Maori Bay Boy in Japan – Part 2
In New Zealand, it is illegal to consume alcohol in public however in most places in Japan, it isn’t. It’s common to see people on their way home from work having a quiet drink on the train, or at the park or beach having a BBQ and beer. There is however, a zero tolerance towards drink driving and you can’t have a single drop of alcohol if you are going to drive.
The Japanese people are some of the most polite people you will ever come across. At restaurants, they leave you be until you call out “sumimasen” (excuse me) at which point they are at your table, attentive and smiling, ready to take your order. As soon as you walk into a store, you will be greeted by nearly every member of staff with a warm welcome (“Irasshaimase”). Also, if you ever as someone to point you in the right direction, be prepared to have them walk you through town until you find where you are going.
Onsen (hot springs)
Bathing naked in a beautiful natural setting next to a bunch of other men isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is surprisingly freeing and good for the wairua.
The manicured trees and gardens are a sight to see, especially in spring for cherry blossom season. There are also beautiful golden sand beaches to swim and surf which was something I certainly didn’t picture.
For the number of people living in the large cities in Japan, the streets are surprisingly clean. Rather than throwing trash on the ground or looking for a bin, most people just take their rubbish home and recycle it.
When biking in Japan, cars are respectful towards you and you are not bound to stick to the same rules that we have in place in New Zealand. Most people don’t wear helmets and will bike in designated lanes on the footpath. You can also almost be sure that your bike will never get stolen even if it is left unlocked.
Nomihoudai / Tabehoudai
This translates to ‘all you can drink/eat’ and is a concept that is very common over here. 1hr of all you can drink for $10 is pretty cheap if you ask me, or you will find all you can eat restaurants for $20.
It is not uncommon to hear stories of people losing their wallet or phone, only to find it has been handed over to the police station the next day with all the cash and belongings still inside. I have even left my phone outside on a bench seat overnight and it was still sitting in the same spot the next day!
As you have read, there are some rather unique things that I have encountered in my time spent over here. With all of my travels and places I have lived, Japan is an experience and culture like no other. I would highly recommend adding Japan to your bucket list destination and getting amongst it.
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