<<  Kyoto, 6-Mar-2014  >>

Bit more of the Japanese Weird

Snowy Kyoto, difficulties with smoking, beer with peas and other stories of ordinary Japanese madness

Back to Kyoto and its myriads of temples and gardens. Gorgeous Silver Pavilion, touched by fresh snow, making it all beautiful and making me freeze to death…

But who cares about that?!
I promised you more Japanese unique craziness. Here’s some:

Instead of single-function flush button/handle toilets in Japan have 10-20 electric buttons which do I don’t know what. My favorite toilet was Panasonic toilet in my Kyoto hostel. When I opened the door of the toilet, the toilet cover automatically went up, so that I don’t have to touch it. What do those 20 fancy buttons do I will never know. Another interesting feature of Japanases toilets is that often the upper lid of the tank is actually a sink with a tap. When you flush the toilet down, the water automatically starts to pour from the tap, and thus while you are washing your hands the very same water is drained into the flush tank and will be used for the next flushing. Some people found it a bit weird or even disgusting, but there’s actually nothing wrong with it. The water that touched your hands will be later used for flushing, not the other way around. Actually it’s a smart eco-friendly solution.

Smoking is forbidden on the streets. Everywhere. Except “cages of shame”, little shelters where the sinners can gather and smoke. There are only few of them, so smoking on the streets is quite a challenge. However, when you walk into any bar or restaurant it’s like entering a cloud - you can hardly see through the thick smoke. As one girl later told me “yes, because if people smoke on the street maybe other people don’t want to breathe the smoke and you cannot avoid it, but you don’t have to go to a restaurant if you don’t want to”. Dear Japanese, maybe you should spend a quiet moment contemplating about dispersion of smoke in the open air, such as on streets, and in closed spaces.

Beer and peas
I walked into a yakatori bar – bar which also serves simple food. As I starting walking towards an available seat, suddenly the horrified sound of a waiter was blasted towards me. By his pointing finger I realized that again I committed an act of brutal barbarism: I didn’t take my shoes off when I entered the bar!
After few apologies and taking my shoes off I sat down and ordered a beer. Like in some friendly western pubs I was given also some appetizer with the beer. But was it popcorn, or nuts? Hell no, I got I nice portion of fresh green peas! Hmmm, very bizarre combination to me, I hesitated not and downed them all.

Booze advertisements
I have never ever seen a country with so much advertisement for alcohol. Especially for beer. Beer everywhere. And I can safely say that at least half of the billboards, posters, citylights and other weapons of marketing are loaded by female drinkers. 2D women enjoying a cold beer are watching you from every direction.

OK that is enough of Japanese weirdness for now.
Go and check the photos.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak