20 signs you live in Japan

November 26th, 2013By Category: Culture


(1) You think it quite normal for an ATM to need down time, but you expect you local konbini to be open 24/7.

(2) You hesitate to wear shoes that cannot be taken off in seconds.

(3) Being hugged in the street is very embarrassing, but naked bath time with your work colleagues is just fine.

(4) As a girl, wearing a sparkly headband and fluffy earmuffs is as cool now as when you were 6 years old.

(5) You are no longer disturbed by the idea that sexy girls should have saucer-sized purple eyes, breasts that make Barbie look prepubescent and be about 15 years old.

(6) Days of the week cease to be ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Wednesday’ and have become known as ‘burnable’, ‘plastics’, ‘paper’ and ‘pet bottles’.

(7) You have bowed to an inanimate object.

(8) After you finish a snack outside, you no longer look around for a garbage can.

(9) You understand that a single apple must be wrapped in 5 layers of packaging if it stands any chance of making it back to your home in one piece.

(10) You think there is nothing strange about sending in your registration to a conference on advanced robotic technology by fax.

(11) You agree with Jane Austen that singing is an essential social accomplishment.

(12) It’s difficult to grasp the seriousness of movies such as ‘Outbreak’ because you’re so used to seeing people wearing face masks.

(13) You know exactly when the seasons change (and have pictures to prove it), rather than relying on the date Starbucks change their cup design.

(14) When speaking English, you pause in the middle of sentences to allow your audience to catch up. Quite often you do this with ………. other native English speakers too.

(15) If you pass more than two blocks without seeing a drinks machine, you become inexplicably panicked.

(16) You suspect the first serious threat to mankind will come from a terminator toilet.

(17) You understand that what you say is taken as not just your personal view, but the unwavering opinion of every single individual in your country.

(18) There is no day in the week where it is surprising to see a child in school uniform.

(19) You now classify food as either fish, vegetables, fruit, meat or … bacon.

(20) You make up a fictitious date for returning to your own country, knowing that you will be asked within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new and that they will not understand the concept of a permeant home in Japan.

What did we miss? Add your list in the comments below.

Author of this article

Elizabeth Tasker

Elizabeth is a science researcher living in Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Originally from the UK, Elizabeth keeps her own blog about day to day exploits in the hope that writing them down will result in them one day making sense.

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  • zoomingjapan says:

    #14 would imply that we’re all native speakers of English – which simply isn’t the case! 😉

    I can agree with most of the points you mentioned here, though. Was fun to read. Thanks for sharing! ^__^

    P.S.: And I think it’s awesome you get to live with your cat! I love cats, but none of my apartments allowed pets thus far. *sigh*

  • Kizi jogos says:

    It really is not necessarily what is in Hanoi. I’m really impressed with what you listed. It seems it also brings some negative effects of the Japanese nation

  • Elizabeth says:

    o/ Glad some of them struck a chord

  • Cynthia Popper says:

    YES. #6, #8, and #15. <3