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View Full Version : Do you find life in Japan noisier or quieter than other places where you have lived ?



Maciamo
Jul 2, 2005, 21:44
Everyone has a different sensibility to noise. However, I have noticed that this sensibility can also be influenced by cultural factors (or just the environment in which one grew up). For example, in some parts of Germany it is prohibited by law to have a shower between 10pm and 6am (or something like that) so as not to disturb neighbours trying to sleep. Some cities even forbid dogs from barking between these hours !

Recently some Japanese told me that they found that "foreigners were noisy". I don't know how they could talk about "foreigners" as if they were all similar, but that's typical of Japanese people to see "foreigners" as one monolithic group. Whatever. I was quite surprised by this assumption, as I personally found the Japanese to be among the noisiest people in the developed world after the Americans, and maybe the Italians and Spaniards.

In fact it is not that simple to determine which society tends to be the most noisy, even having lived in the countries compared. The reason is that there are many sorts of noises, and some people can withstand very well some particular noises, but be very irritated by others.

Here are some kinds of noises which I found more annoying in Tokyo that what I used to be :

- Drunk people talking loudly in the streets almost every evening (about from 8pm to midnight), and especially and Friday night. One of the reasons is that I live in a lively district with lots of "nomiya" (drinking places) and "izakaya" (pubs).

- People in restaurants, especially izakayas. I was brought up with the idea that restaurants were civilized places to discuss quietly (i.e. the image people usually have of French restaurants). In Japan it is closer to the concept of Roman orgy with loud laughing and people collapsing as they try to make their way out. It's probably cultural as the average Japanese behaviour in most TV shows is similar (lots of shouting and loud laughing).

- Vans, trucks or cars passing around advertising something in loudspeakers. They also exist where I come from but are not as frequent or as noisy. In Tokyo they pass almost everyday around my house. Everyday a different one : used electronics, vendors of ice cream, gyoza, ramen or yaki-imo, nationalists in black vans, and this week politicians campaigning for the local elections (the worst ! Today I thought they were shouting in loudspeakers just at my window, but they were still 50m away !).

- Ambulances, police, etc. Never understand why ambulances had to perforate people's eardrums when they are supposed to be caring about people's health. The major problem is that in Tokyo I hear them almost everyday, sometimes up to 4x a day. (=> see article 90% of ambulances dispatched in Tokyo are for non emergencies (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12324) )

- Pachinko parlours. They sometimes make me jump out of my skin when someone open the door while I am passing by. I can't believe that people can actually stay inside these places without going permanently deaf. Maybe that is why I find Japanese people so noisy, given the incredible number of pachinkos everywhere (at least 5 big ones only around my station).

- Neighbours. Walls are usually very thin in Japan and not noise-proff at all. I can hear everytime one neighbours open or close their door, have an argument, watch TV, etc. And I don't even live in an apartment ! It's not that annoying, but I am definitely not used to it.


Other noises which I don't mind in Japan :

- Cars. There is usually less horning than in Europe (and not just Italy).

- Music, jingles, annoucements, welcome message, etc. in big electronic shops, dept. stores, stations, etc. Noisy, but not annoyingly so.

I'd like to remind people that, although I grew up in the countryside, I have lived in several big cities (London, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona) before coming to Japan.

The above mentioned noises for Tokyo are worse than what I have experienced elsewhere. Italian and Spanish cities suffer a lot from cars horning, but at least there are no loudspeakers everywhere or pachinkos.

As for people talking loudly in public places, the Americans (well a representative portion, not all) can be notoriously noisy. I remember a few times in Japan when someone "shouted" to order a drink in a cafe (well, they probably talked normally by their standard, but so loud that everyone, including me, turned to watch), and everytime they were Americans (I could tell from the accent, corpulence and dressing style).

To those who have lived or stayed long enough in Japan, how would you compare "noise" in Japan with what you were used to where you grew up or lived before ?

Mike Cash
Jul 2, 2005, 22:14
Recently some Japanese told me that they found that "foreigners were noisy". I don't know how they could talk about "foreigners" as if they were all similar, but that's typical of Japanese people to see "foreigners" as one monolithic group.

I don't mind being a "foreigner" and I don't even mind being viewed as part of a monolithic group all that much.

