357
COMMENTS

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

ToFebruary
Gmarket
Sogang
  1. Hahaha, let’s talk about ajumma (older lady) in korea.

    ajumma literally means aunt in korean, as does ajussi (older gentleman) means uncle. it refers to an older lady, usually married, but not necessarily.

    an ajumma is the most beloved thing in korea, not only because she’s older, and lady, but because she carries with her special aura with her–she’s kind, she’s generous, sometimes she can be harshy, but cares about you. no wonder the word itself means aunt!

    there was a set of jokes about ajumma in korea while ago (like 10-20 years ago), which i wouldn’t go further execpt an example, mainly because i can’t remember them well, and because it would cloak the post. anyway, the idea behind it is sometimes her actions seem funny, and selfish, but her intentions are always good, and lovable. because her actions are from her love for the family. and because she’s such a harmless person, who’s physically weaker, and should save her strength to care for the family. (ex. when in a bus, when there’s empty seat, an ajumma would be the first person to catch the seat–since she has to go home, and cook and care for the family. etc.)

    korean culture is very much family-oriented. and many of you would probably know about this, but we not only call older lady ajumma (an aunt), older gentleman ajussi (an uncle), but also calls older friend either hyong (an older brother) or noona (an older sister), and younger friend dongsaeng (an younger brother or sister). also, we always call seniors either harabuji (a grandfather), or halmeoni (a grandmother).

  2. Hello I usually dont bother to comment on internet but I just wanted to share my personal (opinion dont get me wrong ^^) experience. so u guys mentioned that how couples speaking English in Korea and in Japan they speck Japanes? I think it is because like u guys mentioned most of foreign people live in Korea, they are living in Korea as English teacher thus they are usually not encourage to speck Korean and if u live in Seoul u don’t actually need to use Korean that much. in addition many Korean people see u differently if u speck English

  3. Kimbab Cunkook rocks ;) Thanks for the video too – very informative :)

  4. Your post isn’t even reliable.
    This website is more on the side of korea.
    Korea is like a second japan, mini japan.
    Koreans try to copy japanese in every ways.
    Martials arts, fashion, cars, etc…
    If you never lived in japan you can’t understand.
    ive been to korea btw.

  5. you dumbasses taxis in japan are expensive because they are premium in everything do not comare you korean fools.

    • Why hello there. I see you have strong feelings about Korea and Japan. However it is against our commenting guidelines to be disrespectful. Which this post obviously is. If you persist in posting disrespectful and inflammatory comments you will be banned.

      Cheers
      Natz

  6. Well, Koreans in Toronto doing sushi does not sound strange to me.

    Let me explain. In the Netherlands where I live, the most “traditional Dutch” fastfood would be fries, as in French fries, or “chips” in the UK. These have pretty much been taken over by Chinese in the last 10 years. In the town where I live out of the six “snackbars” I have been in five are run by Chinese, or maybe one by Japanese. This seems to be a national phenomenon.

    Moreover, but this may be just where I live, I’m told many “Italian” pizzeria’s are run by Turks. So I just to had to know … who runs the local Turkish bakery? The ones behind the counter I met were Moroccans.

    So, yeah, Koreans doing sushi, check.

  7. Ryan Willard

    Great post. I lived in Japan for a year and traveled a bit in Korea. You are basing your finding on only Tokyo, kind of like judging America on only New York. There are almost no foreigners outside Tokyo and Osaka, and those that are there are teachers or students. Taxis are quite expensive compared to korea, but the subway was much better in my town(Fukuoka) than Seoul. I enjoyed that is was 100% on time.

    My favorite restaurant was this little house that a couple turned into a restaurant. for 6-7$ I got a giant plate of chicken, rice, tofu, veggie and a pickled veggie and all the green tea I could drink. They had a library for manga that was free to read and usually bought the newest edition of new books to read.

    Still loved the topic and the show.

  8. I somehow missed this video when it was originally posted, but found it while looking for info about moving from Seoul to Japan. I completely agree with everything you said. I was so impressed with how clean the streets were, even the street markets were immaculate! And, the subway in Osaka had me in tears. Not only is it hard to use, but nearly all the maps in the subway were in Japanese, so I couldn’t figure out where I was going in order to know how much it would cost. Fortunately, a very nice Japanese man helped me the first time, but after that I was screwed. I found the buses in Kyoto much easier to use, but still ridiculously expensive. And the lack of access to the internet was painful. Hmm…I’m beginning to wonder why I want to live in Japan. As for sushi, there are one or two decent places in Seoul, but nothing compares to being in Japan.

