You know you’ve been in Japan too long when…

  • Foreigners in Japan can get ‘Japanized’.They cringe at the small things that would not bother them abroad. They pay attention to details that no one else has thought of before, at least not outside Japan.

    Whether it is the over-excitement when trying out new food or unnecessary gadgets dangling from your mobile phone, find out if it is time to pull yourself together and accept that Japan has changed you

    You’ve been in Japan too long when…

    …you bow when talking on the telephone

    Once laughing when seeing a Japanese constantly bowing during a phone call, you start doing the same. Particularly when it comes to the end of the conversation, to ‘emphasise’ your respect towards your invisible counterpart.

    … you do not take food from home with you, because you know there will be a conbini nearby

    The land of convenience has it all. And we do not care anymore, trying to ’save’ money or avoid unhealthy food. The sight of a ‘conbini’ is always a welcome one. They will help in need!

    … you get annoyed when someone cuts the line when waiting for the train

    Everything needs order. In the city with millions of people riding the train, public transportation needs to be well organised. If someone does not stick to the rule… unacceptable!

    … you see a foreigner and think: “Wow, a gaijin!”

    With so many Japanese around and rarely a foreigner in sight, at least in most parts of the country, the sight of another ‘alien’ starts getting surprising. You wonder: ‘Where did he/she come from? Have they been in Japan for a long time?’

    … you turn your mobile phone on silent when entering a train

    The train is sacred and disturbing it is an evil crime. You might even have your mobile phone the whole day on vibration and do not bother anymore switching the modes. The sound of a calling phone is annoying anyway, let’s eliminate it forever.

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