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Small problems you may have during your stay in Japan

Small problems you may have during your stay in Japan

No swimwear
In hot spring and community bathhouse, there are separate baths for women and men. You should take everything off before taking a bath. If you feel uncomfortable being naked in front of others, men can wrap a towel around your waist and women hide their front with a towel.

In general, hot spring places and swimming pools in Japan do not accept people with tattoos. However, there are discussions both for and against this practice and it seems to be an increasing number of exceptions recently. You’d better check the desired hot spring or swimming pool beforehand about tattoo policy.

An appetizing small dish will be served when you sit down in a Japanese style bar even though you have not order it. This is an Otōshi, which is a customary service of Japanese style bars. There are arguments both for and against this custom, but you can consider this appetizer simple as a form of cover charge for the table or counter seat that will not appear on your bill.

The traditional Japanese formal sitting style called Seiza (sitting on the calves and heels of the feet) can pose a challenge for many non-Japanese when eating in a Japanese-style tatami room without chairs, for example. But you need not feel obliged to sit in Seiza style. Many Japanese can't stand it either, because their legs go numb after a while.

Although it differs from one region to another in Japan, people stand on either the right or left side of an escalator in order to clear the way for those who are in a hurry and want to walk up or down the escalators. But sometimes you may also hear announcements or see signs in stations saying do not walk on escalators.

Commuter trains
The crowding on commuter trains in large cities during commuting hours on weekdays can reach unbelievable levels. It is better to avoid getting on them during rush hours (about 7:00 to 9:20, 17:15 to 20:00) if you have large luggage. Otherwise, you may fail to get through the crowd of passengers when you try to get off the train.

To those who want to stay in a Japanese home, in general Japanese take their daily bath at night, before or after dinner. For most Japanese, bathing is not only for washing but also for relieving fatigue from the day and relaxing. However, there are also many Japanese who take a shower before going out in the morning, especially among the younger generation.

Umbrella stands
On a rainy day, you will find umbrella stands at the entrances of buildings. One of the FIM delegates sent from Europe to Suzuka was surprised when he found them at the Circuit. "If you put an umbrella in something like this in my country, all of them would be taken by someone else!" It is unlikely in Japan, but if you make some kind of mark on the handle of your umbrella, it is very rare that someone will take it by mistake.

Trash containers
In Japan, you will find trash containers at stations and public facilities but not in town or on the street. You must take your trash to a place where there is a container. Never leave it on the street.

If you leave some belonging in a train
When you accidentally leave something on a train, if you notice that you lost or forgot it as soon as you get off the train, contact the station staff and tell them which train it was and which car you were in and where in the car you think it is, and off course describe the lost article. If you have a reserved-seat ticket, show it to the station staff. If you notice it afterward, then, you should contact the train company. The lost and found items will be kept safely for a few days in the station they are delivered to and then sent to Lost & Found Center in the terminal stations on the respective line. After that, the item will be transferred to the police.