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10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America
Mental Floss ^ | February 18, 2014 | Therese Oneill

Posted on 02/22/2014 10:44:53 PM PST by Slings and Arrows

With the help of Google Translate (and an ability to interpret completely random sentence structure), an American can find out what kind of advice the Japanese give to their own countrymen on how to handle the peculiarities of American culture. Here are some things to look out for if you are visiting America from Japan.

1. There is a thing called “Dinner Plates.” And what goes on them is a mighty disappointment.

In Japan, each person eating gets as many individual dishes as needed for the meal. Sometimes more than 10 dishes per person are used. In America, there is a method where a large bowl or dish is placed in the middle of the table, and you take as much as you like from there, and put it on a big dish said to be a "dinner plate."

In Japan, meals at home are for eating, because your stomach is vacant. At an American’s dinner, there is food, decorations on the table and tableware, and music to produce a fun atmosphere. It is a time for maintaining rich human relationships. Therefore, the meal is as long as 40 minutes. In addition, often the decorative tableware has been handed down mother to daughter, two generations, three generations. In addition, there are even more valuable dishes used for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

American food is flat to the taste, indifferent in the subtle difference of taste. There is no such thing there as a little “secret ingredient.” Sugar, salt, pepper, oils, and routine spices are used for family meals. There is no such thing as purely U.S. cuisine, except the hamburger, which isn’t made at home so much. There is almost nothing special to eat based on the different seasons of the year. Basically, they like sweet, high fat, high calories things.

2. Beware Rough Areas Where the Clothes Demand Attention

In Japan, hip hop clothes are considered stylish. But in the United States, it is wise to avoid them, as you might be mistaken for a member of a street gang.

The entire United States does not have good security, unfortunately. However, the difference between a place with good regional security and a “rough area” is clear. People walk less, there is a lot of graffiti, windows and doors are strictly fitted with bars. And young people are dressed in hip hop clothes that say "I want you to pay attention to me!"

3. But You’ll be Pleasantly Surprised by American Traffic Patterns.

Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America. You must wait whenever you cross an intersection for the traffic light. People don’t get pushy to go first. Except for some people, everyone keeps exactly to the speed limit. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.

4. Nobody is impressed by how much you can drink. In fact, shame on you.

In the U.S., they do not have a sense of superiority if they are able to drink a large amount. Rather, if you drink a lot, there is a sense that you cannot manage yourself. There is something close to contempt toward someone who must drink a lot to be drunk. To drink alcohol habitually is to have alcoholism. Alcoholics are weak people mentally, to be one means you have spanned the label of social outcasts that can’t self-manage.

Non-smokers are more important than smokers in the US. Smokers capture the concept that they are not able to control themselves, and are the owners of weak character.

5. They Have Free Time All Week Long!

In America, whether you are a student, working person, or housewife, you carefully make room for leisure time, weekdays and weekends. Most people are ensured free time, always. During the week they use it for walking, jogging, bicycling, tennis, racquetball, bowling, watching movies, reading, and volunteering. On the weekend, they enjoy even more freedom, and take liberal arts courses and have sporting leisures.

In Japan we believe that there is no free time during the weekday. Only the weekend. We spend the weekend watching TV, hanging around home, working, studying, and shopping, or listening to music.

See Also: 4 Russian Travel Tips for Visiting America

6. Knowing how to use sarcasm is a must to communicate with an American.

If you put your bent middle and index fingers of both hands in the air, you are making finger quotation marks. It means you do not believe what you are saying. You can also say, "or so called."

7. They tend to horse laugh, even the women. It’s how they show they’re honest.

In Japan, when a woman laughs, she places her hand so it does not show her mouth. It is disgraceful to laugh by loudly opening the mouth. Adult males do not laugh much. There is the saying, "Man, do not laugh so much that you show your teeth."

In America, when men or women laugh, they do not turn away. They face front, open the mouth, and laugh in a loud voice. This is because in America if you muffle your laugh or turn away while laughing, you give the impression that you are talking about a secret or name-calling. It is nasty.

