Three Japanese Cultural Things Before Dinner

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What no one tells you about coming to Japan

11 weeks passed and I’m not sure if I’m used to Japan. I still don’t know much Japanese and I use more hand motions than words in my conversations with the Japanese girls on my hall. I can navigate the Metro fairly well, even without Google maps (not that I wouldn’t use Google maps, but if it stopped working I would be able to decipher the maps and ask people for help). I can confidently order food (with pointing) and I don’t feel so confused about what side of the road to be on. All these little things that were so jarring about Japan have become normal for me. I thought I should share all the little tidbits of Japan that I had wished someone had shared with me before I had arrived. These facts aren’t necessary to know beforehand and one could argue discovering these facts adds to the experience but I thought I might as well share them.

Conbini

I’m sure everyone’s heard about Japan having a convenience store at every corner. If not, you know now. What I did not know about these conbini is that they also sell lunches or bentos. I can buy a box of rice, chicken, and some pickled something for roughly $4.00. Conbini makes me wonder why America is not doing the same but that’s besides the point. Turns out, when you go up to pay for your bento cashiers will say a bunch of stuff at you. Knowing no Japanese like me, you assume they are saying something about the price. They are. If you don’t catch a word of what they are saying no worries, you can look at the register for the total. After, they will say something else. The first time this …continue reading