We did a lot of research before we went to Japan. We learned about Japanese etiquette so we didn’t insult anyone. Japan is super forgiving if you apologise but somethings still surprised us about Japan. So here is 7 things we didn’t expect about Japan.
For the love of eggs
The Japanese love eggs, boiled, raw, baked you name it. They will even stuff it in a little octopus! We have eggs sandwiches that made us drool. We queued for 15 minutes to get an omelette on a stick ( that we are still drooling about). My favourite was the stained eggs that come In The ramen!
But my absolute favourite egg was the one we had with breakfast. It was basically like a lightly poached egg, with a perfect reddy orange yoke still in its shell. We had it with our rice and mixed in the rest of our ingredients. I can’t tell you how good that breakfast was.
Stone the crows
Okay don’t stone them! Every place we went there were huge crows everywhere. They are magnificent birds that caw loudly fight and play. They are pretty brave and fearless and will walk right up to you.
I love crows I think they are clever and I like the fact they are hardly alone. When me and Gav were first dating he was walking me to the pub and teasing me about something. Two crows were fighting and fell out of the sky landing on Gavs head. Quite rightly he freaked out and ran down the road. We laughed afterwards but I just looked at him and said karma. Since then I feel an affinity with crows! If there is a spirit animal then mine would be a crow.
When we were walking through the castle at Osaka we had to walk through a small wooded area. The trees were absolutely filled with crows cawing and chasing each other. Gav was a little freaked out so for the whole holiday I teased him that the crows were following him. When we got to to Kyoto the crows were super confident!
Plastic is not so fantastic but it is hygienic!!
So plastic is an issue in Japan. Everything is wrapped or double wrapped. Packaging is far too much however. We were in Japan during Covid-19 so everything being in wrapped made sense. No germs were being transferred unless you touched the packaging.
I did get into the habit of showing a bag I was carrying with me but it was crazy how they would give you a bag for everything. Maybe because it just doesn’t happen in the Uk anymore we are cutting back on plastic. I am self isolating at the moment but if I was allowed to shop I would be reaching for those plastic wrapped fruit…. sorry.
Plastic may be bad for the environment but it is hygienic. I just think our government needs to invest in recycling plastics so we stop sending them to the dump. After all a lot of plastic can be recycled.
Organisation can be achieved on public transport
We all know that Japan is highly efficient when it comes to public transport but seriously! Everything was on time, trains, tubes, buses. Japanese people hate being late! Hate it!
We had one incident where we were sat on the bus and was about to leave. Some tourists meandered over with their suitcases I think there were 6 of them. The bus driver told them they had to hurry because he had to leave. They slowly got on the bus. The bus driver wanted to yell at them. In stead he turned into superman and lifted all the cases up and stacked them on the bus blocking the back door so he could leave on time. He was furious and it rubbed off on the bus. This family made us all late!
So if you visit Japan don’t be late. If you live anywhere be courteous and arrive on time. Lateness is for fools!
Japanese standards in cooking
We never had a bad meal in Japan whether it was a cheap eats or a fancy meal. That doesn’t mean we had perfect meals every time. Because we didn’t. But the food standards where just good everywhere. When I was disappointed in food it wasn’t because it wasn’t good it’s just because we had already had better.
Gav even liked the Lawsons ( minisupermarket) chicken and hot food! Me not so much but we tried all the food at the stations, food stalls, restaurants and supermarkets. We tried lots and different food and I was so impressed with the standards of food!
Japan doesn’t do street food
So yes you can buy street food in Japan, and yes it is authentic Japanese food. Japan doesn’t like eating outside they take such pride in the food and everywhere is filled with tiny restaurants some don’t have seats just tables but street food nope. Street food is for tourists. It’s becoming more popular with the younger generation but in general it’s not a thing.
You probably already know that you should not walk and eat or drink! It is highly frowned upon and if you do buy food from a food stall or market they ask you to eat at the side. You will see signs up in the markets in english stating not to walk and eat. You get used to it except for the drinking! Although I do feel like you can get away with it more.
You don’t tip in Japan they find it insulting however restaurants and bars sometimes have a cover charge. Now everywhere we went we were informed before we sat down. Now to make up for this you often get like a bowl of peanuts or snacks! We never had an issue with it except when an empty bar wanted to charge us 700yen but he had to make his money some how. And he turned out to be full of knowledge and really friendly.
Lots of restaurants have rules like you must order a drink each etc. All these rules are either as you enter or the first page in a menu, they don’t hide them. It can be frustrating when you have to pay an extra £6 just to sit down and have a drink but the cocktails were about £9-12 so that wasn’t to bad cheaper than many London bars so we just always orders two drinks each so we didn’t notice the costs!
So we learned a lot about Japan, before we left and while we were out there. We are already planning our next trip out there. What we want to do and see!
Have you been to Japan? What surprised you about it?