Monday, July 10, 2017

Culture Shock: Japan

Hello, friends! In this blog post, I'm going to talk about some aspects about Japanese culture that will probably shock people who have not visited Japan before! Some of these I knew beforehand, but some of these I had come to learn about.  I hope you will be intrigued by them as well!
  • Fruit is expensive.
    It's the worst. A watermelon for $20? How about the tiniest pack of blueberries for $8? Pass. The only fruit I purchase on a regular basis here are bananas - which are about $2 (for four or five of them). What's even more surprising, Japan even sells fruit that sells for thousands of dollars! There's a market in Japan for giving fruit as a high-end gift, which is why farmers go to extreme lengths to cultivate such fruit.
  • Handkerchiefs are essential.
    In most of the bathrooms in Japan, you will probably not come to find paper towels or a hand dryer after you've washed your hands. Why? You're expected to have a handkerchief on you. Its main purpose is to dry your hands after washing them, but you can use it for other situations such as wiping your face. The summer heat has gradually been growing with each day, so I've been seeing both men and women alike using handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off of their face. Handkerchiefs can literally be bought anywhere, and you can easily find decorated ones in stores.
  • Job-Hunting Season & Company CultureAlthough college seniors will not graduate until March of next year, job-hunting season is taking place now. This means that the students are continuously filling out entry forms and completing interviews until they have been accepted into a company. Once you start working for a company, it's expected you stay with that company for the rest of your career. Although certain circumstances may arise, it's unusual for an employee to move to another company to work. Companies like to hire new college graduates in bulk. If you're about to graduate and aren't participating in job-hunting season, it's going to be quite difficult for you to find ideal work.

The Japanese Job Hunting Suit.

  • Restaurants
    Once you're seated, a server will bring you packaged wet wipes or wet towels to wipe your hands with before your meal.
    Tipping is non-existent in Japan, thankfully!
    Sometimes, you order from a vending machine and it spits out a ticket with your order on it, and then you give it to one of the workers.
    Rather than a server coming by to collect your money, you go up to a cashier at the end of your visit. Surprisingly enough, depending on the place you go to, you may or may not be able to split your check - which means everyone in your party is going to have to have exact change, or someone is going to have to pay for everyone and then you pay them back later.
  • Customer Service
    Japanese customer service is awesome, plain and simple. Employees are very polite - maybe even so polite that it might annoy you a bit.
  • Walking
    It's considered rude to eat or drink while you are walking in Japan. You might see a student or two doing it on a college campus, but it's generally considered indecent. If you buy ice-cream or some kind of other snack, you are expected to eat it where you bought it, or wait until you arrive at your destination.
I hope to post again in a few days as I'm a bit behind schedule, but that's it for now! See you guys later! 👋