10 Things You Don’t Expect When Visiting Japan

Did you know that the shoes sizes in Japan are completely different from what we are used to and the local phones are unable to turn off the camera sound? Keep reading and find out why.

  1. Did yo knowPeople Dress Very Conservatively – Japanese women dress very conservatively. Women will wear dresses and skirts that go past their knees and are very flowy. Their shoulders are covered, and all their pants are high waisted. When my mother was here, she felt uncomfortable exposing her shoulders because of how conservatively the women dress.
  2. They Eat More Than Just Sushi – I had this vision of there being sushi restaurants on every street corner, which is not true. There are two kinds of sushi restaurants in Japan; conveyer belt sushi, and your typical Japanese restaurant.
  3. What Japan looks like – While all their buildings are not traditional Japanese architecture (curved roofs) the cities are not particularly modern or flashy. People seems to have this complex (myself included) of what Japan looks like. They either believe it to be super tall, sleek, flashy building,
  4. Their shoes tend to not fit – Unless shoes are purchased from an international brand like Converse, Vans, Birkenstocks, Japanese shoes are made in 4 sizes; S, M, L, LL. Due to these limited sizes, take a moment to glance at people’s feet. Many times, their shoes don’t fit. If you stop by a Japanese 100-yen store ($1 USD), you will see sections of the shelves are dedicated to little straps, tape, and shoe fillers, all to make your shoes fit better.
  5. Just because you pay in coins does not mean that you didn’t spend a lot of money – In America our largest coin is $0.25 which is equivalent to 29 yen. In yen, you have coins as large as 500 yen which is roughly $5, so even though you go to the 100-yen store and pay solely with coins, you still just spent over $10 on things you may or may not have needed.
  6. Convenience store food is good – Now buying anything at 7 Eleven that was cooked there would be a big no no in the States, but here the food is so good! Family Mart and 7-Eleven have delicious rice balls, and the fillings are in English! The rice balls each are usually between $1 to $2. Definitely a GREAT snack.
  7. Shrines versus Temple – While touring Japan a highlight of your trip will most definitely be visiting shrines and temples. For those that don’t know shrines and temples are different. Temples are for the Buddhist religion and Shrines are for the traditional Japanese Shinto religion. Therefore, when you visit either, there are different expectations.
  8. There really is no trash on the street – I have lived in Japan for almost 4 months now and can count the amount of trash I have seen on the ground on one hand. There are not many trashcans anywhere, so prepare to carry your trash around with you.
    • TIP for recycling bottles, there is usually a recycling bin next to vending machines

9. Japanese phones are unable to turn off the camera sound – Due to some up the skirt picture issues, Japanese phones are unable to turn off the shutter sound on them.

10. Get ready to wait patiently – Whenever getting on trains and any other form of Public Transportation, the Japanese people will simply form lines. The major train and subway stations in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Tokyo have painted or taped queue lines on the ground. Then the people just stand calmly in lines and wait. They first wait for the people on the train to get off, then wait their turn to board.

BONUE TIP: Japanese people are incredibly patient and respectful – Even with the language barrier, Japanese people will smile and do their best to help you. Through a series of charades, you will eventually be able to communicate.

My name is Chloe Webb and after two years of teaching in America (and simultaneously working towards and receiving my masters degree), I decided that it was time for a change! I packed up my life and headed to the other side of the world to embark on a new adventure; teaching abroad! I had always dreamed of teaching abroad and never thought I would actually be able to do it! But here I am! Living in Japan and learning something new everyday.


Follow Chloe’s adventures on her Instagram here





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