Monday, October 17, 2016

Eggs, toilets and tidbits of life in Japan

What fascinates us about different cultures is how even the simplest things are seen in a different light from ours.  In Antigua they give directions using gas stations as landmarks.  "Now go down this road until there is a gas station on the right, turn left there, keep going until you see the harbor."  We had the hardest time driving about there until we gave up on finding named streets and just went with the gas station directions.  Worked like a charm!

In Japan you can buy a loaf of bread in 3, 4, 5 or 6 slices.  Eggs are sold in a package of 10.   And butter is sold in a solid block, size depending upon weight.  Carrots are sold in packages of 3, and potatoes and cucumbers are packs of 4.

Shio {salt} eggs are delicious, they are cooked in a brine so when you peel them they are already salted!  Genius!

Confused as to what I was buying, one day I purchased onsen {hot springs} eggs.  Shudder, they were just for me to even think about eating!

Every grocery we have shopped in has this basket/cart arrangement.

When you are finished shopping you put the basket on the clerks counter, she has an empty basket all ready to go.  She picks up an item from your basket, beeps it, and then places it in the new one.  When you are all checked out, you put the full basket back on the cart, wheel it over to a counter and pack your own groceries.  Very few people drive to the grocery, they take the bus, ride their bike or walk.  How they travel home will depend upon how they want it packed.  If you don't bring your own cloth bags they will sell you a plastic one for 130 Yen.  So, don't leave home without your bags!

Women's restrooms have a floor mounted urinal for mum's traveling with small boys, brilliant isn't it?

Something I would have loved to have is a seat in the corner of the stall to put babies and toddlers in to keep them up off the floor!

And the ladies stalls have floor to ceiling doors and walls, many come with Otohime {princess sound} to muffle the noise of what they are doing. 

The ladies desire and receive privacy in their restrooms, however the men's room is a totally different story.  Quite often as one walks down a hallway, there is the men's room no door with urinals in plain view with fellas using them.  I was honestly shocked the first time I walked down a hallway and saw a doorway, looked in and saw a fella peeing.

The blind are well taken care of, with raised tiles to help guide the blind throughout their journeys.  The sidewalks all have the raised tiles, running in a continuous line with side pieces announcing building entrances and street corners.  With the ki-ko-ki-ko telling them they are safe to cross intersections.  This raised tiles came from the sidewalk, through the doorway, and up to the first tellers window!

This bit of braille was on a handrail at the Kyoto JR Station telling them there are stairs up.

Here is a set in a upscale hotel bathroom.

Most all elevator buttons come in two seperate sets, one for standing folks, and those who either small, young or in wheelchairs.

Kyoto is in an area where snowfall is light, and rain is common.  Downspouts and gutters would quickly get overwhelmed so they don't have any.  Most new houses have deep gravel beds around the house or use slanted stone drip boards.  The old fashioned method, still in use are kusari doi - rain chains.

For a country that loves its tech and embraces modernity, they still love tradition and traditional ways of doing things.  Which is why seeing bamboo scaffolding is common.

And if you are wondering about the stories about tiny houses and crazy parking, here is the most extreme example we have yet seen.

Surprising us both is the amount of Halloween items that are everywhere! 

Origami pumpkins!  Adorable!

1 comment:

  1. That was absolutely fascinating! I think my favorite is the holder for the babies/toddlers in the ladies bathroom. What an amazing idea! I remember being in France, and some bathrooms were shared. I could see the back of a guy's head/shoulders and from knees down. That was so strange! The "princess sound" sounds like an endless toilet flush - a tad annoying. I thought it would be like sweet bells :-)