When we hear the word Japan there are certain things which run into our mind like gadgets, cars and Shinkansen. There are many things which people living outside Japan may not know and they can be amused by knowing them. So here, I am listing few things which might surprise you but exist only in Japan. I have been here around 4~5 years and I am summarising my experiences in this post.
The points here might be good, bad or neutral. Feel free to comments your own experiences to provide me more output to judge expectation vs reality. So here you go.
I personally feel that Japan care about the people who are living here. Girls, women are safe, laws are strict so crime rate is very low. Enjoying nightlife up to any time is good and moving here and there alone is also considered at any time.
Schooling in Japan is very different from another part of the world. For the first few years, children are taught manners and before giving them actual subjects. Students are very hardworking, you can see kids wearing school uniform on Saturday and Sunday. They are doing extracurricular activities(sometimes classes on Saturday). Students need to clean their washroom and classes by them self. I asked friends and he told me that, we teach students to live life in the tough environment to make kids stronger with time.
Public services are one of the best in the world and always on time as per schedule. Trains are bang on time and will give you a delayed certificate(yes it’s true you get a certificate !!) in case of delay. Japanese trains are rarely late. Public services including everything like the bus, post etc are very arranged and very helpful. Special mention to the toilets, which are the problem in many countries but here they are ultra clean even in the busiest train station.
New to Japan? then let me explain you, salaryman is the term used by Japanese to define full time working employee. The trademark of salaryman is that they love to wear the suit and have drinking party occasionally. Now you might start to think that, what about the woman, so woman pronounced as office lady(OL). Salaryman is a status symbol, and everybody wants to achieve it one time in their career.
Last train buddies
Every Friday and Saturday nights, late night trains are full packed and you can smell wine whiskey beer and all. Some are dwelling here and there and some are just sitting on the floor. You will always find the buddy to talk if you are drunken too. One thing I should appreciate that whether they are sleeping or drunken, they all will get off on a correct station.
Japanese people have their own English accent called Jinglish. Some time foreigners too, try to speak Jinglish with locals because here people prefer Japanese for communication. For example, God will become Godhoo, Piers will become piasu, love love will become rabu rabu and so on. I am sure that you will like the video shown below, just be sure see upto the end.
Golden week and silver week
This concept you will find only in Japan, that holidays are named as golden and silver.Welcome to cherry blossom with 2~5 days holidays in May is called the golden week. In Japan there is the special period to remember all your ancestor called Obon holiday and sometimes if there are consecutive 2-3 days holidays, it’s called the silver week. This year 2016, if you took 2 days, paid holidays, you got total 10 days holidays and that’s why it was called mega golden week by travel services. Taking less holiday and work more is pride part of japanese society.
If you are health conscious and you are living nearby your company in the circle of 2~3 mile then the best way to commute is via riding the bicycle. Roads are good and safe. The points you would like to remember while commuting are..
Japan has some strict bicycle rule like you can not drink and drive with cycle. Bicycles are a bit inconvenient during winter and rainy days as winters are very cold here and it can rain upto long hours.
Everything is oishii is a part of Japanese society
Everything oishii(delicious) even water. When you invite someone to dinner the first word you will hear about your food is oishii and your Japanese is jouzu(excellent). One thing is quite noticeable if you see Japanese TV show, and host who tastes your dish will start praising with oishii, oishii,oishii mecha oishii (tasty, amazing and super delicious). What I feel that they do these things to motivate people for making good food and foreigner to speak better Japanese which is somehow good.
First time to Japan, get ready to eat most of the dishes with chopsticks like noodles, daily lunch etc. In a Japanese lunch, you will find a main course dish, salad and a soup bowl. There are many restaurants and cafes which provide you healthy food with calories written on the menu.If you are eating Chahan(Fried rice), get ready to eat with the soup spoon.Parties are super crazy here and the craziest part is that after finishing party, people still want to eat more and they will especially move to ramen shops.
Japanese society so obsessed with Matcha flavour
Japanese green tea is very famous around the world and here they have even particular days to celebrate tea ceremony with professionals tea presenters. Kyoto and other places can give you an opportunity to take part in the tea ceremony with the traditional way. You can see macha flavour coffee in Starbucks, biscuits, chocolates and other stuff which people buy for the souvenir.
Social networking services(SNS) lover
Are you already friend with many Japanese on SNS, then you will notice that there are two types of people. The first ones, who will never disclose their identity by their original profile picture(always have the cartoon character). The second one who are ok with their DP but only on their corporate account. People love replying by emoji smilies in their chat conversation. Cartoon characters or GIF and sometimes video describing their emotions in chat. These are the part of Japanese society.
Thinking to join some Japanese wedding party? then be sure to pay at least 30,000¥~ while getting the entry in the wedding hall. Tou must confirm your attendance otherwise no entry. There is a kind of nijikai (second party), where you can join by paying only 10,000¥~ and enjoy the party until late night.
Tourism is one of the big industry in Japan revolving around Fuji, Sakura, Sumo and heritage sites. Fuji is always pride for Japanese people and everybody stop and clicks Fuji san (as it is called in Japan). Cherry blossom is very beautiful in Japan and people do parties while drinking and talking under the sakura tree. Coming to Sumo, the game originated from Japan and is being held around the year. Japan is always a place to see the mixture of rich culture, historical sites and even modernization.
Hope you enjoyed this post about Japanese society, feel free to comments here 🙂