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Korea vs Japan

March 28, 2013

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For starters, I’m sure some people might see the title of this blog post and video and jump into the comment section, guns blaring, keyboards smoking from all the rage typing. Korea vs Japan! There’s bad blood between Korea and Japan, for reasons that we can’t do justice in explaining in a short blog post. We see these tensions pop up often in our YouTube comments, if we ever mention anything Japanese. I know it’s gonna be the same in the YouTube comments to this video. But I know you blog readers are more civil than that, and can focus on the discussion at hand. Which is why we love you all. Thanks for coming here and leaving great comments. The discussion in last week’s Sexism in Korea video here on the site was wonderful. Thank you all for that.

We’re hoping that we can keep up the discussion with this week’s topic of differences between Japan and Korea. Basic differences, that is; stuff you might have noticed. Not talking about differences in language or culture or history or politics. Just different experiences of both countries. We mentioned a few in our video. There are tons more. Some that we didn’t mention that you might find interesting:

DVDs
Japan has a much bigger disk culture, it seems. We saw tons of DVD shops, and huge, sprawling DVD sections in stores for soooooo many things. Old shows, like Alf, had the complete DVD sets available in Japan (seriously who the flurk would buy an Alf complete set?!?!). In Korea, though, we BARELY see any DVDs. It’s unfortunate. When we first came to Korea, we could rent DVDs from the convenience store, and saw a few DVD shops around the area that we could get movies from. Now, our convenience stopped renting out DVDs, and those rental shops are closed. I’m sure we could find DVDs if we went out looking for them, but they’re nowhere near as pervasive as they were in the places we visited in Japan.

Taxis
Korean taxis are freaking cheap! To be honest, I don’t think I ever took a taxi before coming to Korea, because taxis are so expensive everywhere. Sure, they drive like maniacs and we feel like we’re in danger every time we’re in one, but they’re cheap! In Japan, taxis are crazy expensive. We never went into one, but we were told to stay away. You know, damn: we should have tried it just to see what it was like. We can’t compare the prices because we’re not sure. Maybe Japanese taxis are not as crazy expensive as people make them out to be?

Driving
You know how we feel about driving in Korea (it’s the worst). We always feel funny whenever we go to Japan, because on the first day we’re always like “Don’t cross the street yet! It’s our light, but this mofo’s gonna kill us!” but that never happens. Cars stop behind the lines they’re supposed to stop at! It’s amazing. Korea: we love lots of things about you, but we hate your driving the most!

Speaking the Native Language
Ok, so this one we’re not too sure about. Please let us know if you’ve experienced it differently. Here’s what we kinda thought: whenever we saw interracial relationships in Japan, between a foreigner and a Japanese person, they very often spoke to each other in Japanese. In Korea, though, most of the interracial relationships we’ve seen have people speaking in English. Is it just us who noticed this? We don’t want to form any speculations as to why, or if this is indicative of different countries and their perceptions on language. Maybe we just fluked out and saw a few instances in Japan of people speaking Japanese, when in reality foreigners don’t speak it too often. Or maybe lots of interracial couples in Korea speak Korean to each other (but we seriously barely know of ANY). Thoughts?

Lots of Different Kinds of Foreigners
In Japan, we saw many more foreigners than we do here in Korea. Most of the foreigners we meet here are English teachers, while in Japan we saw lots of different foreign families, with baby carriages! Seriously barely see any foreigners with baby carriages here. Maybe foreigners leave their babies at home? Ha! That was a joke. But, seriously: we heard people speaking German, Russian, heard a lot of Nigerian accents, and just saw more multicultural diversity in Japan than we do here in Korea. Maybe because we were just in the touristy parts of Tokyo, while it could be that outside of those areas foreigners are totally screwed? I don’t know.