  9. Dimas Dwiputranto

    I want to help to tell more about people of Japanese from what have I experience it.

    Japanese People are nice. Very nice. Especially from Kansai Area (That means Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Kyoto). You can already feel the difference at the atmosphere itself. At Osaka, they will help you GLADLY. Even when I was at Osaka end I forgot which way to my Hotel, I ask for the staff at the mall that connected into the hotel that I’m staying (And I got loss ;D) and then they gladly escort us into the place, and when we arrived at the detination, they bow to us and say “ありがとうございます” which in romaji is Arigatou Gozaimasu which means Thank you very much (Which it can be interpreted as “Thank you very much for visiting our mall”) And also we got help from officer when we visit Kyoto and to think he like candy from my country xD We told him we want to go here and the officer explain which bus should we take it. God I love Kansai area <3.

    About Foreign who speak Japanese with Japanese people. They could be exchange student or someone who work at Japan. Japanese people can't speak English fluently, heck they even can't speak English xD So in order to be accept it by society, foreign had to learn Japanese. But there are also foreign who speak English so maybe you don't venture too much.

    Restaurant service at Japan is kinda different even from my country standard. Especially the Food Court. If you ever eat food from food court, remember, always, again, ALWAYS bring it back into the place where you bought the food cause it Japanese culture.

  10. 캣 그랜

    Well in Tokyo, there are far too many people to give kindly service like that. But outside of Tokyo, I got kind service and kind people in restaurants. Most times they will leave you alone because most people like being left alone when eating.

  11. Actually, you can find Japanese style sushi in Korea.
    There are some conveyer belt sushi restaurants. (회전스시 or 회전초밥)
    회 is Korean style sashimi, and 초밥 is Japanese style sushi, I think.

  12. Oh and, in Japan, people eat insanely fast. When I was in Korea, i didn’t experience seeing any Korean person eat quickly but I don’t think it’s applicable to all Koreans. But in Japan people stand while they eat ramen and finish in 3-5 minutes. O.o

  13. But what I find different too is, Korean boys really love gaming no matter how old they are but some Japanese boys I’ve met are like, “gaming are only for kids.” O.o

  14. I’m wondering then about the indie music. Is it only Korean Indie Music or were/are there any in Japan? Have you heard any from other countries? Also, outside of work attire, how do Japanese people dress for different occasions? I could always check this out through Google as usual, but how much more fun when asking (=^___^=)

  15. charlescchan

    I think Japan has lower birth rate, so immigration incentives are higher? Hello from Toronto, ON, Canada BTW!!

  16. I think Japan has lower birth rate, so immigration incentives are higher? Hello from Toronto, ON, Canada BTW!

  17. nachti50nifty

    As someone who spent the last year in Central Japan and will soon be moving to Korea, I must say I am relieved to hear the lack of vegetables is unique to Japan! There is nowhere to order a decent salad. And by decent, I mean a non-saucer-of-shredded-cabbage-topped-with-canned-corn-and-way-too-much-mayonnaise. Americans have this image of the the Japanese diet being extremely healthy, but really they eat a lot of meat, white rice, and fried everything. I think this has a lot to do with having t import all their produce, though. When one apple = $5.00, and one carrot = $1.00, you can see why restaurants use veggies as the garnish.

    Dear God, half-frozen sushi sounds awful! Japanese places, even the cheap kaiten ones, make it right in front of you out fresh ingredients. I didn’t live in Tokyo, but the smaller restaurants in my city were very service oriented. Less friendly than American service to be sure, but especially at places you’ve been to more than once, they are very hospitable. I’ve had waitresses pick up scarves or jackets from the floor for me, joke with us, comment on my clothing, give us free refills. I also had this happen while on vacation in Tokyo and Kyoto.

