Once again, I forcibly detained my family.
– Look at me. – Sure.
– Look at me – Sure.
– I’m the captain now.
What I wanted to know was
how your expectations differed from
the reality of being in Tokyo, being in Japan.
– Start? – Yeah.
But actually, before we start, let’s get a baseline.
Obviously we’ve watched a lot of
LIFE WHERE I’M FROM video,
We have a bit of idea what to expect.
so it turns out my brother watch
unimpressive 9 % of our videos,
my sister-in-law maybe about 10 %.
First impression of Japan
You know, I think it a little bit…it a little bit foreign.
That’s the folks, that’s the video.
Japan is a bit foreign to the eyes of a North American.
As fun as it is constantly interrupting.
Let’s get into it.
Um, I was really nervous that it was gonna be very crowded.
You know, like shoulder-to-shoulder,
people at the airport and the train.
And it wasn’t at all.
Actually, the airport in Vancouver was worse,
longer lineups, less organized.
– 额…… – 我们在温哥华机场效率很低
– Em… – We less efficient in Vancouver.
对 我们到日本后 其实挺有秩序的
Yeah, when we got here, It was, it was organized.
It wasn’t super crowded.
Ironically the day they arrived was
the busiest I had ever seen Narita Airport.
Usually it looks more like this.
When we got on the train,
we were actually the only people in the compartment to start with,
and really it never got full at all.
I also, I think I pictured even the outskirts of Tokyo
as being all really tall high-rises
and everybody’s in little apartments,
and it’s not like that at all.
All the buildings are like maybe three levels,
they have, you know, patios,
and you know, bikes parked outside.
It’s a lot…lot more comfortable than I thought it was going to be.
when we flew over, we even saw some agricultural areas, some fields.
That was a little bit surprising.
Just cause I thought it would be a lot more built-up.
Just you know, based on the size of the island and the population.
But…but I guess we’re 36 hours in.
And as we get into downtown Tokyo,
I think the density will change dramatically from where we are now.
对 我们做了游客都会做的事 比如参观新宿区
so yeah, we did do a few big-city things like visit Shinjuku.
We also stopped through a Shield Oh Man
and made a pit stop at Sky Tree.
But in general, It’s been a very quiet,
not as rushed experience compared to
what I thought we’d have coming in.
I also expected that, you know,
the streets would be very crowded, walking.
I worried about really busy trains and feeling claustrophobic
Overall, actually everything was quite calm.
Yeah, we did stuff like bike riding,
visiting parks and visiting shrines.
I think when you see something on video,
It’s framed from the producers perspective, right?
But when you get out into the real world situation,
scale can be completely different through through our own eyes.
One great example is the I’m in the restaurant,
that on video, It really felt a lot larger.
I didn’t get an understanding of
实际为何那么高效 那么小 那么简洁
how efficient, how tiny, compact,
there were nine seats in the restaurant.
It was delicious, you can’t get that on on video.
香味 热度 热气
That smell, the heat, the humidity,
just the sounds and obviously the food at the end of the day.
I knew that they have bet, you know,
toilets that have all sorts of special functions of buttons.
That toilets are really cool,
and the seats are heated, and I knew,
vaguely that you know,
Japanese people take a bath every night
and everybody shares the water.
But it was really neat experience.
I…I like it.
Actually I wish I had a Japanese bathroom now.
I also been very surprised by the lights.
I’ve had some trouble actually try to figure out
which buttons turn the lights on and off.
For future reference, the switches work like this.
And so I’ve had a few times
where I turned the light on really bright in our room
while Shawn was sleeping,
because I was trying to hit the like dim one,
so I could just see the room
I didn’t expect remote controls for everything.
To be totally fair the remotes are in Japanese
from the light switch to the air conditioner
to the fan in the bathroom to the fan in the room.
Even the control panel to turn on the hot water and fill the bath is in Japanese.
Also, I too scared to use the microwave,
cause I can’t read any of the buttons.
I wanted to reheat my coffee the other day,
But I just was not sure
and I didn’t want to risk blowing something up
So I didn’t bother.
I think there’s a big reliance on technology,
and everyday life that exceeds my…
my expectations of what do you experience in Japan.
And my expectations were there was gonna be a lot of technology.
But it’s just really neat on a residential scale
how much there is in use on a day to day basis.
And yet there’s no dishwasher,
like… So I’m… For me,
like a dishwasher is like, you know,
it’s a very important appliance.
And you don’t have that,
but I think that if I had to make the trade
for the automatic heating up bathtub.
I don’t know. it would be would be a hard trade.
我还注意到 到处都是Kleenex牌的纸巾 或者抽纸
I’ve also noticed that there’s Kleenex everywhere or tissue paper.
there is that,
I don’t know nobody seems to have napkins,
but even at the restaurant.
They don’t have napkins, they don’t have paper towels
But there’s boxes of tissue everywhere.
I didn’t expect trains and train stations to be quiet places,
where people are not talking or loud,
almost like a library.
I didn’t expect as much on the streets
like is as much pedestrian as
especially cyclists traffic on the streets.
I mean, we’ve all seen the iconic scramble crosswalk images
But it goes way beyond that
in the residential areas, the main motor transportation
is either walking, riding your bike,
those are the two main ones.
Car traffic is…is almost non-existent in the local commute
and then walking or biking to the train.
I found it interesting even on the streets,
especially in the residential areas that there was so much bike traffic
the drivers became used to that and actually slowed down.
They were expecting to see bikes around the corner and pedestrians.
So it wasn’t the the fast speed
like we have in our North American car culture:
People going 50 60, the speeds are limited to
about 30 km/h in the residential areas for drivers.
So you actually really noticed a big differences,
and the roads are very narrow,
some of them you couldn’t really fit to oncoming cars
with really any extra room in there.
