Foreigners are surprised by a lot of things when they come to Japan, and some Japanese people habits are one of those. Finding something weird depends of course of your own cultural values, but here is a list of funny facts about Japanese people:
1)They sleep everywhere
On the train, or even during work, Japanese people are sleeping everywhere! They even have a word for this practice. Called “inemuri” (居眠り), the fact of sleeping during work is seen as a sign of dedication to the job.
2)They slurp their noodles
In Japan, slurping noodles is not considered rude and is a way to show you’re enjoying your meal. So if you go to eat ramen, udon or soba, don’t be surprised by this eating manner!
3)They sniff rather than blowing their noses
If slurping is okay, blowing your nose is considered as very rude. The Japanese don’t blow their noses in public. However, sniffing is culturally accepted.
4)They are obsessed with small faces
Small face is a beauty ideal here. From plastic surgery to creams and gadgets supposed to help your face becoming smaller, “kogao” (small face) goods are part of a flourishing business! So when Japanese people say “Your face is so small!”, don’t be surprised, it’s a compliment!
5)They wear surgical masks
Of course, Japanese people wear surgical masks when they are sick, but also when girls don’t have the time to put on makeup, when it is cold outside, or when they want to make their face looks smaller. More than simple masks, they are considered as fashionable items!
6)They don’t use deodorants
Be sure to bring your deodorant when you come to Japan! It’s almost impossible to find a good deodorant here, since Japanese people don’t use it. Indeed, armpit odour is an issue that very few people have to face here.
7)They ride bicycles on sidewalks
In many countries, sidewalks are only for pedestrians, and it’s illegal to ride a bike on one. But in Japan, people are riding their bicycles mainly on sidewalks! According to them, roads are narrow and it is therefore more safe to ride on sidewalks.
8)They put salt on watermelon
Watermelons are very expensive in Japan. So why on earth would someone add salt on their watermelon? In Japan, this common practice is said to make it sweeter, and even more delicious.
9)They wash their hair (but not their hands) everyday
Physical appearance is very important in Japan.The Japanese wash their hair everyday, and girls are almost always putting on makeup. However, when it comes to hand washing, foreigners may be surprised by the amount of people who don’t use soap after going to the bathroom. Most people just wash their hands with water only, especially young women!
10)They watch a movie until the end of the credits!
If you go to the movie theater, you will be surprised by the fact that Japanese people wait and watch quietly the whole credits after a movie. According to them, it is important to show respect for all the people who worked on the movie. But some people just wait because they hope that a deleted or a special scene will be shown at the end.
Each culture is unique, and we hope that learning about these “weird” habits will help you understand more about Japanese people.
Finally, please note that everyone is different and that of course not everyone in Japan will behave like that!