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Old 09-04-2014, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,175,100 times
Reputation: 9483

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantonese_mtporr View Post
Reasons for Tokyo or Osaka still being more expensive than Singapore and HK are little import workers and new immigrants, food and some stuff are locally produced(Singapore and HK usually import from neigboring developing regions, keep costs low), and relatively little competitions among local shops.
As a person who lives next to Hong Kong and used to live in Osaka. I don't find the prices all that different. Things are just expensive in Hong Kong as Osaka.

The only really big difference I noticed, was bars/beers. It's way cheaper to buy beer in Hong Kong than Osaka. Having more immigrants isn't the reason that HK has cheaper beer in the store though.

The other bigger expensive was taxis and public transportation. It's expensive to get around Japan. But Japan also has the Shinksansin bullet trains and such, which are completely unnecessary in Hong Kong and Singapore. If Japan had more immigrants, I highly doubt they'd decrease the prices for public transportation in Japan though.

In short, I basically disagree that the prices are all that different between Japan and HK/SG, and the two places that are different, I don't think bringing in tons of immigrants will change the pricing in those two things.

Now if you are talking about the HK/SG custom of near 'slave labor' where you pay a Filipina/Indonesian like US$400/month and she works in your house for 12-15 hours a day, for 6 days a week...and makes all the meals, washes all your clothes, does all your errands, and they exploit the hell out the lady. Than yeah, that certainly decreases child care costs, and other household chore times for the locals of HK/SG. But that questionable practice probably won't happen in Japan, most likely due to pre-existing laws that wouldn't allow them to exploit a foreigner to that kind of degree. Also, HK/SG doesn't allow their 'domestic helpers' to emigrate. They basically work there for sometimes 10-20 years, and never are given citizenship, let alone even pension or anything else. They send them right back to Phils/Indonesia the moment they don't perform their expected servitude to their 'employer'.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:22 AM
 
3 posts, read 2,186 times
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Japanese Yen is currently in its 6 years low, was quite high a few years ago. Yen value in USD can vary a lot in 1 week sometimes. And average workers in JP have not got much richer since the end of high economic growth, both wage and price level rise are very mild compared with many other countries. Japan however has a higher Imported Inflation, with weaker Yen and bigger inflation in other countries.

Macau has a lot of imported workers for both low-skill and high-skill jobs, and plenty of immigrants coming from Mainland China everyday due to local people marrying mainlander chinese. There are many jobs local people do not want to do in HK and Macau but new immigrants from China are willing to do.

For Japan, the job market is less open to foreigners and new immigrants due to a large language and cultural barrier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Now if you are talking about the HK/SG custom of near 'slave labor' where you pay a Filipina/Indonesian like US$400/month and she works in your house for 12-15 hours a day, for 6 days a week...and makes all the meals, washes all your clothes, does all your errands, and they exploit the hell out the lady. Than yeah, that certainly decreases child care costs, and other household chore times for the locals of HK/SG. But that questionable practice probably won't happen in Japan, most likely due to pre-existing laws that wouldn't allow them to exploit a foreigner to that kind of degree. Also, HK/SG doesn't allow their 'domestic helpers' to emigrate. They basically work there for sometimes 10-20 years, and never are given citizenship, let alone even pension or anything else. They send them right back to Phils/Indonesia the moment they don't perform their expected servitude to their 'employer'.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:26 AM
 
774 posts, read 591,944 times
Reputation: 1340
The Japanese are very polite, and extremely helpful towards people who don't speak their language. It's not like the US where some people give foreigners a dirty look if they can't speak English, or even get angry at them. The Japanese are more understanding. They worry about how hard it would be for them to travel in foreign countries where they don't know the language, so they try to treat foreigners in their country with the same courtesy they would like to receive if they were the traveler.

Some people who can't speak English might try to avoid you, but don't take it personally. It's because they're afraid that they'll be expected to speak English, and they don't know how. I have surprised a few of them by speaking in fluent Japanese, and they immediately warmed up to me and expressed "relief" that I could speak their language. So just remember, if somebody backs away from you, it's not because they don't like you. It's just that they can't speak English and are afraid you'll be mad at them if they don't. Just be polite and understanding of them, and find somebody else that can speak English. Sometimes those same people will find somebody for you.

Japanese who do speak English, or are trying to learn English, are often very eager to help foreigners. Just stare at a train station map or look around confused for a few minutes, and somebody will walk up and ask if you need help. Part of this is because Japanese culture encourages people to be helpful to strangers, but I think another reason is because English teachers encourage their student to "practice English" on lost tourists that need help.

In any event, there are plenty of people in Tokyo that can speak English, so you'll have no problem there.


As far as the cost, it probably isn't too bad right now. I have some friends that come visit Japan every year, and they say restaurants are priced the same as in the US right now, except you don't need to pay tips. Prices are rising in the US, but dropping in Japan. Average cost to eat out is probably around $10, but there are plenty places where you can buy lunch for around $5. Servings tend to be smaller than what Americans are used to, so you'll get larger meals at places that offer extra servings of carbs (rice or noodles) for no extra charge. (Those places are popular with men.)

Food prices skyrocketed after the sales tax rose last spring, especially dairy and meats. However, The exchange rate is excellent right now for American tourists to Japan. Your dollars will buy a lot of yen, almost twice as much as it bought about 2 years ago. That would certainly offset the higher food prices!

You can eat more cheaply if you lean towards a more vegan-diet, minus the vegetables. You can buy cheap things to eat which are essentially carbs doused in excess oils and seasoned with artificial flavorings (like cup ramen and instant curry with pieces of meat so tiny you can't find it). I wouldn't recommend sticking to a diet like that for too long (although many poor people do), but it won't hurt you for just a couple weeks. Just treat yourself to a few good meals too while you're here. Many restaurants have good lunch deals. But dinner is expensive, so stick to lunch for your fancier meals.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:33 AM
 
774 posts, read 591,944 times
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Prices on non-food and non-essentials are also dropping. Consumers have less spending power now due to the higher food prices, and the price hike by the electric companies.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:36 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 3,082,362 times
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They speak English don't worry
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,152 posts, read 23,676,300 times
Reputation: 11625
Have you ever heard of the JET program? If you haven't, take a look and see if you're eligible. Take a look as it's pretty great and it might let you consider more than just a quick jaunt to Japan and just dive in and see what might come from it.

Also, as a foreigner, remember to buy rail tickets before you come in.

People are at the very least polite, but can also be incredibly friendly and warm. You can go there on a budget, but it involves careful planning--and it's definitely even better if you have a friend already there.
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