Here is some helpful information for navigating everyday life as a foreigner in Japan!
How to Ride the Bus
In my last post, I talked about my experience with public transportation in Japan. Now, I want to get a little more specifically how to ride the bus in Japan.
This is the opposite of my experience with buses in America, where I am used to boarding at the front, paying In Japan, board the bus from the back door, exit through the front door, and pay at the front right before getting off. Sometimes, when the bus is crowded and an individual can not get to the front of the bus, they exit through the back door, then approach the front door from the outside to pay. If are have slightly different for busy in another city in Japan. There are also several options for paying for bus fare. If you have exact change, you Under that slot is a place for paper bills if you need change. If you will be taking the bus often,They should be getting a pass. These passes are inserted into a slot near the coin slot, and If you will be in Japan for a long time or will be traveling in Japan outside of Osaka, you may want to consider an IC card, a rechargeable public transport pass that can be scanned at the next stop, simply push one of the buttons on the wall or near the hand grips to let the bus driver know. Once pressed, all the buttons on the bus will light up, so you do not have a push any buttons if someone else already has.
How to Interact with a Cashier
In America, I am used to handing my money directly to the cashier. In Japan, when making a purchase, you should place your money, ideally with coins on top of bills, onto the tray at the register. This is so that both parties can easily see, count, and confirm the amount of money you are giving. In most cases, the cashier will hand back your change and receipt without using the tray, but they will clearly show and tell you the cost of your purchase, the amount you paid, and the amount of change you are receiving.
How to Wear House Slippers
It is common knowledge that house slippers are used in Japan. In America, the equivalent custom varies by household. In some cases, it is appropriate to leave your shoes on upon entering the household. In some cases, all guests must take off their shoes. In Japanese households, each member has their own pair of slippers. When you enter the household, you will be in an entrance hall area a step below the rest of the house. Do not step up while wearing your shoes. Take off your shoes, and step up into your slippers. If you do not have a pair of slippers, there may be guest slippers available, or you may walk around in socks. In addition to house slippers, expect a pair of toilet slippers to be used exclusively in the bathroom. These should be located just inside the bathroom. Remove your slippers, leave them just outside the bathroom, and step into the toilet slippers. Make sure you return them to their original location so that they are accessible to whoever needs them next.
Bonus: Clothes shopping in Japan
The first time I went to buy clothes in Japan, the store worker handed me what looked like a large dryer sheet before letting me into the fitting room. faces when trying on clothes so that they will not get make up on the clothes they are trying on.
Keep these tips in mind if you are a foreigner in Japan or are thinking about traveling here!