Restaurant Service
We talked about how we dearly missed vegetables when we went out to restaurants in Tokyo. Another thing we really missed that we couldn’t really articulate in a short video was the level of customer service that we missed from Korea. Wow. It’s one of our favorite things about this country. If we go to small restaurants, not the big franchises, and there’s an ajumma (older lady) working there, she treats us like we’re family. She’ll talk to us fondly, let us know if our jackets fell of our chairs and are on the ground, will flip our meat for us, give us extra side dishes not on the menu for free, and just so much more. One of our favorite places in Bucheon (OH WE MISS YOU SO MUCH BUCHEON!) – our favorite Samgyeopsal place in fact – had the sweetest ladies. They loved Martina’s hair, would talk about it whenever she redyed it. There’d even be moments when they’d pull of loose strands from Martina’s jacket. During the winter, they’d heat up sweet potatos, not available on the menu, and bring them to us. Damn! They were so kind and caring! And that’s not just for that restaurant: we get similar treatment in lots of other restaurants in Korea. We never got that in Japan. We did for that Best Sushi in Japan place, but that was more because he was passionate about his art, rather than being kind and caring, you know? Who knows: maybe we just went to the wrong restaurants in Japan, but we remember feeling that lack of care in Tokyo restaurants.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I’m sure some of you will mention something and we’ll be like “Oh right! Totally forgot about that!” And then we’ll copy what you said, put it in the post, and then delete your comment, like it never happened. Ha! We wouldn’t do that :D

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Korea vs Japan

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  1. DVD/CD is going away because we’ve the internet now, and who wants to rent DVD and wait for it to come out versus just go on the internet. This is why more company is going network world.

    Both have their similarity, and that is emotion. Both like to keep it inside, and just use like a certain kind of manner which I find really hard to understand. In Korea, you cannot outspoken your elder in any way, and do not say something bad about someone else even friends. In Tokyo, Japan, it’s like a cold place with little to no emotion. They follow a really tradition aspect. This is unless they adapt to the western culture which there is still some that need to be hide.
    *This emotion thing make me hard to express myself, it’s like I’m boiling up, but cannot do nothing about it. It’s worst if you’re the youngest -_-*

    Both have their pros/cons, but I still love Japan&Korea Manga/manhwa, and Korean drama ^^

    4 years ago
  2. I totally agree. I think it is so weird when I was in Japan airport, I exist the gate, and I was about to get my baggage check then all of a sudden the guy gave me another shoe and ‘bow’ to me. I was like um… O_O and I just bow since he bowed lol

    In Korea, you bow to your elder, and in a respect manner actually, so it’s not like a bow daily thing.

    4 years ago
  3. I’ve never been to either of those countries, but what I heard from my friends (Japanese major btw) was that many Japanese people responded to even the most polite and gramatically correct Japanese questions with their Engrish…or just ignored them.
    An author of a book I recently read had similar experiences in Japan too (and she’s not from an English-speaking country)…
    So it’s probably a bit of a chance..
    I don’t know, I really want to see for myself (hopefully soon ;) )
    XOXO

    4 years ago
  4. If you guys ever go back to Akihabara there is a great soba place near by that you should check out. It has a great Old Tokyo feel to it and the food is amazing! http://tokyofood.blog128.fc2.com/blog-entry-17.html

    4 years ago
  5. Well I can’t give my opinion on differences because I have never been to either places but I would love to go to both countries some day :) this was an awesome TLDR, you guys handled it professionally AND honestly! I really respect you guys and I REALLY love watching your videos… you guys are just awesome!!! thank you for making videos!!

    4 years ago
  6. I love this topic, but I also hate it because it often leads to many people going “japan is better’ “No Korea is better” and its like, let’s all take a deep breath and really analyze what is being said. No one mentioned which country is superior, we are just pointing out the differences. Every country has differences. I realize it’s a sensitive topic because Japan and Korea had that history and many Koreans would love it if Korea had “better differences” mentioned. Right now I’m afraid to even venture into the youtube comments area (which is why I watched this video through your blog). Much more civil and hopefully less immature fans here (regardless of your age). Thanks for this topic though, I always wanted to know what some of the differences are (i totally agree with you about the driving thing though. I’m going to Korea in the near future and I had wanted to drive around the country since apparently my american drivers license can be used, but I’m afraid of the irresponsible crazy ass drivers in Korea)

    4 years ago
  7. The koreans you met in Japan probably belong to the zainichi koreans which came to Japan between 1910 and 1945. Most of them refuse to take the Japanese nationality because they have to give up their Korean name and to take a Japanese name. That is probably the most pressing issue in the zainichi community besides discrimination by the Japanese societey (although they are Japanese as well).A Korean friend who belongs to that zainichi community told me that the zainichi are not very welcome in Korea either, so that could be a reason for Koreans in Korea lacking japanese sushi skills ;)

