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Life in Japan, real or not?!

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Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Ragevx1 » Sat 08.16.2008 5:42 am

I was watching this video the other day on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeo3cvN78u8), it's called "Life in Japan (Winter)" and is 37 minutes long.

Is it true what he does?

Turn on the heater for hot water to shower? Use a bucket to shower (pour water on himself)? Use a heater for heating during winter? Or is it just what's provided by JETS (He's a jet member in Japan)
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 08.16.2008 6:02 am

I didn't watch the whole video, but what you describe isn't out of the ordinary for Japan. However, his conditions were a bit more... poor... than I'm used to. ;)

Water is generally heated at the time of use by a gas heater. His had to be turned on before using it, but the one attached to my house turns on automatically when I start the hot water. It makes more sense than storing gallons and gallons of hot water in a water heater.

Space heaters are common in the winter, as is the ever-present kotatsu. Central air/heating is not very common in Japan.

The pouring water on yourself from a bucket is just a traditional way of washing yourself. His living conditions looked pretty squalid, so I imagine he didn't have a shower. I and my family both have shower as well as buckets for washing.

You seem rather incredulous at the video. What did you find that horrible?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 08.16.2008 6:49 am

Did you think everyone walked around throwing balls that cute monsters pop out of?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.16.2008 9:00 am

Looks pretty normal to me. I had instant hot water in my apartment so I didn't have to preheat anything, but I knew people that did have systems like that. I had no central heating, though. I slept with no heat at night and turned the kerosene heater (I had one like the guy in the video) when I got up in the morning.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby yukamina » Sat 08.16.2008 10:52 am

No central heating? What about in northern areas of Japan?

As a Canadian who experiences winter about 8 months a year, I can't imagine not having heating at night(I have an extra heater in my room too).
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 08.16.2008 11:45 am

yukamina wrote:No central heating? What about in northern areas of Japan?


Central heating/Air is apparently more common in northern areas of Japan (hokkaido and such) but is not very common in most other parts of Japan. I've never really had a problem with the spaceheater / kotatu combo, but then again it rarely gets below -5 where I live.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.16.2008 12:12 pm

The only problem I had was in the morning, getting from my bed to the shower. Other than that, I was surprised at how warm I could be at night just with blankets and no heat. I was scared of the kerosene heater my first year there, but that was a huge mistake -- I used it a lot my second year and it was a godsend. That on a fairly low setting plus the kotatsu is all you need; I was actually too hot sometimes. The fuel costs were very reasonable too; I remember spending about $10 every few weeks.

As for AC, I would always run the AC for about 2-3 hours when I got home from work, and I found that after that I could just use a fan and I was fine.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby BrianM » Sat 08.16.2008 12:45 pm

It's pretty normal, especially in the older areas in Europe. My grandparents in Portugal didn't have a shower until last year, I had to take showers in a kiddy pool! It's not horrible, you live with and learn to appreciate the things you have back in your country.
When I stayed at the traditional inn in Kyoto I washed myself traditionally with the bucket and everything, it was pretty fun actually.
Soaking in the tub at 7 in the morning is a great feeling btw.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Ragevx1 » Sat 08.16.2008 4:37 pm

Well it looks too traditional if you ask me... I live in Canada, so I'm use too having today's technology, I can't image being in a area where I'd have to pour water on myself from a bucket too shower. But as long as they have today's modern technology it's all good, not that traditional is bad, but it just doesn't float my boat.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.16.2008 4:45 pm

They have high speed Internet; that's good enough for me.

About the bucket thing, it's really not that bad. If the house doesn't have a shower, you have a bath of hot water. I don't see what the difference is between having a shower of hot water, or pouring hot water over your head with a bucket. Then you get to sit in the hot water, which is very nice.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Sat 08.16.2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 08.16.2008 4:46 pm

Who wants to be the one to tell him about squat toilets?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.16.2008 4:49 pm

He can google "japan squat toilet" and see for himself. :)

Most homes, as far as I know, have western toilets nowadays, but squat toilets are near universal at train stations and common at restaurants, particularly traditional restaurants. (Although even in Tochigi a lot of restaurants had western toilets)
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Ragevx1 » Sat 08.16.2008 7:10 pm

Oh damn! How do people use squat toilets??? It looks so... I can't find the word to describe it. But it is just plain... no comments. NO COMMENTS!!!

But atleast most home's there have modern toilets where you sit on right?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.16.2008 9:33 pm

Ragevx1 wrote:Oh damn! How do people use squat toilets???


If you have to do it, you learn how. I would say that it's not as hard as it seems, but it is. The main issue is what to do with your pants. I knew people that would completely remove their slacks and underwear, which I suppose is one option.

But atleast most home's there have modern toilets where you sit on right?


As far as I saw, yes.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby BrianM » Sat 08.16.2008 10:43 pm

Ragevx1 wrote:Oh damn! How do people use squat toilets??? It looks so... I can't find the word to describe it. But it is just plain... no comments. NO COMMENTS!!!

But atleast most home's there have modern toilets where you sit on right?


If you want to avoid it you can. In a lot of the rest stops I encountered they had, for example, 10 stalls, and only 2 western style. But it's ok because they were usually vacant. The squat toilets were always easier for people in the past with the clothes they wore.

And also don't forget here in America the good ol' outhouse, now that is nasty.....and the modern porter potty. Still haven't used either:)
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