8 things that surprised me in Japan

8 things that surprised me in Japan

Roughly in order of occurrence:

They eat lotus root!

This is a food I remember fondly from childhood. I guess I always presumed it was a Chinese thing. We’d have it in this rather plain, watery, chicken type soup. (Yeah, not very exciting – the lotus was basically the only part I enjoyed.) In Japan, we were served lotus root at breakfast, and alongside sushi one night.

The quiet is real

And the courtesy signs/warnings on public transport, incessant. No loud, obnoxious, inappropriate phone conversations on trains around here, thank you.

The only place that was remotely rowdy (bearing in mind we’re not drinkers and didn’t do anything remotely night-lifey, ha) was a little ramen restaurant we stumbled into – it was noisy in the way Gina’s Italian Kitchen in Auckland is.

So is the cute factor

Particularly when it comes to roadworks/construction. The billboards I expected, but these little surprises were next level.

Food isn’t just divine, it’s affordable

We ate well in Japan, and yet most meals clocked in about NZ$20 or sometimes less for both of us. That just wouldn’t happen at home.

The toilets are like nothing else

I was prepared for bidets. I was NOT prepared for heated seats and buttons in the wall you can push to lower the lid – so you don’t need to touch the toilet itself. GENIUS.

Everyone’s so well groomed

I was a slobby heffalump in comparison. No surprise.

Umbrella stands everywhere!

So, it was pouring buckets when we arrived in Tokyo. The first things we bought at a 7-11 were two white umbrellas. It wasn’t long before we realised practically every building has an umbrella stand at the entrance. Heck, at our last hotel, there were secure slots for individual brollies, with a lock for each one.

It’s really family friendly

For example: specific diaper disposal and diaper change table in the bathrooms aboard trains. Stroller service at the sumo stadium. High chair attached to the wall in a public toilet, presumably so mum can have a moment to relieve herself.

Just a few random thoughts. More of a debrief to come next week!

9 thoughts on “8 things that surprised me in Japan

  • Reply Anya September 23, 2015 at 09:28

    Great post! I love your perspective on the places you visit. I do find it a bit ironic that it’s so “baby” friendly considering that Japan’s population is rapidly aging. Perhaps it’s an attempt to steer more women toward procreating.

    • Reply eemusings September 25, 2015 at 09:51

      Yes great point! Re: the ageing population, I felt like all of the airport staff were definitely on the older side, also often at train stations etc.

  • Reply Leigh September 23, 2015 at 15:07

    I have a similar photo of cute construction signs when I was in Japan! I can’t wait to read more about your trip. I really enjoyed mine, though for different reasons than most of my friends who have gone since I don’t have much of a taste for Asian food, sadly.

  • Reply sherry @ save. spend. splurge. September 24, 2015 at 06:34

    OMG those hello kitty construction signs are PRECIOUS!!!!!!!

  • Reply The Asian Pear September 25, 2015 at 05:07

    Mmm. Lotus root. I can’t wait to hear more. The toilets I’m not surprised about but the umbrella holder is new to me. That’s interesting that they’re so thoughtful about umbrellas. North America is nothing like that.

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank September 25, 2015 at 12:23

    Japan is just a great travel destination. When I was there, I made sure I ate all kinds of sushi and maki and tried the bullet train in Tokyo. It seems like you’re having a blast! Enjoy!

  • Reply Michelle September 28, 2015 at 20:14

    Japan! One thing that surprised me when I was there was their culture especially the way they respect elders. They are really respectful and have traditions which should strictly be followed especially when there’s an occasion like the one I attended.

  • Reply Velysia Zhang September 29, 2015 at 02:26

    Everything that you tell was very interesting. I’m curious about the toilet!

  • Reply Michelle October 2, 2015 at 04:00

    I loved the heated toilet seats when I visited. You might as well enjoy some of the…ahem..experience LOL!

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