5 Expectations VS. Realities of Japanese Culture!

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5 Expectations VS. Realities of Japanese Culture!

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Coming to Japan for the first time and you will find that your expectations might be to see a metropolis city with incredible technology and state-of-the-art facilities. Or maybe you expect to see the traditional side of Japan with its beautiful shrines and untouched landscapes.

The reality is in fact everyones expectation’s entwine depending upon what people see when they step into Japan for the first time. Is Japanese food expensive? And are there advanced robots everywhere? So here are five things you might expect about Japan but the reality might change your opinion of the country!

1. ”All Japanese technology is advanced and Hi-tech!”


Photo by Nyasha

Is it? Yes and no. Not everything is as awesome as Softbank robot, Pepper-kun sadly! The Softbank robot is probably one of the coolest technology you can see around Japan! The technology in Japan is indeed amazing as you can ride super fast bullet trains, go to a robot restaurant and have a singing voice synthesizer who holds concerts around Japan.

Here and there, you will find Japan still using the same facilities and technology as other developed countries do. Even in the capital of Tokyo, there are a few companies that are still using outdated technology such as sending fax documents and expect resumes to be sent by post. You might also find some shops selling cassette and VHS tapes.

It goes to show Japan is impressive but you will still see the same old school technology that other countries use too!


2. ”Japanese people can speak English!”


Photo by Nyasha

When it comes to English, a good majority of Japanese people can read and write but most of them do not want to speak English. The thing is schools teach English by textbooks and the lessons are always in Japanese. So because there is hardly any English used in their classes, Japanese people have to study hard and venture out in order to practice and be more fluent. They learn how to understand English but not how to speak English.

There are a number of study aboard programs, eikaiwa or language exchanges to be able to learn and speak more English. And the ones that don’t? They prefer to stick to only speaking Japanese and when tourists need help, they tend to respond in Japanese unable to conversate in English.


3. ”The Japanese are short and wear too much makeup”


Photo by Nyasha

Japanese cosmetics are amongst one of the most popular beauty essentials that many use around in the world. However, the stereotype is that most people believe Japanese people wear too much makeup. But that is not the case as it differs. Get on public transport and not everyone will be wearing makeup. Most tourists might assume so because of the shop assistants in beauty and fashion as well as the advertisements around Japan,

And is everyone short in height too? No! Japanese people range in height as much as people from around the world do. The average height of women are 158cm (5”2) and men are 172cm (5”7) but you’ll also find tall and short people everywhere around Japan.



4. “Japanese people eat more fish and vegetables”


Photo by Nyasha

Everyone assumes Japanese people are so slim and healthy. And the reason everyone thinks this is because of the amount of sushi, sashimi and vegetables that they consume. Right? Nope!

In actuality when you come to Japan, there seems to be a diet change in the past few years. The increase in fried food such as cheese and curry to name a few is showing among Japanese people’s appetites. If that is not enough then you might have noticed the increase in Western food chains spreading around in Japan such as Subway and Krispy Kreme.

It’s not as easy for vegetarians and vegans to find tasty food here as they thought it would be but for anyone who loves meat and fish, Japan is just right for you!


5. “Buying food in Japan is expensive”


Photo by Nyasha

Supermarkets in Japan can be pricy indeed but finding the right items in the right places. The price of fruit and vegetables is the only exception as they have small scale farming compared to most places in the West. But apart from that, there are cheaper options if you keep looking.

If you are living in Japan and are experiencing the trouble of finding cheap groceries, here’s a tip. Supermarkets discount the food they sell from the evening to closing time in supermarkets from around 20% to 60% at most especially if it’s meat, fish and produced stock.

And for cheaper supermarkets? You have a few options: Gyoumu Super, Daiso, Seiyu and 100 yen shop. These places are available to purchase relatively cheaper groceries including baked goods, frozen food and basic necessities.

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A writer who sees Tokyo as her second home and often writes about food, travelling, culture and living in the capital.

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