Going to Japan for a year...i need to know how much stuff costs!

AudiPorsche

Senior member
Nov 2, 2000
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My brother is going to japan for a year to teach english with the NOVA program and he wants to go out and buy some electronics for his house there, but i keep trying to tell him that electronics ( cd players, speakers..) are really cheap there. im not really sure though.

Does anyone know how much these things would cost in toyko?

Batteries -AA
portable cd player -name brand
stereo components- speakers, amp
laptop's - cheap ones

does anyone know aprox this stuff costs? or where i could find out...
 

Tripleshot

Elite Member
Jan 29, 2000
7,218
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A whole bunch of yen. It is expensive over there. To buy stuff in Japan to use in America is also a problem, as electronics there are on a different electrical system. He should just purchase what he needs while he is there and check prices while he is there to compare with US prices on items he may be considering bringing back. Don't forget customs and tarriffs for import/export.
 

joohang

Lifer
Oct 22, 2000
12,340
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Originally posted by: Tripleshot
A whole bunch of yen. It is expensive over there. To buy stuff in Japan to use in America is also a problem, as electronics there are on a different electrical system. He should just purchase what he needs while he is there and check prices while he is there to compare with US prices on items he may be considering bringing back. Don't forget customs and tarriffs for import/export.

Good point. It's a pain in the ass to use a converter.

You might be able to get around this problem with one of those universal DC adapters (assuming that the device takes DC input for recharge), though.
 

joohang

Lifer
Oct 22, 2000
12,340
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Sony Japan

It's not very hard to navigate through even if you don't know Japanese. Just browse through to get an idea of the street prices over there.

Then go here for currency conversion.1
 

BlueApple

Banned
Jul 5, 2001
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Toyko is a very large, and expensive city.Housing (along with clothes and food) will be very expewnsive there. As for elextronics, I don't know. Try posting this in a travel board or newsgroup.

A friend of mine use to live over there, and he said an apple was 500 yen and a watermelon could be as much as 85,000 yen (it is grown a certain way)!!! :Q
 

PowerMac4Ever

Banned
Dec 9, 2000
5,246
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Originally posted by: BlueApple
Toyko is a very large, and expensive city.Housing (along with clothes and food) will be very expewnsive there. As for elextronics, I don't know. Try posting this in a travel board or newsgroup.

A friend of mine use to live over there, and he said an apple was 500 yen and a watermelon could be as much as 85,000 yen (it is grown a certain way)!!! :Q
Yes, square watermelon ;) This also reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld. "How much is a hat like this in Japan?" - Kramer

Also... MiniDisc is popular over there. Maybe he should consider that.

 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
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Originally posted by: BlueApple
Toyko is a very large, and expensive city.Housing (along with clothes and food) will be very expewnsive there. As for elextronics, I don't know. Try posting this in a travel board or newsgroup.

A friend of mine use to live over there, and he said an apple was 500 yen and a watermelon could be as much as 85,000 yen (it is grown a certain way)!!! :Q


holy crap! $6CDN for a farking apple!!!!!!
 

Migroo

Diamond Member
Jul 14, 2001
4,488
9
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Bear in mind that although things are expensive in Japan if you are on a US/British salary, if you are on a Japanese salary then everything balances out ;)

Oh yeah, I would definately recommend a MiniDisc player - they are so small nowadays :) I wouldnt ever have another CD portable.
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
11
81
Rent: Your left nut.
Food: Your right nut.
Car: Your first born son. (hope you have one already cause if you don't got any nuts...)
Electronics: Practically free, but who cares? You don't got any nuts...


:)
 

Isocene

Senior member
Jan 4, 2001
694
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71
I just came back from japan for a year.

I thought electronics would be cheap there too.

I was very wrong.
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
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I don't have specific numbers at the top of my head since I usually shop on base, but it definitely is more expensive here for nearly everything. Okinawa is one thing, but Tokyo is even worse.

Now, that being said, there are instances when Japan is cheaper. A higher dollar rate helps a great deal, but I'm not sure if it will head back to 130 like it was when I arrived. It would be nice for big ticket items (it was apparently 145 last year -- holy crap!). Checking prices on electronics here and looking online, the top of the line items, like plasma TVs, are cheaper here by about 10-30% (hard to tell because the models aren't the same). Unlike what's stated above, voltage isn't always an issue because many of their electronics are automatic voltage for usage here in Japan, in Europe, or in the States. I think but have not confirmed that all their TVs are that way. In short, the savings is only on the high dollar stuff, but it can be pretty substantial (probably due to shipping costs, import tariffs or customs fees).

The voltage here is 100v versus 110v in the U.S., and we've discovered that Japanese devices will work on U.S. current without any problem (we have a Kenwood cordless phone/answering machine in our house that works just fine even though it's 100v -- our house here is wired for American voltage). We were told that there also is a trend to start building homes with American current, at least here in Okinawa, because they have discovered that it's more efficient than what they use now. Our Japanese housing agency told us that. We'll see about that.

Laptops seem fairly expensive because they mostly have Japanese brands, Sony and Fujitsu. Great gear but pricey. I haven't looked at them in great detail though.

If we head to the store this weekend, I'll see if I can grab some prices.

As for the apple comment, the local fruit and vegetable markets aren't expensive at all. If you're trying to eat like an American, it will be expensive. If you try to eat like a Japense person, it isn't bad at all. Again, though, we nearly always shop on base since it's just easier in so many ways.
 

Ameesh

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
23,686
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Originally posted by: silverpig
Rent: Your left nut.
Food: Your right nut.
Car: Your first born son. (hope you have one already cause if you don't got any nuts...)
Electronics: Practically free, but who cares? You don't got any nuts...


:)

i think there are a bunch of people here who have never been to japan before.
 

