A tour in Japan is not only unique because of the huge contrast between the ancient culture and modern Japan. You also go from one surprise to the next, because of all the funny things you will encounter. Check out the 20 funniest things you can encounter during a trip through Japan.
1. Toilet 2.0
When you arrive in Japan you almost cannot get around, the toilet 2.0. During your first sanitation visit, you will probably be staying longer than necessary.
Most of the restrooms in Japan are technical highlights and feature a control panel to make your toilet visit even more enjoyable.
A heated toilet seat at your desired temperature, a full washing and drying program for your tender bottom or the possibility to mask the embarrassing sounds during your visit to the restroom with a “funky music”. Everything is possible.
2. A cup of tea with an owl or a cat
Would you like a cup of tea or coffee and can you use some company? Then visit a so-called cat café.
For a certain amount per hour, you can enjoy a (pricey) cup of tea or coffee and cuddle with the cats or owls present at a cat café or owl café.
These animal cafes are designed because it is not (always) allowed for many tenants to have pets. Thus, Japanese people who love animals are definitely keen on visiting one of these cafes. Or you!
3. Yummy! Food made of plastic
During your visit to Asian countries, you will soon encounter a language barrier. Without an English menu, ordering food and drinks can definitely be a challenge. In Japan, they found something about it.
At many restaurants you will find plastic examples of the food they serve. You will see them from varieties of ice cream to complete meals. Point at what you want and you are done! And the examples can barely be distinguished from real food.
TIP: Are you looking for a nice souvenir? In Kappabashi Street (か っ ぱ 橋 道具 街, Kappabashi Dōgugai) you will find various stores selling these plastic samples!
4. Ordering the Japanese way
We are used to call a waitress or waiter in a restaurant by waving, after which he or she will kindly take the order or will bring you the check.
In Japan, a waitress or waiter has become even needless at some restaurants, and you can order your own food via an order machine at the entrance of the restaurant.
Add some local currency, choose your desired dish and / or drink by selecting an image or certain number and give the ticket to the chef. Your food will be prepared immediately, served freshly at the table and after dinner you can go straight away.
5. Cosy waiting music
Whether you are waiting for the metro or the train to arrive.
As soon as one of these vehicles almost stops at the station or is about to leave, you will be entertained with all kinds of music.
6. Make a bow
Did the conductor just made a bow? Yes, you have seen it well! When traveling by train in Japan, you will definitely encounter a bending conductor a few times. Upon entering the coupé, leaving the coupé, or even when a train is arriving or leaving a train station, you will see the staff of the Japanese Railways bowing.
7. An unusual assortment of toiletries
For Japanese people their appearance and health are really important. Therefore, the assortment at a drugstore in Japan does not only consist of products you expect to find there, such as sunscreens, various types of soap and, for example, make-up.
All types of face masks, creams that make your skin whiter or all kinds of attributes to improve your mouth or nose. It’s just a small selection from the very unusual toiletries which can be found in a Japanese drugstore.
8. Wait in line please
Are you also always annoyed by fellow travelers who jump the queue on boarding the train or metro? However, at the subway- and train stations in Japan this will not happen soon.
On the floor different lines clearly indicate where you need to wait in order to get in and a well-formed row is being formed. As soon as the train or metro arrives, everybody is waiting their turn to step in. In many places in the world they can definitely learn from this!
9. Having dinner with a robot or maid
If you want to eat in a different setting, then you are in the right place in Japan.
Being served by a girl dressed as a maid in a maid cafe or in a restaurant full of dancing robots. Or have dinner in a prison cell or like Alice in Wonderland? There are a lot of themed restaurants to be found with the most diverse themes.
10. Find the exit
Some train stations in Japan are not only huge and crowded, but are often also a true maze with dozens of exits.
For example, Hommachi station in Osaka has got 28 exits. And then it can become a real challenge to find the nearest exit to your accommodation.
Seek and you shall find!
11. Extraordinary parking spaces
A parking space with Hello Kitty theme, to park your umbrella, underground car parks where a car is picked up and turned on a turntable for driving away immediately or a big wheel with parked cars.
You can not say that the Japanese are not innovative!
12. Shoes off, slippers on
In Japan, hygiene is really important. As soon as you arrive at your accommodation, you will kindly be requested to exchange your own shoes for some sexy slippers for inside use.
And in some accommodations you even have special slippers for your toilet visit!
13. Let’s Go…Mario Time
Who did not play the game for hours on a Gameboy or Nintendo: Mario Kart. But what’s more fun than real-life Mario karting. And you know, it’s possible too! In Tokyo!
After you have changed your own clothes for a Mario, Luigi or Bowser suit, you take place in a kart and you will join the guides on a city tour through this million city!
14. Colored socks
Changes your shoes for slippers and not wearing neat clean socks. According to Japanese etiquette, that is absolutely not done.
There are therefore various stores with a wide range of socks. Socks with print, without print, in different colors and with or without toes. The choice is huge!
15. Vending machines
If you are hungry or thirsty and are looking for a cold drink or snack, you would like to find a supermarket right around the corner.
In Japan, however, you do not have to worry about being hungry or thirsty for a long time. Almost literally on every street corner you will find vending machines filled with cold drinks or snacks. Super handy!
16. Silence please
In Japan, you do not need to try to have an extensive phone call with a friend when you are traveling by metro or train.
Making phone calls on public transport is prohibited. As soon as you get into the train, the metro or the bus, you will find yourself in an oasis of silence. So you will see most of the Japanese playing a game on their phone or reading a book.
17. Shopping for chopsticks
As we are used to eating with knife and fork, in Japan they make use of traditional chopsticks. There are even specialty stores full of all kinds, sizes and colors of chopsticks.
18. Kimono zumba
When we go to the gym or a work-out we usually wear comfortable sportswear. But in Japan, they just wear their traditional kimono to the Japanese dance class on Sunday morning.
19. Ding, dong, may I order please.
Waiving in a restaurant for minutes, hoping to get a waiter or waitress to your table to order your food or to settle the bill.
In Japan this is not always necessary and a simple solution has been devised. Yes, really, a bell! Just press the bell which is on your table and within a few seconds someone is at your table. Ideal!
20. Please enter via the back!
When traveling by bus, you are used to step into the bus in the front, to check in (or buying a ticket from the driver) and then to look for a place in the bus to sit. But Japan would not be Japan as of course this also works differently.
Stepping into the bus is via the back entrance and paying is done once you get off the bus. So just remember, step into the bus at the back and get off the bus in the front!