    The Tokyo subway system is a mess! There are two private companies plus the nationally owned JR lines, and as you all mentioned, there’s that new extension that doesn’t connect, and you have to get off and walk a few blocks to continue on that line. They just finished building it a few years ago, so they must have had problems with zoning. Nagoya’s subway only has four main lines, and everything is labeled in English! Much easier to navigate, much less crowded, and not really any problems with gropers. Kyoto’s public transport wasn’t bad either. If you ever are back in Tokyo, you can use http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ to figure the fastest/cheapest way around and avoid having to change lines. Even my Tokyo-ite friends use it daily. Japanese bus drivers are pretty safe, but in general people ignore traffic signs, lights, and laws, and as a pedestrian, if it’s your turn to cross the street, you’ve got to just go for it or no one will stop at crosswalk. Lax observance of traffic regulations was a big surprise for me. But you can’t deny that the trains run on time.

  18. Hoe in korea is not a koren word for sushi, they’re totally different cuisine. So obviously when you go buy hoe in korea, it’s unlike all the sushi you ate before. they’re different fish, prepped in different way, that is eaten in different way. You can’t say “oh how come there are all these korean sushu chefs in toronto and none in korea” makes no sense because korean sushi chefs are making sushi, while the korean how chefs are making hoe. if you want to eat sushi when ur in korea, look for a japanse sushi restaurant not a korean how restaurant.

  19. tickled41

    Fruits in Japan taste soooo good. I’d be healthy too if that’s what fruits tasted like.

    But in Japan, fruits are considered a luxury and are often given to other people as gifts. I remember seeing a mango being sold for $1200 usd.

  20. i’d love to go to both countries, but I really wonder how do people afford things in Japan? I always hear how expensive it is in Japan. I’ve seen prices for japanese dvd’s or cd’s and they are ridiculously expensive. Their toys and models I can understand xD

    I really like hearing about how people drive in different countries. I’ve went back to HK and its extremely affordable to take a taxi. As for driving in general from what I’ve seen. People don’t really drive fast, but they dont yield to the pedestrians when they have the right of way unlike the US. I’ve literally seen vehicles speed up when people try to cross on a red light. I’ve heard in china the driver yells at you if they hit you lol. On my local news channel a few weeks back broadcasted the way people in Russia drive or will jump in front of cars to sue the other party. insane i tell you lol

  21. I really found it interesting that the sushi places you guys go to in Canada are run by Koreans. Here in London is a Japanese chain restaurant called Wasabi and my friend was telling me a few weeks ago how it was actually started by a Korean guy selling sushi on the side of the road and then became this huge chain as his popularity increased. Nowadays, most of the Wasabi stores are owned by Koreans too o: Wasabi doesn’t like…specialize in sushi, really, but they do have good sushi options. I think it’s interesting that so many Japanese food places outside of Japan are owned by Koreans o:

  22. Oh! And about the restaurant service… it’s actually their way of beeing polite. In Japan it’s polite not to invade the privacy of someone you don’t know. Plus Tokyo is the “cold” capital… that’s also why it’s very seldom you get to know new people just by talking to them.. in Tokyo you need someone to introduce you most of the time. The countryside and the south are very different though! People are more open there and talk a lot : )

  23. Hmmm about the interracial couples talking mostly in japanese…. i don’t know how it compares to Korea but here’s my take on Japans part. I personaly know many mixed couples talking japanese most of the time, but I quess that’s because they ARE in Japan. If they were in the foreign boy/girlfriends country they would probably speak the language spoken there! ; ) In Japan you pop out a lot if you speak something besides Japanese and chances are all your friends and especially your japanese boy/girlfriends friends who didn’t study abroad won’t understand a word you say : ) Also if they didn’t meet abroad the Japanese might not feel so comfortable speaking english, like most japanese sadly : ( the school system doesn’t usually teach speaking too much … aand in reverse the chances are high the foreign boy/girlfriend wants and/or needs to practice his/her japanese! If you live there for a long time and want to work in a real company english just won’t be enough…

  24. I’m not sure if the language reason is because of the type of tourism in Korea and Japan. Many people learn Japanese, it’s a really accessible language to learn. In my hometown there’s a university and community college that both offer Japanese, while there is no Korean program, although maybe next semester (cross our fingers, it’ll get approved). Anyways, I feel like people go to Japan with their love of Japanese culture, learning the language, and many people go to Korea to make money. But I think these days more and more people are going to Korea because they love the culture, since the hallyu wave became really popular. I think as time goes by there will be more people in Korea who actually speak Korean and perhaps they will be speaking to their spouses in Korean like in Japan. Before Korea became more well known, I think many people didn’t know much about Korea as they did with Japan. In the states for example, we never learned about the Korean war, but of course we learned about Japan because of WWII. I think we had more exposure to Japan than Korea, but with the help of the internet, youtube, and various sites, people are learning about Korea and getting interested. I think in 10 years it will be very different than the way it is now.

