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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Most Expensive


They've just confirmed what we've already known and lived with the past year - that Tokyo now offers the most expensive living condition in the world. Moscow, the erstwhile top-ranked, now shares bridesmaid status with yet another Japanese city, Osaka.

When I arrived here, the US Dollar commanded a 1-110 exchange rate against the Yen (and for the residents, there was a time when it was 120 or more). Since middle of last year, the Yen has appreciated to at most 85. That's losing about 25,000 Yen every time one converts a thousand dollars. Add to the lesser value for the USD the fact that the cost of living skyrocketed by 13.1 % since 2008 and you get a painful double whammy!

Why does it matter to me? Because my allowance is pegged at the once mighty USD. So there goes my chances of saving something from what I'm getting here. Sigh.

People always advice me not to c0nvert values when I buy things here, but I can't help it. The pricing can be so crazy. Imagine a regular bottle of beer (e.g. the size of a San Mig Light) costing more than 500 pesos. That's the equivalent of one case in the Philippines! Bread that looks like our pan de sal sells at about 110 yen - more than 50 pesos each or the entire breakfast at home!

Yes, the salaries here are big compared to those of the other workers in the region. But whatever advantage that poses, such has dwindled tenfolds as the salaries have never really increased in recent years. Officially, Japan has been in recession since last year and there is yet no clear sign of things getting better.

Sigh. Another sigh...

17 comments:

BlogusVox said...

Our may not be even be in the top 50 most expensive cities, but we also feel the heat here. Just like yours, our salary is also peg to the USD.

Oo nga... haaay buhay!

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

anak ng tipklong..kung ganon nga ang sitwasyon,halos pareho lang dito sa lupang buhangin,mas malaki ang gastos dito kaya kung ikukumpara add even lang din ang sweldo.walang matitira.

kahit sabihin natin iwasan ikumpara.hirap parin pagbasihan,parang sayang kasi dahil malaki ang diperensya.

Mariale said...

Hay life, oh life!

totomai said...

ang kulit sabi ngang wag ng i convert e. hehehe. sige ka, magkakaroon ka ng bangs niyan.

uy paramdam ka naman

Tornadoes28 said...

You can still find a lot of cheap ramen places in Tokyo though.

Panaderos said...

I remember when I was much younger when the exchange rate between the Japanese yen and the US dollar was about 300 yen for every 1 USD. How times have changed.

It is worrisome that Japan's currency has remained strong in spite of a decades long recession it hasn't fully recovered from. It has made their products more expensive and it has led to a significant drop in its exports, one of the main cogs in its economy.

I live in the US but I fully understand your predicament. Trips to foreign countries have become more expensive for me because of the weakening US currency. I hope things change for the better real soon for everyone's sake.

Abaniko said...

Save your money for beer till you're here in Pinas. And when we drink, just think that you only bought a bottle of beer for yourself in Tokyo (at P500) and you already make Abaniko happy with bottles and bottles of beer and yummy pulutan pa. How's that?

r-yo said...

blogusvox: pero sigurado ako, mas marami kang ipon. heheh

r-yo said...

ever: nakaka kunsyensya kasi di ba ang pag gastos kung alam mo ang value sa atin. kaya kung kayang tiisin, tiis na lang. :-(

r-yo said...

mariale: oo nga, parang buhay... :-)

r-yo said...

Totomai: Yabang mo. Porket yen ang sahod tapos kapopromote lang na bossing. Painom ka naman! Roppongi!

r-yo said...

Tornadoes: Sadly, Im not much into ramen. heheh

r-yo said...

Panaderos: Yen 300 to a Dollar! Wow! I surely would have splurged here if that were the case! Now I'm praying for those days to come back, hehe

the donG said...

oh yes. so true but still i want to visit japan in the future. with really good pocket money... i will go there.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

And New York is at No.8! Wow, if we're already complaining how expensive the housing market here, Tokyoites must be earning megabucks to survive. But look who I find shopping the most at the flagship store of Louis Vuitton in NY: the Japanese!

realscore said...

Ang hirap naman jan!

Anonymous said...

japan:flag-down rate (taxi):Y600/P300
Philipines:flag-down rate: P30
electronic goods was cheaper there at akihabara...you can buy goods excluding the 5%sales tax just present your passport...