How much do you pay for six tennis balls?

Twice a year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes its Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. Asian cities typically feature high in the rankings, with Singapore tied with New York for the most expensive in 2022. The Garden City has been at the top eight times in the past decade; Hong Kong is often up there (fourth this year), typically along with the likes of Tokyo and Osaka.

The Japanese cities, however, weren’t to be found in this year’s top 10, which can be explained by the weaker yen — it’s down 16% this year. Their absence might be news to residents facing radically higher energy bills, even if inflation is running lower here than elsewhere.