But it seems to me the question "Do you find life in Japan...." requires us to swing the generalization pendulum to the opposite extreme of the arc and define "Japan" as "the little corner I am in". And the "....at home" portion seems to indicate that "home" is not (or can not?) be Japan.

I know that's not what you meant, and that your full post clearly makes your point. I just wanted to take a look at the underlying meanings/assumptions included in text we dash off hastily on the way to somewhere else.

lonesoullost3
Jul 3, 2005, 00:17
When I visited Japan I was actually surprised at how quiet it was. For example, take the subways, shinkansen and train. Even then the trains were full, I thought I was breaking the silence when I was talking under my breath to my dad! In the main streets of Tokyo, even the noise from cars is quieter than I thought it would be. I'd definitely agree that the Pachinko parlors are insanely loud. I think part of the reason why I thought it was quiet was because I took into account the population density. For 20 million people in the area of Tokyo it's very very quiet.

Of course, you sound like you have much more experience in Japan than I do - I only had the chance to visit for five days.

DoctorP
Jul 3, 2005, 00:46
I grew up in the countryside, so I am particular to more quiet conditions. I will say that I find Japan much louder than LA and San Diego or even Atlanta. IMHO many Japanese are much louder than Americans, but we Americans tend to be more rude. (which makes us stand out more)

ArmandV
Jul 3, 2005, 01:20
Some sections, like Shibuya, are noisy. There's lots of music and different noises coming from stores. I found Shibuya crossing to be especially noisy. Still, in rural areas, it is as quiet as Kansas.

lonesoullost3
Jul 3, 2005, 01:41
as quiet as Kansas.

hahahaha. That's one to add to the book of similes.

Iron Chef
Jul 3, 2005, 02:30
I live on the outskirts of Fukuoka now and there are only two real things that irk me to no end.

1) Nearby (about two blocks away) is a home that has a rooster for a friggin' pet! Having such pets in a residential zone is against the law in my State back home. Damn thing`s sole purpose is to apparently annoy the **** out of me and me alone (apparently). Morning, noon, day, or night this bird just will not stop... Would be a shame if something misfortunate were to happen... say in the middle of the night. 8-p

2) Punkass wannabes who think they are cut out to be Bosozoku on their little 250cc scooters (not even a real bike no less...) cruising up and down "the gut" trying to impress their buddies. I don't know who's worse, these kids or the no-brain cops who trail behind them at a leisurely pace with full sirens blaring at 3am. Oy vey... pull'em over or let'em go already, sheesh.

Aside from that though, it's definitely much quieter here in Japan than back home (for the most part).

ArmandV
Jul 3, 2005, 03:48
hahahaha. That's one to add to the book of similes.

You must be from Kansas. :-)

Ma Cherie
Jul 3, 2005, 05:41
Yeah, it's fairly quiet here in the midwest.
I would think it'd be noisy in Japan, since alot of people seem to live in citites.

Brooker
Jul 3, 2005, 06:16
Much noisier!! All the announcements and jingles used to drive me crazy. :mad:

Pararousia
Jul 3, 2005, 07:29
I was only there 9-10 days but there wasn't anything particularly noisey that caught my attention except for the duck-size crows! We have lots of song birds around here, and I didn't hear a single song bird while I was there. In fact I think I only saw crows, pigeons and one other small bird. Those crows are gigantic!

My only other comment is that we were in a bedroom separated from the rest of the house by rice-paper(?) walls. I was very well aware of how sound carried throughout the house! Insulated walls, as in my house here in the U.S., are a good thing! *L*

(I was in Shimonoseki btw.)

misa.j
Jul 3, 2005, 13:46
Yeah, noise is everywhere.

I think it has something to do with how Japanese don't like to leave things alone as the way they are; just like how they fill up the empty spaces with the display shelves in a tiny coffe shop.

One of the worst noises I remember is the very dramatic song that was played through a speaker for half an hour every Wednesday night when the truck from a co-op came to sell stuff to people lived in a Danchi near my apartment.

Iron Chef
Jul 3, 2005, 18:12
Reminds me of the yaki imo van that trolls my neighborhood at night. I've got that recording burned into my brain now...

lonesoullost3
Jul 4, 2005, 00:53
You must be from Kansas. :-)

Nope, California :p, but I've driven through Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa....there really isn't anything there but corn and wheatfields. Haha

Shibuyaexpat
Jul 6, 2005, 11:24
Reminds me of the yaki imo van that trolls my neighborhood at night. I've got that recording burned into my brain now...

