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most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 1:58 am

for the travelers to japan what was the most shocking/different/surprising thing about it? The toilets, the people, or maybe something totally different. What are your thoughts?
Last edited by guitarplayer7694 on Mon 01.28.2008 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: most surprising

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 01.28.2008 2:47 am

my first trip to japan was about two and a half years ago, but what i think i remember being the most surprised by was how tokyo was far more americanized than i imagined it would be. i mean to say, virtually everything you can find here you can find there, and that was a little surprising. i had never seen so many big boys before. also, how incredibly narrow the streets were. if you're claustrophobic, you'll have a freak out in shibuya.
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RE: most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 2:51 am

skrhgh3b wrote:
my first trip to japan was about two and a half years ago, but what i think i remember being the most surprised by was how tokyo was far more americanized than i imagined it would be. i mean to say, virtually everything you can find here you can find there, and that was a little surprising. i had never seen so many big boys before. also, how incredibly narrow the streets were. if you're claustrophobic, you'll have a freak out in shibuya.

big boys?
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RE: most surprising

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 01.28.2008 3:12 am

It's a family restaurant chain. Didn't you see Austin Powers? "It looks like... the Big Boy, sir." "My god, he's back!" "Actually, in many ways the Big Boy never left..."
Last edited by skrhgh3b on Mon 01.28.2008 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
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RE: most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 3:31 am

skrhgh3b wrote:
It's a family restaurant chain. Didn't you see Austin Powers? "It looks like... the Big Boy, sir." "My god, he's back!" "Actually, in many ways the Big Boy never left..."

It has been a long time since I saw that movie.
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RE: most surprising

Postby Adriano » Mon 01.28.2008 7:11 am

the restaurants are really narrow
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RE: most surprising

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 01.28.2008 8:17 am

Reaching for the shift key would have gone a long way toward precluding confusion regarding "Big Boy".

I can clearly recall my first day in Japan when I walked off the Navy base at Yokosuka and out into town. I thought, "Damn! Look at all the foreigners!" Followed about a half-second later by the realization that it was me who was the foreigner.
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RE: most surprising

Postby Shirasagi » Mon 01.28.2008 9:24 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Reaching for the shift key would have gone a long way toward precluding confusion regarding "Big Boy".

I can clearly recall my first day in Japan when I walked off the Navy base at Yokosuka and out into town. I thought, "Damn! Look at all the foreigners!" Followed about a half-second later by the realization that it was me who was the foreigner.


I can relate. My first thought stepping through the gate at old Nagoya airport was, "Wow, there are a lot of Japanese people here!" I think this is in the top 5 for Stupidest Thoughts That Ever Ran Through My Head.

It's hard to say what I've found "most surprising". Possibly how hard the law, the Seibu Lions, and even his endorsements came down on Daisuke Matsuzaka when he was caught driving without a license to his girlfriend's house. Big name athlete? Penny-anny charges? In that States that'd probably not see the light of day. If it did, maybe there's a small write-up, the athlete does some appearances for community service, and no one really cares. Here, the courts let him off with a 195,000 yen fine (roughly $1,800) for driving without a license and parking illegally. A hefty fine, but Matsuzaka was making plenty of money, and it didn't really hurt him. But then the baseball team stepped in. They confined him to his house for the remainder of the baseball season (about a month). He had to cancel his trip to the U.S. to see the World Series, and did not participate in that year's all-star series between Japanese baseball and Major League Baseball, despite his appearance being much anticipated. His endorsement contracts were canceled, costing him millions of dollars. The president of the team, the manager, and other executives publicly apologized at a press conference, with the obligatory deep bow for the cameras.

I have to say, though, that one of my enduring memories of that Day 1 was riding in a car on the highway, going from Nagoya to Shiga...and not recognizing a single model of car.
Last edited by Shirasagi on Mon 01.28.2008 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 11:06 am

Seems to me it would be the toilets. don't you have to squat and there is no toilet paper you carry your own?
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RE: most surprising

Postby jenl » Mon 01.28.2008 11:41 am

They have squat toilets a lot across south-east Asia (i.e. I've come across them in India, Malaysia, Singapore, etc), and honestly, there's no need to make such a fuss. They're slightly awkward to get used to, but unless you have joint problems or somesuch, not difficult to manage.

In fact, the toilets at my school in Singapore (all western-style, as this was an international school) used to get footprints on the seats sometimes.

I haven't heard of them being associated with Japan, though. In fact, I remember my Dad was quite impressed when he went to Japan on business. The hotel he was in had one of those fancy electronic loos that does everything but wipe your proverbial. :D

(And now that we've lowered the tone sufficiently... ;) )
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RE: most surprising

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 01.28.2008 4:19 pm

Shirasagi wrote:


It's hard to say what I've found "most surprising". Possibly how hard the law, the Seibu Lions, and even his endorsements came down on Daisuke Matsuzaka when he was caught driving without a license to his girlfriend's house. Big name athlete? Penny-anny charges?


It's "penny ante" (from poker).

Was he an unlicensed driver or had he merely forgotten to take his driver's license along with him? If the latter, then the reaction you described was entirely out of proportion. If the former, what's "penny-ante" about operating equipment one is not qualified to operate? Piloting a heavy hunk of metal down public thoroughfares recklessly and wantonly endangering public safety hardly strikes me as "penny-ante". That he didn't strike and injure or kill anyone or damage any property during the course of the act is hardly a mitigating circumstance.
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RE: most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 4:31 pm

Shirasagi: Care to share that top 5 list? :D
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RE: most surprising

Postby Shirasagi » Mon 01.28.2008 6:20 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
Was he an unlicensed driver or had he merely forgotten to take his driver's license along with him?


My fault for not being more precise. He was driving on a suspended license.
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RE: most surprising

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Mon 01.28.2008 8:19 pm

jenl wrote:
I haven't heard of them being associated with Japan, though. In fact, I remember my Dad was quite impressed when he went to Japan on business. The hotel he was in had one of those fancy electronic loos that does everything but wipe your proverbial. :D

(And now that we've lowered the tone sufficiently... ;) )

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilets_in_Japan
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RE: most surprising

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 01.28.2008 9:04 pm

guitarplayer7694 wrote:
Seems to me it would be the toilets. don't you have to squat and there is no toilet paper you carry your own?


for every one japanese style toilet you find, you'll find three western style toilets. it's not a big deal. but if you're lucky, you'll get to sit on a high tech toilet with a control panel. i wish i had one at home. it's the only way to go.

i've never been in a situation where there was no toilet paper, but you'll definitely have trouble finding paper towels. hot water, hand soap, and paper towels are a rare luxury. bring a handkerchief.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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