Beside the Philippines, I consider Japan as my home. Actually, my second home. I am living here for more than 5 years already and as a foreigner in this alien country, there are cultures that I already adapted and things I learned to love. I know there are so many people who also love the land of the rising sun, me, myself, love how convenient it is in Japan that I always compare Japan and Philippines. These things I will share to you below cannot be found in the Philippines, I guess.
Be on time. Japan is known as the country of being ‘on time’. Almost everyone knows it. If there is the “Filipino time“, which is an hour or more after the decided time, “Japanese time” is really on time. If you are meeting with a Japanese, you must be before the actual time or on time. No more, no less. If you are late, you must have a valid reason of being late. Their public transportation is no difference at all. Their trains are on time. You must be in the platform before the time to ride your desired train. They will not wait for you. If you’re late, you will ride the next train and that will ruin your entire day scheduled because everything will be move forward. But don’t worry, if the train was late. they will announce it and will apologize for the delay. If you need a proof that it was the train, the reason of your tardiness in work, they will give you a slip to be presented in your office. Also, in work, one minute late will really mean late, so be careful. When in Japan, that’s the first thing to consider, being on time.
Giving way to others. Japan is very organize in terms of queuing. That might be lining up in the platform waiting for the train, public/private offices, even in the road and terms of priority seats. You should respect the line. You must not insert just because you’re in hurry. You must wait at the end of the line. Be considerate at others. During riding a train, you must first let the passengers exit the car then you will enter in order of the line. In offices, during busy times, they will have a number system to be called. You must get one if you already prepared all the things needed in your appointment. Even in roads, all are organized. If there are only two lanes, only two lines should be formed. No insertions, just in case of overtaking. That’s why I guess it’s safe to drive in Japan. In terms of priority seats, this depends upon the person being offered. There are times, especially older ones, if they can’t get first in the priority seat and you will offer them the seat, they will decline. That’s why for me, it is better to not sit on priority seats, I guess.
Art of bowing. This one is I think I got adapted to. Only Japanese bows while greeting, while thanking, even if they’re sorry. For them, there are so many kinds of bow, by the way. If you can’t understand the way they bow, it may lead to misinterpretation of intention. I adapted this one that even while I am in the Philippines, I keep on bowing while greeting someone.
Point cards. Only in Japan that I got a card case full. Full of not credit/debit cards, but of shop’s point cards. Point cards that if you redeem, you can get free stuffs or even get a discount from your bill. There are some point cards that only not in their shop you can get points but also from other shops too, which is great, I think. You can store more points if that point card can be used from many shops around Japan.
Giving the exact amount. Since Japan’s currency has no ‘cents’, you can give an exact amount. If not the exact amount, you can give the small amount in order for you to not have so many small change. For example, you should pay 104JPY, you can give the cashier a 500JPY plus 4JPY if you have any. Also, you will also receive the exact change in Japan which makes me sad when I remember Philippines. In the Philippines, if you will not give the exact amount and if they don’t have any exact amount of change, they will not give you your full change. They will exchange it with a candy or worst, nothing. That makes me annoy and sad when thinking of that culture back in the Philippines.
So, how was it? Does this make you want to live in the land of the rising sun? If you have more things to add in my list you are free to comment below. Ciao!
**These are in just my own opinion, by the way. If you agree with me, it’s okay with me. If not, then let me know, we can settle that.