  25. From my experience most koreans consume media online rather than rent DVDs. Also, I agree that interracial couples tend to speak english in korea. I’m not sure but I think this has to do with koreans being more likely to live in different countries. I lived in 5 different countries and three states in the US and whenever I meet an asian the person is usually chinese or korean, not japanese. Those couples you see speaking english are I think dating koreans who lived overseas for a while and are somewhat fluent in english. Also, this comes from my experience from living in korea but when you meet a foreigner it is common courtesy to speak in english. All koreans afterall are taught english in schools.

  26. omg I clicked the send button by accident, I was going to post more, orz.
    Speaking of japanese people speaking english. Well, the best way to communicate in there is speaking japanese ad being able to read hiragana, katakana and a few kanji (because without kanji you are lost, try to at least memorize a few, and by few I mean around 120, and with that you can survive). I remember I was once walking down the streets near a restaurant zone and there was this guy who was adevrtising a place where food seemed to be really nice. Since back then my sucky japanese skills were awful (they still are though) I decided to approach him trying to talk in english. They guy just too a step back and started shaking his hands saying “NO ENGLISH!, NO ENGLISH!” xD so I guess it’s better to speak japanese. Also it’s more well seen among japanese people that a foreigner speaks japanese.

    Foreigners living in Japan…hmm…well I only know there are a lot of mexican people living in there, with children who speak better japanese than spanish and already hold the citizenship lol. I don’t have a lot to say in there. :/
    I have also met a lot of Interracial merriages (both in Japan and Mexico) amongst Japanese and Mexican. In most of them both parties speak both languages (spanish and japanese) and teach their children both lol. One of my teachers is half mexican half japanese, and his mexican dad teaches japanese, while his japanese mom teaches spanish to foreigners here in Mexico, LOL.

  27. Well, I have traveled to Japan a couple of times in my life (2 to be exact; the first time it was onlt Tokyo for two days and the other one was a full two-week long trip, in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and Osaka. Gonna visit Osaka on summer though). So I am going to post about my experience in Tokyo, being the city I had been most at (and the only one where I noticed stuff). Well, there in Japan the subway industry is privatized so there are a lot of companies, their prices vary with each other but it’s like the most favored transport among citizens (idk about this last statement but my japanese teacher told us about it so).

    Just so you know taxi cabs in Tokyo are REALLY expensive, like, really. Dunno about Canada but here in Mexico the rates are ok. I mean, taxis and buses here are quite cheap, to say the least (we mexicans complain now because about 20 years ago the bus rates were about 1 MXN (only in Mexico City though) and now it’s about 8MXN, which is crazy for those who live in the capital but compared to the rest of the country and world it’s still cheap) so when my dad and I took a taxi cab to drive us to the hotel (we got lost orz), which was about 10-15 minutes away, it costed about 6,000 yen, and I was surprised. Ever since then I believe it’s better to get a railway map. Needless to say it’s confusing as hell. Dunno if in Korea the subway it’s in charge of the government or is it privatized as well?

  28. Have u ever played the korean ‘pepero’ game? Is it played a lot there or do u see it a lot? I think its a cute game. Halarious when vexx plays it.

  29. J_Charlie

    I second a lot of what people have said about Tokyo being different to the rest of Japan. I’ve lived here for 5 years (in other areas away from Tokyo) so I might take a stab at those other specific questions & observations.

    Taxis are *definitely* crazy expensive. They’re cheaper in bigger cities because they have more customers, but out here in the country they are ridiculous: 2000 yen ($21 Canadian) for a 15min journey is a good example. They also rarely have GPS/maps of the local area outside of major cities…

    Driving skills of people here can be pretty questionable because of the licensing/testing system. It can be very easy and quick to get a license, since there is little emphasis placed on practical skills combined with the theory…in the end it all comes down to a theory test rather than one which is on-road. Add that to the daredevil grandads zipping around in their mini-trucks and it can be quite the heart-stopping experience to drive in metro/rural Japan. Yes, they do obey lights and signals more than some other countries…living here long-term though, you notice a surprising amount of mistakes/errors on the road.

