The world is full of amazing places. You can travel far and wide and see an array of amazing cultures and customs. Something will come across as straight up wacky, while others will seem like a major improvement from the life that you lead on a daily basis. One of the most interesting places is definitely Japan. The world often marvels at how advanced and different their society is. Today we’re going to take you into that country via these amazing pictures.
An Interesting Strike
When people are unhappy with their wages, they naturally decide to go on strike. Once, the bus drivers in Japan decided to go on strike in an effort to get higher wages. It’s not exactly an unheard-of tool, especially when it comes to civil servants.
However, Japan did things a little different. Whereas most people would stand in front of city hall and picket with signs, the bus drivers opted to continue working their routes—and not charge riders for fares! Needless to say, that was one successful protest!
Japan Puts The Names Of Drinks In Braille On Cans
What does a blind man do when he wants a specific drink. Likely he struggles. Japan is a country that is constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of life for the people who live there (you’ll see proof of that time and time again throughout this article).
In this example, you can see that beverage manufacturers put the names of the beverages in braille on top of cans. This way people who can’t see can feel just as independent as everyone else when it comes to choosing which drink they’d like.
Japan Is Serious About Cleanliness
While most countries don’t hesitate to leave a little trash on the floor, Japanese culture takes tidiness very seriously. Just walk into a Japanese home and be prepared to learn just how short your own cleaning efforts fall. Need more proof?
In 2014, Japanese soccer fans stuck around the stadium after the FIFA World Cup to help clean the stands. Be mindful that these fans weren’t even in their home country. Good luck finding another country with fans willing to do that.
Accessorized Public Bathrooms
The public bathrooms in Japan are like no others anywhere else in the world. Inside each stall, you’ll find all sorts of handy accessories to make your life a little easier whenever you’re…well…you know. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Take this photo, for instance. One of the challenges of using the restroom in public when you have a child in tow is that you really have to place to set your child while you take care of business. Each stall comes with a built-in baby seat! Now that’s handy.
The Hospital Food Is Incredible!
In most other countries, when you think of “hospital food” many of us physically shiver at the thought. Let’s face it, traditionally hospital food has never conjured up images of gourmet meals, and most people would describe it as awful.
The more polite people would simply call it “bland.” The hospital food in Japan is far from awful or bland—in fact, it’s amazing! Check out the photo of a Japanese hospital meal below and see for yourself. Looked like their getting served by chefs.
Serious About Conserving Water
People are serious about conservation in Japan. In fact, they’ll come up with some pretty ingenious ways to reuse water. Take the photo below, for instance. This kind of toilet is found all over Japan. You might be scratching your head right now.
But this hand toilet allows you to wash your hands and reuse that same water to flush when you use it again. That’s pretty clever and something that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. We should all be taking notes here.
Unlikely Works Of Art
Most of us who live in other countries normally wouldn’t look twice when walking over a manhole cover. Other than a city crest and some stamped lettering, they’re generally pretty boring. This is where our neighbors to the east get pretty creative.
Check out the manhole covers in Japan. They’re absolutely beautiful works of art. Many cities across the world are looking for ways to beautify the landscape and urban settings. This is a great way to do it. People aren’t hesitating to take some pictures with them.
It may seem shocking, but most schools in Japan don’t actually employ full-time custodians. We’ve already touched on how serious the Japanese take cleanliness. You might be wonder how they keep things clean, but here’s how they do it.
The schools have the kids clean up after themselves as part of their cultural development. It shows an appreciation for the school and instills the kind of tidiness that the Japanese society expects. This is a great way to teach kids how to keep clean.
We live in a time where everyone seems to have their noses stuck in their phones and personal interactions are becoming fewer and further between. Stress levels seem to be at an all-time high, and the result is that we just aren’t as polite as we once were.
Not so in Japan. Take this photo for instance. It’s an apology for knocking over someone’s bicycle and breaking the bell, as well as compensation for the damage. You don’t see that kind of kindness every day! You may see it in Japan everyday.
Fast And Smooth
Japan’s bullet train is one of the world’s most popular modes of transportation. The trains blast passengers across the country at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour! When you think of that kind of speed, you may think that control and comfort are likely sacrificed to achieve shorter commute times. You would be wrong. Wanna know just how smooth Japan’s bullet train really is? All you have to do is look at this photo.
Japan truly instills a sense of community and unity in its citizens. The photo below is a perfect example. In what could have been a far more tragic accident, a woman fell and got stuck between a commuter train and the station platform. Instead of standing by and filming the incident with smartphones, the other patrons joined together and managed to push the car enough to free the woman.
Koi Are Everywhere
The Koi fish is frequently associated with Japan. Most of us have seen photos in books or in movies depicting gorgeous and tranquil relaxation gardens, complete with still ponds full of brightly colored Koi. It may come as a surprise to learn that Koi are everywhere in Japan, even in the drainage ditches on the sides of the roads!
Seriously, Going To The Bathroom Is An Experience
We’ve already touched on how convenient Japanese bathrooms are. Check out this little gadget. It’s a like a remote control for your entire restroom experience. This control panel will allow you to control the bidet and its water pressure.
It also has a feature for creating some white noise inside your stall so that others can’t hear what you’re doing in there. Apparently, you can even hit a button for “power deodorizer”! Now that is evolutionary in the world toiletries.
More Unique Conveniences
You’ve probably realized by now that Japan has a lot of conveniences for its citizens that you really don’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s about time we all start living by the Japanese example and adapt to their ways. Here’s another example.
We’ve all had to deal with the messy task of carrying a soaked umbrella inside a store and trying and slinging water all over the floor. In Japan, you can lock your umbrella in a special locker, keeping it safe and secure until you’re ready to leave the building.