    4 years ago
    • well … I think it’s simply due to the different in taste. If there was a need of japanese sushi in Korea, it would have come no matter what. Where there are buyers, sellers come ;)

      4 years ago
  8. ‘Like’ for the porn music at 6:00. Mmmm….sooo sesual! :-D

    4 years ago
  9. From what I understand with the language of inter-racial couples, Japan is VERY focused on being a homogeneous society and take great pride in that (they RARELY grant foreigners citizenship regardless of how long they’ve been there). Therefore, inter-racial relationships aren’t looked upon the best so I’m assuming that by with both of the people speaking Japanese, whoever the foreigner is is showing that respect and understanding of the culture by being able to speak the language.

    4 years ago
  10. I’m surprised that not a lot of foreigners spoke Japanese. I had the same opinion you guys did. Maybe they do it more at work rather than on the streets? That’s super interesting though.
    As to why there is more diversity in Japan, I could be totally wrong but I think Japan is more inviting. Inviting in the sense that there area lot more job opportunities and I think I read in the comments below that there about the anime/manga industry which a lot of people are into all over the world. Plus, Japan is popular for tourists. I don’t know, but I’ve always wondered about the diversity differences between Japan and S. Korea.

    4 years ago
  11. Nic

    Soooo many sushi places in Australia are run by Koreans, like I’d say the majority are. It’s almost a sure thing that when you go buy sushi the employees will all be speaking Korean. So sushi made by Koreans is pretty good here but I’ve never had sushi in Korea AND my (Korean) husband said he has never actually eaten sushi while in Korea. Weird.

    One thought on the language thing and about interracial couples speaking Japanese. Here at least, it’s a lot easier to learn Japanese and is taught in schools. For example, my brother who has been living in Japan, started learning Japanese in school when he was about 13. So by the time he moved to Japan when he was 19, he already had a good understanding of the language and then after a few years managed to reach fluency. I know lots of people who have some level of Japanese because many people study it at school.

    For me on the other hand, I had no knowledge of Korean until I made Korean friends in my mid 20’s and now though I’m married to a Korean man, I’m struggling learning Korean as an adult. Even now with Australia doing major trading with South Korea, Korean has not been put on school syllabuses. There is a big push for Asian languages in schools now so Australian school students can learn Mandarin and Japanese but for some reason there is no push for Korean. So that might play into the interracial couples speaking Japanese, the non-Japanese person in the couple may have already been exposed to Japanese, giving them that jump into learning and being able to speak it with their Japanese partner.

    4 years ago
    • It might also be that Korea as a country is just blooming in terms of their culture being known in other countries. I’ve noticed that how much people know about a country has to do with the country’s economic influence. Hence why everyone has a good idea of American stuff or British stuff. And Japan made a big leap back in the eighties, so by now schools already have programs for the Japanese languages and pretty much everyone and their pastor knows what kawaii means. My university has a language centre, and they teach over 20 languages, but the ones that got more students are English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. Clearly the pattern is there. South Korea was in a really bad situation back in the eighties, and now they are so well of in no time at all programs will be implemented to learn Korean.

      4 years ago
  12. I’m visiting tokyo this june with my family and we plan to take the subway throughout the trip. But i’m VERY worried about how crowded the trains will be. Is it really like how it is on tv/online where it is SUPER packed and crowded where everyone is just smashed together like sardines. I have this weird phobia (don’t judge me) of being in crowded places where everyone is kind of “touching” each other. Especially in trains and shops.

    4 years ago
    • I don’t think its a weird phobia. I have a friend who hates crowds too, they make him really uncomfortable.
      Like most public transport in any big city around the world, there will be times when its really busy and it will be super packed, but there are also times when you will be able to sit down and have ample room to yourself
      Just consider when you are going to use the subway. During the peak times, like just before and straight after working hours are most likely to be the busiest times, so I’d avoid using it then. Other times of the day you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
      You can also do things like when you are waiting for a train, move to an area that doesn’t have a lot of people waiting. If you walk a little bit further away from the main entrances less people will be waiting there and less people will get into that section of the train. So its possible to avoid the bigger crowds.
      When we went to Japan we didn’t have many problems. Yes there were a couple of times when it was really busy, but we just waited for the next train and it was quieter. Don’t worry about it too much. I hope you enjoy your trip~ :)

      4 years ago
  13. How’s Korean animation? Are there any Korean cartoon shows (not kiddy shows) for teenagers/or older? Or is it all just for the little ones. (I also know that Korea does help a lot with making USA animation.)