I really enjoyed biking in Japan actually,
I am not a big cyclists at home
And I get nervous, a driving alongside fast traffic,
But here, I don’t know
if Greg just took us on routes that were really calm,
but it was really nice,
once in a while, we’d have to cross a busy street,
but we ended up biking on, you know, almost empty streets.
I loved biking along the river.
I still I’m getting used to the whole
you know, taboo with shoes.
There’s a really, you know, big obsession with floors in Japan
and which floors you ‘re allowed to wear shoes
on which floors you’re not.
And even in a fitting room,
some fitting rooms had like a little platform,
as you took your shoes off in front of the platform,
and then you could try things on.
But they don’t come out of the change room in your socks
because that’s bad too, right?
your shoes can’t go in the change room
and your socks can’t go out of the changes room.
I found situations where it could be really awkward
if you didn’t conform to be,
the standard one size of shoe that was brought
Provided to you like in the own sense
They’d have one pair of shoe for the washroom
that you would Remove your shoes or put on the washroom shoes
或者 如果你赤脚 便换上洗手间的鞋
if you were barefoot at that point.
I think of a lot of North Americans came over here
They’d have a real hard time getting their toes
You might put it through your own flip-flops along or something
If that’s a bit allows.
It’s totally not a thing,
Don’t bring your own slippers,
See if I was…if I was going to do this again.
I’m traveling with children
I would definitely get some sort of antibacterial spray,
like our host had,
because most of the bathrooms didn’t have soap,
even some of the nice wort restaurants.
Yeah interesting Yeah, that a lot some had soap,
but a lot of them didn’t I’d say at least more than half
And they often don’t have
some of them have paper towels or dryers,
but some of them don’t and I noticed a lot of ladies carrying like a little
Hand drying cloth in their purse,
and then they would pull it out to use it, so that’s very smart
Japan is not always recognized for its nature,
but seventy-three percent of the island is mountainous
And the only other developed nations
with such a high forest coverage percentage are Finland and Sweden
But even when not out
in the wild things like the following can happen when we got to the the a no shima
Island there we went got our picnic lunch
and went to the beach because that’s what you do
That’s where you you had a parent name Yeah
And then all of a sudden the the
hawk started coming down and one of them buzzed me and then
Didn’t knock I goes muffin over here Yeah,
she lost her muffin and so Tony you ran
for cover under the the underground what’s going on
Hawks are attacking us it was scary I mean
this is not seagulls like bugging you for your food
on the beach these things were Hawks with talons and
They look like birds of prey they were they were
maybe my I was I was really frightened in fact.
I avoided eating for hours,
and then we went up started climbing up the Mountain,
but the big hill there
with all the shrines and monuments and towards the top people were
Eating ice cream and
We witnessed a hawk come down and grab someone
‘s ice cream and they were very precise did
n’t get the people they got the ice cream
But besides the Hawks the walk up there was amazing
For me was kind
of neat to go to a 7-eleven actually get really good food.
I much prefer a sit-down meal for me
That’s part of the experience so eating
out of convenience stores was not my favorite
But the kids liked it and Shawn liked it
and it was affordable and convenient so
If you travel with kids in Japan you probably
will end up doing that the
The actual experience in the hot springs the own center itself
is quite unique for a North American.
Because you don’t wear any clothes,
and that’s a little bit interesting and awkward
to just get over that initial uncomfortableness and acceptance,
change that’s completely different, you know, I mean,
in North America you were naked in a change room.
Briefly, but you tend to cover up and all that,
but there’s really no hiding in an onsen.
我是指 任何小的 比如面巾纸
I mean, every a little…your little face towel
You carry around, you can cover up,
but at the end of the days, you just got ta screw it to…
let it all hang out and just relax,
cause everyone is in the same state as you are,
which is this, take it.
I highly recommend that anybody who is…Japan, try it onsen.
It sounds very uncomfortable,
maybe even more so for women.
But it really only took
like maybe 10 minutes to be comfortable.
It’s not like everybody who goes to the onsen
is a supermodel anyways,
It just feels like normal people who want to…
you know, relax, enjoy the hot water.
And it wasn’t really a problem,
I did notice I felt like you,
there was a lot of washing.
I did discover that most of the onsens
will supply a shower cap.
So if you go to a onten(onsen)
and you don’t want to completely…
you know, wash your hair,
you can just put on a shower cap tie your hair up.
The communication was fine,
I think that I was able to get by shopping,
japanese mall pretty good,
I only needed some help translating
when one of the sales people asked me
If I wanted it wrapped up as a gift.
But otherwise, If I wanted to try something on,
it was pretty clear where the fitting rooms were,
it was a little unusual that
you had to put a face mask on,
like a mesh bag over your face
so that your makeup or your, you know,
didn’t mess up any clothing,
but again, pretty easy to get used to.
it’s small things but you notice:
There is actually a…friendliness,
and we’re not in that tourist heavy area,
but there…there actually was a bit more English on the signs
than I thought there was gonna be,
and even for things like the washroom,
会有欢迎的标语 就是 请进
and being very welcoming saying, you know, Please come in,
It’s free and use the washroom, but North America,
就是 没鞋子 没衬衫
It’d be, you know, no shoes, no shirt,
no service, washrooms are for customers only,
like all the notes rather than we’re welcoming you.
OK, any last words?
My feet hurt, they’re asleep from sitting.
Crouched like this.
I swear, I wasn’t making them said to torture them.
I just kind of forgot how painful for It could be
to sit on the ground for an hour when you’re not used to it.
嘿 伙伴们 感谢你们
And hey guys, thank you very much
for visiting and enduring of my questions.
It was great to see the kids again.
For those of you who traveled to Japan,
how was your expectations different than your reality?
Thanks for watching!
See you next time！