Day light robbery: the price of fruit in Japan

Fruit glorious fruit…

When an apple is more expensive than a beer, you’ve got problems

Whenever you come to Japan, you are slightly confused with the currency. You have thoughts like, “well how much is that in pounds/dollars/euros? If it’s about £1.5/$1 per ¥100…” etc ad nauseum.

But when you get down to it, fruit can be astronomically expensive. I recently saw a 80g punnet of blueberries for 250 JPY, or how about a singular apple for 300JPY, or what about strawberries for 450 JPY.

With these sorts of prices, it is no wonder that I am an advocate for frozen fruit, its much better value and it won’t spoil if you forget about it.

So once we have established a good part of your monthly budget is needed if you want fresh fruit, we will look into the world of the gift box.

Part of Japanese culture is to give gifts when visiting someone’s house, or give gifts at any special occasion, like the West. A popular gift is fresh fruit. The problem with this is the expense. A very nice-looking gift box with 2 watermelons will cost you ¥10,000. That is about $100, for 2 watermelons. The alarming thing is these gift sets sell in the thousands.

But this is not the crème de la crème of fruit, for that we must travel to the fruit auctions in Yubari, Hokkaido where 2 Melons sold for (deep breath) ¥5,000,000 or $50,000. For the Japanese there is a reason for this, the type of melon can only be produced by approved farmers, the specific grade for the melon is the 1% of the 1% of the 1% of melons grown etc.

However, I cannot see any justification for such a melon.

Taking this into account, some fruit can be bought for no money; bananas and grapes for example. But difference in pricing from prefecture to prefecture and even from store to store is crazy.

My advice is to go to a drug store if you want fruit, it won’t break the bank but you usually need to eat it quick.

Thank you for reading and happy exploring.

Consumption tax increase

Panic panic beer will be more expensive

If you are in Japan, you cannot escape the news of the consumer tax increase and I hate to say it but it’s nothing to worry about.

Countdown to the tax increase

The tax is increasing from 8% to 10% but not everything will increase. Daily necessities will stay at 8% and so will food to go. On the increase is sit-in meals, alcohol, tobacco, taxis etc.

Notification of tax increase on the Iga-tetsu line

Firstly advice, if an extra 2% is something that you are worried about, complete all transactions at restaurants, train stations, qwith taxi companies by 23:59:59 on September 30th because at 00:00:00 October 1st the tax rate goes into effect–or see the dual tax rate on your reciet at a convince store.

Now in reality, it’s nothing to worry about, it may affect your budget at fist but the changed will soon go unnoticed.

Personally, I think there is more worry about than a slight tax increase.

Thank you for reading and happy exploring