Japan can be expensive — particularly in the food department. We’ve picked up some tricks to keep costs down; go out for lunch rather than dinner, what can be bought cheap via the compound store vs. what’s best bought on the local economy, set menus, and so on. But one of the things that may be harder to adjust to is the price of fresh fruit.
The beautiful individually wrapped peaches above are 1300 yen (I think, unless the 1800 yen sign is for the peaches, I can’t read the rest of the sign) which is roughly equivalent to 17 dollars. I think this is for 5 peaches, although again, I’m not sure, since I can’t read the sign. I think the average I’ve seen for individual peaches has been around 500 yen. OUCH.
Unfortunately the compound store does not sell fresh fruit or veggies, so while finding vegetables is relatively easy (provided you’re comfortable with the asian varieties) the fruit is more difficult.
One of the cheaper fruits is the Japanese pears.
These little dudes look a little like a golden delicious apple, but they’re lovely, crisp, sweet and very pearish inside. They’re usually around a dollar each, but you can get them for cheaper sometimes. I picked one up on my way home today to have with my bento box lunch (not in the mood for another round with the salarymen). Both the bento (terriyaki chicken, rice, unidentified pickled vegetable things of several varieties, and a sprout salad… 500 yen/6 bucks) and the pear were fantastic.
I also brought home another houseplant, which brings us up to a grand total of three. Plants are much cheaper at the grocery store… I wandered into a flower shop a few days ago out of curiosity and quickly scuttled back out again when I realized everything inside cost several hundred dollars. So still mastering the art if figuring out where to get things from, but improving at any rate.