One of the most difficult aspects of budgeting in Japan is getting fruits and vegetables into my diet. It’s not that they aren’t available, just that they are outrageously expensive. The last time I went to the grocery store a took a few photos for example. For reference, $1.00 = about 110 yen
As you can see in the above photo, the melon for sale is priced at 1980 yen which makes it a $17.75 piece of fruit.
The above bunch of grapes runs 684 yen or just under $6.25. As you can see, the skin of the grapes has a whitish residue on them. Japanese don’t eat grape skins…they peel their grapes which was something totally foreign to me when I first came here…
The above celery stick is priced 128 yen or a bit more than a $1.00. What you might notice is that celery isn’t sold as an entire unit in Japan…the plant is pealed and celery is sold in individual sticks at a buck a pop.
As you can imagine, with prices like this it is a creative challenge staying within budget and still eating fruits and vegetables. One way we’ve gotten around these prices is to by 100% fruit juices. They’re still expensive by US standards, but a much better deal than the fruits themselves.
The first time I went to the US with my wife, I took her to restaurant with an all you can eat salad bar. She spend the entire afternoon eating fruit from the salad bar – as you might imagine.