March 4, 2006


I'm just loving it here. But I suppose it might be a premature thing to say since I just got here and haven't really experienced the Japanese lifestyle. I'm learning though... It's just the little things I notice the most and I think it's funny and cute.

For example, the women's toilet. I can only speak of the women's because I have not been to the men's. The toilets are super fancy, even in the office. But I asked my fellow coworkers, and they say these toilets are the norm in Japan. I'm at the office on Saturday, so I was able to sneak in and take a photo for you.


Notice the little music symbol? That's a little flushing sound. Everyone uses it. I didn't know to push it, so these girls must think I'm crude. I was in my stall and heard a few ladies walk in, then the flushing sound started. You pretty much keep pushing that button while you're in there doing your business. Then stop the music when you get out. These toilets are also automatic flush, and ten times smarter than the ones in the US because they actually know when you're done with your business.

Now for the drum roll... the seats are heated! That is just the coolest thing in the world. Even the toilet seat at my hotel room is heated. (No more cold toilet seat in the morning!) I forget to mention in the previous post about my room that the wood floors are heated as well. Heck, you can heat the bathroom.

The last thing I'd like to mention about the toilets in Japan is that they have a small and large flush option. How clever! Because you don't always need a big flush unless you're doing big business.

Last night was my first time in a Japanese taxi. Good thing I was with a local because I didn't know that you are not suppose touch the door handle. The taxi door opens automatically for you. Same thing with shutting the door when you get out. The door closes automatically for you. Now that's service!

The bathroom in my hotel room is small compared to American standards, but seriously, how much room do you really need? I was trying to figure out the bathroom because there was no shower curtain but a tub and a floor area that looked like you can stand to take a shower. I asked a local and was told that the Japanese typically shower off before getting into the bath. So you don't dirty the water you're sitting in. Makes perfect sense to me.

I love the Japanese; they are so clean!

I know you're probably wondering... what does Lily do in the evenings? If I'm lucky enough to not be working, I tend to relax most of the time. However, tonight was a little out of the norm. I went to visit a friend of a friend's in the Aoyama area. Then we went to her friend's birthday bash in the Amanis in the Roi Building in Roppongi. My first night out in Tokyo. I don't normally just go out spontaneously, but it felt good to do it. My natural inclination was to just pass, but I thought, 'What do I have to go back to? My hotel room?' Logically, it made sense to stay out and see the local nightlife. It wasn't spectacular, but I met some good people.

Needless to say, I'm having a great time here. People are just so nice. From the bowing Japanese shop ladies to the friendly foreigners who've made Tokyo their home... they are an amazing bunch. I think I would be happy living here. Broke, but happy.

There have been lots of "firsts" for me in the past few days:
- first time to visit Japan
- first time to pack a suit to go anywhere
- first time to ride in a taxi in Japan
- first time to sit on a heated toilet seat
- first time to ride on the Tokyo subway
... I'm sure there will be many more after today.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to go see the sights at Harajuku and will report back as soon as possible.

Posted by oneray at March 4, 2006 1:10 AM