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Known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion, in the pre Edo period, the area that came to be known as Harajuku was a small post town.
*Harajuku. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 10, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harajuku
People from the US
We are from Texas. We work for a Japanese education company as consultants for the instructors. One of us has been working for our company for over 10 years. We came to Japan to attend a conference which was held in Osaka. Then, we came to Tokyo for sightseeing.
Japan is very clean and organized. We don’t understand how the country is so clean with the small number of trash cans. The United States has a lot of trash cans but it’s very messy.
Everybody is very polite and friendly in Japan, but they are always busy even late at night.
1. How is it possible for Japan to be so clean with very few trash receptacles?
2. Why do many toilets have different ways (buttons or handles) to flush?
3. Do your feet hurt from walking in heels all day, or are your shoes more comfortable than ours?
4. Even with so many people moving, walking and traveling, every person follows the “rules” about where to stand, which side to walk on, etc. (And polite!) Is this tought or expected as you are growing up?
Dad and son from Australia
Son: I’m a high school student. We came to Japan for our holiday. This holiday is three weeks. We came here for the second time and arrived yesterday. I like Tokyo Dome and ramen. I like the stuff around the dome.
Dad: We went to Tokyo Disney Sea when we came here last time. Also we travelled to Kyoto and Hiroshima at that time. This time, we’ll stay in Tokyo for one week. We’re planning to visit 20 places in Tokyo, such as this street (Takeshita Street), Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. I love tall buildings!
Question: Do you enjoy working in Japan?
A man from Mexico
I’m a filmmaker and a photographer. As for photos, mainly I take portraits. Sometimes I teach filmmaking and photography at a university in my city.
This is my 1st trip to Japan. I’ve been to China and S. Korea, so I’ve been interested in visiting this country from a long time ago. I’ll stay in a guesthouse in Tokyo for two days, then I’ll go to Kyoto and Osaka to take photos and videos of local people. They are very nice and polite.
But, Tokyo’s metro system is more complicated, compared to the subway in Seoul, S.Korea. Also it’s hard to find English signs in the subways in both Korea and Japan. But now I’m getting used to it.
I want to take pictures of people in costumes here in Harajuku, but I’m afraid of making them angry. I believe some of them would allow me to take photos of them if I ask them politely.
Question: How can Japanese be so patient? We Mexicans can’t ☹
Students from the US
This is our 1st visit to Tokyo and even Japan. We’ve been in Kyoto for three weeks and arrived here from Kyoto just two hours ago.
We are exchange students from Louisiana and studying history and film at Doshisha University in Kyoto. We are just here for the summer.
We like Kyoto. It’s a lot cheaper than the US. We had raw shrimp there, but it was so… lol
We’ll be here for two days. We came here because my Japanese friend recommended that we visit Harajuku and we’ll go to Disneyland tomorrow.
1. Why are there not many pets in Japan?
2. Why is sun protection so important to you?
Thank you very much for your cooperation!
… Who wants to be the next questioner?
*Interviews by Akiko Saito, Yasuhiro Iwasawa
*Photos by Isao Tokuhashi
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.1 (Kamakura, Kanagawa Pref)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.2 (Haneda Airport)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.3 (Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.4 (Meiji Jingu Shrine)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.5 (Ginza)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.6 (Akihabara)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.7 (Samurai Armor Photo Studio)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.8 (Asakusa)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.9 (Shinjuku Gyoen National Park)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.10 (Imperial Palace)