Money Matters

Trip Start Sep 08, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Japan is intensely expensive. We knew it would be before we arrived, we had heard the stories, but I was still not prepared for it to be quite so stratospheric. We are being particularly badly crippled by the current exchange rate and our guide book happily reels of inexpensive options which we follow up only to find they are living on another planet not this lonely one. There appears to be a monopoly on prices. There are no deals, no bargains and absolutely no culture of haggling - how uncouth to argue over money, how shameless to tell everybody that you are poor. A commodity has a value and that price is stuck to up and down the land, regardless of the type of shop or of the neighbourhood. There is absolutely no comprehension of the concept of economies of scale. Something has a price and if you wish to buy five of those things, you pay that price fivefold. There are no special offers here, no bulk discounts. How do normal people afford this? what is the class system in which all members of the society can survive at these prices? How high must the lowest wages be?
And that leads on to another observation - we have only seen one homeless person since we arrived here.
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