Japan is so different: sometimes it’s so magical and fabulously beautiful that it already aches the heart, and sometimes it’s cold, prudent and even cruel to the point that one wants to howl at the moon. It is difficult for foreigners to fit into the life of this country, find friends and reconcile themselves with the fact that, once, everything that you built for so long will destroy natural forces – an earthquake or tsunami.
This time, Happy Worthy Life focused on the complexities of life in the Land of the Rising Sun and the local oddities that cause cultural shock to visitors. At the end of the article, we saved a bonus, which, perhaps, will slightly smooth out all the disadvantages.
1. If you have a European appearance, then for the Japanese you will always be a newly arrived foreigner
Even if you live here for many years, locals will admire your outstanding linguistic abilities, have talent and deep knowledge in things that are obvious even to a child. You will always be clapped for any reason, like a baby. The Japanese sincerely believe that everything that happens in their country is a great secret and no one knows about it except them, and a foreigner who speaks their language well is an anomalous phenomenon.
The guy moved to Japan and knows how to live with it : “Learn to play along and try to enjoy it. “I began to amuse myself: I tell the locals that I have been learning the language for only 2.5 months and I have great talents.”
2. In Japanese society, patriarchy flourishes, and some of its manifestations are quite difficult to get used to.
Many employers have entered a dress code for employees: mandatory makeup and high heels. And recently, Japanese companies have banned women from wearing glasses at work in order to look “more feminine and friendly.” But if points in the service represent a real problem, then the rule should apply to the entire population . However, Japan is 110th out of 149 countries in terms of gender equality. Not the most rosy forecast for the 21st century.
The blogger told her story about how she was treated at the local office: “At the dawn of my career (and I worked mainly in organizations where 70% are men) they told me that I was too pretty, so other employees get the impression that I don’t want to work, or that I should wear skirts instead of trousers. ”
3. The most common “profession” of a woman in Japan is a housewife
In local profiles there is always a checkmark for such a “profession.” Most Japanese women want to get married and study diligently in order to get to a good university, and then to a prestigious job, because it is there that they are the best candidates for husbands. Of course, no one forces women to quit their jobs after marriage, but those who try to pursue both family and career will sooner or later have to sacrifice something. Often they choose stability behind her husband’s mighty back.
4. Natural disasters often occur here.
In the country, tremors occur daily, but they can be imperceptible to humans. There are also terrible, 9-point, destructive earthquakes, such as in 2011 . And the tsunami. You cannot get used to this, you can only suppress your fear.
However, Japan has been struggling with the elements throughout its history, therefore it is better prepared for various extreme situations than any other country in the world. Most local residents have a special set for this case: documents, medicines, food, water and a means of communication.
5. Living in Japan often means being lonely
The Japanese can be called a nation of introverts: many of them are closed and shy. It is quite difficult to find friends here: everyone sits at work for 12-14 hours, there is no place for spontaneous meetings over tea – for this you need to agree in a month.
The story of the blogger once again confirms this: “Once, turning on the first channel I got, I came across something unusual: in front of me was a man with a plate of noodles. Around – nobody. The man, armed with two sticks, began to slowly draw in the contents of the plate, smacking his lips loudly almost every second. “Later I learned that such a program is an attempt to brighten up the loneliness of those who have no one to share the joy of eating with.”
6. Queues anytime, anywhere
Lines for noodles in a cafe, lines for a subway carriage, giant lines for Disneyland, lines where it is not clear. In Tokyo, one gets the feeling that the queue is a natural state of the Japanese. Especially at lunchtime, when people are standing near almost every cafe and waiting for the table to be vacated. In front of some institutions there are even shops for waiting. For locals , it’s a sign of quality and popularity of the product. If people are crowding in front of the restaurant, it means that in 9 out of 10 cases it is delicious.
The Russian traveler shared his impressions on this subject: “People line up one after another in order to, for example, dine in some wrap or to see a picture of Renoir in the museum. For a couple of years of living here, I even got the feeling that the Japanese love the line.
7. Japanese weddings – a rather troublesome, expensive and very short business
They last about 3 hours, without the participation of the host and without an entertainment program. The boss and colleagues as guests of honor are in the forefront , and relatives in the latter. The boss makes the main toast and opens the celebration. Then everyone watches the wedding film, listens to the speeches of important guests, quickly absorbs dinner, presents, and the wedding ends.
Russian blogger told about her experience: “We got married in Japan. It was difficult to convey that we would definitely have dances, toasts and a bit indecent games. We spent 8 months preparing the celebration: we talked about superstition about the bride’s dress (here they rent dresses), for weeks we recorded a wedding play list and even forced guests to take 1 day off. But in the end, the banquet hall had a dance floor, the boss and her husband’s colleagues sat at the end, and the festival lasted forever, that is, the whole day. ”
8. Long-term rental apartments are completely empty
Some owners for a fee can either buy and install furniture themselves, or rent their furniture . If the tenant purchased the interior, then they will need to be taken out: the contract obliges to vacate the housing completely.