    4 years ago
  14. I kinda understand the locked down wifi for Japan. I’m studying computer security and having your wifi free and available can be dangerous. If you don’t set your wifi right, people can do some damage to computers and cause some serious problems. I just hope that Korea is setting up separate wifis for personal use and public use.

    4 years ago
  15. Hello! First I really love this blog! So thank you that you do this! :D
    I’m living in Japan for 6 month as student, and in the spring vacation I could go to Korea for 3 weeks, too. The first and the most important difference was the people. In Japan nobody is rude, nobody make fight, or something else. In Korea they do. I think korean people are more lively. And friendly. Japanese are very kind to you, for the first time. Then, when you want to make friends for example, they pretend as they don’t know you. Everytime. I think Japanese can’t speak out their feelings, korean can a bit more. But this is just my oppinion. :D

    4 years ago
  16. How’s Korean animation? Are there any Korean cartoon shows (not kiddy shows) like do they have any cartoons shows for teenagers? Or is it all just for the little ones. (I also know that Korea does help a ton of USA animation.)

    4 years ago
  17. Moe

    While I haven’t visited Korea yet, I studied down in Fukuoka, Japan for 5 months. I’m thinking it might have just been the Tokyo area, because every restaurant I went to was super nice and friendly and very homey, particularly this one small mom-and-pop ramen shop that made the best food ever.

    4 years ago
  18. I think Japan in the smaller cities is waaay different. Japan’s advertising is a little annoying too, because they hand out little tissues with their info on it, but you can always just refuse them. I used to do that because I would have a bagillion if I took them all!

    I would definitely say it is more cold though in general… I noticed in Japan people were just more to themselves and they are very shy to speak English so they don’t interact with foreigners most of the time. When I went to Korea though, everyone stared and tried to talk to me! It was kind of a culture shock after being in Japan for so long. At one point I literally thought I could be invisible in Japan because no one ever paid attention to me! It has its pros and cons, but it can be lonely.

    Porn culture is definitely apparent in Japan… I remember the first time I went into a convenience store and saw men browsing through porno magazines in plain site! So embarrassing!

    Of course, the Japanese subway is so expensive. I never used transport there and chose to ride my bike instead. I took a taxi once with my coworkers and it was expensive. It was the same as a Korean taxi basically. The Japanese trains are old, but they are always on time and really reliable. The Korean subway is cheap but I think they were rarely on time when I rode on it… it has trade offs I guess. The price for Japanese transport is crazyyyy though!

    I have no idea what you are talking about for the vegetables. My school fed me and I always ate tons!! I miss the food so much. :D

    4 years ago
    • Hmmm, maybe in Tokyo they are a little cold? But actually I feel the exact opposite I just went to Korea and I felt everyone was so cold to me: on the subway and even walking, people wouldn’t look at me or even talk to me, just glare if maybe they wanted me to move over or something. Even buying things in the store, they never really said “hello” or replied to my “thank you”. In Japan, they always welcome you to the store really excitedly and on the street will stop and apologize if they knock into you. And many people, young and old, practice talking to me in English or even in Japanese. But I think maybe it just depends on the time and place for both countries.

      4 years ago
  19. Love Simon’s tie today (and the TLDR obviously!).

    4 years ago
  20. I love Sweden .. Anyone? :(

    4 years ago
  21. I’ve never been to Korea, but as for speaking the native language, a part of it is probably that it’s a lot harder to learn. I’m in college now, and majoring in Japanese, but I wanted to start learning Korean as well. My school is probably 5-10% Korean, which is a rather large percentage, but they don’t offer the language. Or history classes. The library section is bare. For Japanese, they have an entire department with history courses and culture courses as well as language coursese, and I think there’s less than 1% Japanese students. It’s impossible to find someone to teach Korean, and relatively easy to learn Japanese.

