…are toilets either a hole in the ground, or something resembling NASA ground control.
…are there seemingly countless ways to say ‘I’, depending on your gender, age, who you are talking to and the content of the conversation.
…are there specific counters for just about everything, from long cylindrical items, to animals, to large electrical appliances…
…are there three distinct hairstyles for junior high school girls: the ‘boy’, the ‘bob’ and the ‘two pony tails’. Fringe/bangs compulsory across the board.
…are comic books and cartoons embraced by all ages and genders.
…are hipsters born, not made.
Only in Japan…
…(and other Asian countries) does Valentines Day and ‘White Day‘ exist.
…do people generally prefer you to smell like body odour as opposed to perfume, soap, deodorant or shampoo.
…does a red light mean ‘speed up’ not ‘stop’.
…do you see a motor garage with the name ‘Vaginers’.
…do you brush your teeth in front of your work colleagues.
…does the concept of ‘hamburg’ exist…a hamburger without the bun.
…does the rule ‘men look better in uniform’ not apply.
…is ‘gambatte‘ administered as medication, motivation and mollification.
…is it compulsory for junior high school students to wear helmets when cycling…but not elementary or high school students.
…is there an obsession with people’s blood type.
…is it necessary to pickle vegetables within an inch of their lives.
…is it actually okay to linger at the magazine stand of a convenience store or book store and read something cover to cover.
…is the average foreigner tall.
…can you accidentally leave your wallet in any public place and be 99% sure it will still be there when you return for it (this rule does not apply to bicycles or umbrellas, which are fair game).
…can I, as a 30 year old woman, wear leg warmers in public and be called ‘cute’ for doing so.
…can you ask any fan of rock music if they know the Foo Fighters and 9/10 times the answer will be ‘no’.
…can you ride a ‘Nana bike’ and not get beaten up for it.
…can you experience the joy and wonder of erasable pens in all the colours of the rainbow.
…will you see pimped out mini vans.
…will the police chastise you for listening to an iPod while walking or cycling, but unrestrained children in cars are allowed without reprimand.
…will I have a key ring that looks like this…
…will someone bring you a gift when they return to work after being in hospital.
…will you be informed of 6am, midday and 5pm in country towns by the ringing of chimes throughout the city.
…will Leonardo DiCaprio advertise tyres and Tommy Lee Jones advertise canned coffee.
…will I be considered wealthy because I wear sunglasses, drive a car and use an iPhone.
Only in Japan am I provided with enough material to write this sequel to my first ‘Only in Japan…‘ post…