6 Things I Learned From My Excursion To Japan

A man should do some traveling during his life, and some of us get the benefit of doing it for work and having the company pick up the tab. I recently did a stint in Japan for work, and, noting the recent article on Japanese game, I thought I’d stick with what I know and give you some information on moving around and getting things accomplished in that country, because, like the Marine said, “amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.” That being said, here’s 6 things to know about Japan.

1. Get out of the way

Japan is a tiny country, with medium sized people. Your author stands at 6’4″ and currently a few pounds over his fighting weight of 220, and that’s two Japanese women or 1.5 Japanese dudes worth. The country is sized for them, not us, and the urban centers are full of Japanese in a hurry that know, to the step, where they are going.

While some of them are outgoing and friendly, the culture, as a whole, is purely courteous and polite, which means you’ll get thought poorly of if you make a nuisance of yourself, but they won’t tell you. The absolute best thing to do when in doubt is to get out of the way, step to the side, and figure out what you want to do next. They won’t mind if you tuck yourself and bookbag into a corner to consult Google Maps or look at a subway guide of that city, just find a building column or something to stand beside and you’re good.

These guys aren’t kidding. Think a really nice, stationary mosh pit.

Subways are a definite example of this. If you score a seat (don’t sit in the priority seats for the elderly, infirm, or with any sort of baby), do not manspread. While I have an issue with our domestic feminist definition of the term being sexist towards men, over there, no one takes up any more space than they have to; it’s a Great Shame, and everyone considers it part of the culture. Take your bag off your back, put your feet and legs together, and take up one spot. Sprawl later when the car is relatively empty.

However, if you know where you’re going, get out there and show some dominance. No need to run anyone over, but you can hold your line and you’ll both move just enough. A note should be made about crosswalks; some work like Western ones, where vehicle traffic and foot traffic can both go in parallel, then both switch to the other way, but some shut the whole vehicle side down, and all crosswalks go green, which allows the time-saving diagonal crossing, should you need it.

Diagonal crosswalk; I walked this one a couple times.

2. Money talks

Japanese currency is the yen, which is functionally equivalent to the US penny, and is usually worth close to that, currently a little less. The 1 yen coin is a dinky little thing of aluminum, which, along with the 5 yen coin (brass, with a hole in it) are not very useful and are mainly used in cash register transactions but not vending machines.

After those two, the coins are a big copper 10 yen, a nickel plated with hole in it 50 yen, a nickel plated 100 yen, and lastly a brass plated 500 yen. When you get a decent pocket pile going, you could easily have the equivalent of 15 bucks or so in coins, so take a little change pouch. Bills are 1000, 5000, and 10000 yen and that’s it.

I speak very little Japanese, but there are two great things about money over there. The first is that taxes are included in the price, and tipping is actually considered mildly insulting, as they have a job to do, consider the payment fair, and that’s that. The second is that prices are expressed in the same numbers we have, so a 20 ounce Pepsi will have a sticker on it that says ¥135, and that means pull out your coins, get 135 worth or more, and that’s how much it will cost.

Put your money on that brown tray.

Transactions are a little formalized. There is small tray the size of an unfolded bill, and you put the money there. Once you’re done, the cashier will scoop it up, make change if needed, and hand you it plus a receipt. Accept it with both hands, nod a little exaggeratedly (it’s a mini-bow), and say thank you, then move out.

3. Know where you need to go

Map apps are the shit over there, just be sure you get an international data plan. I was happily bouncing around Tokyo doing what interested me and going all over the city with no issues via the subway on one weekend, and then AT&T shut off my phone the next Tuesday. My corporate IT department had not actually done the ticket request of putting an international plan on the phone, and I accrued some 500 bucks worth of charges. Fortunately, a 20 min phone call to AT&T got me on a plan, and the backcharged data usage applied to it.

However, phones don’t work so well on hassled cab drivers. Take your common destinations, print them out in English and Japanese, then show the guy the paper, point, and do your best to pronounce it right. Another good thing to do is collect business cards from everywhere you go. Just hold your hands in the shape of a business card, ask “cardo?” and they should give you one. Hand that to a cabby, and back you go to your hotel.

4. Public transport

The Japanese public transport system is amazing, and you can go, easily, to any metropolitan area in the country, on your own, with a little basic research and having to talk to virtually nobody. I haven’t quite mastered calling my own cab, but, most hotels can do it for you, and there are also areas where there are cab stands and a queue of them waiting for you.

