Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ten random facts about Japan

I was tagged a while ago to provide interesting random facts about myself. I couldn't think of any. Instead, here are 10 random things I learned about Japan during my recent trip.


  • Male locker rooms often have female attendants (and nobody covers up).

  • The water in Japanese hot springs (onsen) is not scalding hot. It's about the same temperature as bathwater.

  • Napkins are unknown. You just have to be neat while eating.

  • Prices in Japan are cheaper than the US for a lot of things. You can get a nice meal of noodles for $4.50. A room for two in a really nice business hotel in Tokyo can be had for $110 per night if you shop around.

  • Transportation, however, is more expensive than the US. Gas costs $6 a gallon and a two-hour train trip is $90.

  • Young women in Japan use girlish mannerisms and voices.

  • Karaoke is more fun than one might guess. Especially in a rowdy gay bar in Tokyo.

  • Tokyo doesn't have a lot of public parks. For a city of this size and population density, there's not much public space.

  • Sushi is a finger food. Chopsticks are not used to eat it, and sushi is turned upside down so that the fish side touches the tongue first. Using chopsticks for sushi looks as weird to the Japanese as eating a hamburger with a knife and fork does to North Americans.

  • Gay culture in Tokyo is like Salt Lake 25 years ago. Most people are closeted, gay men are perceived as feminine, and the bars are cliquish. It's like junior high all over again. Gay life in the US is, by comparison, much more mature.

  • 1 comment:

    J G-W said...

    Wow, these are surprising... Göran would love to go to Japan. It's second on our itinerary, after Sweden.