3 Differences Between the USA and Japan

5:36 AM Shannon McLeod 0 Comments

Hello! Sorry it has been a long time since you last heard from me. I have been updating my Facebook and Instagram as often as I can, but the Wifi/Internet connection here truly sucks. It has taken a few weeks to adjust to my new life here in Thailand, but I can finally say I am getting the hang of things.

Enough about Thailand though. I have a ton of things from the past month to talk about, including my trip to Japan. I had such a fun time exploring Tokyo for two days with one of my friends. I hope the next time I get to go back I can stay longer.

While in Japan, I noticed many differences between it and the USA.

1. Bikes are ridden everywhere.

When my friend Vanida and I got off the subway and entered the city of Tokyo, I was almost ran over by a bike. That was one of many encounters I had with these deadly contraptions. I’m over exaggerating here, but I was amazed by how many people rode bikes around the city. Right in the middle of the busy sidewalks of the city. If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know how crowded Times Square gets from tourism. Imagine riding a bike through Times Square and you’ve pretty much got Tokyo summed up.
I did like the fact that people were choosing to ride their bikes around the city. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, which I believe we all could benefit from. One of the good things about Tokyo is that most of the larger more heavily trafficked streets have bike lanes available for riders to use. That doesn’t always mean they are used (hence how I almost got ran over), but it is good that they are there.

2. People are more on the go and time oriented than Americans.

On our second day in Tokyo I thought I was going to get knocked over and stomped on. Getting to work on time is no joke in this city. Vanida and I were transferring between subway lines when all of a sudden we were thrown into the fast paced mob of people walking past us or towards us as they hurried to their trains. I consider myself to be a pretty fast walker when I need to be, and I needed to be in this city, but even what I thought was fast didn’t matter here. I’ve dealt with subways in cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. I know what the hustle and bustle is like going to work every morning. But wow, it was a culture shock to see what underground Tokyo is like on a weekday morning.

3. People drive on the left side of the road and walk on the left side of the sidewalk.

The biggest culture shock for me has been seeing cars drive on the left side of the road and having to walk on the left side of the sidewalk. In the USA, we drive on the right side of the road, and when walking, you stay to the right. It is something we are taught to do from a young age. It was quite an adjustment trying to remember that the cars were coming from the opposite direction. But I figured it out by our second night there and was able to successfully walk across the street without waiting for the locals to go first (and without getting run over).

There are many other differences between the USA and Japan that I could talk about, but these are all I am going to share today. If you are interested in seeing more posts on my trip to Tokyo, keep an eye out because they will be up later this week!

I hope you all have had a great month. See you on Wednesday!


Check out my previous post here.

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