Bulky rubbish


Unlike in Singapore where we can simply call our Town Council to come to our home to collect our unwanted bulky items, Japanese had to go through a number of steps to dispose off their sodai gomi (oversized garbage). A simple rule of thumb is if it won’t fit into a 45 litre trash bag (30 cm x 30 cm x 50 cm) but you can lift it, it is probabaly sodai gomi. The Japanese who want to dispose off his sodai gomi had to

  1. call a special number and request an appointment for trash pickup, and in busy period may need to wait up to a month.
  2. Once the pickup is scheduled, he must go to the government office or an authorized retailer and buy the appropriate amount in sodai gomi shori-ken. These are stickers you stick to your belongings to prove that you have paid for its disposal)
  3. On the morning of the appointment (not anytime earlier), he must put his sodai gomi out in the appointed spot and a truck will come by to collect it.
  4. If somebody want the item that is meant to be disposed off, he need to call the owner and ask for permission to take it. Otherwise it is considered stealing.
  5. If the truck come by and the item is not there, they will call the owner to see if they forgot to put it out. Therefore, if the owner decide to give an item away, he need to call and cancel the appointment.

Source : Japantimes.co.jp


Students and teachers bond over  healthy lunch


Japan takes both its food and its health seriously and, as a result, its school lunches are a point of national pride. In both elementary and middle school, students don white coats and caps and serve their classmates. The children eat in their classrooms, together with their teachers. They get identical meals served in obento boxes, with small portions of a variety of freshly prepared foods. These include a range of meats, fishes, vegetables and sea plants, and even desserts and fruits. Eating with their teacher also provide an informal opportunity for teaching nutrition, health, good eating habits and social behavior.  This system probably means Japanese kids are relatively healthy. According to government data, Japan’s child obesity rate is always among the world’s lowest.


Blowing nose in public is a no-no


If you have a running nose, you should keep sniffing until you reach the nearest bathroom. Blowing your nose behind a locked door is acceptable to the Japanese.


Tattooed body and clothes are not allowed in the onsen


Photo credit : onsenjapan.net

Bathing in an onsen or hotspring is healthy, rejuvinating and leaves one refreshed, relaxed and clean. However foreigners should take note of a few tips and what the Japanese frown upon when using the onsen.

  1. Tattoos are not allowed in most onsen as Japanese associate tattoos with yakusa or gangster ties
  2. Simswit/bikini/any form of clothing are not allowed in the onsen. Nobody cares what size or shape your body is really, so just relax and enjoy the bath!
  3. Wash your body before you enter the water.
  4. Use the towel to cover yourself when walking to the onsen and ease into the water
  5. Place the towel on the head while in the water, on place it by the side of the bath. Do not let the towel touch the water
  6. Don’t swim in the bath

Source : onsenjapan.net


5.52 million Vending Machines


Photo credit : Japan-guide.com

Japan has one of the world’s highest vending machine densities. Vending machines can be found all over cities, towns and even in the countryside.  Annual sales from vending machines reach almost 6.95 trillion yen.The first vending machine in Japan sold cigarettes, and was introduced in 1888. Since then, a wide variety of vending machines have been developed to sell products such as drinks, food, ice cream, disposable cameras, instant noodle, stamps, magazines, and daily sundries. These vending machines are seldom vandalized or stolen.

Source : japan-guide.com


Highway passes through a building in Osaka


Source : Wikipedia