Three things I never thought I would miss about Japan



We’re home. We’re back in familiar territory, enjoying the comforts of home and embracing our former lifestyle. It feels good. Comforting. Reassuring. And yet, there are things we miss – already!The language and customs
Although we worked in a largely English-speaking environment, we practised our Japanese phrases – especially our thank yous. Of course, that is not just saying “arigatōgozaimasu“. It’s about about saying it with feeling and a bow of course. We enacted our thanks with enthusiasm. So now, a simple “thank you” leaves us a bit flat. So it is no surprise that a few of these Japanese thank yous have slipped out in our shopping transactions since being home!

Japanese electric toilets
Japanese toilets have a range of functions that easily outclass our western style facilities. These elaborate devices are powered by electricity, they offer comfort, cleanliness and consideration. They can be called washlets.



Comfort – The toilet seats are heated – a real treat on a chilly night when nature calls!

Cleaning functions – Japanese toilets feature different cleaning functions. Not only do these include the usual flush mechanism, but also bidet functions (sometimes with different functions for men and women) anus washing and deodorising.

Consideration: masking sounds – Some toilets have sensors that trigger a sound to mask the sounds that may be emitted while the toilet is in use. This can be the sound of gushing water or music. In some models you can adjust the volume or change the song.

Dark chocolate Kit Kat bars
Our ventures into the sweets aisle of the supermarket, were not made often. Many Japanese-style sweets had limited appeal for us. Kit Kats were an exception. There are many variations of Kit Kat bars available in Japan. Our favourite was the dark chocolate variety – which probably shows our conservatism when you consider the others available. These included green tea, raspberry-infused dark chocolate, orange-chocolate rum, and sakura green tea.

The little things matter most
There a lots of things that we will reminisce about when we reflect on our stint in Japan. The things that have stayed with us though, are the little ones listed above. Why? I suppose it is the little things that mean a lot.

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