    4 years ago
    • CD

      if there are Korean students in your school who knows Korean, you can ask them to do an exchange language program with them. Go to a site that have lessons on learning Korean and both of you can learn Korean and English together. My School started to have Korean studies, probably in the last decade or so and it seems popular. You might be able to make a club out of it or something to find like minded individuals and form your own group to learn Korean together and just ask locally if possible for someone who speaks Korean and have time to teach you guys.

      4 years ago
  22. The reason you guys probably had better treatment in Seoul vs. Tokyo is that there are less foreigners in Seoul – so they are much more surprised to see you – Tokyo has been pretty crowded with foreigners for a long time and from all over so it isn’t really a rare thing. I experienced “service-su” :) in Korea of course at several restaurant with the free banchan and sometimes soda. In Japan, my equivalent was at arcades – when I would play arcade games the attendants would often give me service and pushed the stuffed animal or prize to the end of the crane machine to help me tip it over =].

    Another major difference is the subway. In Seoul, you pay considerably less to travel, but in Tokyo you pay every time you change lines and it’s very expensive in comparison to the subway in Seoul and I thought the subway in Tokyo (if you’re not on the JR Line) is actually less foreigner friendly than the one in Seoul that has TVs and sound systems notifying you in a bunch of languages if you’re approaching your stop.

    It was my experience that Japanese people in Tokyo were more willing to help direct a foreigner than those in Seoul – I’m not sure why that was – but anytime I was lost in Tokyo I could walk up to almost anyone and ask for directions. Another thing with that is that people in Korea would tend to make alot of eye contact with me when I was on the subway (I’m Hispanic) and many times I was asked what exactly I was doing in Seoul. In Tokyo, everyone would avoid eye contact and if they did make it they would immediately apologize and bow (because it’s really quite rude imo), although I did get used to the staring in Seoul and just started to look up at the ceiling when on the Subway.

    I think the food in convenience stores in Tokyo are pretty superior to those in GS-25s or Family Marts in Korea. I had this amazing spaghetti out of a 7-11 and it was better than the Italian restaurants I had tasted out in Seoul. Tokyo has a better grasp of foreign cuisine than Seoul and I feel that might have to do with the amount of time Tokyo has had exposure to foreigners and how many have lived there to influence the food.

    Def. don’t get in a Taxi lol it’s so expensive. You’re better waiting it out in Tokyo for sunrise and the subways – in Korea I would regularly just hitch a cab home though after a night out on the town. Not so in Tokyo.

    Arcades are also a difference. Obviously there is Akihabara in Tokyo and Japan is where most video games come from, but really Japan has a ton of arcades in comparison to Seouls PlayStation-bangs or Wii-bangs which really only have FIFA and fighting games/shooters in them. In Tokyo, you can play the older most retro video games and I loved that!

    Autumn also seems to last longer in Tokyo (maybe because it’s an island?). I went to Tokyo in December 2011 and still saw autumn leaves and cold but temperate weather, while I was literally freezing my butt off in Korea and all the trees and plants were long dead.

    That’s all for now :)

    4 years ago
  23. i love Korea and Japan!! my 2 fave countries!!! (that i’ve never been to T_T, but i will one day!!)
    Korea!!! you better recycle all those flyers!!!
    wifi heaven is a place where i need to live!!
    oohhh!!! Simon you so nasty!!!
    haha again!!!! you mention SHINee….you sing Juliette!! hahahaha!!

    4 years ago
  24. I love japanese street advertising ^^ Of course there’re people who try to give you just some flyers, but when it gets colder almost everyone gives you tissiues with flyers in the package :) I never buy tissues here ^^

    4 years ago
  25. It’s interesting that you point out that interracial couples speak Japanese in Japan and English in Korea, I was unaware of this but it doesn’t surprise me. Having lived in Japan, English is rarely spoken at all and if you have lived there long enough to have a significant other you are expected to speak some Japanese by that point (actually it is more of a necessity than an expectation).

    I imagine there are more foreigners in Tokyo, but in Osaka where I lived I almost NEVER saw another non-Asian person if I wasn’t in my university international building and it wasn’t even until my final months there that the train lines had stop announcements in English. I also rarely saw interracial couples. So basically, in Japan people speak Japanese.

