Aspects of Japanese society you find interesting, unique, odd
Many, many thing!
At work: Having a shoe locker for when I come in and out. The way in which gifts are given (omiyage) has also been a unique experience. Coming to work and always finding strange snacks on my desk is something I have never experienced, but certainly enjoy!
In general: One thing which I have noticed that I find so amazing here, is that when the Japanese choose a theme they go all out. This is with all things, decorations, party themes, cafe or bar themes and even personal fashion and music taste.
For example: Going to a Mexican restaurant in Japan, means that every inch of the restaurant will be covered in Mexican memorabilia. I love how Japanese cafes and restaurant’s put so much detail into the theme of their business. It really is quite fantastic! I wish that British businesses would incorporate this as it makes daily life full of wild experiences.
This is also with people’s personal style. For example in the city I live (Mito) I have met a local man who runs a punk record store. On the surface, it seems as though every aspect of his life is based on the British punk scene, which reminds me of being back in Camden in London. He dresses like a punk, runs a punk record store and his home is full of vinyl. I find that when a Japanese person is passionate about something – they make it their thing in a way that British people never would. I find this so interesting, and it makes living in Japan so much more fun!
One thing which most people comment on when coming to Japan, which is definitely worth mentioning is the toilets. I have become totally addicted to Japanese spray toilets. They are certainly very cool. Also, a lot of foreigners find the use of face masks very odd! Everyone wears them. But why?
I personally love going to Japanese festivals. I went to the yoyogi park hanami last weekend and thought it was great! I love Japanese festivals, they are very unique and so much fun. I also love matsuri food, so delicious! I have also been to the snow festival in Sapporo which was incredible. I also went to the Kanagawa fertility festival (the penis festival) it was absolutely hilarious. Japanese festivals are certainly an experience.
I love Japanese combini’s – they are the best things in the world. I don’t know how I managed to cope without them. Japanese alcohol is also great. Beer, whisky, Japanese sake, you name it, I will drink it! I have also been enjoying “strong zeros”. Also karaoke culture is one of my favourite things. I have now had quite a few crazy karaoke parties. I love how you can have all you can drink at karaoke as well, certainly makes for a wild night out!
Yoyogi Park is one of my favorite places in Japan. It is the hub of so many weird and interesting sub-cultures. I have booked to go down to Tokyo during golden week just so I can spend 4 days hanging out in Yoyogi Park, what a great place for people watching. And of course, gaming in Japan is something that cannot be topped anywhere else in the world. Japanese arcade centers are one of the most fun place to spend an afternoon, especially pirikura.
Of course one thing in Japan that is very different to my home country, is how clean everything is. Especially on the trains! If you take the metro in London you will find rubbish everywhere (as well as much wear and tear and general filth). Things in Japan are so clean, I never see litter. I think this is largely due to the fact that people here tend to be so incredibly respectful of their surroundings. How refreshing.