When I traveled to Japan, there were a few things that surprised me. I was surprised mostly because I felt I should have known about these things, but didn’t.
I. Japanese Drive on the Left Side of the Road
The cars, driving, and even walking are the same as the United Kingdom. The steering wheels are on the right. Drive on the Left. Pass on the Right. Walk on the Left. Stand on the escalators on the Left . Pass on the Right. Why didn’t I know this? Read more here.
II. Electricity: No Adaptor Necessary.
While the voltage is not exactly the same, our two prong plugs in North America fit right into the standard Japanese power outlets. Why didn’t I know this? Read more here.
III. Heated Toilet Seats.
This was definitely something new for me. I knew about the fabulous Toto Toilets and many of their features, but had never heard of the heated toilet seat until I sat down on one of them. Literally.
Typical reaction (female): Oh, this is rather interesting.
Typical reaction (male): I am never leaving this seat. Ever.
What can I say? I was also kind of surprised by the “music” feature you can turn on. The sound is a flushing toilet sound, and avoids the necessity of actually flushing the toilet when one wants some white noise kind of privacy in the bathroom. I’m renaming it the “Modesty Button.” I bet it has saved a lot of water. I shall say no more.
Some other observations:
1. People ride their bicycles on sidewalks not in the street. There is no discernible rule which side pedestrians versus cyclists go, and it is frankly terrifying. Watch out!
2. The coffee is delicious. I knew Japan was a land of tea. so I was surprise how good the coffee was.
3. When waiting at a traffic light to walk, before the light turns red it blinks for only a few moments. There is no grace period. When it goes red, the cars start coming at you.