    Speaking the language: One reason for more interracial couples speaking Japanese to each other might be because the number of people who have studied Japanese who are coming to Japan is getting larger every year. Perhaps it doesn’t happen that much yet with Korean?

    Vegetables!!! the meat + carbs + meat + carbs thing in Japan is really sad…but I have met quite a few people here who openly declare that they hate vegetables… (T.T) But eggplants, pumpkin and especially sweet potato (satsuma imo) are amazing here – it’s crazy they don’t make it onto the menu more.
    I’ll make you guys tasty Japanese veggie dishes, no worries! ^^

  30. I know you guys have touched breifly about this before, but i’d like to know more about how is the pressure from media and society to be thin and beautiful affecting South Koreans (female and male)? Like are there a lot of eating disorders? or more on the popularity of plastic surgeries? etc.

  31. Hello! I have just found your videos and they are REALLY interesting and funny :)
    I am curious to know how environmentally aware/ friendly is Korea? Are things like recycling and making your home energy efficient easy and common to do?
    Abi L in the UK

  32. When I lived in Japan the taxi’s changed $50 for 5km. O_o

  33. Lillian Rans

    You are in Hongdae now, right? I got one sex shop for you…. There is Condomania. I think it is near Ho Bar III. Here is the address 360-5 1st Floor, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea, tel: 337-9139. That would make a funny WANK.

  34. You guys briefly mentioned interracial couples in Korea. Are relationships between foreigners and Koreans common there? What are the reactions to such relationships? I remember seeing that video warning Koreans not to marry foreigners which seemed very negative…

  35. Martina Potterhead

    Hey guys Me and my best friend Saki (Silvia) started learning Japanese and we wanted to go there, but since we discovered you, we are like OMG Korea is 100 times better. We started learning Hangul and after we finish our studies we wanted to go to Korea :3 so I wanted to know how could we come to live there if we don’t become teachers (I mean like what could we work there)

    • Yoonjee Park

      I don’t think there are a lot of job opportunities for foreigners in Korea since youth unemployment is a huge social problem nowadays. There are 3D jobs, of course, since nobody wants them (though I think this is a problem too..), and lots of workers from underdeveloped countries fill in those places. S&M talked about some of the difficulties they had to go through to start the eyk business in previous videos. The majority of foreigner employment I observe as a native citizen are three types in large: Foreign language teachers or teachers in international schools, government officials/military officers, and employees of global companies (mostly professionals with license, I think, like consultants or financiers). Maybe this website could help you: http://www.contactkorea.go.kr

  36. Koreans don’t rent DVDs anymore in Korea because they can watch everything on demand through their cable and internet, so why bother renting physical stuff or even mail dvds, that’s so last century lol. They can just click on tv and see the old shows and dramas and films whenever by clicking their remote. And those service are way way cheaper when you bundle with your internet, cell and cable. Thank god for fastest internet in the world. S&M, for sushi in korea, maybe you should try out more spots. Go to Busan, that’s where japanese go to eat sushi, since it’s soooo expensive in Japan.

  37. The HAIR!!!! Japan’s hair is so much better!!!!!

  38. Isabel Ruby
    Isabel Ruby

    whenever i’m in Japan, they always start off speaking English to me, until I respond to them in Japanese.

  39. I studied abroad in South Korea in 2011, and took a short vacation to Japan while I was there. And the main thing I noticed in Japan was how much everyone wanted to help us. We would be standing there, looking at a subway map, and even though we knew where we were going four or five people would stop and ask us if we needed help or were lost. And when we actually did get lost, we had a wonderful oba san actually escort us all the way to our hostel! In Korea, if we asked for help or directions they would help, but I just noticed they weren’t as forward about it as they were in Japan.

    • Peter Robinson

      That’s funny, I experienced the exact opposite. I was friggin lost in Seoul and a young business guy ask me if I needed help. The guy even walked with me halfway to the subway station. No one helped me in Japan. I guess it’s different for everyone.

Related Latest Trending