 7,000 yen (US$51.31).”

▼ But you can just round it up to an even $52.

The chat show hosts were shocked, with co-host Ken Horiuchi commenting “Isn’t a hamburger about 1,000 yen (US$7.33)?” Naomi was quick to correct Ken, commenting “They’re more like 2,400 yen (US$17.60) these days.”

Co-host Teppei Arita questioned Naomi further, saying “Surely that’s just because you eat at fancy rooftop restaurants, right?” Naomi quickly denied it, saying “Please don’t assume that.”

But it wasn’t just the Shabekuri 007 hosts who doubted Naomi’s claims of exorbitant prices. Japanese netizens were quick to crunch the numbers, and looked up how much a McDonald’s Big Mac in the U.S. costs. “The current price of a Big Mac meal is US$5.99, or about 790 Japanese yen. Where is she getting 2,400 yen from?” one user commented. Other netizens were left similarly stunned at the amount of money Naomi was dropping on breakfasts in New York.

7,000 yen for breakfast is what you’d expect to pay at a fancy hotel.”
“I wonder if it’s equally expensive to cook at home?”
“If breakfast at Sukiya cost me 7,000 yen… I couldn’t live like that.”
“You could buy seven Big Mac sets for that price!”
“Buying food at the supermarket is much cheaper in the US than in Japan, but eating out is way more expensive.”

While obviously no one knows her breakfast habits more than Naomi Watanabe herself, it’s quite possible that the amount she’s spending is so high due to, like the chat show host said, the fact that she’s likely forgoing McBreakfasts and favouring somewhere slightly more upmarket for her morning meals.

It’s also equally plausible that, as one of the biggest cities in the world, life in general is just more expensive in New York. Using McDonald’s once more as an example, a single Big Mac in the US costs US$3.99 [543 yen], whereas here in Japan it will cost you just 390 yen [US$2.86].

Either way, while she’s back in Japan, Naomi Watanabe might want to take advantage of how much cheaper eating out here can be, and if she’s looking for a breakfast that won’t break the bank, this breakfast donut is less than two dollars.

Source: Sponichi Annex via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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