Nine things about Japan you may didn’t know

Nine interesting, odd and unique facts about Japan:

Ofuro (風呂), bathing is indispensable to Japanese life. Taking a bath, rather than taking a shower, is very popular in Japan and public bathing is an important part of the Japanese culture. Many TV shows and magazines are always busy introducing new spa resorts. A public bath house is called Sentō (銭湯). It is costumary to wash yourself before entering the tub and to bath naked. Japanese people often use the expression “hadaka no tsukiai“, literally meaning “naked relationship“, to express deep friendship. If you take a bath with someone, that means you are already buddies. The rule of taking a shower and washing yourself before entering a bathtub applies in home baths as well, for usually a whole family uses the same tub of hot water. Traditionally a guest, or if none, the father, has the right to take the “ichiban-buro” (the first bath of the day). After use, some homes take the hot bath water from the tub and use it to wash clothes in a washing machine (you’ll se why in the next fact). Modern bath tubs can be programmed to be automatically filled with water of a given temperature at a given time, or to heat up the water to a preferred temperature. An Onsen (温泉) is a hot spring that derives from volcanic activities.

Washing machines
It is not common to use hot water for washing clothes in Japan. I was really surprised about this unfamiliar habit! I remember how I was desperatly searching for a washing machine that uses hot water but eventually gave it up. Therefore to use the hot water from the tub is a brilliant idea! I’m perfectly aware of the fact that using cold water saves energy but at least for socks, bedding and towels hot water is essential in my experience.

Musical traffic lights
It was in Asahikawa when I first encountered pedestrian crossings that play music when the lights turn green. Those sounds are to let blind people know when they can safely cross the street. There’s one sound for roughtly East/West crossing, and another for roughly North/South crossing.The most common tune that they play is “Tōryanse” which is a children’s song. The lyrics (translated) go as follows:

Let me pass, let me pass
What is this narrow pathway here?
It’s the narrow pathway of the Tenjin shrine
Please allow me to pass through
Those without good reason shall not pass
To celebrate this child’s 7th birthday
I’ve come to dedicate my offering
Going in may be fine but returning would be scary
It’s scary but
Let me pass, let me pass

But as far as I remember in Asahikawa they played “Für Elise” by Beethoven. :hehe:

White-gloved men and women drive the taxis of Japan’s big cities. The taxi doors open by themselves and they also have automated closing. This is very helpful especially if both of your hand are occupied with holding bags and mobilephone.

Love Hotels
Love hotels are hotels that offer double rooms with awesome bathrooms for short periods of time. You can “rest” – check in for a few hours – or “stay” – spend the night. Entrances are discreet and interaction with staff is minimised, with rooms selected from a panel of buttons and the bill settled by a pair of hands behind a pane of frosted glass. As the name suggests, the main purpose of love hotels is to provide couples with a room to spend some undisturbed time together. Some love hotels are themed and may come properly equipped, or with items such as costumes available to rent or buy. Love hotels are found all over Japan and they can usually be recognized because of their strange looks. In large cities there are love hotel districts, such as Tokyo’s Love Hotel Hill in Shibuya, where many different hotels can be found together. In smaller cities they are often found near major roads on the city outskirts. A stay overnight costs around 8000 yen. The room fee for a rest during the day is usually a little bit lower (3000 to 7000 yen), while on weekends, the prices can be much higher. source

It is Japanese custom to slurp while you eat foods such as soup. Slurping soup is a sign of approval and appreciation of the cooking! The Japanese drink soup by lifting the bowl to the mouth with both hands.

Believe it or not, in Japan after someone sneezes they don’t say anything. Blowing one’s nose in public is considered rude, especially at a restaurant. Conversely, sniffling is considered acceptable, as an alternative to nose-blowing. When sneezing, it is polite to cover one’s nose with a hand. Sometimes the say “Odaiji ni“, please take care of yourself.

Modern Japanese toilets are designed to assure as much comfort as possible. Known as a “Washlet” in Japan, the Super Toilet’s many functions include: a pre-warmed seat, auto-lid opening with proximity sensor, blow dryer, germ-resistant seat, air conditioning, glow-in-the-dark surface, dual water jets with soap mixture, as well as music to help you relax or to drown embarrassing sounds and a deodorant system that eliminates bad smell.

Vending machines
You can find nearly everything in Japan’s vending machines. Vegetables, flowers, neckties, cup noodles, umbrellas, Eggs and even hot french fries!

Do you know any other unique facts about Japan? I actually encountered all of these customs while staying there!
byebye ねこちゃん :lipstick:
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