Before I report about my few days in Osaka, I would like to write a bit about some curiosities in Japan.
Curiosities are those little details in everyday life that makes travelling and visiting new countries so interesting
- Bike saddle
In japanese cities, you can find a lot of bikes especially on the sidewalks fighting with pedestrians.
What is funny is that japanese people in general are small and so are their bikes. But what is the most curious from my point of view, is that most of the people I saw set their saddle way too low, and so, when they were riding, they could almost touch their chin with their knees.
Here is an example of a bike you can rent in the street (like the Velib in France or theDBahn bike in Germany):
2. Restaurant menus
As mentioned in a previous post, you can find in most of the restaurants menus with pictures. Sometimes, you can even find plastic samples of the dishes.
Here is an example:
3. Queueing and waiting
One of the first thing that caught my eyes when I arrived in Japan is the obsession for order everywhere. Germany is quite good at that, but Japan takes it to the next level.
For example in train or subway stations, there are lines on the floor to show where to queue and there are often people paid to put the people in line correctly.
It seems that japanese people have no problem to wait and queue (or maybe they even like it). When a restaurant is famous, it is common to see huge queues in front of it. In the universal studios in Osaka, I also saw people queuing for more than 3 hours to ride the Harry Potter rollercoaster.
4. Women-only cars in trains
In Germany, there are often places reserved to women in car parking next to the exit to improve their security.
In Japan, I saw something quite similar but in trains, where we can find whole cars only for women.
When visiting a new country, it’s always funny to go to a supermarket and see products you’ve never seen before and that you sometimes don’t even know what it is…
6. Maps orientation
In Japan, maps are not oriented with the North on the top but in the direction of the person looking at the map (what is left on the map is on the left side of the person). It’s a bit tricky at first, but it’s good for people who are used to turn their map to find the right orientation.
7. Umbrellas rack
In some buildings, especially with a lot of wood, it is important to leave everything wet outside. That’s why you can sometimes find umbrellas rack.
8. High tech toilet
I kept the best for the end 🙂 One thing is sure, Japanese are fond of high tech. One place where I wasn’t expecting to find so much hight tech is the toilet. One of the basic function we always have is the warming seat, but if you look at pictures, you will find other interesting functionalities, like the integrated sink to wash your hands.
Coming back to point 3, of course there must be order in the toilet and in some places, you can even find some information about how to use it correctly: