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The Guardian says Osaka is the second most expensive city in the world

There’s no question that Osaka is an expensive place to live, but I didn’t think we’d get ranked second in the world. Of course Tokyo takes the number one spot. Conspicuously missing from this list are London and New York.

An odd thing about the data that The Guardian presents: 1 kilogram of bread is indicated as an important data point, and Tokyo and Osaka are listed among the cities where bread is most expensive.

But this is Japan. Bread is expensive as a matter of course. It’s not traditionally something people eat at home everyday. My guess is that if we saw a list of rice prices, Japan would still be expensive but less sensationally so.

Another of the four data points listed is the price of a bottle of table wine.

These particular data points seem to have a bit of a Western slant to them, don’t you think? Perhaps not the entire world dines on baguette and Cabernet.

What if we were judging prices around the world based on saké instead? When you pay $15 for a thimble-full of rice wine in San Francisco, you might think the prices in Osaka are quite reasonable.

I wouldn’t dispute that Osaka is world-class in terms of cost of living but I’m not sure how useful it is to attempt to rank cities based on prices, unless we consider what people actually buy in each locale.


If you’d like to read a little about what it might be like to live in the world’s most expensive city, The Guardian has an article on Tokyo for you.No single article can capture all of what’s going on in a given place at a given time, but this rings true to me:

”It’s true that prices for some things in Tokyo are still expensive,” says interior designer Ako Miura, “but the real problem for people who live here is how much they get paid.”

The Guardian says Osaka is the second most expensive city in the world
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