I, A Brit, Went To Tokyo, And Here Are 18 Things I Noticed That Are Pretty Effing Different From The UK

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Hi, I’m Sam, and I’m a Brit living in London. I love to travel, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Japan!

I cast my mind back to my pre-COVID trip and put together a list of casual observations about Japan/Tokyo that I thought were worth mentioning.

1. There are these lorries that drive around loudly playing music, presumably for promotional purposes.

2. There are certain restaurants where you can order via a vending machine!

3. You can buy sandwiches with the crusts already cut off!

4. You often get a little basket in a restaurant to store your belongings in while you sit and eat.

Love this idea- in Japan all restaurants/coffee shops supply you with a basket when seated to put your handbag or shopping in safely and tidily.

04:56 AM – 07 Mar 2018

Jenn

If you didn’t already know, Japan likes to keep things ~neat~.

5. The traffic cones we saw were wayyy more exciting than ours.

Some light up and some even have funny faces… remember point 10?”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”2975″,”width”:”2089″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/c4b9317d7116/sub-buzz-1514-1583255281-2.jpg?crop=2089:2975;0,0″,”alt_text”:””},{“index”:1,”number”:2,”has_caption”:false,”image_type”:”jpg”,”image_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”images”:{“mobile”:{“height”:”540″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”width”:”434″},”original”:{“height”:”540″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”width”:”434″},”standard”:{“height”:”540″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”width”:”434″},”wide”:{“height”:”540″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”width”:”434″},”idx”:1,”original_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”image_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”nojs_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg?output-quality=auto&output-format=auto&downsize=360%3A%2A”},”original_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg”,”width”:434,”height”:540,”attribution”:”u/kinokokoro / Via reddit.com”,”id”:”124266832″,”external_link_text”:””,”external_link_url”:””,”has_external_link”:false,”description”:””,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”540″,”width”:”434″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/4/10/asset/29ee84a2e3b1/sub-buzz-207-1583317555-1.jpg?crop=434:540;0,0″,”alt_text”:””}], “id”: 124260429, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:124260429}”} } ]]>

6. Some places have special slippers to wear in the toilet for hygiene reasons. I’m told people do the same at home!

7. People don’t just take theirdogs for a walk!

8. Most stores in Tokyo will clip your shopping bag together with tape as a proof of purchase.

9. People cycle on the pavement as well as on the road.

10. Convenience stores have a truly wild range of drinks, including this fluorescent green melon soda, which I became addicted to.

11. The whole country is obsessed with cute things — e.g., kittens, puppies, rabbits, mice.

12. Train seats can be rotated in the direction of travel for your pleasure.

13. There are these flat wooden flip-flops called “geta” (similar to clogs) that Japanese people sometimes wear.

14. You can’t smoke just anywhere — there are these designated cages on the street for smokers.

15. Ninety-five percent of the toilets are ~super~ fancy, with lots of buttons to enhance your toilet-going experience!

Pun intended.”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”4000″,”width”:”3000″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/04103603ab13/sub-buzz-183-1583255183-6.jpg?crop=3000:4000;0,0″,”alt_text”:””},{“index”:1,”number”:2,”has_caption”:false,”image_type”:”jpg”,”image_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg”,”images”:{“mobile”:{“height”:”743″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg?resize=990:743″,”width”:”990″},”original”:{“height”:”2250″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg”,”width”:”3000″},”standard”:{“height”:”469″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg?resize=625:469″,”width”:”625″},”wide”:{“height”:”743″,”url”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg?resize=990:743″,”width”:”990″},”idx”:1,”original_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg”,”image_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg”,”nojs_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg?output-quality=auto&output-format=auto&downsize=360%3A%2A”},”original_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg”,”width”:3000,”height”:2250,”attribution”:”Sam Cleal / BuzzFeed”,”id”:”124261314″,”external_link_text”:””,”external_link_url”:””,”has_external_link”:false,”description”:””,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”2250″,”width”:”3000″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2020-03/3/17/asset/ca5dbf2c2415/sub-buzz-978-1583255208-13.jpg?crop=3000:2250;0,0″,”alt_text”:””}], “id”: 124260420, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:124260420}”} } ]]>

16. There are these “maid cafés” where young women dress up in maid outfits and serve you food and drink.

17. And finally, when a train pulls into a tube station, an adorable little jingle plays over the tannoy.

18. Bonus — I HAD to include this point about masks, which I wrote back in 2019: And of course, everyone wears face masks, for reasons as diverse as wanting to avoid air pollution, allergens, or germs or even wanting to cover up a spot or blemish!

Anyway, hope to see you again soon, Japan!!! 🇯🇵️🇯🇵️🇯🇵

Have you ever been to Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan and noticed anything unusual or amazing? Let us know in the comments below!

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