8. You won’t be getting your groceries anytime soon, so checkout lines are a great place to make friends.

Cashiers are slow. Abysmally slow compared to Japan. I get frustrated when I’m in a hurry. Americans wait leisurely even if you’re in the special checkout for buying just a little something. I thought Americans were going to be quite impatient, but in reality they are extremely laid back. I thought about what I should do with my time while waiting in the grocery matrix, and began to speak at length with other guests.

See Also: 38 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

9. Their vending machines are ridiculously limited and dishonest.

Vending machines in the United States just give carbonated beverages. Coke particularly. If you try to buy the juice from a vending machine when you’re thirsty, it’s just all carbonate. I pressed the button and thought it would be a nice orange juice, but carbonate came out. I love carbonated, but there are times when it will make you sick indeed.

10. But darn it all, they’re so weirdly optimistic you just can’t stay irritated at them.

In Japan, there is great fear of failure and mistakes in front of other people. It is better to do nothing and avoid being criticized than to taste the humiliation of failure. As a result, there are things we wanted to do, but did not, and often regret.

In America, you can make mistakes, fail, and it doesn’t matter. It is a fundamental feeling that to sometimes be incorrect is natural. In addition, rather than thinking about mistakes and failures, American’s have curiosity and say, "Let’s try anyway!"



TOPICS: Humor; Travel
KEYWORDS: japan; napl
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11. Don't kill their dolphins and whales. They get *very* upset.
1 posted on 02/22/2014 10:44:53 PM PST by Slings and Arrows
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To: Slings and Arrows; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; ...
In Japan, hip hop clothes are considered stylish. But in the United States, it is wise to avoid them, as you might be mistaken for a member of a street gang.



2 posted on 02/22/2014 10:46:41 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

>>. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.<<

F yeah!


3 posted on 02/22/2014 10:47:01 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Fight Tapinophobia in all its forms! Do not submit to arduus privilege.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Just remember the age of consent is 12, kiddie porn is legal and you can pay a little girl to take baths with you.

Japan is Pervert Land.


4 posted on 02/22/2014 10:48:29 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Japanese....so strange but I still love them. However, Americans are so way way better. I had a Japanese lady over for dinner the other night, had married an American soldier back in the day, boy did she gush about the superiority of American to Japanese culture. She’s widowed but never went back to Japan!


5 posted on 02/22/2014 10:51:47 PM PST by hulagirl (Mother Theresa was right)
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To: Slings and Arrows

If American in Japan, avoid the vending machine.

If the product does not say Saporro, it may not be beer.


6 posted on 02/22/2014 10:53:07 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: GeronL
...you can pay a little girl to take baths with you.

What the hell?!
7 posted on 02/22/2014 10:53:46 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Slings and Arrows

A-me-ri-ka sugoi!! Ikimashou!!


8 posted on 02/22/2014 10:55:32 PM PST by bakeneko
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To: Slings and Arrows

11. Hey, they drive on the other side of the road!

12. Yes, many Americans are fans of Gojira (Godzilla) movies. And I might add, most of the really cheesy 50s and 60s Japanese movies. Classics!


9 posted on 02/22/2014 10:58:35 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: hulagirl; Slings and Arrows

“She’s widowed but never went back to Japan!”

She stayed here for our general enthusiasm for life, shown by our willingness to take chances, love of a laugh out loud moment and, most of all I’m sure, our damn good manners.

Great post, I think it’s mostly fair (if someone inaccurate because I don’t think our gentle Japanese author ever drove in Jersey) and very amusing.


10 posted on 02/22/2014 11:00:21 PM PST by jocon307
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To: Army Air Corps

Japan has a lot of weird and perverted things, its not just their anime that is perverted.


11 posted on 02/22/2014 11:01:42 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

This was hysterical. I needed the laughs.


12 posted on 02/22/2014 11:01:54 PM PST by EinNYC
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To: dhs12345

I love their old Sci-Fi. Especially the cheesy stuff.


13 posted on 02/22/2014 11:04:41 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: EinNYC

Glad you liked.


14 posted on 02/22/2014 11:05:19 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: GeronL
Japan is Pervert Land.

I'm moving there tomorrow.