    4 years ago
  26. I think the bigger amount of foreigners could perhaps partly be explaned through the worldwide popularity of manga and anime. A lot of fans become interested in the country as well and eventually visit it. Korea hasn’t such a “export hit” (not that I know of).

    4 years ago
    • Yeah, I know what you mean. I didn’t know about Korean Dramas or Kpop until I stumbled upon Korean Dramas when I couldn’t find any anime shows I wanted to watch and even then I thought they were Japanese and really didn’t want to watch them. I only learned about Kpop from Eat Your Kimchi when I was searching for something about Korean Drama or Korean Musicians and stumbled across EYK’s Dance Kpop 2008…I think (I didn’t actually watch it until 2011, when I first found out about Kpop)…it was the one with G-Dragon’s “Heartbreaker” and one with SHINee. So there you have it….stumble upon K-Drama and Kpop from an anime site (CR) and a couple visiting South Korea. :P

      4 years ago
    • Korean Dramas? K-Pop? :D

      4 years ago
      • I think k-pop is more of a recent thing, people have been talking about japan since i was really young, because of the mangas and famous games from there. Korea is more of a new topic im hearing, cuz of k-pop mostly i think. Maybe 3 years ago i started hearing people mention it more?..maybe more i forget xP yeah that’s just my area though *canada gta*

        4 years ago
      • Yeah, but isn’t that really recent though? Not the actual dramas and music, of course, but the wave of interest in other parts of the world. It’s just that ever since I was little I was watching Japanese cartoons, but I had never really saw that same level of easy exposure to Korean entertainment. I think Korea’s big wave may still in the making or rather in its first stages, but I think it could definitely be really big too.

        Edit: Oops, sorry. Didn’t refresh and see the other comments. :p

        4 years ago
      • as it is, hallyu is still very much an underground sporadic thing outside of asia, youd think from watching news about the concerts kpop stars are doing that its huge but its really not, fans are passionate but few and far between, its nothing compared to the impact manga and anime had/still has in america europe etc

        4 years ago
  27. On the porn issue, I agree that porn is more accessible in Japan. Their sex culture is very obvious. I am used to seeing older Japanese men on trains or buses looking at their Hentai porn.. and eyes glued to their phones one by one in a row… I also like to make a point on the role of the Korean government issuing laws against mini skirts and disabling porn sites.. When i grew up in the early 2000’s..Korea was a bit more conservative, but it seemed over night the Korean girls on music videos became very sulty like they were studying BET like no other..On the issue of governemnt intervention..I don’t think it’s a bad idea..however I can see how American’s would feel pissed about losing their civil liberty-freedom to expression and expression of sexuality. I think this is a hot topic! I hope to hear more about it in myriad of ways in discussion.

    4 years ago
  28. You CAN find DVDs in stores if you look hard enough. Last trip I got several box sets of old series I couldn’t find online. BUT I get the sense that most Koreans order everything online or watch stuff on their phones or download stuff so the old school video/dvd rental places are all dying.

    4 years ago
  29. I agree–totally wish there were some DVD rental places here in Korea! p.s. I love my kimbap chunguk ajjumas! They used to always fawn over my braids/hairbows/etc, but lately they’ve been oogling over my husbands curly red hair. haha. Just like the old ladies back in the US did!

    4 years ago
  30. I like Korean sashimi, raw squid, and sea squirts..dipped in gochu-jang. I really like the ones from the Haenyo from Jeju Island..
    Korea has come a long way folks…
    I grew up in S.Korea in the early 90’s and moved to Japan mid 90’s and now that I visit back in 2012 ..i’m blown away. I’m proud of Korea!!! (South)

    4 years ago
  31. This is amazing i want to visit both places!. free wifi and the fastest internet in the world , my gamers heaven !

