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3 things you will (probably) not like in Japan

There are so many good sides of living in Japan that many people may think it is a paradise. And in most cases it is. These are just some exceptions.

1. Poor time management and constant lack of sleep. Japanese people are taught to go to bed late and to wake up early from childhood. They probably have never heard of the famous «Early to bed, early to rise…» proverb. Working overtime (usually unproductively) often results in coming home late, and going to bed in the middle of the night. Sleep deprivation creates the vicious cycle, which leads to slowed reactions and thinking, and sudden urges for pick-me-ups (coffee, sweets, alcohol) or comfort food, both high in carbohydrates.


Fortunately, constant stress and inherited skinny genes means all these calories do not make Japanese people fat. Unfortunately this does not work for us foreigners, so be extra careful with those donuts with your coffee or extra pints of beer with delicious やきにく(grilled meat).

2. Unfavorable weather conditions. Frequent heavy downpours, storms, typhoons and earthquakes… This is not a complete list of what awaits you in Japan. In summer you will suffer the rainy season, followed by ungodly heat. Even looking at various hydrangeas will not chase away the rainy blues.


In winter it will be freezing cold inside your home. Don’t be fooled by the temperature outside. Even at zero degrees, inside your apartment will be unbearably cold. Keeping your air conditioner turned on all day long will be too expensive, so don’t seriously expect to escape the coldness of  January and February in Japan. This year even the fall is surprisingly cold and rainy.


3. Bad manners of some male citizens. If you frequently use subway or trains, you’ll know what I mean. Male Japanese, especially elderly ones, rarely show good manners when they sneeze or cough. I am sometimes startled by a sudden, very loud noise, and sometimes it is simply irritating. Moreover, one sneeze contains about 100 000 bacteria, which immediately become a potential threat for other people. Don’t Japanese learn sneezing and coughing etiquette? It seems that surgical masks are used just for fun by schoolgirls. Also Japanese men usually do not give up their seats when they see a pregnant woman or someone who is obviously feeling bad.

Article by Olga Kaneda

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