However, the subway is where it’s at. Get a map of the system, and the trains will go where they say they will go. Older trains will have taped audio announcing the stations in Japanese, then briefly in English, “This is Fushimi, please change here for the Tsurumai line,” and newer trains will have an LCD screen saying, in many languages, where you are and what’s next.

What’s really cool is the IC card, and I know the New Yorkers are rolling their eyes right now. Just like any subway card, you get one, put money on it, scan it on the way into the system, and then on the way out, and, if there’s enough on the balance, it lets you out and deducts it, or you put more on it on the kiosk right there.

Any card works anywhere.

This thing leaves American subway cards in the dust, though. It will work on any equipped taxi or bus, and they are all linked together, which means your Nagoya card will work in Tokyo or Osaka, which I happily found out.

Taxis and buses are your other modes of transport other than the subway and hoofing it. Taxis, covered a little above, take cash, maybe the IC card, and credit cards. Buses take exact change cash, tickets you buy ahead of time, and sometimes the IC card. The buses will often have a screen with English of what station is next, along with a recording.

Lastly, there’s the Shinkansen. Literally “new trunk line,” these high speed trains get called “bullet train” for a reason. 100 mph+, these guys go from city to city, and I’m batting about 50% on using the ticket machines on my own and getting it right, as there’s the ticket, then the “fare” to leave one metropolitan area for another. Buy a little bento box for lunch next to your platform, and watch the countryside go by damn fast. You can go cheap with an unreserved seat, get a reserved seat for a little more, and splurge on the “green car” (first class), should you want to. I tried the latter two, and found the green car expense to be unjustified.

Goes about as fast as it looks like it should.

I was able to walk from my hotel to the train station, get on the subway, ride into town, change trains, go to the main station, hop on a Shinkansen, ride it to another city, and play tourist all weekend with an overnight stay, then go back, all without having to talk to anyone.

5. Taking a dump

Bathrooms in Japan have some reputation. Presuming we’re all dudes here, a Japanese urinal works pretty much the same way as all the rest of them do; they’re auto flush, use it and step away.

There are, however, three kinds of toilets. The easiest one is a basic Western style toilet which works exactly like the ones you use at home. The next one is a Western style toilet with a really complicated seat called a Washlet.

Extra controls on the left there. The red button means stop, and the big one in back is flush. Pink one is for chicks only.

Made by TOTO, which is an abbreviation of something translating to Oriental Ceramics, these things have a “smart seat” that will do all sorts of these, including, but not limited to: wash your ass, wash your vagina if you’re a girl (or shoot you in the nuts if you’re a guy and dumb enough to hit that button), play music to cover the sound of your labors, warm the seat, pre-rinse the bowl, and maybe vibrate. There’s a stop button, which is really the only button you need to worry about that will stop everything. Feel free to figure them out, or ignore them. The flush button is usually separate and fairly standard.

Then there is the Eastern toilet; the infamous squat and shit; the dreaded bobsled. Pissing into one of these, for us, is the same as usual, but any girl trying to pee in one, or anyone taking a dump, has to assume the position.

…feel the rhythm, feel the ride; get on up, it’s bobsled time?

These things are essentially a porcelain trough in the ground with nozzle at one end and a large hooded hole at the other. The idea is to put your feet either side of the hood and pop a squat, which puts your butt squarely above the trough area and fire away. Do not shit on your pants, or fall on your ass, and it may help to remove your pants entirely if you have time. There may be toilet paper, and there may be a trash can for it if the plumbing sucks, or there may be a spray nozzle or a ladle and faucet with which to wash your ass.

My recommendation is to shit at your hotel and take some toilet paper just in case. It is my lifetime goal not to ride the bobsled (named as such since they sit sidewise, and you can imagine a row of these things in use having people squatting in a line like Olympic bobsledders.)

6. Shoes

Japan is weird about shoes. People shuffle along, dragging their heels as to prevent from losing their shoes, which are loosely tied as to be easily removable. Many places in Japan, houses, nice restaurants, etc, are shoes off places, and you can typically tell by a small entryway with a cupboard for shoes and tile at the shoe area, but a step up onto wood for the rest of the place. They may even persona non grata your ass if you put shoed feet on tatami mat flooring.

