Category Archives: Daily Life

Driving in Japan

Have you driven in Japan?  I’ve had a Japanese license since I switched my Canadian license for it a few years ago, and when I drive, I rent a car.  Usually, we rent a car to go to Costco.  I made this video and discuss what it’s like to drive in Japan.

So, have you driven in Japan?

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Filed under Daily Life, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog

Things Forgotten on the Train

A couple days ago, as I was coming home, I noticed that someone had forgotten a couple things on the train.  Actually, it was two people that forgot things.  It was so unusual that I had to get it on video when we arrived at the terminal.  No one on the train, so no problem (people have problems with pictures and videos being taken on the train.  You know, privacy concerns).

Usually, people forget their umbrella on the train.  I see that often.  But this time, a cell phone?  That’s unbelievable.  Maybe they had it in their pocket, and it just fell out as they got up to get off the train.  The earphones were also unusual.  But I can understand that they could fall out of a bag accidentally.  Another time, I saw two full bags of shopping.  Yes, groceries.  Someone forgot that on the train.  I saw them get on the train with the food, but how could they forget the bags?

Well, take a look at this video, where I talk about the forgotten things on the train, as well as a bit about cicadas and bats.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a train?  Was it in Japan?  Or another country?  Leave a comment with your answers.

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Filed under Daily Life, Vlog

Densha Otaku Spotted

Here’s a quick video I took on Monday of a densha otaku, or a train fanatic.  I usually don’t get the opportunity to find one in such an empty train station, but I did this time.  After capturing him briefly on video, I then did my impression of a densha otaku.

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Filed under Daily Life, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

Public Toilets Can Be Very Public

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of using a public washroom in a public park in Japan, then you’ll understand these pictures.

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The view from the urinal.

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The view from outside. I used the urinal in the middle of the doorway.

Some public washrooms in Japan are so public that anyone could walk by and see you taking a pee.

If you want to know something even worse, try using the public washroom at Kinomiya Station in Atami.  It’s unisex.  One wall has many urinals, while on the opposite wall are toilet stalls.  Men and women both use this washroom.  Also, the doorways are so big that the entire inside of the washroom is visible from the ticket gates for the station.  Anyone can see the men taking a pee.

Also, you may be surprised when in the public men’s washroom anywhere in Japan when a female cleaner comes in without making sure it’s empty.  And it seems no one cares if she’s in there, either.

How would you feel in this situation?

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Filed under Daily Life, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Uncategorized

Kindness and Rudeness on the Way to the Nursery

I just had a mostly unpleasant trip to my daughter’s nursery.

It started off with getting on a full bus with no available seats. I was carrying my daughter, and several people looked at me. I stood near the back door for about a minute, then was pleasantly surprised when a young man gave up his seat for me. +5 points!

As I sat there riding the bus, the lady beside me got up at her stop. Keep in mind that I was sitting in the priority seat. There were several elderly people standing on the bus and the seat next to mine was the only available seat. Not one of them sat next to me. This could be for 2 reasons. First and probably the biggest reason is I had a toddler sitting on my lap. I know I avoid those seats. Second reason, and more unlikely, is that I’m a foreigner. This is that phenomenon that affects many foreigners in Japan, the empty seat syndrome. This actually never happens to me on the bus, so I’d say it was my daughter. The worst part was when one elderly woman spotted the seat, went for it, then noticed my daughter and I. She quickly looked away and stood a couple metres away from me looking around awkwardly. -5 points.

The bus ride continued when someone finally sat beside me. My daughter touched her and the woman said it was okay and smiled. +2 points.

Then a man across from us looked over and said she was cute. This happens a lot, actually. +2 points.

After getting off the bus, we were crossing at a crosswalk with an approaching white car traveling on a parallel course with us. He then suddenly turned directly in front of us without signaling, coming about 50 cm from hitting us. I got a good look at him. A middle-aged man with dyed brown hair, kind of mullet style, gold-rimmed tinted glasses, and lots of gold jewelry. There’s no way he didn’t see us. I was furious! -100 points.

Final score: -96

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Adventures at the Hospital

Jay Dee:

This shows a bit of an account of what it’s like to use the hospital system in Japan. Very annoying thing is that the first hospital we tried has an ER that closes at 11 pm. We were told not to use an ambulance unless it’s an emergency. Use a taxi. We did, and we wasted our time and money to go to a hospital that’s closed. We were quite fed up with that, so we did get an ambulance. Glad we did, because there was a possibility of a very serious medical problem.

Originally posted on Foreign Dad in Japan:

The last few days have been a blur.  So much has happened.

I should begin by saying that April had been one of the more difficult months for us, because Tomoe had caught a cold twice in the first half of the month, requiring us to take a lot of extra care of her.  She’d been to the doctor several times, had to stay at home with a very expensive babysitter on the weekends, and stay at a clinic’s nursery on weekdays that she had a fever.  Other times, she went to her regular nursery.  Halfway through the month, she was finally healthy again.  It was great to see her like that.  But then, on April 26th, we went to Costco in a rental car, and this is where the saga begins.

We’re not sure how she got sick, but after spending the day out shopping, Tomoe developed a fever. …

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Filed under Daily Life, Japan