3 March 2006

More Oddities

The Japanese appear to be a quiet, reserved race. In stark contrast, a walk down the road can result in a complete auditory and sensory overload. ATM's, elevators, doorways, toilets, trains, trams, all talk to you. Loud speakers blare from stores and cars passing by.

Tokyo is the cleanest city I have ever been in. There is never any litter or rubbish on the ground, yet there are no rubbish bins anywhere.

Hot carpet - Rugs with a heating element under them. They totally rock.

The screens on ATMs and metro ticket machines show an image of a woman bowing before and after you use the facility. Even the machines are polite.

All doors open outwards to ensure you don't get trapped in the event of an earthquake. Very strange to pull the door out when walking in your front door at the end of the day, or walking into the bathroom.

5 o'clock bell * - no matter where you are in Japan, bells peal out at 5.00 pm seven days a week, 365 days a year, in perfect unison, as time is something you just don't mess with here.

GG now has a huge, annoying handbag that hangs off the crook of her elbow. :-o

*Update: um, except the bell now goes off at 6.00pm. Something to do with spring and summer. Ah!


  1. The Japanese are so great at making things that are heated. I want one of those study tables with the heater under them.

  2. I once had a co-worker who bragged about having a heated toilet seat. I've never actually seen one though.

  3. Hey, it's the other half-nekkid one! I've heard about those tables and they sound amazing. They would be especially good for those bitter German winters. I was at a friend's house the other night and was sitting in a beanbag on the hot carpet and the beanbag slowly got warmer and warmer and almost baked me. It was fab.

    This same friend also has a heated toilet seat, Forty_Two. Japanese inventors must have some obsession with toilets coz they are so high tech. Some flush themselves (so you have to be kinda careful), some play music when you sit down, etc. Then there are the basic ones that just have a simple, heated seat.

  4. My apartment came with the heated coffee table (kotatsu) but I covet the heated toilet seat with an envy bordering on sickness. Pure lush.

    And I know what you mean about the handbags. Managed to hold out for a year, caved, now have several, sigh...

  5. Ximena, you are very lucky to have the heated coffee table - and god knows you'd need it where you are! I'd be using it as a chair I think... pop a couple of cushions on it and you'll be well toasty!

    Stupid handbags. I can't believe I crumbled. It's the peer group pressure and the fact I am sick of looking so scruffy.