Doggiedog

Lifer
Aug 17, 2000
12,780
5
81
Forget buying electronics in Japan. It is much more expensive there. It is much cheaper to get it here in the US. The only good thing about electronics in Japan is that they have the latest and greatest stuff.

Also remember, TVs and stereos work on different frequencies there so any TV or stereo you bring over will not work properly.

As for food, beef is about 2-3X the price of what it costs here. Chicken and pork are roughly about the same as the US, maybe a little higher. Produce is much more expensive. I remember one time, when a hurricane hit, it destroyed alot of the country's produce. I went to the market to buy a steak and some greens. When I bought the lettuce, I noticed it was about $10 for a head! It was more than the steak. So in general, expect to pay more for food.

Also, rice is about 5x the price of rice in the US.

As for cars. new cars in Japan are very expensive but used cars are ridiculously cheap because of something called Shaken or auto inspection. You can buy cars that are about to go into a shaken period or in one for real cheap. The only problem is shaken costs money and that is why the cars are being sold for cheap.

Hope that helps.
 

cmdavid

Diamond Member
May 23, 2001
4,114
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Batteries - get some rechargeable ones... they're much much more expensive in Japan
Portable CD Player- Cheaper and better
Stereo Components - I'm assuming you mean car??.. you can get a better stereo for cheaper but you can get a better stereo for more expenseive too, it depends on which stereo he wants to get and sthats just for the stereo... subs/amps are much more expensive there... if you mean home equipment, im sure they're much more expensive there...
Laptops - not sure....
 

Mday

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
18,646
1
76
dont you ppl hang around here enough to know that electronics are expensive as ass in japan? they have the best toys, but it's EXPENSIVE... the cost of living there, OMG!
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
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0
I always love places where people talk about places and things with which they have never had any contact.

Check my sig -- I live in Japan. I also live off base here, not huddled in base housing living an American lifestyle. TVs don't work here? Then why is our Samsung TV purchased at Best Buy working just fine with a satellite receiver? Sure, the Japanese don't have the choice of cheap electronics, but the prices on the really good items ARE better than those in the States -- I went to the store and wrote down prices and then came back home to check those prices against online stores. The equivalent items were cheaper here.

Here's some prices I found based on your list. The yen rate is about 120 to the dollar at the moment.
8 pack of Fujitsu AA batteries: 598 or 680 yen
Cheapest portable CD player, Panasonic: 8800 yen (really nice one though -- looked about the size of a rounded CD case!), other brands (Sony) went up to 16900 yen, with cheaper ones as well
MD players: started at 14900 yen, but the selection was poor (think it was only Sony players)

That's all they had at this place, which was NOT an electronics store or a large department store. It's sort of a Japanese Wal-Mart, called DIY (Do-It-Yourself). If we end up going to Jusco (department store) or San-A (ditto), I can check their prices as well. San-A has a REALLY nice selection of stereo equipment -- first place in a long time (including the States) that I've seen Marantz and Denon in large quantities.

Also, keep in mind that this is Okinawa, and it tends to be a little less expensive here, from what I understand. Being an island, however, things still have high prices (like Hawaii). I will ask my friend in Tokyo for some prices.
 

PsychoAndy

Lifer
Dec 31, 2000
10,735
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Do they have shoes for your large american feet? I was told once to get several pairs in the states because they dont carry very large shoes in Japan.
I dont know if thats true or not tho.

-PAB
 

abc

Diamond Member
Nov 26, 1999
3,116
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Originally posted by: PsychoAndy
Do they have shoes for your large american feet? I was told once to get several pairs in the states because they dont carry very large shoes in Japan. I dont know if thats true or not tho. -PAB


andy i was there this year. it's no better or worse than HK i would guess. yes they do have large sizes. previous generations are japanese people can be rather short, but not all, and even less of the younger people born 30yrs ago and later.
 

BigNeko

Senior member
Jun 16, 2001
455
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0
laptop's - cheap ones
- No such things here. Definitely cheaper through the Internet, and good luck finding English software here.

(it was apparently 145 last year -- holy crap!).
- I don`t remember it getting that good.

You might be able to get around this problem with one of those universal DC adapters (assuming that the device takes DC input for recharge), though.
- If you`re gonna convert to DC, then the Japanese electricity works fine, just need a plug adapter.

Usually, its the melon (or cantalope) that people use as an example of high prices in Japan. These are specially grown to be purchased as gifts. The regular melon for yourself is not that bad in price.
New release CDs are always about $25 to $35 USDs. BUT, you can rent CDs here, just like videos!
Your brother will have a little problem with clothes, but that is slowly going away. Due to the steroid beef and chicken that has become more a part of their diet, the Japanese are getting bigger each year. You can probably thank Mc Donalds for this.
Rent is very high, but the program he is in should have set him up with a place to live already. Food is not too terrible, he just needs to shop around. Don`t go to the regular coffee shops either, its about 300-450 yen for a cup of coffee. Whereas Mr. Donuts is 260 or 270 for a cup with free re-fills :)
Electronics is tough. I don`t price the awesome HDTVs that are about 4 feet wide and 4 inches thick. Hong Kong and Singapore are cheaper, but that is slowly going away also. Probably the best place to check would be Akihabara (Yamanote Line). They have just about everything in electronics a person could want in about a sseven by four block area.
Tell him to bring a good camera, there is an incredible amount of places to see in the Tokyo area.
 

AsukaStrikes

Banned
Jul 30, 2002
249
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0
electronics is MORE expensive there. my econ teacher even said that's why their economy has sucked for the last decade and a half, despite all their super efficient robots and stuff, things just cost too much so nobody wants to spend any money. dori arigato mr roboto


the only thing cheap over there is.... anime! ^-^x