Japan is a very unique and fantastic culture that differs vastly from the US, so here are a few fun facts I’d like to throw at the people who have (or have not) had the pleasure of visiting Japan.
- Japan Will Sing You A Tune. If you turn on the water in the sink, well the faucet plays a little jingle. Waiting at the public transportation for Toyko Transit system? A bird sings over the speakers. Are you making rice? Well that will sing to you twinkle twinkle little star before it starts and a song after.
- Timid Tinkler? I used the toilets at the airport (the toilets that are like little holes in the ground) and a song played! I tried to get it to stop but I had no idea how. I was told later that if you’re a timid tinkler you can play a song so you can keep your privacy. I felt it had the opposite effect, like I was announcing that I was peeing!
- Public Bathing is NBD. Onsen’s are very popular in Japan. They are indoor or outdoor public bathing places where everyone strips down and enjoys a nice social and relaxing bath together.
- No Tattoos Allowed! Tattoos are still widely associated with the Yakuza (mob/gangster) and not accepted fully into Japanese culture so tattooed people are generally not allowed in the Onsen. There is a hired person that will scour the area to look out for people with tattoos no matter the size and remove them. Some city locations do not allow tatted persons in the workplace or in other places of business. After some research I found a cool app that shows you where tattoos are accepted, just be careful as some of these can be very sketchy- I found out too late about the accepted places since I have 3 tattoos.
- Wifi? Never heard of it. In Bali every 20 feet you’d be offered free WiFi, but here in Japan it’s completely unavailable. Be prepared ahead of time and pre-plan places to go and routes to take. If you rely on WiFi (like I do) then you’re going to have a hard time finding your way around Japan.