Japanese oddities

Some of the little observations that I’ve made over last four weeks…

Japan is SO clean!! You could have eaten off the concrete floor at the baseball it was so clean. Can you imagine doing that at the cricket?

At the railway stations they play a bird call over the speakers to announce that a train is about to arrive. It took weeks for us to decide that they weren’t actually caused by real birds roosting in the rafters!

If you buy food or drink from a convenience store like 7-11, then you either take the food home or you eat it on the spot out the front of the shop. It is considered very poor manners to walk and eat/drink, or to just sit down somewhere random and eat/drink.

This leads to another oddity (and seeming contradiction, considering the cleanliness), the fact that there are hardly any bins to be found in public. The only place you can guarantee to find one is out the front of a convenience store. This also means that if you have a picnic in a park then you’ll probably have to take your rubbish with you.

They have awesome shoes in Japan…unfortunately the largest size they sell is a 10, if you’re lucky!

The pedestrian crossings also play a bird-like sound when the light turns green. The tone and cadence was very close to the theme music from Austin Powers, so we inevitably ended up whistling the whole song every time we crossed a street!

6ft is quite tall in Japan meaning you get a good view of everything. The downside? It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last to walk a hiking trail, you can guarantee you’ll get cobwebs in the face!

The service culture in Japan is phenomenal. Without exception, every shop keeper (whether a corner store or massive department store) would greet you as you walked in, attend to you promptly, do everything they could to help you, and then thankyou as you left. An absolute pleasure.

You do not speak on your mobile phones on trains, and you switch your phone to silent. So good not having to hear about Shazza’s next court appearance and how Dazza is such a dickhead for cheating on her with that mole from next door!

Despite the heat and glare, no one wears sunglasses (except the odd rich person).

You don’t cross against a red pedestrian light. Ever!

You don’t jay walk. Ever!