When you start to talk about Japan, you’re afraid that you can’t finish it, it’s just too much to talk about it. We are here for 3 weeks now, and already on the first three days we experienced so much, that it’s hard to tell all of them.
I got what I asked for: culture shock, and some winter time (the last one is not my favorite, but anyway, soon we’ll travel to the summer, it’s all about harmony).
Tokyo is inspiring, every area has its own special vibe. Here you can’t find an actual city center, wherever you are, you can feel like you’re in the middle of something.
It was kinda hard to start this post, I want to share so much about Japanese culture, but for starting let’s see the things I find really interesting, weird. An then stay tuned for the following posts.
It’s a real insult to give tip in Japan. There are two reasons: they can think that you didn’t expect of this quality of service, food or you think you’re better than them. So the rule is: Don’t give tip!
2. Pay at the cashier
In the restaurants you get your check at the table with your meal, or you need to ask for it. But you need to pay at the cashier. So far there was no exception.
There are some restaurant who accept cards as a payment, but most of them (!) not. Always have cash with you! We already heard about this info, but we didn’t think it’s serious. It is :).
They say in Japan you need to have a degree to handle these toilets, which can be true sometimes, because you don’t find the flush function between all those buttons. It heats the seat, has bidet and spray function, and even sometimes it can make a fake flush sound, why this one is a neat; I have no idea.
There are tons of places with a size of a westerner room. Imagine a long counter with the chef/s behind, and some seatings in front. You can see all the preparation and have your ramen with some folks next to you. Most of the time there is a standing line in front of these restaurants (that’s a good sign) and the schedule is: you wait, you order, you eat and when you finish you leave. There isn’t a place for relaxing, talking, hanging around for a while. But you better make the slurping sound, that means you like the food. However when I was kid, that wasn’t a pleasant thing to do at the table. I love the restaurants here, I wish it would be more like these in other countries.
6. Round sushi (Go round sushi)
Sushi train, that’s how I call them. They have plates going around with random sushi, nigiris on them. You take the ones you find sympathetic and if you need anything you don’t see around you order from the chef. Each of the plate has its own price. Usually you can find them fixed on the wall. When you finish the waiter/waitress counts your plates, you get your check what you can pay at the cashier. Easy as it sounds. There are lot of chains around the town, and they bring joy to our life with cheap and tasty sushi.
7. Touch screen sushi
High-tech sushi ordering. In the beginning you can choose between some languages and then you can start to order. The desired sushi or other yummy thing is gonna come to your table like in 2-3 minutes. There are some touch screen ordering restaurants, where there is a go round sushi too, but the one we visited had “only” ordering and no random selected sushis.
Bending. There are rules how men and women need to do it, and also the angle tells everything about the relationship between two people. In Japan people always welcome you, no matter where you are, and you can always feel their respect.
9. Drink machines
This is one of my favorite Tokio “feature”. Almost in every corner you can find one on the streets. When you see a red label under the drink, then you can expect that it’s hot/warm, blue means cold. So you can enjoy some hot jasmine tea, coffee from a machine almost everywhere in the town, and the price is good too. Usually each of them cost 130 JPY, which is around 1$. Good deal, isn’t it? I wish there would be more of this around the world.
10. Arcades and video games
When I was child I loved these places that I could play with some coins in my pocket. Flying, racing, shooting. Here you can dance, play drums, guitar and etc. If you’re a fan you need to come to Tokyo and find yourself in heaven. If you didn’t find something electronic game here, then it would not exist – they say.
So, for the first round, that’s what you should know about Tokyo. Next time I’m coming with the different areas of the city and you can read about the famous japanese food.
Are you interested in more posts about Japan? Here you can find them: