Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tokyo Metro etiquette

During my time in Japan, I have often had problems with metro etiquette here - such as snorting/sniffing on the train (instead of blowing ones nose), pushing etc. But one of the most annoying/unnerving things is being stared at. I am tall, blond and quite a bit bigger than most Japanese people, and this means that one tends to stick out from the crowd. I have tried various techniques to get around it - waving or smiling at the person staring, or scowling - not so good. A big fave is to wear sunglasses, but then I either look a bit dubious or a wannabe film star. I was recently drawn to the attention of several bloggers that have written about this annoyance, including The Japan Rants where they describe it in detail. One guy has taken it to another level by creating a fictional book cover called "Why do Japanese People Stare at Foreigners?", which he whips out when required. You can find it here. I'm very tempted to try this out and see what the response is!

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