My trip to Kyoto, Japan was filled with visits to incredible temples, gardens, and historic sites. Even the more routine parts of the day were filled with interesting moments.
These are a few things that caught my eye during day-to-day moments around Kyoto. There were also a few distinctive mannerisms of the Japanese that stood out in day-to-day interactions.
- They are very polite and gracious. Who knows what they are thinking, but as someone who also prefers to behave in a polite manner, it felt comfortable.
- Japan is very clean. Garbage cans in public areas were hard to find but there was no litter. You keep your trash and dispose of it at home.
- People don’t walk around with food or coffee in their hands.
- It is rare to hear a car horn, and I loved that!
- Restrooms rarely had paper towels at the sink or garbage cans. I observed Japanese men and they had handkerchiefs with them for this purpose.
- Taxi drivers wore white cotton gloves.
- It was considered improper to place money directly in someone’s hand. Money was always exchanged using a tray that was passed back and forth.
- Seafood is common for breakfast. Grits and biscuits with gravy were not.
Hope you had a few chuckles with this one. And, just to be clear, I am in no way poking fun at or trying to disparage Japanese culture. I am only pointing out some differences that stood out to me as an American. Not worse, not better…only different. I loved my trip to Japan and look forward to returning again to immerse myself deeper into the culture.
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