10 Aspects of Japan That Can Be Inconvenient for Foreigners | FAST JAPAN

10 Aspects of Japan That Can Be Inconvenient for Foreigners

There are many things in Japanese that can be inconvenient for foreigners. Many signs and menus are in complete Japanese and many shops and restaurants are cash only.

#1. No street names

No street names

The addressing system is used for specific locations and addresses are from biggest to smallest. The order is prefecture, city, district, then town. Municipality is divided first into town areas and then into city districts. These address are more for the postal service because there are no street names. Every location has a postal code, this was implemented after 1998.


#2. Cash based society

Cash based society

More developed countries are using credit and debit cards instead of cash. In Japan, many restaurants and shops are cash only. Foreigners are not used to always having cash on them.


#3. Lack of trash cans

Lack of trash cans

Since all trash has to be separated in Japan, people are expected to take all of their trash home. There are very few trash cans, most trash cans are at convenience stores and bathrooms.


#4. Smoking inside

Smoking inside

At many restaurants, people are allowed to smoke inside. There are smoking and non-smoking sections.


#5. Price of food vs the amount

Photo Credit: Jonathan Lin@flickr

The cost of the food or produce seems more expensive compared to the amount of food actually being bought. In the United States, one can buy a lot for cheap.


#6. Lack of free wifi

Lack of free wifi

Recently, access to wifi has increased in major areas such as Tokyo. In previous year, there wasn’t even wifi on some college campuses. Tokyo Metro now offers free wifi for 80-120 minutes after email login. Many people carry pocket wifi.


#7. Japanese Only Please

can use only Japanese

Many services, restaurants, and shops have Japanese only signs. English is somewhat understood but other languages like Spanish and French are not understood.


#8. Don’t know how to eat certain foods

Don't know how to eat certain foods

The way many foods are prepared is common sense and Japanese people don’t think to explain the process. For example, sukiyaki is hot soup with noodles, meat, and vegetables. Sometimes, a raw egg and sauce is mixed in a bowel and you dip the noodles and meat in.


#9. Train station can be confusing

Train station can be confusing

Photo Credit: tokyometro.jp

Larger trains stations like Shinjuku Station and Shibuya Station can be a maze for visitors. Many signs are in English but there are so many signs, it can be even more confusing.


#10. Don’t understand food ticket dispenser


Photo Credit: Tokyo Times@flickr

Many Japanese chain restaurants have machines to buy a ticket. The food name is printed on the ticket and many machines are in only Japanese.


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