    4 years ago
  32. The advertising in Japan can get a bit annoying as well! In the main streets people will stand outside their shops or at busy crossroads with packets of tissues that have flyers inside. So by the end of the day you’ll have accumulated about 10 packets of tissues (which are useless as well cos they are so thin!!) Or they’ll stand there and shout out promotions and walk around with huuuge signs advertising it! I guess it’s better than the flyers thrown on the floor though :P

    4 years ago
  33. Boy, I would love free wifi in Toronto… but like that’ll ever happen LOL ;___;
    When I went to Osaka, Japan a few years ago with my family, it was hilarious when we got lost because my dad, who knew VERY little Japanese, tried asking for direction but as soon as the Japanese peeps heard English or noticed that he was a foreigner, they dipped lol it was funny but at the same time, we were still lost xD

    I had the same confusion with the public transportation… “Fine, I guess I’m lost in Osaka forever” lol

    4 years ago
    • I’m living in Osaka right now and I have to say, that never happened to me. Every time I get lost, even if they don’t speak English, we use body language and they always get so worried that they actually take me to where I am trying to get to. Or they lend me their phone/look up info for me on their phone. The times I tried asking for directions in Korea (in English), they all looked at me with a “Oh God, I don’t speak English” look on their face and took off. Or kinda grunted something in Korea and pointed vaguely in a direction. But I guess everyone has different experiences.

      4 years ago
  34. I think if you travel outside of Tokyo you’ll experience more of the kind/caring ahjumma type you mention in your restaurant section. In my experience people in Tokyo are kind of cold lol.

    4 years ago
    • I was a foreigner (asian but still foreign) so some people did stop to help me around and i agree that it just comes with the metropolitan factor. Still loved Japan though; the people, food, and everything in general was great.

      4 years ago
    • I’ve never been to Korea but I have been to Japan a few times and from my experience I saw that people are nice and polite when you ask for assistance or help but very rarely do people come approach you. When I was in Kyoto we wanted to go to the Kyoto manga museum and we were lost. A number of people walked by us and recognized (at least I think they did) that we were lost but didn’t approach us. However, the two people that we approached and asked were both really nice. The latter even went out of her way and took us to the museum that was a couple of blocks away. We’ve also gotten lost in Tokyo in a really crowded place and a lot of people passed us and knew that we were lost but again no one approached us. However, when we asked for help the person tried his best to explain and was very helpful. I find that to be a general trend in Japan. One time we were on the train and this young girl but toilet paper in her dress and I believed a lot of people noticed but no one (including us) went up and remind the girl until like half an hour later and this lady did so only as she was getting off the train. I wanted to tell the girl or her mom but my mom stopped me because she wasn’t sure how the mom would react. I discussed this with my mom and we came up with the hypothesis and the Japanese people didn’t want to be impolite and that they probably thought the mom should have noticed. I don’t know if that is true but that was just what we came up with.

      It seems that Japanese people are polite and helpful when you approach them first.

      4 years ago
    • I think it’s basically just Tokyo where you’ll have the slightly colder experience. Tokyo’s used to absorbing a ton of people and cultures, and so it’s sort of its own entity. Outside of Tokyo, you get a lot better service. I’ve been studying here in Akita since August and I’ve met some really kind ahjumma types. It probably helps that there are many more elderly people here while all of the youth move to Tokyo to work in corporations and such.

      4 years ago
    • Yeah I experienced kind Japanese people who helped me when I was lost and I had less caring service in Korea. The experience is different, each restaurant is different. If you go to the countryside in Japan like Fukushima (if it’s better from the devastating event last year) the people are nice and a lot of families grow their own garden of veggies and fruits. My host family was in the countryside and I went pumpkin picking with my sofu (grandfather). The community were a lovely and lively bunch.

      4 years ago
    • I found people in Japan to be super helpful and friendly everywhere, seriously I’ve never seen a culture that’s this friendly before. Everyone went out of their way to assist in any way that they could. I spoke only Japanese though (basic) so I’m not sure if the experience is different for other people. I found people in Tokyo to be very friendly, the only people that were a little less friendly (and this still means very friendly because it’s Japan) were the people in Oosaka. Oosaka, why must you do everything differently! Like suddenly we had to stand on the other side of escalators, every other city in Japan was on the other side. But I’ve heard people say the exact opposite about the people in Oosaka too, so it might just be our experience.

      4 years ago
      • Osaka prides itself on being different than Tokyo. They have different habits, different humor and I swear Osaka ben is practically a different language. I would equate it to being on par with Texas and the rest of the United States.

