Konnichiwa minna-san! I finally managed to get a day off ever since I arived here in Japan and of course my chance to immerse myself in doing some much needed blogging.I’ve only been here for almost 6 days and I still got a week left in my vacation. Now I know a lot of people would hate me the moment I start comparing the lifestyle between here and the Philippines so I won’t even start.One advantage of having family members who are long-time residents here is that you wouldn’t find moving around the city quiet as difficult as other first timers. Also, you’d get the best recommendations as to the best places to visit and stuff like that.Now, just allow me to share some of the things I have learned about the Japanese culture… so far.1. Discipline. As a person who spent her entire life in a very non-systematic nation such as Philippines, I was stunned as hell when I arrived here. No matter what you do, wherever you go, people are extremely polite and proper. You`d rarely see any crowded restaurants or coffee shops. People fall in line all the time and it is considered extremely offensive whenever you cut in. Believe me, I did have my own share of shame in one of my solo flight adventures here. One more fun fact my mom told me about is that whenever I use the escalator, I should always keep left. Why, you say? Because the right side of the escalator is for people who are in a hurry climbing up. It`s totally crazy how organized people here are.. considering how they have the busiest streets in the world.
Crazy streets of Shibuya.
2. Suits, suits, and more suits. Another thing I found amusing is that this is is probably the only place on earth where you’d see a man in a suit riding a bicycle to work. As I was walking around Kawasaki Plaza during the rush hours, I noticed how almost every single person that were passing by was wearing either their corporate attire or their school uniforms. Everybody seems so much in a hurry I thought to myself, maybe this is where they coined the term ”Rush Hour”. It was also the first time in my life when I was walking in the middle of a crowd and felt like I am the odd one out.
3. Transportation.My favorite thing here. I mean, I hail from a city where travelling to work from home within an hour seems to be a miracle… regardless how close your place is to your office. I mean the traffic… The traffic is just so horrible I can’t even begin to describe it; so I won’t. Anyway, getting back to my story, I observed that there aren’t a lot of people who drive their cars to work. I guess it’s because of how efficient their transportation is. And I meant to say that in the most exaggerated tone possible. I mean, their buses and trains are never late, never too crowded, very comfortable, and japanese commuters are very polite especially to old people; they always give way. My mom tells me how the city folks hate running late because it’s very inappropriate to make people wait and that Japanese people consider ”Time is Gold” as their ultimate guiding principle. I guess people in here never really run late because they’d never have to worry about traffic and delay and all that shit unlike people who live in other places. 4. Convenience.And I ain’t talking about the stores alone. The japanese are all about convenience, I tell you. In every corner, you`ll find a vending machine; the restrooms are also fully automated. All you have to do is sit down and pee and you don’t even have to lift a finger to flush because the toilets are fully automated. Although there are options too, if you want to wash your ass or something.. Which I didn’t realize before because the buttons were usually written in Kanji. First time I used a public restroom I pressed a hell lot of buttons because I didn’t know they had that flush-detector thing. Funny story, by the way. HAHAHA! Since we’re at the topic of convenience, I also noticed that the Japs aren’t too fond of taking/paying in cash. So they usually pay for everything with their cards. Not just credit cards though. My mom lent me this “Pasmo” card which can be preloaded so that one can use it as a train and bus pass to avoid the hassle of falling in line for a ticket. Oh, and you can swipe it to buy drinks at vending machines as well. How fuckin’ cool is that?!
My ultimate enemy.
5.Security.Another good thing about this place is that there is very low crime rates. People don’t care even if you wave your jewelries and designer bags all around. I don’t understand the mentality of the people, not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s amazing how honest and polite they are. One time I left my purse at a counter and the teller came running after me just to return it. Amazeballs.
Mini Italian town in Kawasaki.
Somewhere in Atami
6 A sight to see.As I believe I said so before, the japs are very neat and disciplined in everything.. and when I say everything I mean everything. So as a result every corner of this country is picture-worthy. That’s one reason why one would never want to stay indoors. Except maybe during the winter season. (P.S. I will be uploading more photos once I get back home to Manila)
7. Food.Well, I guess there is no need for further explanation. You can never get a more legit Bento meal other than here.
8.Novelties.Aside from the anime knick-knacks and hoo-ha’s which I obviously enjoy… They have these shops that sell these really weird novelty items and the like (at a very affordable price, I might add) which you wouldn’t see too often when you travel. They have these shops that sell sex toys, love potions, and appliances that aren’t really as useful as the normal ones we have at home. As weird as they may be at times, I’d have to say the people are pretty cool around here. I couldn’t think of anything to complain about my stay here, except of course for the language barrier, and how stressed I am most of the time when I am walking around outside carrying an empty bottle of water or a candy wrapper, trying to look for a garbage can. No idea as to where the people throw all their shit. Or maybe they carry ’em around and wait ’til they get home. Geez, I am such a noob when it comes to overseas travel. But I am not ashamed of that… I am thankful I actually have the opportunity to do so.Well that’s it for now. But I’ll be posting some photos in the future as well. I was actually able to take a few creative shots during my tour. And it ain’t over yet 😉