No Awkward Peeking
There’s nothing more awkward than walking into a public restroom, unsure of which stalls are occupied and having to bend down to look for feet under the door so you know which one you can use or just pushing at random doors.
The restrooms in Japan solve that issue by providing this dashboard on the wall, showing exactly which stalls are occupied! Ain’t technology grand. It’s as easy as walking in, looking at the dashboard and walking directly to your desired stall.
More Clean Ingenuity
The Japanese even take the cleanliness of the bottoms of their furniture seriously. We’ve all seen the horror show that is usually found underneath public furniture. It’s usually a minefield of old gum that’s been stuck to the surfaces.
Japan has gone the extra mile to prevent that from happening by including a small pad of paper in each gum container you purchase so that you have something to wrap your used gum in. This really takes care of all those gum marks on the streets.
Many of the shopping centers in Japan contain both grocery stores and other markets. The challenge for most of us in such places is that we really can’t but our groceries until we’re ready to head home for the day because the perishables simply wouldn’t make it.
However, in Japan, you can rent a refrigerated locker so you can buy your groceries anytime you want and store them in a climate-controlled, secure place. You have to love how the government in Japan is really servicing the people.
Most people, especially bored high school students, are familiar with the Japanese art of origami—folding small pieces of paper into artistic representations of animals and other figures. It’s done and loved the world around.
At Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, you can find bowls full of origami pieces that are free for the taking. That’s not something you’re likely to find any time soon at JFK or Heathrow! That said, Tokyo’s got you completely covered.
Patient And Organized
Here’s another example of how neat and orderly people in Japan actually are. These people are patiently waiting for a commuter train. While it is nice and organized, this can definitely drive some people crazy. Just standing and waiting isn’t ideal for some.
Unlike the chaotic herding that most of us would expect in virtually every other part of the world, these commuters have formed into tidy, organized lines, perfectly content to board in the order they lined up. It’s kind of beautiful.
An Interesting Survey
We’re not sure where this survey was located, but it’s an interesting concept. Visitors are encouraged to remove a dot from the stack at the top and put it on the corresponding country they hail from. We’ve seen this in movies and other places.
Have you picked up on the other interesting thing present in this picture? Look how organized the dots are under the Japanese flag! You have to admit, the Japanese certainly are an organized people who love to keep things neat and proper.
Cutting Down On Germs
Keep the country clean is more than just a part of Japan’s culture. It’s also a method of keeping illness at a minimum. By now, we’ve all read articles about just how dirty our smartphones are, especially if decide to play around with them in a public toilet.
Japan offers these smartphone wipe dispensers so you can give your phone a wipe down before leaving the restroom. They seriously think of everything! No way do they want people taking their contaminated phones out into the world with them.
Courteous To The End
You’ve probably realized by now that visitors to Japan are in for a treat. They’ll experience a level of courtesy and politeness that has no rivals anywhere else in the world. There is a lot more where that kindness came from and you’ll find it here.
That courtesy is literally maintained until your very last second in the country. In fact, the ground crew at Japanese airports will bow and wave goodbye to each departing aircraft that takes off. Isn’t that just hte sweetest thing that you can possibly imagine.
You’ll get a sense of the organized coordination of the Japanese culture before you ever even leave the airport. Just take a look at the photo below. It shows the staff for a Japanese airline organizing passenger luggage by color.
Those of us who have had to battle crowds at the baggage claim carousels understand what a courtesy this simple act really is! In other countries, you’ll see your luggage thrown about and upside down. You won’t feel that way in Japan.
Keeping The Kids Occupied
Kids generally have pretty short attention spans. That’s why it can be particularly challenging to travel via public transportation with kids. You’ll often see kids running down the halls, screaming and generally driving people out of their minds.
Japan solves this problem on their aforementioned bullet trains by providing “pretend” pilot stations throughout the train so the kids have some place to play. It makes you wonder how many future train captains this simple courtesy is developing.
Adults Get Some Amenities Too
The commuter trains can be really horrible. People are coughing, standing in each other’s space and generally very uncomfortable. Japanese commuters don’t just cater to the kids when it comes to going the extra mile with amenities.
Consider the train pictured below. After a long day of work, commuters can kick back and enjoy a relaxing foot bath during their commute back home. For many of us who commute in traffic every day, this could be enough to get us to relocate to Japan!
Another interesting fact about Japan is that almost everyone who drives reverse parks in parking lots. As you can see from the photo, the process is very neat and organized, falling in line with just about every other part of Japanese culture. Has a photo of a packed parking lot ever been more relaxing to look at?
Getting trapped in an elevator is a stressful scenario. Some are so frightened of that occurrence that they refuse to ride elevators completely. In reality, being trapped in an elevator is really just a major inconvenience.
One thing that many don’t think about, though, is what would happen if you have to use the toilet while in an emergency. The photo of a Japanese elevator below shows the solution. This could be very disturbing to need to use, especially infront of people.
Menus in a foreign country can be hard to follow. Japan has it covered. Restaurants tend to do better business if patrons know exactly what the menu items look like before they bother ordering. Take a close look at this photo of a Japanese restaurant.
You’d never guess it, but all of the food in the photo is fake! Many restaurants will create fake versions of dishes that look exactly like the real thing so passersby can take a glimpse of what lies within. This can spreak right to someone’s hunger.
The ATMs Are Convenient Too
Sometimes the local ATM can be quite a lot to handle. You have to push these buttons while juggling coffee, a briefcase and maybe even a cane. The ATMs in Japan cater to the needs of anyone who might need to use the service, including those with mobility issues.
In this photo, you can see that not only can patrons needing to grab some cash set their coffee in a secure place, but those who require a can to get around also have a place to secure their walking aid. If you think about it, that’s pretty amazing.