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Shopping in Japan - is it cheaper than Philippines?

Shopping in Japan - is it cheaper than Philippines?

What is cheaper in Japan?
After spending about 2 weeks in Japan, I somehow got the chance to contemplate on what are cheaper and what are more expensive in Japan than in Philippines. In this blog post, I'll be sharing with you general observations regarding different category of spending such as food, shopping, transportation, and tech. 

One of the best Katsu Curry in Japan - 100 Hours Curry!
One of the best Katsu Curry I tried - 100 Hours Curry!

Restaurant prices are generally the same (or slightly more expensive) with those found here in the country. For example, Katsu Curry is at around ¥1,300, so that puts it at roughly P500 which is almost the price of Yabu or Coco Ichibanya here (after including service charge). Ramen prices are around ¥1,000, so that's at about P400, so again slightly similar to ours.

Konbini food are relatively pricier than the convenience stores here in our country, but that is in exchange of better variety and quality. You can buy semi-restaurant quality dishes in Konbini, whereas here you’ll get what you pay for. One onigiri is about ¥200, so that's estimated to P80. 

Uobei (A Genki Sushi Company)
Uobei (A Genki Sushi Company) - affordable sushi compared to Philippine prices

In the case of Uniqlo, some of the prices you see here in the Philippines are what the prices are in Yen. For example, a shirt might be P390 here, but could be 390 yen there. So that means, you get to buy them at 40% off (given the conversion of 1 JPY = 0.40 PHP). 

MUJI Store in Japan

For other brands, it’s great to explore outlet stores because you can get them at an extremely cheaper price. Take for example this Tommy Hilfiger jacket I’m wearing in this photo. I got it for only about P2,000 (even cheaper than the jacket I bought in Uniqlo). 
Wearing Tommy Hilfiger from outlet store in Japan
Most tech items are cheaper in Japan compared here. Apple products are about 20-30% cheaper. The tax-free helps a lot because it gives you right off the bat a savings of 10%. The latest iPhone 15 was roughly around P55k only there in Japan versus P80k-P90k here.

Smaller items may generally be at par such as mice, keyboards, headphones but only when you compare the prices with Lazada. Otherwise, when you compare it to prices in physical stores, smaller items are generally still cheaper.

Taken in Yodobashi Camera in Fukuoka, JapanTaken in Yodobashi Camera in Fukuoka, Japan
These photos above were taken in Yodobashi which is filled with lots of tech items not only just cameras

Comparing toe-to-toe our buses/rails with theirs will make the fares in Japan look exorbitant. While we can ride the LRT and pay for only P15, minimum fares in the train lines of Japan are around ¥150 or about P60. So that is x4 of ours. However, when we consider the efficiency, it is overall still “reasonable”. 

For someone who regularly use Grab in the Philippines, the train/bus system of Japan will allow me to save 20% given certain distances. Here if I take a Grab ride of 5km, I will have to pay roughly P300, whereas in Japan, I only have to shell out maybe P100 equivalent.

Hopefully this blog post was able to share some light as to the prices in Japan. By the way, if you are planning to visit Japan, you may want to check out my other article "How Much To Spend/Budget for Japan Trip (in Philippine Peso)"

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