2019-10-20 魏晋余孽 9135
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What surprised you the most during your first trip to Japan?


原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:魏晋余孽 转载请注明出处

Alex Pascual, Been to more than 45 countries in the space of 15 years.
This experience changed my perception of humanity forever.
On the way back to my hotel after a long day of walking around Tokyo, my feet were throbbing out of tiredness.
I could barely walk, so I just hopped onto an escalator in Kamata Station and let it transport my ass. I just stood there taking a well-deserved break.
After a few seconds, I started feeling an insisting presence on my back, as if someone was breathing over me. I turned around and realized there was a salaryman looking at me with some frustration. I looked beyond him and I realized there were many other people queuing behind, sharing the same look.
Then I got it.
I was in the fucking way.
Why? Because Japanese people use the electric stairs like this:
If you wanna rest, stand left. If you wanna walk, go right.
I had traveled to many, many countries before this and never saw anything like this. I felt like a caveman lost in a futuristic society. Probably one of the most shameful moments of my life.
Such a simple thing, yet so difficult to make happen in any other country.
That day, I realized the power of education and collectivism.




James Ong, Lives in Shanghai
Not sure about other cities, but in Tokyo or Osaka, you’ll find less trash can but it’s clean. You can hardly find a cigarette butt lying on the street.
Everyone will give other people ways even in an escalator.
If you accidentally shoulder-bump into someone, they’ll apologize for it even if it’s not their fault.
They’re quiet inside the metro train.
In a bigger city like Tokyo, you’ll find less interaction with the locals as if you do not exist. Don’t even try to expect a small-chat in an elevator. You might not find as simple as a smile.
Foods are relatively more expensive than the place where I came from.
It’s the safest place to live with its lower crime rates and you can feel it yourself if you go out and have a walk in the middle of the night.
As I mentioned before, it’s safe. If you forgot to take your phone/wallet/bag/etc. somewhere, just get back to the place you left your stuff before. Your stuff will still be there if not in the police station.
Small kids walking in the street to their schools without their parents'' company.
Well-managed cities with its population are preserving the cities. Less vandalism.
High-quality goods. They kinda have some sort of national standardization and they really respect copyright law.
Every place is well-connected by the roads.
It’s difficult to interact with locals… even more in English.
Tokyo people tend to wear monochromatic dark-colored apparels (black, navy blue, dark brown, etc.), while Osaka people tend to wear more colored apparels.
Hotel rooms are small. I tried both in Osaka and Tokyo. Except maybe for the more expensive hotels which I don’t know and couldn’t afford to stay there (and I found no point in staying at those expensive hotels either).
Beautiful packaging candies to compensate for its ridiculous taste. Don’t get fooled by the packagings. Some are indeed tasty but some are … really not.
Public toilets are clean (or maybe I was just lucky for not encountering the dirty one).
Vending machines are everywhere.





Sarita Sparkles, I have been to four countries and 12 US states
How few people spoke English.
The tourist packet my mom had printed out and had us read said that most people in Japan spoke English, which wasn’t true at all. Probably 20% of people, or less, honestly, spoke English. We got through the week by gesturing and pointing.
If you’re going to Japan, don’t count on most people speaking English. Because they don’t. Either learn Japanese or practice your emphatic gesturing before you leave.


Jasmine Pereira
A young lady told me this, and I couldn’t stop laughing!
She was a Japanese girl raised in Dailian, China, and came to Osaka in Japan to complete her schooling. According to her, she was really surprised at how noisy Japanese people were.
I couldn’t believe my ears! Definitely an Osaka thing.


Peter Huang
Beyond what other people have posted (kindness to strangers, litter etc.), the one thing that stood out for me is how “well pressed” everybody''s appearance is.
My first trip started in Tokyo, which of course is the business capital of Japan (apologies to Osaka). What really struck me is how well the Japanese take care of their clothes and their overall presentation. No wrinkled shirts, smart but conservative accessories, and the office ladies…they looked like each and everyone had just come out of a salon; their makeup and hairstyles always looked finished. It wasnt that they wore expensive designer stuff, they just made sure everything was well pressed, properly fitting and overall presentable. And it wasn’t just business people. Your average twenty something might be wearing a t-shirt; but that t-shirt never had wrinkles.
Maybe I have a low bar because I am from North America as opposed to Europe, where attire is more in the forefront.



Priyank Agrawal, Living life one moment at a time
I travelled to Japan in 2018 from India. Earlier answers have already mentioned the public transportation system and the gazillion vending machines all over the country. I would like to add my 2-cents worth about the amazing Japanese people.
The attitude towards cleanliness - Everywhere we went, be it the subway, restaurants, parks and public places, there was always someone cleaning -God level clean. One interesting thing I noted which NEVER happens in my country is that at food courts in malls there is no cleaning staff. There are wet towels kept in one corner. Everyone has their meal, disposes the trash, picks one towel and cleans the table! This was so strange for us because back in India most people feel it is their birthright to litter and “someone” will pick it up.
Dressing up - Japanese people are always quite prim and proper. Not a hair out of place and not a thread loose! I remember looking at children of the age group of 5–10 (old enough to decide what they want to wear for the day) and marvelling at their dressing sense. Even elderly ladies, walking about with a stick or a walker are so well dressed that they would put the posh Delhi crowd to shame.
Thats it from me!