Upon check-in, a down payment of 4-5 months is required. And this amount includes payment of only 2 months of residence, and the rest – for maintenance, services of a real estate company, change of locks, cleaning after eviction, as well as a deposit.
9. To rent an apartment you need a Japanese, who, in which case, is obliged to pay debts
This is explained by the fact that there are many students who live five of them in a one-room apartment, do not pay rent for months and leave without warning. There are agencies that do not require a guarantor, but this affects the price and number of acceptable housing options.
A user of Pikabu told how he rented an apartment in Tokyo: “The contract has a lot of interesting things: you can’t make noise (time is not specified), you can’t take drugs, you must produce them and you must follow the Penal Code, you can’t keep the piano and play it. What claims to the piano, I did not understand, and why the piano is spelled out. Do not splash water on the balcony and light a fire there. No smoking. I separately signed a paper stating that I am not a mafia member and will not be a member of the lease. ”
10. Japanese women so often painted on the subway that posters were issued urging them not to do so.
Poll “What is the most annoying behavior in a car?” showed that the application of makeup is leading: 15.1% of respondents indicated the inadmissibility of these actions. Subway passengers like the marathon less than the trash (14.2%) and chewing (10%) girls. Therefore, an advertising campaign was launched under the slogan “All the girls in the metropolis are beautiful. However, sometimes they are just disgusting . ” But many local residents expressed rejection of such categoricalness.
Here is a spectacle that the traveler had the opportunity to observe: “20 minutes are left until the final station when an unremarkable young Japanese woman enters the carriage and sits opposite. The doors do not have time to close, when a girl puts a weighty bag on her legs, she fishes out a mirror and a voluminous cosmetic bag and starts to bring beauty: she spreads the tonic, draws perfectly even arrows, corrector, powder, blush and highlighter are used. Then she takes out a battery-powered curler and curls the ends of her hair. When the entire carriage begins to smell sweet-floral perfume, the train pulls up to the terminal station. A completely different person comes out of the car. ”
11. Here, tap water is considered potable. Locals say you can drink it, but it’s tasteless
Even if water is passed through the filter, upon careful examination, you will notice that tiny air bubbles form in it, which immediately disappear in clean water. But these are connected with each other and do not disappear, and in the light you can see a barely noticeable, if oily film on the surface.
Pikabu user is not sure about the quality of Japanese water: “Before, I drank only local mineral water, juices, soft drinks and bottled teas, that is, obviously high-quality water. In the apartment I started using tap water and boiling it. My stomach started to hurt. In this regard, I tried to drink only purchased water all day, and this gave the result: there were no sudden attacks of pain all day. After a couple of months, the condition returned to normal. “
12. Most people think that Japan is a country where there is no garbage, but it is not.
“We collected so much garbage in 4 hours.”
Those who visited Japan or simply saw photographs from there could not help but wonder: the streets are very clean. In the country, garbage is reverent: they are sorted, recycled, a culture of cleaning is inculcated in people from childhood, such an item is even included in the school curriculum. However, one can often find illegal dumps and huge piles of garbage along remote country roads, as drivers throw unnecessary out of the windows.
The Japanese decided to clean next to their housing. If this is a private house, then you need to maintain cleanliness not only on its territory, but also on the adjacent road. In apartment buildings, residents must sweep their site. But everything is not always so decent. Here is what a user of Pikabu, who moved to the Land of the Rising Sun, remarked : “I sometimes hear a neighbor sweeping a broom, and after such cleaning , garbage appears under my door , which before that was not at all in the entrance.”
14. Communication with most Japanese people reminds a performance according to a well-known scenario.
After a few months of life here, you will know the end of the conversation even before it begins, as the locals always follow all the vowels and unspoken laws. Everywhere instructions and complete obedience. Predictability and compliance with all the rules is ideal for the Japanese, but not for foreigners. On this basis, conflicts often arise.
The girl went to study in Tokyo in exchange, and this is what she noticed : “What the Japanese are telling you and what is really happening in his head at that moment almost never coincides. For example, a student thanks for the lesson, and then the director finds out that right after the lesson she went to complain about the teacher for being late. And sometimes it happens: you open the door, and there the police came to find out why you are making noise after 11 pm. And who called them? Always an affable neighbor who, moreover, will never dare to express in your face that you are so-and-so, will continue to smile and bow to you after the incident with the police. ”
Bonus: the Japanese will fulfill any whim for your money. The finest leaf of gold leaf is laid by the master on ice cream. This is exotic
Would you be able to live in Japan and follow the rules of life for the Japanese?
Preview photo of VW Pics / Contributor / gettyimages