        4 years ago
    • yes, right. After tokyo , I visited Osaka and Kyoto. It was a lot different. Kansai region people are a lot friendly than the ones in Tokyo.

      4 years ago
  35. Dvds in American seems to be heading down the same path as Korea. I live in a small time surrounded by cows, but we still had a movie rental store in our town when i was growing up. In fact by the time I was in High School we had 2. Now we have none, though we do have a red box machine in our grocery store. Blockbusters are also closing down all around us. Now I don’t know if it’s because of Netflix that we see these going away. I mean I can still find DVDs, but even music stores that carried CDs and DVDs are closing down.

    As for your Taxi remark I have a question for you. I’ve never been to Korea, though I would love to be there, but a friend of mine had a son who lived in Korea because he was in the military. He told me that even though they are cheap if you don’t give the exact amount they won’t give you change. He told me that his son’s wife one time (who is from the Philippines) gave twice as much as she didn’t have anything smaller and was crying to her husband because he refused to give her change. He also told me that his son had a hard time getting a taxi to take them if they had a debit card. They wanted cash because they figured you wouldn’t have exact change. Can you confirm or deny this? Do you know if this only happens to foreigners if you do notice that?

    4 years ago
    • I live in a college town, pop 35,000 ish and we had blockbuster for a short time when I was younger but we had a hometown you know family owned and run video rental place that went out of buisness arround the time of netflix and redbox. I miss them. The only way to rent a movie in town is to go to redbox or rent it online through blockbuster or amazon.

      4 years ago
  36. lol, so living in Korea is probably a lot better than living in Japan.. ;D

    4 years ago
    • As Simon and Martina said, its not about being better. I think though it really depends on your situation, what you’re used to, what you’re willing to get used to, and what you prefer. Some may like it better than Korea, others might like it better in Japan. It really depends on what you want. For them, they lived in Korea for so long, they prefer Korea. Just as my father lived in America for so long that he thinks he won’t be able to live in Korea again (traffic is terrible, etc).

      4 years ago
  37. D’aww.. at first I was first.. then I refreshed and I wasn’t.. sad day is sad.

    4 years ago
  38. COOL TLDR – Could you tell us what you know about saesang fans in Korea and whether or not the Korean media mentions them, maybe even with anti fans? XD

    4 years ago
    • Agree with you. Its not like S&M are knowledgeable about saesang bc they don’t stalk the idols with the crazy fangirls. Unless they do a WANK outside celebs’ houses and get run over by crazy fan girls.

      3 years ago
    • Get used 2 it because music is sort of a common ground for any culture/race/etc. Kinda brings ppl 2gether.

      4 years ago
      • and that’s not what I implied, did I? I’m a kpop fan myself but you have music mondays and plently of other kpop related videos made by them. Simon and Martina probably know about sasaeng fans as much as the average kpop fan does. There’s only the tldr where they can discuss other issues regarding korea and not just kpopkpopkpopkpop. I personally started watching their videos for the tldrs after all. (There’s not that many decent youtubers who vlog/discuss about korea-related issues either)

        4 years ago
    • yes, you can even find a subbed korean documentary on youtube abou that topic (very interesting!!)
      just type in “saesang fans” and you´ll find it, it´s quite a long video, splitted into 2 parts.

      4 years ago
    • I’d like them to cover Korean fans and ‘netizens’ in general. They seem to have a lot more pull and power over K-Pop idols, musicians and actors than in the west and even in Japan. I wonder why that is. I mean we have haters in western pop but they’re not nearly as vehement as Anti-Fans and Saesangs.

      4 years ago
    • lol would you rather that they didn’t answer the question at all?

      4 years ago
    • Can’t imagine how S&M can talk about this since its not like they have saesang fans.

      4 years ago
    • I’d love S&M to cover this topic, and to discuss stalker laws in general

      4 years ago
  39. Hey I’m from Toronto! Just curious, what sushi places do you go to when you’re here?

    4 years ago
  40. How can you buy k-dramas if there aren’t dvd shops?! Tragic.

    4 years ago
    • I think you need a different verb than “buy” WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE I MEAN DOWNLOAD! Oh God! Did I just write that? No! No I don’t endorse that kind of behaviour!

      4 years ago