Even though my exchange is quickly approaching the six month mark (I know right, already?!) there are so many things that continually surprise me about Japan. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you might have read my other post about the weird and wonderful things I’ve noticed since arriving here. However, there are just some things I don’t think I’ll ever wrap my head around, even in a million years…
1. Students wearing seifuku, or school uniforms on the weekend. While it’s unheard of in Australia, whenever Japanese students have school activities they wear their uniform no matter what day of the week it is. I have to admit, sometimes it’s pretty disorientating whenever I see them out and about on a Saturday. Occasionally I’ll even get confused about what day it is!
2. Earthquakes. I’d never experienced one before coming to Japan, but earthquakes are almost a fortnightly occurrence in my particular area. Even though they’re pretty small and rarely last more than a few seconds, I still get a little shock whenever there are tremors. Most Japanese people are quite used to it though, and won’t even bat an eyelid when it happens.
3. Mayonnaise on everything. It’s no secret that the Japanese love mayonnaise, whether it’s on takoyaki, okonomiyaki, fried chicken… you get the idea. However, sometimes its placement really makes me scratch my head. I mean, corn and mayonnaise on pizza? Fries with ketchup and mayo and on the side? My friend even claims it tastes good with rice and soy sauce, which is just taking it too far!
4. Using twenty-four hour time. It’s not a big thing, but I’ve definitely noticed that everyone here uses twenty-four hour time. Sometimes planning a simple meet up with friends can feel like I’m in the military!
5. Smoking indoors. Smoking isn’t really looked down on here, so most restaurants will have a designated smoking section. With all the anti-smoking ads drilled into my head growing up, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. However, I have heard the Japanese government’s considering banning smoking indoors here, which I definitely think is a step in the right direction.
For all the weird things about Japan I could go on about, they’re not really significant in the grand scheme of things. There are a billion more aspects I love about the culture, and it’s been so fun discovering something new everyday while I’m living here. Anyway, I’m a bit behind on my blog posts, but I do have a ton of photos to share from my recent trips to Tokyo. In the meantime, if you’re interested you can check out my Instagram here for more frequent photo updates. Until next time!