In this post I will mainly write about some general things I noticed while staying in Japan, and to make this post a bit more colourful, you will get to see some random pictures of us :P
Please note: this post includes a lot of generalisations. If I say "the people" I don't mean any single person we saw in Tokyo, I' just talking about the majority.
In many countries Japanese people are known to be exrtremely polite (obviously a prejudice, but is it a good or a bad one?)
I have to say, that in contrast to Germany most people there are. The fact that in any large city you don't get stared at as much as in smaller towns aside, people didn't continuously look at as - at least not when we could see them (in Germany people stare at us all the time because of our clothes or hair. Even with black hair).
People don't insult you on the street.
If you don't understand anything, people will talk very slowly (although this doesn't help at all when you don't speak Japanese...).
It's amazing. At least at day. Because when it gets dark suddenly all the creeps and weirdos come out of their holes - which brings me to my next point:
To be honest, in Germany I'm not really used to catcalling, because most creeps just insult my hair colour (which is just as scary, but not as humiliating). When I dye my hair black or brown it definitely gets worse though.
In Japan it usually didn't happen at day, but at night it happened v-e-r-y often that both young and middle-aged men (usually drunk) approached us, sometimes just babbling and making obscene gestures, sometimes even with clear requests ("Let's go to a love hotel" or just "You, me, fuck?").
It was, of course, annoying af - but personally I wasn't really scared of most of them, because if you said "No", they'd just go away - something I rarely experience in Germany.
(of course some not-so-nice things happened as well, e.g. strange men following you to your hotel doesn't seem to be a rare thing).
But, before you get the impression that at night the streets of Tokyo (okay, mainly Ikebukuro) become some kind of catcalling-parade: nightly encounters often lead to awesome chats and acquaintances as well.
I already told you several times that at night the city (or at least Ikebukuro and Shinjuku) seems to become a different place.
The weirdness increases, as does the trash. At daytime we saw almost no one throwing their stuff onto the streets; at night there were gigantic piles of trash everywhere (again, mainly in Ikebukuro/Shinjuku...).
Another thing would be the smoking. While at day most people stick to the law and only smoke in marked smoking areas or inside restaurants, at night nobody cares about that anymore.
And, of course, more drunk people roam the streets. As most people get braver the more they drink, they can suddenly speak English; and they do. A lot. We had the funniest conversations about music, anime, Germany vs Japan, alcohol, Baumkuchen and many other things.
|picture with some creep at the train station. He was annoying af|
but it's one of the few pictures with other people than just us three.
Something I really hated was the extreme amount of plastic you HAD to waste. Even if you just bought a single onigiri at the konbini, they'd give you a plastic bag. Every single product, no matter if it was food, clothing or friggin hairspray was wrapped in at least three layers of plastic.
Some shops would even put additional tape around the bags.
A city that doesn't have public trashcans shouldn't be distributing that much plastic.
Shopping in Harajuku and Shibuya was amazing, but one thing annoyed me a lot. Nearly every time we entered a store the shop assistants would jump at us and literally start screaming in Japanese (sometimes with some English words spread here and there).
As this didn't happen in every part of the town I suppose it's supposed to be "cute" and they were probably just trying to be helpful but a) we made it quite clear that we don't speak Japanese, and they still wouldn't leave us alone, b) continuously being exposed to extremly high and loud voices wasn't exactly good for our heads and ears and c) when I go shopping I'd like to look at the clothes for some time, and I want to look at them alone. I need my time to decide and sales assistants talking into my ears all the time doesn't really help there.
This is pretty much everything I wanted to tell you about the trip to Tokyo. Of course these posts cannot encompass everything I experienced; there are some things I don't even want to talk about here, but I hope I was able to give you an overview about the travel.
I hope I'll be able to see Japan again soon!