Shoe procedures in an entryway.

Private, or nice public bathrooms in a restaurant, will have “toilet slippers” outside of them. Walk over in your socks, put them on, go in and do the deed, then reverse the process to leave. Don’t take the toilet slippers elsewhere.


Japan is safe, clean, and usually fun. They will tolerate and sometimes even appreciate a Westerner who takes effort to follow their culture. Compliments towards anything Japanese are typically received well. Japanese food is a whole other article, but I managed to eat well enough, and you can find your own balance of adventuresome versus safe eating easily enough. The plane flight is long and the jet lag blows, but you should have fun if you ever have occasion to go.

Read More: Introduction to Japanese Girls

91 thoughts on “6 Things I Learned From My Excursion To Japan”

    1. You know, if you added a weight rack over that, a guy could really get a good workout while taking a dump.

    1. Be white (or black, in certain areas), presentable, and sit down at a bar. Wait about 20 seconds. (Not around military places, mind you)

    2. If it lacked nightlife, but included some other social event, that’d be good (i.e. Matsuri / Festival). The author comments that after studying the train system, he could travel around Japan without talking to anybody. Yeah sure, good tip maybe — but that cuts out a huge amount of social interaction! I recommend NOT learning, and being forced to talk to people for help (there are many that love to help foreigners). This keeps your “nampa” or “pickup” life wide open for opportunity.

      1. I just had weekends off. Rest of the time, I did my job. Not a whole lot of festivals other than Buddhist New Year in January. My point was not to not talk to people, it’s that moving around can be done without having to talk to folks in a language you don’t know. I was, however, seeing the sights, as opposed to trying to capture the flag.

    3. I’ll be sure to throw in some stuff on food, drink, and partying on part 2 here in a couple weeks.

  1. Japan is on my bucket list. I’m looking for some English-speaking work contracts out there before I turn 40.
    3 months would suffice

  2. Takashi (a really hot restaurant downtown) has a toto toilet that has the whole ass wash / ass blow dry feature. I am a fan.

    1. I’ve heard of the ass wash but ass blow dry? Next level. Beyond the toilets, hows the scene?

    2. When you’re using it, do you utilize your spare time to bless the rain?

  3. …. Yeah, could do with nightlife chapter. Girls, karaoke bars, obscenly priced imported beer.
    You know, the good things in life

    1. Japanese karaoke is not the same thing. It is not a good thing at all. But, I can talk beer next time.

        1. he’s let his moustache grow out if so…..and become a pervy antifa (that’s the more believable bit)

      1. Great! You had to ruin my dinner! Shit, now I will not get this image out of my mind. Hmmm, maybe I can use this image in a letter to Sen. Schumer? Any suggestions?

        1. he was identified by 4-chan as (probably) the guy who punched alt-right leader Richard Spencer in the face.

        2. Oh… good God. Is this the guy who had chicks crapping on him or something??
          Spencer is an OK guy. If this guy is the one who sucker- punched Richard, then he is every bit the gutless punk he appears to be.

        3. yeah, that’s the guy who had a chick (called Mandy) crapping on him. Whether he’s the guy who punched Richard Spencer is less certain. But the deeper truth is that liberals eat and / or regurgitate shit

    1. the day i’ll do squats like the third picture, gosh, i’m not sure i gonna make more than one squat

    2. IMO more sensible to just use a normal toilet while putting your feet on *something elevated*, if you’re concerned about pooping posture.

      1. I’ve tried that – it’s not the same. Squatting allows to completely empty your bowels (provided you’re sufficiently hydrated) whereas most people walk around all day with old feces in the sewage system.
        Hence why so many people are full of shit! lol

      2. I’ve used them in India and they’re really not that bad. The only thing is that removing your pants is mandatory if you don’t want to shit yourself, trust me, I learnt that the hard way.

    1. She… it… is also scary as hell. They could make a whole horror film about something that ridiculous coming alive and eating people. (And somebody probably has!)

        1. I don’t have to. I think I’ve seen a few the last time I was in the UK.
          😉 😉

  4. Yeah, those Japanese-style shitters are pretty bad. I avoided them whenever I could, and where I couldn’t, well, cleaning the bathroom floor wasn’t my job.

