July 13, 2024

18 random things I noticed in Japan

I found Japan a really really complex culture – and coming from another, that is saying a lot. Back in India for a couple of weeks now, I am still taking it all in and am ambivalent about my feelings for the country. For now, a few observations…

~ The women are all super fashionable and elegant – whether they wear a kimono or Western clothes

~ Most signboards are in Japanese, especially when you get out of Tokyo

~ The bullet train experience is definitely worth all that money – although when you are inside, you do not feel the speed. Needless to add, trains run perfectly on time

~ Japan is super expensive and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

~ All Japanese put up a V sign when they pose for the camera, even small children

~ They are extremely polite and friendly people – they can sometimes come across as gruff because they do not speak English and are very shy talking to strangers

~ They must easily be the most disciplined people on earth – rules are everything and they panic at the thought of breaking any rule

~ Green tea is a much loved flavour and found in everything from ice cream to donuts

~ I cannot but admire their courage – the atomic bombs, several earthquakes, more recently the tsunami and the nuclear disaster – you wouldn’t think of all this when you see the country because they bounce back from whatever is thrown at them

~ Japan does not easily reveal either its modern or traditional side easily – I think you need years and years to dig through what is visible

~ The country does not reveal its beauty easily either – prima facie the main cities look like any other glass and chrome world city

~ While there are still some old squat toilets, the modern ones come with a variety of buttons to press, including one to warm the seat (and how much I loved that!)

~ Whenever you enter a shop or restaurant, the staff smile and say irashimase and when you leave, a polite arigato gozaimasu

~ It is difficult, if not near impossible to eat tofu with chopsticks

~ Bento boxes are an art form in themselves and should be treated so. There are also loads of vending machines everywhere dispensing water bottles and a variety of cold drinks

~ There are pachinko gaming parlours everywhere and they seem to be crowded all the time

~ Men in black suits with impeccable white shirts walk briskly on the roads at all times of the day and night

~ The Japanese have an excellent aesthetic sense and seem to value visual appeal more than anything else – everything is a thing of beauty

2 thoughts on “18 random things I noticed in Japan

  1. Great, interesting post! I have Japan on my mind for this November. Thinking of doing Osaka and Kyoto and skipping Tokyo all together to cut costs. Makes sense?

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