A Travellerspoint blog

Topic Number 4 Manners

sunny

The Japanese have to be the most polite and well-mannered group of people in the whole world. They say thank you ALL the time (even the bus drivers say it every time somebody pays for their ticket and they have a microphone so you know they are saying thank you).

If you need help – they will help you, even if they have no idea what you are asking them (they will figure it out). And if they cannot help you they will find someone who can or they will be VERY sorry.

My first few sessions at the dentist required some pain during and after the treatment. You would think that the dentist and dental nurse were personally responsible for my tooth decaying and requiring a root canal. They were so apologetic that they had caused me pain. When I had to have an x-ray and the nurse put the protective coat on me – she was so apologetic for it being a bit heavy. The Japanese do not want to put you out in anyway at all.

Along with the apologies and the thank yous comes the bowing. Sometimes it is a full bow or just a nod of the head but all the same it is a sign of respect. At the moment I am still trying to work out how the bowing stops! One day I was sitting in a park having lunch when I saw 2 men and 1 lady start bowing – and it just seemed to keep going – so how do you know when to stop? I really need to find somebody to ask! They also bow on the train a lot. When a conductor enters the carriage they bow. When leaving the carriage they bow. Same for the food attendants! I have had men and women bow at me before they sit down on the chair next to me or when they want to get pass me.

I think we need to bring all Australian children here to learn manners! Actually there are quite a few adults that could learn a trick or two as well!

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Posted by Arkgecko 21:43 Archived in Japan Comments (2)

Topic Number 3 Plastic

sunny

As discussed in Topic Number 1 – Toilets, Japan is doing its bit towards conserving water but unfortunately the same cannot be said about using plastic. Everything comes wrapped in plastic and not just once but as many times as they think is necessary. I went to the shops the other day and bought some soap and milk. They were each put in their own plastic bag and when I tried to put them in the same bag she wouldn’t let me. Hence the bottom drawer in Merilyn’s kitchen is full of plastic bags!

Posted by Arkgecko 21:07 Archived in Japan Comments (1)

Proof of Vending Machines

sunny

These are only the ones that I actually walked past - so does not include ones I saw from the bus or train or in the distance!!!! And I probably missed some! And I was inside most of the day watching Sumo!!!

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Posted by Arkgecko 01:21 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Topic Number 2 Vending Machines

Vending Machines

sunny

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I am still pondering on why Japan has so many vending machines. You cannot walk more than 100m without passing a vending machine. I actually think the next time I go out for the day I am going to take a photo of every vending machine I see just so you can actually realise the extent of vending machine domination in Japan. What I also find so very strange is that Japanese people must not eat. Out of all the vending machines I have seen, there has only been one with food in it (ice creams) all the rest are drinks and cigarettes. Somebody should do a thesis on the popularity of vending machines in Japan.

Posted by Arkgecko 01:02 Archived in Japan Comments (1)

Topic Number 1 Toilets

sunny

Japan – oh such a different place to the rest of Asia that I have seen. And I LOVE it! Clean, quiet, and doesn’t want money for helping you (I have ‘deeply offended’ a couple of Japanese for saying no to their offers of genuine help as I was not going to pay them)

There are many things in Japan that are so very different to the rest of the world. My first topic is going to be toilets!

Being a seasoned traveller I have seen many many many different toilets around the world and have used them all too. From my own dug out toilet (Australia) to a piece of tarp wrapped around some sticks with 2 planks of wood over a teeny stream (Vietnam), to absolute filth but with an amazing view of the sun setting over the desert (Morocco), to amazing rooms that have everything you could possibly want (France) and so many more! Well toilets in Japan are firstly clean! Haven’t found a dirty one yet and they all have toilet paper – luxury.

First toilet I want to discuss is the one in Merilyn’s flat. Coming from Australia where we have issues with water shortage I just don’t understand why these toilets have not made it across the waters. The toilet has a little sink on top of it. When you flush the toilet, clean water comes out of the tap so you can wash your hands and then that now dirty water fills up the cistern for the next flush! Amazing concept. Every time I go I am impressed with it!

Automatic sensors are everywhere in the world but they are very popular in Japan – from warming the toilet seat to flushing to the soap that comes out to wash your hands with (and of course the water too). Now I do have a problem with automatic sensors. Problem number 1: sometimes you are just not ready for the toilet to flush. Maybe you move a little bit on the seat to get a bit more comfortable or you think you have finished but you haven’t – and off goes the flush (not good if you are still sitting!). How do you get the toilet to flush again? Do you have to sit on it again? Ahhh the concerns of automatic flushing. Problem number 2: when I think that everything is going to have an automatic sensor. This is ok when you are in the cubicle and you are waiting for the toilet to flush and then you realise that you have to actually press a button yourself BUT it is a little embarrassing (I find anyway) when you have your hands underneath the soap dispenser or the tap waiting for the soap or water to come out and you are waving your hands underneath the tap and then see someone next to you turn the tap on! I call for our politicians to make automatic sensors in bathrooms compulsory so that there is no confusion!

Warm water, cold water, front wash, back wash, music or toilet flushing sounds are some of the many choices you have in a Japanese toilet. The toilets are plugged in to electricity so that you can have all of these choices and more at the press of a button. I have tried all buttons so far with some interesting experiences. The sound effects are great if you get a little stage fright in the toilet when there are other people around or you just have to a great big fart. Going to the toilet in Japan is not as simple as you would think!

Posted by Arkgecko 00:38 Archived in Japan Comments (2)

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