What has surprised you about Japan so far?

Culture

I often ask foreign tourists what has surprised them about Japan during their travels here.

Mt. Shiroumadake Mt. Shirouma 白馬岳

About a trash

Many foreigners told me that they sometimes want to throw away their trash into a trash can but there are very few or no trashcans around sightseeing places, parks or on the roads in Japan, although the areas are still kept clean.

When I heard this, I had two answers.

One is Japanese education at elementary school and junior high school.
We lean from teachers that littering is bad!
They teach us that you should take all your litter with you to your home or trash can.

At the schools, students have cleaning time everyday. There is no cleaning (business) person. The students have to clean up their school themselves.
They learn that cleaning public places yourself is a Japanese habit. That is why we don't litter.
However, someone who is not really taught like this or stupid, wouldn't care about littering.
(Of course, taxpayer-funded cleaning services sometimes clean up public areas.)

Another reason is for security. the Japanese government and police think public trash cans on the street might be used by terrorists for things such as bombs, poison gas and so on. Because of that, most public trash cans got taken away a few decades ago.

Please write your comment what has surprised you about Japan in the comment box on the bottom of this page.

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