◆Toilet with Bidet◆
When foreigners come to Japan, the first thing they’re impressed with is the Western-style toilet with bidet and electronic functions.
They’re also surprised that you can find them in public toilets in parks and department stores.
And they’re impressed by how good it feels.
Also, the fact that the public toilets are free is surprising. (In some countries, it’s not uncommon to have to pay to use public toilets.)
The high quality of hygiene is also surprising.
◆24 Hour Convenience Stores◆
This is another Japan-specific culture that surprises foreigners. It seems there are no stores that are open in the dead of night because it’s extremely dangerous.
However, in Japan, convenience stores, restaurants, and gas stations are naturally open 24 hours a day. At convenience stores, if you buy anything, the employees are sociable and they respectfully pack your bags.
Receiving this sort of service can only be found in Japan.
◆No matter what the street is like, pedestrians obey the red traffic signal◆
For an American I know, this is mysterious to him.
In foreign countries, if cars aren’t coming, pedestrians cross the street even if the light is red.
However, in Japan, even if just one car passes, the majority of people stop and wait at the red light.
This seems like a mystery to foreigners.
By the way, on the back roads I cross like a foreigner, but on main roads Japanese-style.
◆Taxi Doors Open Automatically◆
This is also a peculiar culture that surprises foreigners.
It’s said that the only country in the world where the taxi doors are automatic is probably Japan.
Overseas, it’s normal for one to open the door oneself.
It seems a lot of people hit their hands on the door when they open suddenly.
◆Unmanned Produce Stalls◆
This especially surprises sight-seeing foreigners who walk around rural areas.
It seems they’re simultaneously emotionally moved by the virtue of Japan’s public order and the purity of human nature.
If this was used in foreign countries no matter which rural area it was, just like that the products would disappear.
◆Vending machines that don’t go out of order and the extremely large variety of products sold◆
People who have visited other countries will know this, but drink vending machines at train stations in foreign countries will have problems like not being able to give change (paying with bills can also be forbidden.) These things are every day occurrances. The worst is when you pay for the product but it doesn’t come out.
In regards to the overflow of the various vending machines downtown, there are no breakdowns, and you get your change without fail.
And there are numerous types of products sold in vending machines, so it seems that there are plenty of surprised foreigners.
◆Express Home Delivery◆
This is also surprising but when foreigners experience Japanese express home delivery service, they say that there is no such complex delivery system in their countries.
For example, Europe is a continent of advanced countries but the companies that handle the postal service aren’t the national post offices but rather EMS , Chrono Post, and other confusing services with bad reputations. It’s natural for a package to arrive late, the service is bad, and I hear there are a rather lot of misdeliveries.
However, for foreigners who come to Japan, Japan’s unmatched accuracy (though sometimes there are times where that’s not true), the system where you can designate a specific time, being able to pay with card, and the graciousness of the delivery service surprises and delights people.