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Japan Culture Shock - The unexpected and idiosyncratic cultural delights of Japan
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  culture shock in Japan

Japan Culture Shock (attitude travel) On Love Hotels...
Japan Culture Shock (attitude travel) On Japanese Taxis...
  Japan Culture Shock (attitude travel) On Youth Hostels in Japan...
Japan Culture Shock (attitude travel) On waiting for trains...

Three or four weeks in Japan is not really enough to lose yourself in the delicate cultural complexities of Yamato. But the oddities mentioned below are the kinds of surprises which might spring up as you travel Japan. For help with living in Japan, check out the links on the right.

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They call them Rabu Hoteru
They sound like Japanese massage parlours, but in fact Love Hotels are set up to allow Japanese to get jiggy discreetly with unmarried or extra-marital partners without the neighbours spying. Distinguished by garish pink and green neon lights, these inner city and remote countryside motels can offer a night's accomodation after 10pm for around $45-60 per double room. A favourable price in comparison to business hotel rates.


Photo of Himeji Castle, Hyogo-ken - click for more travel photos from Japan
Himeji Castle
Photo of Downtown Shibuya - click for more travel photos from Japan
Downtown Tokyo

 

The enigma of the Japanese taxi driver
It's difficult sometimes not to get frustrated with the driver - it's not his job to have to know where he's going and he may rely on you for explicit directions. Expect to pay $15 or more for a 15 minute trip. And don't bother closing the door behind you - the driver can operate all the doors from where he sits!


Photo of Himeji Castle, Hyogo-ken - click for more travel photos from Japan
Himeji Castle
Photo of Downtown Shibuya - click for more travel photos from Japan
Downtown Tokyo

 

Be wary of Youth Hostels
There is an extensive network of hostels in Japan, but don't for a moment imagine they're anything like the ones in Europe. The Japanese youth hostel seems to be geared up as an authoritarian institution with strict curfews and lights out times. Mostly used by Japanese youth groups. Not really worth trying out ever.


Photo of Himeji Castle, Hyogo-ken - click for more travel photos from Japan
Himeji Castle
Photo of Downtown Shibuya - click for more travel photos from Japan
Downtown Tokyo

 

Knowing where to stand on platforms
At the railway station remember that even before the train arrives, your place to queue is clearly marked out in white, yellow or green paint on the platform. Not standing in the correct place may upset the locals (really), and it's not such a huge sacrifice, is it?


Photo of Himeji Castle, Hyogo-ken - click for more travel photos from Japan
Himeji Castle
Photo of Downtown Shibuya - click for more travel photos from Japan
Downtown Tokyo

 

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