In 2014, for the first time, I thought prices were cheap in Japan. Especially in these modest restaurants frequented by Salaryman. Twenty years of economic stagnation and a strong dollar saw to that.
A pork cutlet, a bowl of rice and miso soup can cost just 500 yen, a little over $4. Contrast that with the booming Austin economy where lunch is usually north of $8 and a Japanese lunch would probably run closer to $12.
These restaurants are a model of efficiency. I’ve seen the entire place run by just two or three people, which includes the cook and the wait staff. No one handles the money directly. I purchased lunch at a ticket machine, doing my best to decipher options via pictures, since my ability to read Japanese is lacking.
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