The Price of Tokyo

Tokyo is not currently the most expensive city in the world, but it’s still in the top six. Certainly, housing plays a part, and I have found apartments and hotels to be more expensive than many (but not all) other places we’ve been. However, I also expected food to be expensive. After all, sushi at even a US grocery store is usually $7-$15 for a meal-size portion, usually consisting of six to eight rolls (maki) or nigiri.

Tonight, I walked over to a neighborhood restaurant that offers its sushi to-go. (Read: definitely not a grocery store.) I picked up the two packages of nigiri in the photo below, which included:

  • 1 tamago (egg)
  • 1 ikura (roe)
  • 1 unagi (eel)
  • 1 saba (mackarel)
  • 1 salmon
  • 1 cuttlefish (I assume)
  • 1 maguro (tuna)
  • 4 hamachi (yellowtail)

Any guesses as to how much this all came to? In Tokyo?

Tokyo Nigiri


It came to $4.15.

Those of you who purchase sushi outside of Japan – especially in the US – will need to reattach your jaws, I know. From Milwaukee to San Francisco, a combination like the above would run $15 at the grocery store, nevermind at a sushi restaurant.

Given that Japan is practically paying me to eat sushi, excuse me while I go stuff my face.


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