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Signs that you finally got used to Japan

You say “suimasen” instead of “sumimasen” at least 5 times a day. It’s less formal and more appropriate in the daily life unless you are really apologising. In that case you need to use the full word to sound polite.

You agree with people who don’t like Osechi Ryori. But of course you tried almost all of it in your first years in Japan. Next New Year I will definitely go with something more European-style.Japanese New Year food (phoney)You started to like indirect answers and refusals, and actually think they are very convenient. Don’t you think that it is so great just not to finish you sentence like “Sore wa chotto… (It’s a bit…)”?

You know about local shrines and traditions more than your Japanese friends and relatives do.

You get excited if you find out that the onset you are visiting has a great rotenburo (露天風呂), an outdoor bath.Japanese outdoor bathYou send paper New Year postcards (nengajo) to your friends and relatives. Sometimes they don’t even bother to reply by post and just email to thank you.

You can easily tell Japanese plum (ume) and Japanese cherry (sakura) blossoms apart, although still think that both are beautiful. The Japanese discard plum blossoms and get overwhelmed with admiration at the sight of blooming sakura. Can you tell which one is this?Japanese ume plumYou don’t need English menu any longer, because even kanji are easy to read now. Same goes for the medicine: almost no more stupid mistakes at the drugstore.

You don’t hesitate to buy a plastic umbrella every time it starts raining. Then you start throwing away the oldest ones using FIFO (First-in First-Out) method.Umbrellas in JapanIn the subway you prefer seats adjacent to doors. Actually, it is a general preference of people who live in big cities and have to use subway every day. Bench spots between two other seats are typically less popular.

You buy a Gate Pine (kadomatsu) and wait for Toshigami-sama on New Year’s Eve. Mine was too tiny, so I chose a gorgeous kadomatsu from the hotel entrance for this article. Because you know, in Japan looks are everything. Kadomatsu, the Gate Pine

Article by Olga Kaneda

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