Thursday, January 26, 2012

Japanniversary week: Biggest small differences

With our 1st Japanniversary on the horizon, we're spending this week thinking back and reflecting about the past year. We're also hosting a contest, If you'd like to try for 1 of 2 special prizes click here for details.

When we arrived last year, there were so many things we wanted to share. There were so many things that were so different than we were used to in the States. Our initial lack of internet put our blog on hold for a bit, and by the time we had it up and running, the triple disasters of March 11th were upon us and the silly little things we wanted to share became much less more important.

Since then, we've had a year to laugh and wonder and the "crazy" little things we notice all around us. Some of them have become so second nature, we forget it's not "normal" until a friend from America points them out to us.

What better time than Japanniversary week to share the top 3 biggest small differences about living in Japan!

#3 Sliced bread:
I spent a good portion of my life working my way from eating only white bread to loving whole wheat, only to move to Japan and be thrown back into my white bread only childhood. It's not that I wouldn't love a slice of wheat bread, it's just not an option in Japan.
For sliced bread, there is one option and it's thick, white, and only has 6 slices.

Yes, only 6 slices.
I guess it makes sense for a country that is known for it's rice obsession. But, for this sandwich loving girl, Japanese bread just doesn't cut it. On the other hand, it makes the best french toast I've ever eaten :)

#2 Heated toilet seats:
I had heard about this before coming to Japan, I just didn't know how awesome they are. I also didn't know they'd become my expectation in toilet seats.
These seats rock! They plug in and get nice an toasty. For a place where winters are stupidly cold, and central heating is not a thing, it is a welcome treat in a very cold toilet room.
After living here a year, these have become so second nature, that visiting a subway restroom, or the bathroom at Costco, I alway get quite a shock!

#1 Stop signs:
I know I should have realized the Japanese stop signs wouldn't have the word "STOP" written on them in English. I guess I just never thought that they'd also not be the red octagons I've grown up with.
Japanese stop signs are triangles! I know, an octagon isn't more intrinsically stoppy than any other shape, but it's a strange mental adjustment I didn't realize we were in store for.

If you've been to Japan (or have just been reading this blog) what are some of the differences that have stood out to you?


  1. Heated toilet seats sound wonderful!

  2. The one big thing that stood out to us was the over-all politeness of the Japanese. When I first got back to the States, I had to stop myself from bowing to the cashier at Walmart. I was also disappointed upon returning to the States when the people behind the counter at McDonalds didn't heartily greet me when I walked in.


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