    1. Correction, Japanese style shitters(washlets) are awesome. The bobsleds are general Asian style shitters, not Japanese. That’s why the signs for Chinese tourists are needed to explain how to sit down.

    1. I’m still winning on the avoiding the bobsled, but it did come close a few times during golden week in Osaka due to the amount of people visiting and thus using the public toilets.

  5. 5/ Taking a Dump
    Thought I would add to this when you travel further from the main Western Tourist routes of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka – some of the public toilets are “unisex” with urinals and squat pots

    1. How was nightlife and game in Fukuoka? I have only passed by there once, for almost 10 years ago.

      1. Nothing spectacular the british pubs are full of expats on Friday nights and locals on Saturday Nights, Karaoke bars are still popular with locals.

    2. I would have been pissed as a white gaijin with the English on that sign. Who do they think invented the fuckin thing??

      1. I think they were being polite English speakers – it was intended for the Chinese or other Asian countries that aren’t “acquainted with such modern equipment.”

  6. Great article. I live here, and for people coming for the first time, this is good info.
    As for the phone deal, there is something called “Kakuyasu-SIM” or 格安SIM that you can use if you have a SIM-free or unlocked smartphone. You don’t need contracts, just get the prepaid stuff and you’ll be good to go. When you get back to your home country, simply but back in your previous SIM. For prepaid, you can use cash. They’ve got plenty at a store called SoftMap at Akihabara. Other stores are Yodobashi Camera and BIC Camera.

    1. Yodobashi camera FTW, one thing to add is the LTE networks in Japan are super fast, I got a SIM card with 150mbit for my iPad.

  7. One thing is slightly incorrect in the article.
    Prices on stickers do NOT always show the price including sales tax. In big stores most of the time both prices are shown, which is very convenient, but in small shops I often only find pre-tax prices on the stickers. Not a big deal, but be prepared.
    Very small shops in Japan are further exempt from sales tax charging, but these are very small.
    The point is don’t make assumptions about the total until they ring it up on the till.

  8. I have traveled myself out. I became a millionaire in my late 40s and spent years sailing and traveling. Now in my mid 60s, I really enjoy working in my studio more then just about anything.
    However one country I never visited was Japan. It’s culture and history have always fascinated me.
    Stories like your excellent post are fanning the travel flames again and Japan is a must before I head off to the next plain.

    1. How did you become a millionaire? Is it reproducible because I want to become one too.

      1. Buy a positive cash flow duplex or tri-plex. It doesn’t have to be high end but in my experience, low lifes live in low rent housing so usually the cheaper the more problems you’ll have to deal with. Live in one of the units. Make your payments on time. In a year, go to your bank and ask to see any REO multi family units they have. Run the numbers and buy another positive cash flow.
        Rinse repeat. You’ve established a relationship with your bank. You’re learning to maintain buildings. You’re learning how to screen tenets. Never go Sec 8 on any unit. As you become more knowledgeable, you’ll buy buildings with more moving parts. Look which way your city will probably expand and buy commercial in front if you can.
        I set my mind to it when I was in my early 40s and had a million plus cash in the bank by the time I was 49.

        1. Wasn’t that in an era with very high inflation, so rent price would quickly overtake fixed monthly instalments? I’m too broke to afford a down payment and I don’t think you can still get nothing down deals and immediately have positive cash-flows.

        2. Really high inflation was last seen in the early 80s-I set out in the mid 80s.
          I did have a down payment, I think it was $8000 and it got me a duplex. My rent and the tenets’ left me a couple hundred extra a month which went into my holding company. I never slacked paying my full rent even though it could have been half taking into account the other tenet’s. I always kept these entities separate.
          Yeah it took me some time to save the down payment. If you can find a no down, immediately positive cash flow multi family building, all I have to say is Run Forest Run.
          BTW I was also running a small business at the same time employing, at this time, 4 employees-by 2001 when I closed it, I had 12 employees. Those were days working 14+ hours/day, 7 days a week. It ain’t easy but if you want it bad enough…

        3. What was the business’s product/service?
          The real-estate thing seems totally off-limits nowadays.

        4. I ran a large art glass studio. I designed, fabricated, delivered and installed huge leaded glass projects nationally for casinos, hotels, even quite a bit of work for Disney.
          I couldn’t disagree with you more about real estate. I see great deals every day.
          Cut your cable, no more lattes, wear shit until it’s holey and save up a down payment. You’re empowering yourself.

