Monday, February 29, 2016

10 Things I Found Out In Japan

As some of you know, I went to Japan last week for a 8 days 7 night trip with couple of my friends. We landed at Haneda, Tokyo and toured around Tokyo for one day before heading off to Hiroshima, the land of the atomic bombing site. We stayed there for a day before departing towards our two days trip in Osaka, the city where Universal Studios Japan lies. After having fun at USJ we moved our asses to Kyoto where the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine with thousands of torii gates at (you should google what torii gate is). As our flight back to Kuala Lumpur also departs from Haneda, we then continued our journey back to Tokyo for another night to pick up some souvenirs and shopping. It is quite packed and there was a lot of leg work but it was all well worth it for me. 

I discovered 10 things that I learnt from Japan. Actually there's more, but these 10 are the prominent ones that some might find it peculiar enough as it isn't really found or practised in Malaysia. Without further ado, let's begin the list!

1. (Almost) Everything Is Automatic

Where's the handle?

From the standing pee bowl located in the men's lavatory to the tap water to doors. You can almost find them to be lacking our usual push/pull handle to flush the bowl. Don't fret because I was quite lost too the first time but eventually you will know that it will flush automatically once the sensor detects that you are leaving. You'll be happy to find the sensor operated tap is almost in every public toilet. We do have them here in Malaysia, but its not everywhere. Pretty cool right? Yeah,  the water was literally pretty cold too because it was winter. 

2. (Almost) Every toilet has toilet paper!

You lao sai? Use Hiroshima's toilet roll! 100% radioactive-free

No joke. The staff constantly replenish the toilets with this godly tool. You have less to worry about stomach suddenly emergency call. Besides, their Western toilet cubicle (yes, they have Western and Japanese type cubicle) have the electronic type bowl which you can press to have a jet water clean your butt hole. Honestly, it is quite weird. You can also adjust the water pressure and temperature! 

3. English is below par. 

The level of English proficiency is worrying. They might understand you but not be able to converse properly. Best to learn some proper Japanese or bring someone who knows Japanese language well along your trip. However, there will be 1 in every 10 Japanese who knows how to speak English. We met a few who can speak English quite okay. Chances of finding English-speaking Japanese is higher in international branded outlets like Nike or Tesla (hehe). 

4. Stores have artificial food displayed outside

Photo from wikipedia

They are so real you'd want to dive in and eat them straight away. Common sightings in shopping malls and food street.

5. Pretty girls everywhere

Nuff' said, the number of pretty girls I saw in Tokyo exceed the total number of pretty girls I saw in KL on any particular visit. No joke. Even though they wore makeup, they are so pretty that you would stare at them to have a gaze at those belles.

6. Amazing toilet reservoir!

First you pull the lever to flush your bowl.

Then the reservoir will be filled by the water-tap, and you can wash your hand with it! The water will flow back into the reservoir. Damn water efficient this one. BANZAI!!!

7. Politeness is no joke

We all know that Japanese are known for their politeness and how respectful they are towards others. This particular case is so extraordinary I had to write it up in this list. In my bullet train rides, once the ticketing staff walks from the back of the carriage to the front of the carriage, he would turn 180 degrees and bow to the passengers before proceeding to the carriage in front of us. Talk about being respectful! This is a whole new level!!! *I'm sorry if you can't imagine it, I didn't take a video of it because I was beaten down and slept most of the time in the bullet train*

8. Rubbish bins are segregated

Almost all of them are like this. Combustibles or non-combustibles? Plastic? They even have this in their fast-food restaurants! Talk about recycling... You have some hard time determining where your disposal should be in. Great effort, Japan.

9. Paying bill through "board"

I don't know the particular term/word for this, but they practice this everywhere though only strictly emphasized in some shops, namely the Starbucks in Namba. They don't take the money that you hand to them directly, they will ask you to put it on a board like this one below (example only), only then they will accept it. The staff at Starbucks were very insistent on this. Not sure why though...

10. First come first sit!

We traveled a lot by train, and I saw that the culture of giving up their seat for their elders is not commonly sighted (or maybe we coincidentally didn't saw them). Most of them grabbed seats whenever they found it and sit on it. Some elders sat while some stood. Probably they are trying to train their body... but I may be wrong. 

And on Fridays and Saturdays, you'd smell the scent of alcohol in the train especially at night. They would drink after their working hours. I guess that's just one of the ways they reward themselves after a week of tiresome work. 


I was supposed to finish this before my semester starts but end up I procrastinated and left it to rot. Suddenly found the mood to finish this up so that I could share with others what I found out in Japan. Of course, there are many other trivial things that I didn't write it down... and I probably forgot some of them but Japan is really an interesting place to visit. I'll be sure to visit Japan again in the near future if my wallet allows me to. I thought of really migrating there though, but I missed Malaysian food just after a week.... Maybe next time =)