1. Clean clean streets, even huge city sidewalks are practically pristine. We saw uniformed men walking around in the early A.M. with long chopsticks picking up small pieces of trash.
2. People walking dogs carry plastic baggies to pick up the waste, but they ALSO bring along a spray bottle to wash the pee off the sidewalk when that occurs! How thoughtful!
3. Food is good. Anywhere and everywhere. The quality of things in general is quite high, so much so that restaurants do not allow customers to have “left overs”. They do not want anyone to get food poisoning.
4. Going to the bathroom is almost a luxury experience — heated seats and sounds of waterfalls cascading while you do your business! Lots of buttons and different water fountains can be activated from the arm rest.
5. In most food places the drinks and condiments are doled out by employees, no self serve option there! And no taking extra sauce packets!
6. People here mind there own business– on the trains and in the streets! Not even a drunk businessman will hassle you for any reason.
7. There is sales tax (unless you are in tourist type duty free shops)!
8. Everything can be cute-ified. Food art is taken to a whole new level here, whether in a themed cafe or convenience store you can find some clever designs. Even the police department has its own mascot (a cartoon elephant)!
9. The women in Japan dress modestly, which comes off as more feminine and classy.
10. There are suicides happening.. it was evident by the many late night train delays aka “Passenger injury” aka people jumping onto the tracks… so this is an issue. Signs along the way offer encouragement and a help line if one is feeling too “stressed out”.
11. It is possible to find just about anything. High end – low end. Things are made to be collected. Things are made in excess. Packaging is just as important as the contents within–
12. Napkins and toilet paper seem to be of a different quality. I’m not sure if it has to do with being better for the environment but neither seem very absorbent and it ends up taking 3x more napkins to clean a mess.
13. Personal hygiene and appearance is important here. You never see someone walking around in pajamas… even if it is 2am in a 7/11!
14. Engrish. Everywhere!
15. Fruit is perfect. No blemishes. Large. Expensive.