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  • Why on earth... why is Colonel Sanders wearing Japanese samurai clothes?

  • This is a blue-eyed samurai.

  • That is the coolest KFC I've ever seen.

  • Ok, that gets a thumbs-up from me.

  • Welcome to Japan; these are my top five culture shocks.

  • My name is Anming; I'm from America, but I first came to Japan in 2015 and spent several years living here.

  • Greetings from Tokyo.

  • Okay, so, if I were to really go through everything that shocked me, this would be a really long list, so I had to narrow it down.

  • And on top of that, I've already spent many years living in China, so a lot of my experience were cushioned by the fact that I already lived in a close-by Asian country.

  • Yet, still, I find Japan to be quite unique amongst its neighbors and in a good way.

  • Some of these shocks were positive shocks, some of them not so positive, but this country never ceases to surprise me.

  • So here are the five things that I thought were rather shocking about living in Japan as a Western person.

  • I don't like to be the kind of person that sits here and complains about a country, especially a country that I love very, very much.

  • But I do find Japan to be very unique, sometimes a little strange, exciting, all of the above.

  • So, we'll start today with food.

  • This is the famous guobaorou from the northeast of China; lemony chicken, lemon-flavored chicken, mmm.

  • Smells good.

  • As I said, I've spent many years living in China before I made the trip over to Japan and made the move over here.

  • And before I had come to Asia, I was such a picky eater; there was a long, long list of things that I would not touch.

  • And then coming over here, I saw those things and I refused, I resisted for the longest time, but somehow they got me.

  • And when they got me the first time, I may not have liked it.

  • But I slowly developed a taste for some of theseas I saw themweird food items, and they grew on me, and I stopped resisting and I started to embrace it a little bit.

  • What should you do if you're having a bad day?

  • Eat ice cream.

  • cream this is matcha flavored ice cream.

  • And the first time I heard about this, I thought, "That sounds disgusting; why would you want green tea-flavored ice cream?"

  • And then I tried it, and I was addicted from that point on.

  • This stuff is great.

  • Am I gonna eat it with a spoon? Nah, just dig in.

  • I started eating those Kit Kats, and from then on, it was game over.

  • This is something you don't find a lot

  • It's kinda like old Japan, and there's not a lot of it anymore.

  • And, of course, something that is oh-so-very shocking to those of us that grew up in the Midwest...

  • ... is the sheer number of people walking around on this small, densely-populated island.

  • I don't think I really notice sometimes as I walk around, now that I'm so used to it, just how many people there are.

  • But in beginning, like this footage from 2015, I was really quite shocked.

  • I was really quite enthralled by the fact that there were so many people around me, and, yeah, some weird people too.

  • But to be honest, in the many years I've lived in Japan I've never had any bad experiences on trains,

  • But, perhaps I'm lucky in that it is seriously butt-to-butt, like, back-to-back super crowded.

  • And that's probably the most awkward feeling of all, is on that commuter train in the morning, if you have to take it, which I did.

  • Going to Japanese school literally being butt to butt with other peoplemost awkward thing ever!

  • But, I guess just like anything else, you get used to it.

  • Yeah, I'm still not used to that I still don't like that, to be honest.

  • Yet another thing on the long list of Japanese things I resisted in the beginning and then caved into eventually is Japanese fashion.

  • And I had resisted that very strongly in the beginning because I thought it was overly feminized and just not my style.

  • And then, slowly, over time, I just let it creep in more and more into my wardrobe until today.

  • I may have bought some things here. Maybe.

  • But I can't confirm or deny if I bought things here or not.

  • No joke; this is a store for dogs' clothes.

  • So, with the pet boom in Japan, everybody's getting stuff for their animals, everybody's getting, like, little gifts and little clothes and diapers.

  • It's basically a big baby; basically treated like babies

  • But, you know, when it comes to pets, you'll be willing to spend anything.

  • they even have luxury brands for pets, like...

  • I'm here in Kamakura station right now, and we were supposed to meet here, and this is much closer to him than me, and he just canceled.

  • Because it's raining?

  • It's not raining! I... I can't believe...

  • It's not raining here. I said, "It's not raining here; it didn't rain all day. What are you talking about?"

  • And then no reply, and I'm here; it took half a day, freaking

  • It's gonna be a five-hour round-trip ride for this, five hours round-trip; two and a half hours here, two and a half hours back.

  • For my friend? Friend?

  • Sometimes there's a lot of passive-aggressive stuff here, so, instead of breaking the harmonywhich, by the way, harmony is broken already.

  • Instead of getting into an argument or admitting that he did something wrong, he just wants to ghost me; it actually makes it a lot worse.

  • I'll go out by myself then.

  • Not all Japanese people are like that, but there are some that... they just don't want to break the harmony, when they did something wrong even.

  • It's not a good trait, whoever has that trait.

  • My boyfriend's not like that, he's Japanese.

  • But there are people that do that, and even in China, too, when something goes wrong.

  • And then... and friendships will end suddenly because of that, which I also think is unfortunate.

  • And I guess... I got stood up for nothing. Absolutely nothing 'cause it looks really nice outside. It looks really nice today.

  • Here we are at Nippon Rent-a-Car in Guam.

  • This is our car; we're gonna drive here.

  • I haven't driven in six months, but it's better than him; he has driven in ten years, so I'm gonna take this one. Sorry.

  • This is my first time driving in Asia, but hey, it shouldn't be too different than driving at home.

  • All right! Welcome to Guam, welcome to our car; let's do our best.

  • Sorry if you can't drive; you have no license.

  • Here we go!

  • That is what the Japanese call a "mama chari"; "mama chari" is a bicycle, I guess.

  • Some mothers, I've seen fathers use it, too, where they got a car seat in the back for the kids.

  • It's kind of like the equivalent of a car seat for a car

  • But, like I told you, like I said, only 6% of people have cars here, so, that's how people get around.

  • Everyone's own individual experiences in Japan are going to vary greatly depending on who they are, where they are, and what kind of people they interacted with.

  • But at the end of the day, the best thing you can come here with is an open mind and realize that it's not a perfect place and you're going to be met with a lot of challenges and things that surprise you.

  • So, if you have the dream to come to Japan, I highly recommend that you do that.

  • But at the end of the day, nobody invited me to come here; I just found a way to come myself.

Why on earth... why is Colonel Sanders wearing Japanese samurai clothes?

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Japan Culture Shock: My Top 5 Shocks Living in Japan

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    Elise Chuang posted on 2021/11/01
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