Have you ever seen this before?, Tokyo
Lots of traveller might come across this and having a big question mark. What does this means? If you see this symbol or structure beside the pond, street, up on the hills or elsewhere.....this is the symbol of the japanese prayer called torri(meaning a gate). A place where you can find a temple or shrine in walking distance. I saw it in wooden and orange color. It might have some others different color.
I really wanted to share this with fellow tourists. The toilets at the hotels that I stayed at were simply fantastic.
Look at the pics, it has 4 buttons. From right to left, extreme right "Stand-By" to allow water to heat & fill up when you sit down, next is "Bidet", next is "Wash your Posterior" and final is the red "Stop" button, to stop the water flow. There is also a knob to adjust the water flow.
The best thing: the water dispensed is warm and made me feel so comfortable and clean.
The buttons won't work unless someone actually sits on the toilet bowl. Result: you can't accidentally mess up the floor.
After that, do check out the wash basins which are hands-free and oh-so hygienic. Everything from liquid soap, water and then air-blower is touch free and operated by a sensor.
Toilet breaks have never been so fun!
If you like this bit of humour and would like to check out the hi-tech toilets for yourself, please cast your vote!
Cosplay or Kosupure, as the Japanese call it, is a Japanese invention that derives from the English words costume and play. It could basically be called Japanese carnival, with the slight difference that it happens throughout the year and partly involves a kind of semi-professionalism of the people in disguise.
Cosplayers can be found everywhere in Japan but the most famous spot is Yoyogi Koen. Mainly girls flock from all parts of Tokyo into the city with suitcases and change at the next McDonald's toilet or elsewhere. Lots of the costumes are handmade, although shops selling those costumes have increased as well. From seeing all this one has to guess that a lot of time is spent for make-up and hair.
The charactes vary from Goths to the famous protagonists of Anime, Manga, Video Games and other Pop Culture. This dress up is mainly regarded as an escape from the strict school life, but simply also as fun that is rewarded by the many photographers who wish to get a photo of the best cosplayers..
This phenomenon that is based on the tolerance for found in Japan is not unique anymore, as some kids in America and Europe have started to copy it, although they dress up on special conventions.
Where it is: The busiest spot is in front of Harajuku station at the the entrance to Yoyogi-Koen/Meiji Shrine.
Bunraku is traditional japanese puppet theatre, but it's not for children,as it major's themes are love and revenge,sacrifice and suiside. Many dramas now adopted for kabuku were first written for Bunraku. Very unusual to watch because the puppeteers are on stage with their puppets, they are dressed in black and when you are absorbed by what's happening on stage you are not noticing them anymore.. Interesting fact-there are 3 men directing 1 puppet: 1st is responsible for puppet's head's movements, for face's experession and for the right arm and hand; 2nd operates puppet's left arm and hand and 3rd moves the legs. The narrator is a very important figure in performance and he's accompanied by shamisen, japanese traditional three-stringed instrument. Unfortunately i wasnt enough fortunate to watch Bunraku (was watching only Kabuki), but i got the idea of it from the movie "Dolls", first 15min of the movie we can admire Bunraku theatre. I have to say after my experience some people find it boring..and they stop watching the movie thinking last 90 min will be also about Bunraku..:)
The Japanese obsession with automation, astronomical land prices and sense or order all come together when you look at car parking.
There are a good number of these giant vending-type machines all over Tokyo. You drive your car in, it's spun round on a turntable and then disappears into the bowels of the machine. I presume that you then hope it will spit out the correct vehicle again at the right time.
I would not trust them - it seems likely to me that there are forgotten cars lurking at the back of these monsters, rather like that left over sock in the washing or the loose change and cough sweets left for years down the back of the sofa.
This device is found inside the hotel lobby’s female toilet compartment ( my daughter took this picture). I am told the purpose of this device is to produce a “water gushing” sound that will override whatever other noise you are making inside your compartment to cover up your embarrassment.
Bowing while talking on the phone.
Japanese saying, be polite not only the surface but form the bottom of the heart. So when someone talking on the phone and bowing again and again, this means he is a real polite fellow. To me I think this is bullsh!t.
After getting off the plane, I looked desperately for a restroom and this "wc" was the first thing I found. I had no particulary idea on how to use this but you manage it when you're in a hurry =) . This type of toilet is very common in Japan and this was the first strage thing I saw in Tokyo.
Japanese are part of buddhism, shintoism. Most beliefs are connected to buddhism and being good and gracious. The saying, what goes around comes around lives spectacularly in harmony with shintoism. So if you see an umbrella on a rainy day and you need one, use it and then leave it somewhere for the next needy person to use it.
The Japanese incorporate technology into every aspect of their lives, and the toilet is no exception. The toilet in my hotel room actually came with detailed operating instructions. As you can see from the photo, there is a little control panel on one side. From here, you can operate the bidet (bottom cleansing jet), which has several settings. As I found out though, this toilet is actually one of the more basic ones available. I encountered a more advanced one that not only had all the standard bidet settings, but it also heated the seat cushion (very nice!) and produced fake flushing noises on demand to allow you to mask any more unpleasant sounds.... eww! Someone obviously put way too much thought into this!
There are pachinko parlors spread all over Japan.
Don't know what the attraction is but the game is a blend of a slot machine and pingball...you get rewarded with ball bearings which are redeemed for prizes. The government don't want to call this gambling but its darn close by the looks of the addicts there. Office workers would go there during their lunch breaks. Seems that, Londoners to the the local pub during lunch while Tokyoites
go to the pachinko parlor.
I just thought this was downright odd when I arrived in Tokyo - it was quite disconcerting to sit on a heated toilet seat. But trust me, when you get to Takayama and its snowing and 0 degrees outside, you WILL be thankful for the heated toilet seat!
Other variances include those where you can change the tone of the flush or the type of music it plays.
learn to squat... once you're out of the big cities, squatting when using the washroom will be the norm.