Tag Archives: Japanese customs


Renting an Apartment in Japan

I recently moved to a new apartment, my sixth since coming to Japan, and I couldn’t be happier. My first place left a wee bit to be desired, consisting of a dreary, small box with alternating views of a machine shop and a cinder-block wall. Well, at least it had two windows, so that was...
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Going to a Japanese Dentist

  I’m probably the only person in the world who enjoys going to the dentist. But you know, between running for trains, dashing to the bathroom between English lessons, and constantly being pressured to sing Bowie at karaoke, it’s the only time I can get any rest. Hey, Japan’s an extraordinarily busy place, especially if...
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Why Japanese People Lie

A reader named Furansujin recently described his stay with a Japanese host family: “They showed complete hysteria when I told them I loved curry or could eat takoyaki . . . the only reason i can think of for so many grins, laughs, and exclamations is acting. Like people were overly polite because they felt...
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Crime in Japan

You never know what the day will bring—that’s the exciting thing about waking up. So this morning, just as I was heading out for a fresh can of coffee at the corner 7-11, I noticed somebody’d pasted a scary Japanese note to the windshield of my car. “Contract parking place!!” it said in large, crimson...
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One Japanese Book You Must Read

You should think twice about taking any advice Ken Seeroi’s got to give. I mean, we’re talking a guy who ditched a sensible life in a first-world country for a freezing, tiny apartment, sleeping on the floor, and eating rice with sticks. So, really? Well, it’s not so bad once I move the shochu boxes...
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One Thing You Must Never do in Japan

Fruit flies.  I woke up on my futon and all I could see were fruit flies, which for some reason, eh, didn’t seem all that unusual.  Probably because when you live in Japan, strange stuff just happens.  I don’t know why.  Like the other day I rolled over to find my futon soaked with sweat...
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The 4 Big Japanese Beach Essentials

Summer is a wonderful season in Japan. It’s finally warm enough to peel off down parkas and ski gloves, it’s nice to relax in the park drinking beer, and the girls all wear short skirts. Actually, they wear those in winter too. What a country, seriously. Probably sucks to be a girl here though, having...
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How to Use Chopsticks

I’d been in Japan for almost a year before somebody finally gave me an honest answer. Now going back in time, funny story, I started using chopsticks when I was just a kid.  I don’t know why.  It’s not like my parents are secret ninjas or something.  I guess I just like challenges, or maybe...
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Surprising Service in Japan

I went to a small, ramshackle Japanese restaurant this evening, and the impossible happened.  Namely, I ordered, ate, paid, and left.  The food was great, as Japanese food always is, but the service . . . well, I was, as we say in Japan, shock-u. Specifically, the hostess seated me and handed me a menu. ...
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