Monthly Review #1 | 21.04.2019

What did i learn and experienced in this one month:

Rules in Japan:

Japanese people seem to like detailed ruling. Everywhere, but  most evidently seen at stations, are marks on how to queue. Additionally rules seem to be very strict. Dormitories have separate male and female floors. Without permission from the dorm-manager no other person shall be allowed to enter or stay in a room except for the owner of this room. Though all this seem to be more like guidelines and depend on the responsible manager.
Another interesting example is the following case: Occassionally i have to commute to a much further located Campus however my Commuter Pass (like a discounted ticket for a selected route within a month) only allows me to commute to my main Campus. If I would like to expand my Commuting path i would need a certificate of my university stating that i really attend courses at the further located University – or so it is written in the rules. After some 30 minutes half japanese half english conversation with even a third party translater the responsible authority just allowed me to have that extended route even without a certificate .

Toilets and Tapwater in Japan:

Speaking of Toilets the first thing which comes to mind is the warm seating and  the splashing water. However this time i want to talk about public toilets which are widely established and always clean. Those public tiolets (e.g. in Stations) and toilets located in Shopping centers are, as far as i know, all free to enter (and to leave). And while we are at water and free. Every time you go to a restaurant you get free tap water without even asking. Water can be used directly out of the tap although you do taste a higher quantity of Chlorine.

Shopping:

In Tokyo meat, vegetables and especially fruits are quite expansive in comparison to Dresden. Notable strawberries are very popular. A cup of strawberries (around 500g) can be seen at up to 750 Yen (around 6 Euros) and seem to still be sold out.
Although i live in the city i can barely find any supermarket with a wide variety of products. However Convenient Stores (Family Mart, Seven Eleven) are literally on every corner and are mostly opened 24/7. This may change in the future though 1.
In a clothing store i made the observation, that customer service were always shouting “Irasshaimase!” (いらっしゃいませ!- Welcome) or “Arigatou gozaimasu” (ありがとうございます – Thank you) . Seems nice however during the 5 minutes i tried to decide on a Jacket to buy, the same guy shout around 20 times  exactly those phrases. And not even to me or any customer but just like a broken cassette doing its  job. without facing anyone -weird stuff.

There are many things to discover in Tokyo. Especially for a foreigner some places seem to be overloaded by information. Everything is blinking, shining, colourful and loud. Furthermore i don’t know too many Kanji symbols which probably adds to the effect of information overload. There are many small details i observed but for this month it shall be enough.

  1. see https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/22/business/corporate-business/seven-eleven-begins-trial-shorter-business-hours-convenience-stores-grapple-japans-labor-crunch/, Accessed 22.04.2019

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