20 Signs You’ve Been in Japan Too Long

June 20th, 2012By Category: Culture

1. You still call non-Japanese “Gaijin” even when you’re outside Japan.
2. You see a gaijin get on the train and think “Wow, it’s a Gaijin!”

3. Most of your photos show you giving the peace sign
4. Most of your vacations are geared towards taking hot baths

5. You bow even when you’re on the phone
6. You bow slightly in acknowledgment instead of waving when you see someone you know
7. You call most types of fish by their Japanese names, forgetting their English names
8. You own a mama chari

9. You can ride a bicycle with a tiny plastic umbrella and not get wet in the rain
10. In your home country, you wait for the taxi door to open automatically
11. You have apologized in Japanese in your home country

12. You’re starting to add -san to the names of other gaijin
13. You bow when you shake hands
14. You’ve become extremely nostalgic about sakura (cherry blossoms)

15. You can wear a yukata properly
16. You’re starting to doubt your English pronunciation of Rs and Ls

17. You have slept standing on a train.
18. You have purchased various items from different vending machines.

19. You’re starting to get Japanese comedy shows.
20. Shaking your hand when you don’t want something, rather than shaking your head.

We know this could be a longer list, but we’ll leave it up to you list the other signs down. One thing’s for sure though: but be it weird or funny, it sure is fun living in Japan.

Photos by: mr walkerxopherlanceallison o’connor, Eimu the Emu, 熊寶兒obakedake and hotnyh via Flickr Creative Commons

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

Related articles that may interest you


  • Waisea Mawi says:

    some of this quite true haha..I LOVE JAPAN mann..lived there and worked in the construction industry for 3years, some of the most hardworking people ive worked with.Love to go back there and work someday, loved the culture too. 🙂

  • Ed Lake says:

    21. You’re a pedophile

  • Howard Rider says:

    When you return to your home country (temporarily of course!) you are dismayed that there are not convenience stores on every corner and when you do find one, you are even more dismayed that there are no onigiri!

  • Maybe you could “assume” that you can replace the word “English” with whatever language you speak natively and the intent behind the statement is the same.

  • Sidonie Yang says:

    Cool! A lot of this applies to Taiwan, too, which coincidentally, used to be a Japanese colony!

  • very funny post! love it.

  • zoomingjapan says:

    Some of them are so true, others aren’t.
    Especially the comments about English. Not all of us are English native speakers!
    It’s already bad enough that Japanese people tend to forget that, but please let’s not assume that here as well!

    9. You can ride a bicycle with a tiny plastic umbrella and not get wet in the rain
    15. You can wear a yukata properly

    Seems like I haven’t been long enough in Japan then, hm? 😉