Japan has been trying to create a "virtuous cycle” of price and wage increases for over a decade. But there are perhaps only a few places where it has succeeded: Once-sleepy skiing towns where the local economy is dominated by deep-pocketed foreign spending.

In Hokkaido’s Niseko, famous among tourists for its unrivaled powder snow, regular Japanese dishes are going for faintly outrageous prices: ¥3,500 ($23) for a bowl of tempura soba from a food truck, easily more than three times what one would pay at a sit-down joint in Tokyo; ¥3,200 for the ski-resort staple of katsu curry; ¥3,800 for crab ramen.

This is an increasing trend in weak-yen Japan, as foreigners from Australia or the U.S. barely bat an eyelid at prices still cheaper than what they would pay at home. This influx of tourist spending has, in places, helped break the deflationary cycle that’s kept wages stagnant for most of the last three decades: Hourly wages in the likes of Niseko are some of the highest in the country.