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Bring Your Own Hand Towel! (BYOHT)
2017.04.11

Good morning Tokyo! Tori here, today's topic is...Culture Shock!

I am new to Japan. This is my first time visiting the country. I am so glad to be here!! However, there are somethings that take getting used to. So, here are my top 4 shocking things in Japan:

#1 Language Barrier:

Although this was to be expected, the language barrier I've experienced in japan has been great. Everyone speaks very quickly and uses vocabulary I do not understand. 

The sad thing is is that I studied Japanese before coming to Japan. However, It seems that I should have studied more.

While I can understand basic sentences and can ask What, what when, where, why..etc. It seems that reading the language is very difficult as well and an important aspect that I have failed to focus on. 

Luckily signing the contract at Oakhouse, the sales man who I had to sign the contract with was able to speak English pretty well! I was very revealed about that. I also have a roommate in my share-house who speaks English too! (Side note: We are now planning to do a cultural exchange!) Although I can get practice from different sources, I cannot read Japanese very well. it has even made dinning out a difficult task.

#2 Dinning Experience

One Place I love to eat in Japan in Denny's! We have a Denny's in America and I didn't know there was on in Japan!! There happens to be one right down the street from the Kagurazaka flat I am staying in. 

Of course the food is very different, but it is very good! However, within Japanese restaurants one thing that shocks me is the size of the glasses. They are always so small! In America the class is usually at least 16 ounces...but not here. I really have to try and save my water for my food.



I feel kind of bad because I'm so used to drinking so much water that the waiters probably have to refill my cup often.

Because I drink so much I have to go to the bathroom often. LOL (good transition?) 

#3 Bathroom

There are two things to get used to in the bathroom. One, warm seats, and Two no hand towels.

When first arriving in my Share house, I was surprised to sit down on the toilet. To my surprise, the seat wasn't cool, but warm!! I was like, "WHAT!?" It is so nice!! I've never had this in a house or hotel before. But I like it!! There are many other features, but the warm seat is my favorite.



I never realized what I was missing out on! 

Other than warm toilet seats there is another occurrence I noticed in Japan and that is hand towels. In many establishments after using the bathroom, naturally, you watch your hands. However, in Japan many places do not have paper towels or dryers to use to dry your hands. 

This was really confusing for me, but I've noticed that many people carry around their own hand towels. It is an easy fix, but a very difficult habit to change.  Other habits I've noticed in Japan are in clothing choices. 



#4 Clothing Norms

It seems like EVERYONE has a sense of fashion in Japan! 

I see many people in neutral colors, trench coats, and carrying around bags that match to a tee! Different hair designs are also a sight to see! Even the sales man who helped me with my contract, he was dressed pretty well too! I don't know how his suit fit so perfectly!! 

But the top fashion statement that interests me the most are face masks. I see people wear them everywhere. I heard that people wear it if they are sick, but I've seen it as a fashion statement as well; with different designs on them. But they are sold everywhere, like 7/11 or Family mart.



So, far I have loved my experience in Tokyo, Japan! I hope that my time here at Oakhouse continues to be enjoyable.
Date posted :
2017.04.11
Poster :
Tori

Author profile

My name is Victoria Pugh. I am 20 years old and an international student from University of Illinois in America.
I am spending my spring semester abroad, studying at Waseda University, Tokyo. My major and field of study is philosophy with a minor in Art & Design. I study in the hopes of one day becoming a lawyer and defender of justice!
My Hobbies are: writing, excising, drawing, reading manga, and studying today's political news.
While in Japan, I want to use my share house experience to learn more about Japanese culture, language, and food.
I hope to document the adventures I create along the way!