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.

Candy isle – so many unfamiliar brands.
Even with this translation, I assure you, their English was better than my Japanese.
Toilets are serious business in Japan. Go ahead, touch any button…I dare you.
This is a toilet advertisement. Heated seat, multiple point sprayer, deodorizer, and warm air dryer are features that are sure to make a big splash.
This tofu variety platter with noodles on ice isn’t what I thought I ordered. Well, the beer was great.
Not sure the food is working for me. Maybe I should get more beer?
Seeing and using foreign currency is always interesting. ~ 100 USD
I travel around the United States a lot so it is unique to see a flight board with cities like this listed.
Japan’s bullet trains hit a top speed of 200 mph.
Geisha sighting near the Gion district in Kyoto. You aren’t supposed to photograph Geisha so this was a subtle shot from a distance. She created a celebrity-like buzz at this intersection.
Oh yeah, the school uniforms…it is real.
Seemed to be my beverage of choice while in Japan.

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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