Vince De la Pena
As I was planning my trip, every travel agent I spoke to said "don''t worry, they have free wifi everywhere".
Seriously, check online reviews. Although there may be free wifi hotspots in the airport and on trains, they have limits on times and/or data usage, some require subscxtion, others have very limited range. This was a nightmare, as we were on a train, could not speak or read Japanese and we had no Google Maps. But in Japan''s defence, their trains are clean and quiet and have digital signs and speaker announcements everywhere updating the train''s position and station information in real time in Japanese and English.
On the first day, I bought a data simcard for about Y2000 (AU$24). This was just enough data to use Google Maps to get me to my hotel. Approximately 30 min. When we got to our ryokan hotel, we tried the Kyoto Free Wifi which can be accessed almost all over Kyoto, but there are are constant dropouts and difficulty logging back on. The data streaming is painfully slow that we could not use it only any of our devices.
The next day, we went to the Kyoto Tower where there was a tourist information center that rents out "wifi devices". I had heard about these things on YouTube travel videos. These are portable self-contained rechargeable wifi hotspots that can serve up to 10 devices. These can also be attained and returned at various major airport terminals in Japan. For 2 weeks, it costs about y1500 per day. Considering the data speed and usage covering up to 10 devices, renting one was absolute bargain for me. The device had an 8hour charge but is USB rechargeable. Just remember to bring portable USB powerpacks with you (or you can rent them from the provider).
We used our wifi device everywhere in Japan, from Kyoto and Osaka to Hiroshima then all over Tokyo, with no issue. Streaming was fast with no dropouts. On our last day in Japan, we checked in our luggage at Narita airport. The counter where we surrendered the wifi devices was about 20 meters from the check-in counter.
These are a cost effective way to have communication around Japan. The only downside was it was for data only and you couldn''t call to landlines. That wasn''t a major hassle as we could always communicate via email, Facebook, Messenger, Facetime, Skype, Viber, Twitter, etc.



Khairil Azmi(アズミ カイリル), a military & world history enthusiast, sometimes INFJ
I arrived at Narita International Airport in Sep 1996 for the first time. But, my first biggest culture shock already happened prior to this.
Language: Japanese Language itself was a big shock for me. I studied Japanese for 3 years as a 2nd Foreign Language at my high school and 3 months in Jakarta during my preparation for my study to Japan . To me, Japanese Language was comparatively much more complicated compared to Indonesian and even English. First, the characters. Japanese Language uses 3 types of characters at the same time. It is usual to have a Japanese sentence consisting of several Kanji characters, some more Hiragana and a few Katakana. Interestingly, Japanese sentences use no space. There is no space between words. Being indulged with many spaces in Indonesian and English, adaptation to Japanese style writing sometimes takes time. Grammar-wise.
Bus: After the arrival at Narita, from Narita to Shinjuku, we took an airport limousine bus. I found out that the Japanese buses (seats arrangement, AC setting, window size, etc) were very much different with Indonesian ones. Japanese buses looked odd (and dunno why, looked old too), but incredibly comfy. On the other hand, Indonesian buses looked modern & futuristic, but lacked of comfort. It is common to have an AC hole exactly above our heads in Indonesia, which triggers headache lol.
Railway: Japan has massive railway networks. Especially in 23 wards of Tokyo, almost within 10–15 minutes walking, we can find railway or subway stations, anywhere you are. The ticket machines are incredibly convenient & easy to use.
Irasshaimase: First time entering a nearby supermarket, I was shocked being shouted “irasshaimase” repetitively from all directions.
ATM: Japanese ATMs are basically not 24 hours. The banks also charge you additional charges for ATM transactions out of office hours. And interestingly, even in 1996, it was already possible to deposit cash (paper and coins) to all ATMs in Japan. In Indonesia, only recently ATMs with cash deposit have been introduced.
Public Telephone: Public Phones in Japan are very well maintained & in superb condition. Until today, we can find them anywhere. We can use coins or cards, just like we did in Jakarta in good old days.




Ankur Panchbudhe, Travelled in Japan for 17 days with family.
Before visiting Japan, we had read up on it as much as we could. There were also things that you keep reading, seeing and hearing about Japan throughout your life, all over the media and the net. So, things like funky clothes, funky teenagers, funky food, funky toilets, bizarre things, cleanliness, politeness, aloof-ness, safety, punctuality, etc were not a surprise. But, there were a few things that really surprised us:
Lack of trash cans in public. This was perplexing. It was really hard to locate trash cans in public places like train stations and tourist spots. We later learned that it was because a few years back a cult group used the trash cans to plant gas-bombs around Tokyo. So, we just carried the trash around with us in special bags and dumped them in our apartments in the evening.
Little kids travelling alone in trains and buses. We saw many little kids (around 6–7 years old) going to / from school in very crowded metros and buses in almost all of the cities we visited in Japan. It reminded me of my bus pass in 5th grade, but I was more than 10 years old. Apparently, this is a thing in Japan.
How easy it is to move around without knowing Japanese. All public transportation (trains, Shinkansen, buses, taxis) and tourist spots have announcements, posters, directions and help in English (at least). They also have really good mobile apps (Hyperdia, NaviTime, Rakuten), that work decently in English. Some places have directions in multiple other languages as well like Mandarin, Spanish and Thai.
Lots of yummy and inexpensive street food. We were expecting food in Japan to be an expensive affair for a family with two 9-year olds. But after a couple of days in Tokyo, we realized that it was safe to eat most of the street food. It was everywhere, tasty, fresh and cheap. The place that opened our eyes wide was Tsukiji Fish Market. There were a few misses in terms of taste, but most of it was very good.
Poor duty-free shopping in Narita. Narita (Tokyo) is supposed to be the best airport in Japan, but its duty-free shopping experience was not very good. No good Japanese whiskey to be found, no funky KitKats, no decent Japanese sweets. Better buy these things outside in the city.




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