Tag Archives: tourist

Tourist-like behavior

19 Oct

According to the website What Japan Thinks, these are the top ten tourist-like behavior that Japanese people exhibit when they travel overseas:

10. Going to the duty free shop before departure
9. Eating at Japanese restaurants (rather than trying the local cuisine)
8. Forgetting to tip (because it’s not a custom in Japan)
7. Taking a packaged tour
6. Taking photos of food with a cell-phone camera
5. Doing everything in a group
4. Putting valuables in a waist pouch or shoulder bag
3. Buying a lot of brand-name goods
2. Following the recommended course in a guide book
1. Taking many photos

And here are the top ten list of behavior of foreigners in Japan (who have been here for a while, probably) that surprise Japanese people:

10. Singing Japanese traditional Enka songs.
9. Using Japanese era dates, not Western calendar
8. Wearing a necktie around head when drunk (this is a common image of Japanese middle-age businessmen who’ve drunk too much)

7. Eating with chopsticks
6. Eating natto (a Japanese dish made of fermented soybeans)
5. Using Japanese proverbs or idioms
4. Speaking Japanese fluently
3. Speaking Japanese with one of the regional dialects
2. Bowing while speaking on the telephone (A number of people in Japan (especially older people) do this)
1. Writing difficult kanji (Japanese (Chinese) written characters)

Visitors to Tsukiji Fish Market…

11 May

築地市場 (Tsukiji Fish Market) in Tsukiji, Tokyo is the world’s busiest fish market.

Early in the morning, the workers in the market are quickly running around busy getting the fresh catch from the fishing vessels to the auction in the back of the market.

The seafood needs to get from the ocean to the restaurants and stores quickly while it’s fresh. So, the market is full of staff moving around quickly on foot and carts.

It’s a place of business, not a tourist attraction.
The people there are workers doing their job…not putting on a show.

But, the Tsukiji Fish Market has become a popular destination for foreign visitors to Tokyo.
Especially the early morning fish auction.

Even many of the famous celebrities who have visited Tokyo visited Tsukiji Market.

Paris Hilton at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market

Foreign tourists didn’t used to pose a problem…before the internet when many people didn’t know about this market. Back then there were relatively few people checking out the market and the auction…so the workers didn’t mind them coming to look, taking a photo or two and going for “sushi breakfast” after the auction at one of the nearby 24-hour sushi restaurants that serve extremely fresh sashimi.

I have visited the market and auction a couple times as a “tour guide” to visitors to Tokyo.

But now, the internet has made this market very well-known outside of Japan and many visitors to Tokyo make plans to see it.
The problem is, though, the embarrassing behavior of a growing number of tourists at the market.
Twice so far, the market has set temporary bans to foreign visitors due to rude behavior such as arriving in a dangerous condition (ie: intoxicated, wearing high heels, bringing babies).
As I mentioned above, Tsukiji Market isn’t a tourist attraction…it’s a busy work site. No place for drunk people, high heels or babies.

Also, a number of tourists smoke cigarettes near the seafood…and some have even taking liberties such handling the fish.

The market was most recently closed to visitors just last month. Many of the workers would like it to stay that way…but the Japanese government wants more tourists from overseas to visit Japan, so they can’t keep the market off-limits to visitors indefinitely since it’s so popular.

So the ban to visitors was lifted yesterday…but with a few new regulations.
Now, anyone who wants to see the fish auction must check in with the information desk and be given a special green vest.
Only two groups of 70 people each will be permitted to enter the auction area each day. And they must stay with a roped-off area.
Also, there are many signs up in different languages that says things such as “No Flash Photography“, “No Smoking” and “No Touching The Fish Or Seafood“.

Yesterday at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Yesterday was the first day that visitors were re-allowed into the market with the new rules…but already every rule was broken at least once!
Someone went into the auction without a green vest, some people walked past the ropes, many people took photos with flash, some people touched the fish and some people were caught smoking.

I know that most people behave appropriately when they visit another country…but the ones that don’t embarrass the rest of us!

Yokoso Japan!

14 Jun

「ようこそジャパン」 (Yokoso Japan!) means “Welcome to Japan!“, and is the Japan National Tourism Organization‘s official slogan of their campaign to attract foreign visitors to Japan.

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

Here are some of their Yokoso Japan! campaign ads.

Most of the scenes in this first one are of Tokyo (there are a few shots of Osaka, etc…but most of it is Tokyo):

These show many parts of Japan:

Do they make you want to visit this beautiful country?


20 Aug

Please take this survey about how many foreign countries you’ve ever visited…and then, please tell which countries you’ve visited, and which were your favorites (and why) in the comments section.


Bike ride…

13 Aug

Yesterday we went on a bike ride to a park not too far from our house.

At the park, my kids caught (frogs) and (cicadas).

They’re girls and they’re teenagers…but they’ll still go out with their parents. And they still wanna catch bugs.
I’m glad! As their father, they’ll never grow up…in my mind!

Here’s a video of my second daughter holding a couple of (cicadas) she caught. At the end, she asks me 「もういい?」 (“Enough?”):

There’s a Japanese style garden at the park.

(A wooden lantern) (Looking thru a stone lantern)

Here’s a couple of shots of the river near the park:

And here are a couple of videos that I took of trains going over the bridge:


One the way home from the park we stopped at 「ザ・ダイソー」 (“The Daiso“) for a couple things.

Do you know “The Daiso” (usually just called “Daiso”, or 百均 (Hyakkin (which is an abbreviation for 百円均一 (Hyakuenkinitsu), or 百円ショップ (¥100 Shop))?

There are other ¥100 shops…and even a ¥99 shop. But Daiso is almost synonymous with ¥100 shop.

Daiso is basically the Japanese version of the American One Dollar Store. (¥100 is almost equal to US$1)…but Daiso sells better merchandise. Better quality and more useful.

So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that they’ve expanded overseas.

There are now Japanese Daiso stores in Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the west coast of Canada and America (among other countries)!

Here’s the Daiso website.


It’s obvious by their manners…but now it’s official:
Japanese travelers are the best tourists.