        5. I’m unemployed and broke, I do none of these things like latte etc. How do I start a business or real estate empire without money or income?

        6. OK I painted myself in the corner and this is where I’ll have to come out: I live with my parents. I get no welfare because I used to be freelance, not a wage earner. I also lost a big sum in the stock exchange crisis of 2008.

        7. Getting help from your parents is no sin-I don’t know where you live but most larger urban areas provide access to some kind of employment. Clean toilets, anything. My first job after I left home was freaking nasty, making ferric chloride, yikes.
          If you’re near w Texas, oil is starting to kick up again and the pay is excellent.
          If you can get work near where you are, use the rent you’re saving and put it away.
          There’s no get rich quick schemes, it’s hard work & planning.

        8. ” it’s hard work & planning.”
          And talent + connections, both of which I lack cruelly.
          That living with my parents thing has completely made me a socially isolated individual, given how shameful that is.
          This is where women again have it so easy with all those social structures that exist to push them to do business and even fund them. If the only homeless people you ever see are always men, never women, it is because of that (and because they can open their legs for money or find a beta provider, less stigma than living with your parents)

        9. Dude, I’m gonna have to get medieval on you.
          You are coming across as woe is me. Do you have your eyesight? Your hearing? Both legs and arms? General good health? Did you put your feet on the ground this morning?
          Who fu*king cares whether men are more homeless the women? Does it make a bit of difference in your life that you think women have a better social structure?
          Lord man, you’re looking at living with your parents as a stigma when in fact it’s an advantage if you’re in a temporary low spot. And you’re looking at it this way because you give a fu*k what others think of you. Who cares? Fu*k ’em.
          I have no idea how old you are but I’m 65 and I’ll assume you’re about half my age. Tell ya what, you can have every material possession I have and I’ll take your parents’ basement, just let me be 38 again. Wow.
          You have the greatest thing in the world which is time and are living in a country where believe it or not, you can still pursue your goals. Imagine being in Iran. Or Yemen.
          You’re burning daylight. Stop that.

        10. First you’ll need to overcome this “defeated” mentality.
          Second you work somewhere and build up your money.
          Third find a vehicle to get this cash making money for you.
          Like MMinLamesa I like real estate as well…

  9. So basically all the hassles of a third world Asian country at the cost of a first world country. I think I’ll pass.

  10. Great article Luke… very informative.
    What was it that took you to japan? You have friends there, or a job… or was it just something you always wanted to do?
    I’m in the “it’s always something I’ve wanted to do” boat, but just haven’t sat down and made any concrete plans.

    1. I do engineering for a major Japanese car manufacturer. They sent me over for 3 weeks of work on a new car model.

  11. As I have a visit to Japan on my bucket list, I’ve read a number of articles on visiting the country and this is a better article than most. I appreciate the frank practicality. It will make my visit go much smoother.

    1. Yeah, the last thing you want is to learn how to pick up women and figure out how to bat away their shit tests. That stuff is for looooosers!

      1. muh dick! muh dick!
        please keep in mind that my POV does not stem from some mgtow cuck BS hating on PUAs, but the sensitive and controversial nature of Japan’s place in the world following WW2 and the absolute emasculation of its men. I have no love but for my own race but in a world where miscegenation is turned into a fetish by kikes behind the scenes, it would seem more than a little odd to see “Tear up some tight jap pussy” here and now, especially when they are one of the last bastions not absolutely selling out to the mud people.

  12. Made by TOTO

    I’ve heard of that outfit. Aren’t they down in Africa?

      1. What surprises me is that nobody else did it first.

  13. I have visited a few times. Ungodly expensive in Tokyo where I stayed but that was pre-internet. I loved it and hope to visit >one more time before I check out. No crime. Polite people. Great food. Beautiful countryside. Nice hot springs and baths. I you like Asian women (I do), you are in hog heaven.

  14. Any tips for sexually frustrated young white men who want to strut their stuff in Japan while in search of a concubine?

  15. Japan also thoroughly rejects the cancer that is multiculturalism, open border, refugees from terrorist states and pretty much every else about left wing lunacy

    1. Two words.
      Tentacle porn.
      Two more words.
      Herbivore Men

Comments are closed.