15 posted on 02/22/2014 11:05:55 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: jocon307

I can take them to some Tex-Mex joints that’ll make them rethink the idea of American food being bland. ;-)


16 posted on 02/22/2014 11:06:23 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: dhs12345

11. Important safety tip, that.

12. Gamera is really neat! He is full of turtle meat!


17 posted on 02/22/2014 11:07:01 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Heh.

When I need a morale break, or start drifting too hard into my natural dislike of all things and persons foreign, I like to spend some time on youtube watching video blogs made by foreign exchange students sent to the US.

It can be a lot of fun to watch, first, their pre concepts of what it’s going to be like when they get to the US, then watch as they become accustomed to life here.

I get a free morale boost. Loose a good bit of my built up anti-furrin develism and end up appreciating what we have here a bit more.


18 posted on 02/22/2014 11:07:36 PM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: Grimmy

That sounds interesting. Got any suggestions?


19 posted on 02/22/2014 11:08:13 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: jocon307

Certainly never drove in Massachusetts. When I was still living in NJ, I thought the way they drove to be psychotic (never mind downright rude) when I visited Boston.


20 posted on 02/22/2014 11:08:32 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Army Air Corps

Ya. Perfect for an impressionable young boy.

I was telling my son about the movie about the people who were stranded on an Island without food. Only there was food. Mushrooms! Beware of the mushrooms because if you eat them you’ll turn into one. Sure enough, one by one they ate the mushrooms.

Darn. I can remember the name. Help me please!

Or the strange foamy substance that would dissolve a person so all that remained were their clothes.


21 posted on 02/22/2014 11:10:37 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: Slings and Arrows

“In Japan, hip hop clothes are considered stylish.”

The tentacles and vending machines were a hint, but now I know for sure Japan is weird.


22 posted on 02/22/2014 11:11:40 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Slings and Arrows
The Rooskie version of that blog post is pretty good, too ("It’s weird how one nation’s flirting is another nation’s motivation to use pepper spray.").
23 posted on 02/22/2014 11:11:44 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: Slings and Arrows

ing Ghidorah is really cool too. Three heads are better than one!


24 posted on 02/22/2014 11:13:54 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: GeronL
Kiddie porn is legal because pubic hair isn't. I swear I am not making that up.

Oh, yeah, after just short of a decade living there I came back with some very interesting insights on what it is to be an American, not all of them happy but some of them surprisingly so. There is less...structure here, and it makes many Japanese uncomfortable and a little adrift. We tend to think of it as freedom, they tend to see it as lack of guidance where guidance is called for.

The Japanese plan, and plan, and plan, and meticulously plan, and when finally they execute it is with astonishing efficiency and speed. Americans tend to wing it, far more wasteful of resources and replacing efficiency with brute power. In combined operations that has passed the point of frustration and achieved a sense of high humor on both sides. I recall a naval exercise when the concept of "patrol a sector" came up. I explained it as "the ship will go out there and mess around a little bit at random". My counterpart sucked his breath and said with mock seriousness, "Ah, we Japanese do not mess around," perfectly aware of the double meaning.

That can be good and bad, because initiative is sometimes stifled by a determination to plan. Just before I returned to the States there was a case that illustrates this. A very drunk businessman fell off a railway platform with a train coming and three young Americans - Marines - jumped down, threw him back up, and jumped back themselves in the nick of time, with the rest of the people on the platform watching with their mouths open. No one who knows them would accuse the Japanese of any lack of physical bravery, so it wasn't that at all. They were waiting for a consensus and a plan. Where there was no time for either they were at a loss.

But where there is...I watched them build a bank in my neighborhood. It was like a ballet, every move pre-choreographed and probably rehearsed, every component precisely where it needed to be, and the thing was up like magic before my eyes. Very, very impressive. Incredible discipline, incredible teamwork.

I have entertained perhaps a half dozen of my old Japanese friends here in the States since then, all highly organized tours because they have so little leisure that it must be planned meticulously in advance, which - see above - they're inclined to do anyway. What do they all want to do? Shoot guns, every one.

25 posted on 02/22/2014 11:15:28 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Olog-hai; jocon307
Certainly never drove in Massachusetts.

You aren't kidding! I thought Chicago was bad, but at least Chicago drivers will only kill you to get where they're going. In Massachusetts it's personal.

