- The people and cultureWhen I tell you as soon as I touched down in Tokyo I was in for an extreme culture shock. Outside of being a black girl with braids walking around in braids and standing out, I immediately felt like I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Kansas being NYC.
- The people are so polite and respectful. A characteristic you may rarely get on a nice summer day after months of snow in NY. They believe in this concept called omotenashi, which is essentially selfless hospitality. And let me tell you they practice this belief well. I remember getting off of the subway and walking 20 minutes in the wrong direction of my hostel. There was a older man who did not understand a word I was saying and vice verse and he ended up walking me 20 minutes to the doorsteps of my hotel. So AMAZING. I could never get that back in the states.
- TrashMy biggest question I found myself continually asking was how could Japan be so clean but there aren’t many trash cans around. After asking a million people I finally got an answer and turns out you are expected to take your trash home with you. Yup, that’s right even if you are buying food or ice cream off of the street or even a water bottle you must dispose of the trash your self and preferably at home.
- I wondered how did this not cause an adverse effect and because there were limited public trash can people would just liter. I guess this goes back to the culture and respect that is engraved in them. Maybe New York can try this method sometime. Although I don’t think it would work for very long.
- FashionOne of the first things I noticed when I landed in Tokyo was the fashion. Majority of the people I’ve seen were so trendy, and stylish. As a girl who works in the retail world and a believer of looking good I was shocked to see how many people had the same mindset. People wore designer out there like they were at H&M prices, they aren’t btw. Definitely a fashion capital.
- Cherry BlossomsVisiting the Sakuras in Japan is definitely one of the biggest reasons many people go to visit in the spring. Note that the cherry blossoms last for about 14 days usually end of March early April. Some years the weather gets warmer a earlier so the past couple of years the blossoms bloomed in March. Thank you global warming! If that’s the case and you missed them in Tokyo by a week you can always head north. The cherry blossoms travel north because of the trend in weather by region.
- Capsule HostelsIf you are a hostel person Japan will definitely please you. Capsule hotels and hostels are all over the place. These are essentially little boxes where you sleep stacked up bunk bed style some even have tvs in there. Depending on where you stay there may be a floor designated for your luggage and changing and you only bring yourself to the floor where your capsule bed is. It’s definitely an experience!
- ToiletsI know I know why are toilets on the list you may ask. Well because they definitely stood out. Japan has the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen. I’m talking from hotel bathrooms to public bathrooms near tourist attractions SO CLEAN. Literally all toilets were bidets. Japan was obviously my first experience with one and for those two weeks I was so accustomed I was sad we don’t have them everywhere in the U.S.
If you are planning your trip to Japan soon here are some things i wish I knew prior to going. Hope you all enjoy and book that ticket soon.