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Japanese Customs / December 13, 2016

Back again, your favorite afro blogger live from the good 'ol land of 日本. As you can tell, Japanese class is going pretty well (or if you can read kanji, maybe can't tell since all I've used so far is fairly simple kanji). Anyway, this time around I will once again be skipping the weekend adventures and be blogging about personal opinion and observations. I decided for this one I'd fill everyone in on some of the specific things I have noticed about Japan that I had to adjust to, am still trying to adjust to, or a few I consider impossible to adjust to until I return to this beautiful country next time, whenever that may be.

So, here's a few things that were a bit strange upon initially arriving here, but I have since gotten fairly comfortable with.

1. Lack of paper towels/napkins in public places, namely restrooms.

Well, prior to arriving to Japan I read multiple blog posts about Japanese culture and avoiding culture shock and all that good stuff. I do remember reading something about the bathrooms being completely hands-free, however, I don't remember seeing anything about lack of paper towels. And I know what you're thinking, no paper towels big deal, they have hands-free dryers. Welp... no. Although, of course, there are bathrooms with hands-free dryers, a lot do not. The same ones that do not, also have no paper towels. For about a week and a half I struggled with washing my hands in bathrooms and walking out with still damp hands. Alas, no worries! I found the reason for this is the fact that 98% of Japanese keep a handkerchief with them at all times. A cheap and sensible solution to this problem for a large number of foreigners.

2. Lack of trash cans on the street.

With Japan being such a walker-friendly society, some may find it strange that will not spot one trash can over the span of a hearty 30 minute walk. Though, there are a large number of recycle bins, general trash cans are not found anywhere on the street. Surprisingly, at least to me, the effect of this lack of seemingly necessary public conveniences is an amazingly clean sidewalk and city. I'm sure all of the Americans are asking how is the street CLEANER if there are ZERO trash cans? Well, that is because Japanese people, for the most part, do not eat/drink and walk at the same time. This is partly because of the fact there are no trash cans, thus eating and walking down the street is generally frowned upon by the general public.