26 posted on 02/22/2014 11:17:23 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Moose Burger
The tentacles and vending machines were a hint, but now I know for sure Japan is weird.

Was there ever any doubt?

27 posted on 02/22/2014 11:18:03 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: cynwoody
"It’s weird how one nation’s flirting is another nation’s motivation to use pepper spray."

NOW you tell me.

28 posted on 02/22/2014 11:18:48 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
"Let’s try anyway!"

Not to be confused with "Hold my beer!"
29 posted on 02/22/2014 11:22:33 PM PST by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the Occupation Media.)
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To: PA Engineer

There IS considerable overlap.


30 posted on 02/22/2014 11:23:39 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

He is friend of children!


31 posted on 02/22/2014 11:34:15 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Olog-hai; Slings and Arrows

“I thought the way they drove to be psychotic (never mind downright rude) when I visited Boston.”

I took the kid and a friend to Boston years ago, hubby said, oh don’t worry driving there is OK.

Yeah right.

I came home and said: I’ll drive a yellow cab in NYC for the rest of my life as long as I never have to drive in Beantown again!

They are the worst.


32 posted on 02/22/2014 11:41:31 PM PST by jocon307
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To: Slings and Arrows

Amsoc primesource minis.

The foundation of American Socialist order is its powerful, authoritarian government agencies.

http://www.sacra-pizza-man.org/popups/amsocPrimethink.html


33 posted on 02/22/2014 11:57:01 PM PST by CharlesOConnell (CharlesOConnell)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I ran bing translator on your links and it is even funnier.


34 posted on 02/23/2014 12:05:05 AM PST by outofsalt (If history teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything.)
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To: outofsalt

35 posted on 02/23/2014 12:07:23 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: CharlesOConnell

I’m sure that Japanese travelers will be glad to know that.


36 posted on 02/23/2014 12:08:27 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

This young lady’s journey is interesting but here’s a quick vid she did that can serve as a primer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YO4x4F1yvY

Her journey starts here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPppQT3yXz4

youtube search “foreign exchange students in USA” and there’s lots of them.

Some are vblogs from start to finish, some are single posts.


37 posted on 02/23/2014 12:27:39 AM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: Slings and Arrows

We use :) and ;) perhaps we need something like, ‘,)

(It’s the best I could do with my keyboard.


38 posted on 02/23/2014 12:30:04 AM PST by outofsalt (If history teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything.)
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To: Billthedrill

Your synopsis was very perceptive and helpful.


39 posted on 02/23/2014 12:40:02 AM PST by lee martell
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To: Slings and Arrows

Bookmarked for later digestion.
Thanks, Slings.


40 posted on 02/23/2014 12:48:44 AM PST by moose07 (the truth will out ,one day.)
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To: outofsalt
We use :) and ;) perhaps we need something like, ‘,)

We do!

41 posted on 02/23/2014 1:28:19 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: moose07

Always a pleasure.


42 posted on 02/23/2014 1:28:50 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Grimmy

Thanks!


43 posted on 02/23/2014 1:29:19 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: jocon307

Try Utah. The drivers there, at least on the Interstates are ALL possessed by something WORSE than Satan.


44 posted on 02/23/2014 1:37:32 AM PST by Don W (Know what you WANT. Know what you NEED. Know the DIFFERENCE!)
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To: Don W

Try Utah. The drivers there....are ALL possessed by something WORSE than Satan.”

Do they all have dogs on the tops of their cars?

(had to say it!)


45 posted on 02/23/2014 1:46:25 AM PST by jocon307
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To: Slings and Arrows
Their vending machines are ridiculously limited and dishonest.

I guess if you're used to buying whiskey, beer, and sex toys from vending machines on the streets, our vending machines probably do seem limited.

46 posted on 02/23/2014 1:46:34 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Fresh Wind

don’t forget use/soiled panties


47 posted on 02/23/2014 1:50:25 AM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: GeronL

/facepalm


48 posted on 02/23/2014 1:54:33 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: GeronL

49 posted on 02/23/2014 2:37:54 AM PST by sushiman
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To: GeronL

You are one sick mofo . Get a life .


50 posted on 02/23/2014 2:39:22 AM PST by sushiman
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