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Things (Not) to Expect When Staying in Japan

Posted By on Jan 7, 2016

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IMG_7098Staying for a long vacation?

There are a few things to be aware of before staying in Japan for an extended period of time. It can sometimes be frustrating to encounter differences without being warned. This guide is to avoid any inconveniences brought about my a prolonged visit.

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1. Don’t count on a drier. Clothing driers are difficult to find in Japan, especially in homes. While few are available at laundromats, they are not commonly used. A drying line placed outside on the balcony is a popular choice year-long, although the humidity in winter makes it difficult to dry things properly. Luckily, for nicer articles of clothing and bedding, there are endless cleaning shops to help you with your washing needs.

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2. Hand-washing is your friend. Looking for the dishwasher in your short-term apartment? You probably won’t find one. Unless your accommodation is state-of-the-art, there is a very tiny chance of having a dishwasher.

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3. Economies of scale. Think buying larger quantities will yield a  reasonable savings? Sumimasen. Not in Japan.

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While Costco and bulk-buying are becoming trendy in areas with access to stores and space to store large quantities of food, products, you-name-it, the rest of Japan still functions on conservation of space and preservation of unit pricing. Buying a liter of dish soap will cost no less per unit than a small bottle. Frustrating for the American mentality of buy-one-get-one-free and promotional shopping, this pricing method will not please many travelers. Perhaps this reinforces the quality of products, indirectly stating that larger quantities are as valuable as smaller ones.

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