Things I noticed in Japan so far…

I’ve been in Japan for 3 weeks now. Since I’m from the UK, the differences are HUGE. I’ll cut straight to the point and start.

  1. Everything here is expensive. It is expensive. I cannot stress that enough. And top of that, Japanese shops will show a modest price….until you get the tax added on. YEP! There’s tax on top of that. A piece of broccoli will cost me double the price here than the UK. At first I thought it was because of its uncommon in Japan or something, but nooooope, everything is expensive in Japan. Shoes can go up to £100. For example, Nike, Adidas….even converse. Clothes, like dresses for example, can go up to 10,000 yen, which is about £70 in UK. BELOW: £10 for a hot chocolate in Japan (whereas its about £3 in UK). It is probably designer chocolate, but… See what I mean lol……img_5699
  2. Customer service. Japanese customer service, so far, is 100% 5/5 stars. Every time I go into a restaurant or a store or walk past a shop in a department store and the staff will be like “Irraishaimase” to every single entity that walks past or goes through the door. It means ‘Welcome’ and frankly I LOVE IT. I don’t care if its fake, but so far every Japanese staff member I’ve come across have been genuinely polite.
  3. No self service counters. For the UK, most supermarkets will now have self-service checkout counters which saves me a lot of hassle of actually having to TALK to someone…. in Japan, nope, you need to go to a checkout belt, speak to the operator etc etc.
  4. Everything here is convenient. From the 7-11 to the Daiso. 7-11 stores, Lawson, Family Mart….they’re everywhere and you can buy food and drink and stuff…there are ATM machines too….Then the Daiso. I’ll talk about that next… but I can’t express how convenient Japan is. I went to an electronics store to buy a hairdryer. They showed every single hairdryer in stock and guess what? There was even an adaptor for you to plug in the sample hairdryer and you can test out the heat!!!! Convenient!!!!
  5. Daiso. I love this store. It is literally the best store on earth (along with the Disney Store in Japan, more on that later). The Daiso store has EVERYTHING. From stationary, sweets, t-shirts, gardening tools, bath towels, buckets and washing up liquid. And all for 100 yen too. How awesome is that???img_5090
  6. Disney Store. Holy balls, Japan can take something and turn it into something else, like 100 times better. The Disney Store is one of them. Honest to god, Japan is turning me into a 10 year old again.IMG_5065.JPG
  7. Toilets. Okay, this is a strange one. But toilets can be heated, so your bum is nice and warm when you sit on the pan. And there’s also sound buttons. You probably knew that already. So next time you feel a big one coming and there’s a big queue of folk waiting for the toilet and it’s deadly silent…don’t be afraid, just press the toilet sound button for a range of bathroom, echo-ey noises in the background. Or birdsong, but I’ve yet to encounter that.
  8. Pets. Pets is a big deal in Japan. People like to dress their little dogs here. So far I saw a grown man in a bike with three white dogs in his basket wearing sailor outfits and sunglasses. You just don’t see that kind of thing in the UK.
  9. Arcades. Again, Japan takes everything to a different level and the arcade is no difference. People love video games here, so there are shoot em ups, gambling, pachinko, purikura and DDR (where I saw this guy doing a crazy 150+ combo), and there’s also Dance Revolution which is INTENSE. I’ve seen men dancing to these games and not only do they use your feet but you must DANCE. And spin, and twirl, and use your arms. IMG_5048.JPGimg_5057
  10. Their systematic way of walking…. and freezing-on-the-spot-when-you-accidentally-walk-into-their-path. One side will always be reserved for those going forwards (or going inside a mall, for example), one side will be the side going back (going out of a mall). Also, if you walk into someone’s path, most times they will literally freeze on their spots until you move or they move.
  11. Women only train carriages. So there is groping on trains. I got warned about that. I don’t know how to stop it from happening…like not wearing skirts/shorts but wear jeans or just look unappealing when you go out, or trying to find a spot where there are girls, not men (?), I don’t know, but it happens and there are women only carriages. They can get cramped and full.
  12. SIM cards. In Japan, you can get 2 different kinds – data or call only which means you can either a), use your phone for internet, or b) use your phone for calling only. Frankly this is something I really dislike because I’m so used to my UK phone contract where I was given data and minutes at the same time.
  13. Limited variety of international brands. For this case, I refer to brands like Forever 21, McDonalds and Head & Shoulders which are in the UK, America, Hong Kong for example. I did find these brands, of course, but they’re very limited and don’t have as much exposure as I thought and most Japanese shops are…well, Japanese of origin. So far, I’ve been to Wego for shopping and A-G Plus.
  14. Japanese guys with funky anime hair – mostly light golden brown in colour. Ok, so why am I mentioning Japanese guys? Well, for starters, they do look like they come out from anime. It’s a 50/50. You will definitely see guys with  spiky hairstyles and mostly with dyed, golden, browny hair.
  15. So since I mentioned Japanese guys, then I must mentioned Japanese girls. I noticed a lot of Japanese girls will have their hair dyed. They might wear circle lens. They wear long dresses or baggy trousers.
  16. Riding their bikes. Bicycles are common here. People will also cycle on the pavement and the road, so be careful of someone zipping right past you silently.
  17. Salarymen. Or those working in office jobs, I think. They will always look the same – wearing white shirts and black trousers and carrying briefcases, looking very tired…
  18. Their ability to make anything look cute. Look at their cakes. Look at it…..img_5698
  19. Food that expires VERY QUICK. So I tried to buy bread the other day for lunch. Each bread bundle gave me 5 slices. Fair enough, they were quite chunky. But they expired in 4 days. Like WTF! Same goes for meat, like chicken.
  20. Big flush and little flush. Technically this should be in the part about Japanese toilets but I wanted to add this too. In Japan, you can choose a big flush or a little flush. Make the choice…



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