Friday, 11 December 2015

5 things I miss about Japan (apart from food of course)

Here are the 5 things that I really miss about Japan after returning home from my trip in November.

1. Outdoor Vending Machines

You can get hot and cold drinks in these machines. You can even get beer in some machines! I would love to see these in Ireland but I don't think they'd work as vandalism and theft might be a problem.

2. Transport system 

I often tell people that it's so easy to live in Japan and one of the reasons for this is the amazing transport system. If you've never lived in Japan and you're reading this post you'll will find it hard to believe that buses and trains are NEVER late in Japan. I've taken buses in terrible weather conditions including rain and snow and they still arrive on time! The Japanese subway system is so efficient and it's so enjoyable to ride on a SHINKANSEN (Japanese bullet train). 
I wouldn't recommend bringing a buggy on the subway though, I made this mistake in rush hour traffic and it wasn't pleasant! Japanese women tend to use baby carriers more than buggies especially in busy places like Tokyo which don't really accommodate buggies. 

3. Japanese Convenience Stores

On my first day back to Japan I was so excited to go to a convenience store! The staff are so polite and accommodating. They sell everything you need including food, alcohol, toiletries, stationery and limited clothing. They also sell a fantastic selection of healthy convenience food including small salads, rice balls, boiled eggs, individually wrapped bananas. My 4 year old was thrilled that they had children's shopping baskets too! 

4. Wet Cloth (oshiori)

It is custom in Japan for restaurants and coffee shops to give customers a wet cloth before serving them to clean their hands. Sometimes you get a cold cloth in a plastic wrap and other times you get a hot face cloth (as shown in the photo above taken from Wikipedia). After living in Japan I got used to this custom, it makes sense!

5. Toilets

You might think this is a strange one but I'm intrigued by Japanese toilets! Apart from the traditional Japanese toilets where you have to squat, Japan's Western style toilets are so advanced. They are plugged in so the toilet seat is always warm. There's also a selection of buttons on the right side of the toilet which do a range of things including making white noise. If you can't read Japanese I would advise against using these buttons as you may get a fright! 

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