Things we don't understand about Japanese people

Good morning everyone,

The bad weather is rolling in a bit sooner than they had originally thought and we may see some rain overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. Then, as of right now, they're calling for rain and clouds every day for the rest of the week. I hope that either the weather takes a turn for the better or that you've already your hanami party, because it's looking like there won't be any more good days to have one this year...the good news is that the coldest it's going to be all week is 18C (which is still a couple of degrees above normal for this time of year).

I've lived in Japan a lot of things that I used to think were strange about Japanese people I don't really notice anymore. But there are a lot of things that visitors to Japan don't get and some that people who have lived here for ages (like me) still don't get...but we still love you!
  • Japanese people are always taking pictures of food. Even airline food. Although I’ve started to do it myself too ever since I moved to Japan.

▼ To be fair, Japanese food does look like this.


  • They bring souvenir presents to everyone whenever they go to or come from anywhere. Of course we sometimes give presents from trips too, but the Japanese are on a different level.
  • Back home people go out shopping or whatever in the summer in T-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. But in Japan when I do that, I get strange looks. Here, even in the heat of summer, you’ll see housewives decked in layers of clothes and makeup out just doing their grocery shopping.
  • Scrunchies are seen as a fashion accessory for children back home, or a relic from the eighties, but in Japan women wear them all the time, even at work or when they want to dress up.
  • They always take their trash back home, since there’s very few trash cans and they’d never litter. That’s a good thing though.

▼ This picture is banned in Japan for having caused too many shock-induced deaths.


  • When Japanese women carry bags, they sometimes do it with their palms out and facing up. If you saw someone do that back home, you’d think they were trying to act like a princess or something.
  • Japanese women cover their mouths when they laugh.
  • They’re extremely conscious of differences in age and the junior/senior hierarchy that goes along with it. They don’t mind just straight asking you your age, which doesn’t happen often in my home country.
  • Japanese people are pretty frank when it comes to talking about people’s appearances, both good and bad. They have no problem calling someone chubby even when they’ve lost weight, only calling one of their two daughters beautiful, and so on.

And the last one is…

They don’t accept any praise. Ever. No matter what.

What do you think? Are some of these images people back home have of Japanese true? Were you surprised by any of them?

Have a great day!