How does our country of Japan look to foreigners? It’s particularly interesting to hear the opinions of those coming from other Asian countries.
This time, we compiled a series of answers from previously published articles about the thoughts of Taiwanese visitors to Japan. (The following reflects only the opinion of the interviewees.)
1. Too few platform doors at the station
“There are too many delays due human-related accidents. Even so, some station don’t have many platform doors designed to avoid accidents. I feel worried because there are no fences to prevent falls. The number of platform safety doors are increasing in Japan, but compared to Taiwan, it’s way behind.”
2. I was moved by how clean the toilets were
“Japanese toilets are very clean! The toilet cover opens and closes by itself. In the bathroom they have space to fix your makeup, and it’s really comfortable and convenient. In Taiwan it’s really rare to see this kind of toilet. When I saw a bathroom with a hair straightener I got really surprised.”
3. When you eat out there isn’t much choice when it comes to vegetables and they are mostly raw
“When I ate put I felt there were very few vegetables, and even when I tried to eat veggies, it often happened that they served me fresh lettuce and I was surprised. In Taiwan it is common to eat cooked veggies. Fried veggies come with fish or meat. Since it’s fried, calories go up, so eating fresh, raw veggies is healthier”.
4. You start job hunting before graduating?
In Taiwan, normally we start job hunting after we graduate, so it was really strange to learn that, in Japan, students don’t go to school and just do job hunting. First of all, in Taiwan, companies don’t do orientation like companies in Japan do. I think it’s good that there is a training period for new workers. We don’t have that system in Taiwan, so we have to learn the job by ourselves from zero.”
5. In Japan there are specific dates when you can throw garbage out and if you forget it’s a big deal?
“In Japan, garbage can be thrown out only on specific days of the week, depending on the kind of trash. If you forget, you have to wait up to 2 weeks. Where I live, I have to throw the garbage out by 8am. In Taiwan, the garbage truck comes every day”.
6. Cars yield to pedestrians
“In Taiwan, when people are trying to cross the street, cars that are making a turn would not stop. Pedestrians let cars go first. I’m so used to it, even in Japan I automatically try to let the cars go first, but drivers try to let me go first, so we end up not moving and stopping in the middle of the street.”
7. Japanese people are different during rush hour!
“Everybody is annoyed in trains in the morning and evenings and it’s scary. Japanese people are usually polite, but during rush hour they push with arms and shoulders to get in, they make annoyed noises, and they make angry faces. I feel like many people do it. When the train is about to leave, and it can’t fit any more people, people try to push in. Japanese people wouldn’t usually behave like that. All they have to do is take the following train. If they did the same thing in a different country, they might get into a fight or get sued for violent behavior!”
8. Fireworks go on for one hour!
“This summer I went to see fireworks by Sumida river. What surprised me was that the fireworks kept coming. If I were in Taiwan during the New Years' countdown, it would last 10 minutes tops. That Japanese fireworks festivals kept shooting large fireworks for one hour and it was really exciting and impressive. I had never seen that kind of fireworks before. Japanese people don’t know how lucky they are being able to see them every year.”
It’s natural to be shocked in good and bad ways when there are differences in culture and behaviors, but it’s also interesting to see the differences among different countries.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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