Following this thread from Twitter:
To Steve Sailer's post on the subject, where one of the comments pointed to this Youtube video:
Land in Edogawa is 29,000,000 yen per square meter, which comes out to $3200 per square meter, or about $300 per square foot. Pretty pricey by my standards, but I live in a low density area. The Canadian who made the video compared Edogawa to the Bronx, in terms of proximity to a major city center, so let's look there for a comparison.
This home in Edogawa is new construction, 119.88 square meters [1290 square feet], and is priced at 46,800,000 yen [$418,253]. Lot size isn't given, but I'll guess it is 42 square meters [452 square feet], which is the footprint of the first floor.
This home in the Bronx is a 1950s 3-bedroom, coming in at $405,000 for 1530 square feet, a price per square foot of $265. The lot is 1916 square feet. The house and lot are bigger than the 4LDK, but the extra story on the Japanese home gets you to a pretty close living area on a much smaller lot. The Bronx house has a backyard, which is a major plus, but it is quite a bit further from Manhattan [1 hour] than Edogawa is from Shinjuku [15 minutes]
In a follow-up video, Greg did a tour of a new construction home in Tokyo, a 4LDK, which is shorthand for a 4 bedroom house with a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. The real estate agent in the video said this also assumes two bathrooms and an attached garage. That sounds plausibly close to my own home, so I'll take it as a point of comparison.
One thing I noted during the tour is that home technology in the US is still a bit better than Japan. For example, double-pane windows are still new enough to be remarkable, rather than a standard item on new construction. On the other hand, Japanese houses usually lack central heating too, so it probably mattered less. The magnetic door stop was cool though. The house is 45800000 yen, which comes out to $409,000 or so. No area was given in the video, so we'll just have to guess it comes out about the same as the one I found on a real estate site above.
Since the land is so expensive, a home at the same price in the US will have much nicer finishes, and in almost all markets will be much bigger as well. In compensation, the Japanese home is closer to entertainment, shopping, and work than similarly priced US homes.
I'm impressed by what you can get for the money in Tokyo. It is a completely different lifestyle than I have, but similar to urban life in the biggest and most expensive US cities, except much, much cheaper.