Interesting Things in Japan
There are innumerable things that took me by surprise in Japan, since I had not seen anything of this sort anywhere before. Am sure there are many more mentioned across various blogs, but the few that I witnessed are mentioned below.
- People- Atithi Devo Bhava is actually practiced in this country!! Each human life is revered as if God himself. They will go out of their way to help you, language is a major barrier but there is so much of warmth & urge to help you that it takes over all communication hinderances. Japanese people usually keep to themselves & won’t bother you much but are always ready to extend a helping hand. Google Maps/Translate are real saviours but people as well are more than willing to help you not only dictating the directions but actually taking you to your destinations in the vicinity. They are extremely organized & punctual, OCD in the country is to another different level all together.
- Children going to and from school alone- In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance. The Japanese culture puts a premium on trusting the whole community where every child grows up being taught at home and at school that if anything goes wrong, they can count on any member of the community to help them. In turn, they are also taught that they have to be ready to help others who are in need. Isn’t it amazing that the thought is ingrained in every individual right from childhood, which is why Japan has very low crime rate.
- Bathrooms- So we all know by this time that Japan Bathrooms are a craze, they have automated ones across Public Washrooms, Hotels/Restaurants & of course homes. Each washroom has a unique button system, since they are different companies providing the machines. You can control the water pressure & water temperature, along with some musical buttons & deodorizers to avoid the obvious situations. The flushes are majorly automatic sensors & seats are always warm. IMG_1357 IMG_1174
- Vending Machines- Japan is the undisputed home of the vending machine. They can be found in huge racks in train stations and on street corners all over the country providing everything from hot ramen noodles to fresh eggs. Also, there is not only food & drinks, but even clothes, pet, sim cards, toys & prayer cards available across Japan’s Vending Machines.
- Kit-Kat- “Kit Kat” meaning “kitto katsu” – a Japanese expression meaning good luck. (Literally: “surely win.”) The candy is extremely popular as a gift, especially for schoolchildren, and candy-maker Nestle has capitalized on the craze by making dozens of unique Kit Kat flavours. The varied tastes were made to pay tribute to the unique tastes and foods of Japan. List of flavours https://www.andersmayland.com/every-japanese-kit-kat-flavor-list/
- Mario Cart- Street karting in Japan is a thing, and you are ought to see people dressed up as Mario and doing some real-life Mario Karting across Shibuya & Asakusa area. You need to have an international driving permit, to try this via various Mario Operating Companies. https://tokyocheapo.com/entertainment/mario-kart-in-tokyo-guide/
- Fake Food- Food you see on display are not real, they are all artificial & look just perfectly sumptuous as real food. These deceptive dishes are called sampuru, from the word “sample.” The fake foods are made of plastic, and to this day each one is crafted by hand.
Plastic food makes Japan a lot of money – the country’s fake food industry is worth approximately $90 million. The business idea was born out of World War II, when a lot of the American servicemen were stationed in Japan and they couldn’t obviously read the Japanese menus and there weren’t any photos on the menus. Thus, they decided to have a visual representation to show people what was on their menu.
- Anime shops- Tokyo is a heaven for Japanese manga and anime fan because there are a lot of shops that specialize in selling manga and anime related Akihabara is the centre of gaming, manga and anime culture in Japan. With its electronics shops, maid cafes and anime stores, it is a paradise for any self-proclaimed otaku. I got a few stuff from Tokyo Station where there are large number of stores of popular characters Pokemon, Shinchan, Hello Kitty, Snoopy (to name a few I know)
- Free Tissues- Japan is still the main market for tissue-pack advertising & usually people hand out pocket tissues in busy areas which are crowded with people all the time such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku in Tokyo. Four billion packets of free tissues are distributed every year in Japan because, tissue-marketing is a proven and inexpensive way to advertise.
- People wearing face masks everywhere- The number of people you’ll see in Japan wearing surgical masks is pretty surprising. The Japanese are known for taking care of their surroundings and caring for other people, so if they get ill, they will wear a mask, not to infect anybody else. This doesn’t of course mean everyone is ill but it is also prevalent as a fashion item & to take care of no makeup look.
- Automatic Taxi doors- In Japan, you just wait by the rear door until the taxi driver opens it with the push of a button or lever on the console. Don’t try to open the door by yourself, even in a hurry, or the driver may say “step back!” (or the door may hit you). The rear left passenger door is controlled with this opening device.
- Train Pushers- In Japan, during rush hours, railway station attendantscalled “pushers” or “oshiya” do the weirdest job in the world – push passengers into the trains. It is inevitable due to large number of commuters who need to arrive at their desired locations on time thus they have to endure the pain in squeezing themselves inside the train.
- Few more facts- https://www.boredpanda.com/reasons-why-japan-is-awesome-interesting-facts/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
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