Category Archives: Daily Life

Want to Know About Life in Japan?

Jay Dee:

It’s time for some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please go to this post and ask me anything. I had some great questions before. Let’s have even more great questions!

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

I’ve been running a weekly series about living in Japan since April, and asked you, the reader, to ask me any question about living in Japan. I got some great questions and had nearly three months worth of questions to answer. However, I’ve run out of questions.

Now it’s your turn to give me some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please ask in the comments below. It can be anything. Maybe even just about living in another country, or dealing with different food, culture, language, and so on. You can ask as many questions as you like. So, what would you like to know?

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Life in Japan: Raising a Kid

Jay Dee:

Here’s my weekly Life in Japan question. This time, what’s like raising a family in Japan as a foreigner? Especially with the fact that my daughter is mixed race (or haafu).

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

It’s Monday again, and I’m in the middle of Golden Week, a major week-long holiday in Japan.  However, I have work only today, and a couple four day holidays. But Monday also means it’s time for another question about Japan.  It’s S. R.  Carrillo’s question again.

What’s it like to have raised a family there, as a foreigner?

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As you can see from the picture, it’s weird.  Or maybe that’s just my daughter.  There are certainly some challenges raising a kid in Japan while I’m a foreigner.  I can’t speak for families whose parents are both foreigners, though.  They’d have a totally different experience.  However, since my wife is Japanese, I get to experience the Japanese side of life, as well.

Basically, I get to spend some time with my wife’s family and see what it’s like in a Japanese family. We mostly go during the New Year period, so…

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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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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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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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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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