土用の丑

26 Jul

Last Thursday (July 24), was 土用の丑 (Do-yo-u-no-ushi (“Day of the Ox”)).

This is a day in Summer that people are meant to eat うなぎ (Freshwater eel). Eating うなぎ (Freshwater eel) is said to give you stamina to stand the hot summer days.

I think うなぎ (Freshwater eel) is delicious…but we didn’t eat it on 土用の丑 (Do-yo-u-no-ushi ) this year.

*************

東京 (Tokyo) was voted the 2nd most expensive city in the world (behind Moscow).

I can’t see it. I don’t think Tokyo’s at all as expensive as it’s said to be.

We visited America four years ago and many things seemed expensive there! Gasoline is cheap in America (even if the price is rising these days…it’s still less expensive in America than many other countries), but restaurants, souvenirs and amusement parks all seemed expensive in America—and alot of services require tipping there (there’s no tipping in Japan…but the quality of products and services is high here).

10 Responses to “土用の丑”

  1. tokyo5 July 27, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    >I guess one factor is probably the exchange rates

    Well, I tried to list Japan’s prices in US dollars to make comparing easier.

    Like

  2. rzapanta July 27, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    This is certainly an interesting discussion about living in Tokyo, whether it is really expensive or not compared to other cities. I guess one factor is probably the exchange rates, when comparing cities (countries). Certainly, the US$ has been weak compared to the Yen and Euro.

    Like

  3. tokyo5 July 27, 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    “happyhatchet” (unusual nickname!)…

    >I am glad to have met you, sir.

    Thank you. No need to call me “sir”, though.

    >Japan is quite a culture shock.

    It is quite different from any other country. But I’ve been here awhile…Japan feels like home, now it’s other countries (including America 🙂 ) that give me culture shock!

    >I just got here a week ago

    Just a week. I guess you do feel overwhelmed. Can you speak any Japanese?

    >I’m going to start my study abroad program with Sophia University tomorrow.

    For how long? One year?

    >Perhaps we could meet up sometime.

    Sure. You can email at my contact form here:
    http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~tokyo5/contact.html

    Do you have ケータイ (cell-phone) email here? If so, write that address in the “Email” space on my form.

    >Please check out happyhatchet.com regularly.

    I added you to my “WordPress Blog Surfer”…so I’ll know whenever you update.

    Visit (and comment on) my blog often , too!

    Like

  4. happyhatchet July 27, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    Many people warned me about the great expense of Japan (especially Tokyo). However, since I have been here I’ve found that it is not much different from America. In fact there are many things that are cheaper than the U.S. including meals like lunch (usually only about 500 yen–5 bucks; much cheaper than the states.

    I am glad to have met you, sir. Japan is quite a culture shock. I just got here a week ago and I’m going to start my study abroad program with Sophia University tomorrow. Perhaps we could meet up sometime. I will be posting more often. Please check out happyhatchet.com regularly.

    Ja Mata
    -N

    Like

  5. tokyo5 July 27, 2008 at 2:08 am #

    sfrunner…

    >>I’ve heard that San Francisco is the most expensive city in the continental U.S.

    >I saw some figures last night regarding the most expensive cities in the U.S. San Francisco was ranked number five behind New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

    Oh, my mistake. 🙂

    What are the taxi rates in San Francisco?

    In Tokyo now, they’re ¥650 for the first two Km then ¥100 more for every 500 meters.
    (that’s roughly US$6 for the first 1.3 miles, then US$0.90 for every 1/3 miles).

    Taxis are too expensive in Japan. The trains and subways are extremely punctual, clean, safe and affordable. No need for a taxi (unless you miss the last train of the evening!)

    Like

  6. sfrunner July 27, 2008 at 1:55 am #

    tokyo5, BART is the public transit subway system for the SF Bay Area. It costs about $5 one way to the airport. However, that’s inexpensive compared to taking a taxi ($40) or taking one of these transbusses ($20).

    I saw some figures last night regarding the most expensive cities in the U.S. San Francisco was ranked number five behind New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

    Like

  7. tokyo5 July 26, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    sfrunner…

    Thanks for commenting. お久しぶり! (It’s been awhile!).

    >San Francisco’s becoming very expensive to live.

    Yes, I’ve heard that San Francisco is the most expensive city in the continental U.S.

    >BART’s expensive

    What’s “BART”? The public bus system?

    >In my week in Japan, the restaurants there were not as expensive as San Francisco’s. You could get a very good meal reasonably priced.

    Yes, restaurants in Japan offer excellent food and service at a good price…and no tipping!

    >In SF, you have to know the area well.

    It helps in Tokyo too.

    Like

  8. tokyo5 July 26, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    MB….

    >So does eating freshwater eel really give you stamina to withstand the summer heat?

    Actually, I’ve never noticed much of a difference. But it’s rich in vitamins, that’s why it’s said to provide stamina…so, maybe.

    >I’ve heard from a couple of people who have been to Tokyo that it is very expensive.

    Maybe if you don’t know where to go.

    Just as an example, I’ve found these prices online for goods in America, and I’ll compare them to the price in Tokyo (of course, Japan uses ¥en, but I’ll write the approximate equivalent price in US dollar$):

    – 1 litre (1 qt) milk: US – $2 / Japan – $1.80
    – 1 350ml (12 oz) can of beer: US – $0.75 / Japan – $1.20
    – 5 boxes of tissues: US – $8.50 / Japan – $2.30
    – Newspaper: US – $0.75 / Japan – $1.50
    – Fast food hamburger: US – $1.50 / Japan – $0.90
    – Movie theatre ticket: US – $10 / Japan – $14

    So, some things are more expensive here and some are cheaper.

    Like

  9. sfrunner July 26, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    San Francisco’s becoming very expensive to live. Restaurants are expensive, BART’s expensive and the parking….well that’s blown the roof off!

    In my week in Japan, the restaurants there were not as expensive as San Francisco’s. You could get a very good meal reasonably priced. In SF, you have to know the area well.

    Like

  10. Mb July 26, 2008 at 2:20 am #

    So does eating freshwater eel really give you stamina to withstand the summer heat? Because if so, I’m heading out right now to get me some freshwater eel…

    I’ve heard from a couple of people who have been to Tokyo that it is very expensive. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. If you’re from NYC, not a big deal. If you’re from a small city or town, then most large cities would seem expensive, probably, in most industrialized countries. One thing about Dallas is that for a large city, it is pretty reasonably-priced.

    Like

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