Ah...the yaki imo van..."Yakiimo...Yakiimo..." :p
During first month in Tokyo when I heard that van, I thought that the driver was singing the song. Later in the same day (and in a different part of Tokyo) I heard the same song, and thought, "God he really gets around!" :relief:

Shibuyaexpat
Jul 6, 2005, 11:38
Maciamo, this is so bizarre because I was just mentioning this very obversation to a friend of mine.

From the "duck-size crows" (Pararousia) to the "punkass wannabes" on their 250cc scooters (Iron Chef), this place is damn noisy. And living in Shibuya, all that noise seems to be amplified.

Here's my list:
- The "IRASHAIMASE!" and "ARIGATOUGOZAIMASU!!" upon entering and leaving all manner of shops. It's the way they shout it that puts me off-guard.
- The constant reminders to be safe, be it at the aiport, train station, revolving doors (I later learned the reason for the last one).
- Loud Techno or Hip-Hop Music blaring out of the shops

jieshi
Jul 6, 2005, 15:00
I live on the outskirts of Fukuoka now and there are only two real things that irk me to no end.

1) Nearby (about two blocks away) is a home that has a rooster for a friggin' pet! Having such pets in a residential zone is against the law in my State back home. Damn thing`s sole purpose is to apparently annoy the **** out of me and me alone (apparently). Morning, noon, day, or night this bird just will not stop... Would be a shame if something misfortunate were to happen... say in the middle of the night. 8-p

2) Punkass wannabes who think they are cut out to be Bosozoku on their little 250cc scooters (not even a real bike no less...) cruising up and down "the gut" trying to impress their buddies. I don't know who's worse, these kids or the no-brain cops who trail behind them at a leisurely pace with full sirens blaring at 3am. Oy vey... pull'em over or let'em go already, sheesh.

Aside from that though, it's definitely much quieter here in Japan than back home (for the most part).

I live in a pretty similar area on kyushuu as well. Only difference is, the rooster in my street is across the road from me (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah). My street is generally really quiet, so quiet that if someone is walking along or making the slightest noise, you are going to hear it. Then you move away from my house into the main town. For a samll rural city, I am actually really suprised at the amount of noise that is made. But noise doesn't bother me too much, I adjust quickly and don't let things bother me

mad pierrot
Jul 6, 2005, 18:13
And I live in a small town in Wakayama, to boot.

What gets me is the damn music they play all day long on the shopping street. It's the same awful, rehashed elevator music all week long. Combine that with all the loud kids on bikes, the stupid yaki imo truck song, the public service announcements, stray cats mewling at night, the ridiculous amount of summer cidadas, door to door salesmen yelling at the top of their lungs so the old people can hear them, and all the kids who yell "Ora, gaijin ya!" when they see me.


No peace and quiet in my neighborhood.

Now, here's what makes my life hell. I live directly across from a large elementary school. Right in front of the playground, in fact. Of course kids are playing there at every hour of the day, all days of the week. This means everytime I leave my house, or look out of my kitchen window for that matter, I get greeted by a chorus of "Joe-Sensei YA!" I stopped wearing just underwear in my house because of that. Next, because it's such a small town I live in, I see my students everywhere. At the supermarket, train station, etc. This wouldn't normally be a problem. Except my students aren't normal. They like to sneak up on me and Kancho me. Either that or scream at the top of their lungs and point at me. I almost dropped a quart of milk once after a kid screamed behind me.

:banghead: :danger: :kaioken: :gun:

It was cute the first few times but 2 years later it's driving me nuts. I can't even take a sh*t in piece anymore.

-------------------RANT OVER---------------------------------

Maciamo
Jul 6, 2005, 20:58
What gets me is the damn music they play all day long on the shopping street. It's the same awful, rehashed elevator music all week long. Combine that with all the loud kids on bikes, the stupid yaki imo truck song, the public service announcements, stray cats mewling at night, the ridiculous amount of summer cidadas, door to door salesmen yelling at the top of their lungs so the old people can hear them, and all the kids who yell "Ora, gaijin ya!" when they see me.

You've just described my neighbourhood in Tokyo. :relief: The worst in the list are no doubt the yelling salesmen. Not only is there lots of deaf "baba" around my house (about every inhabited house), but what really piss me off is when they come ringing at my door, and I can't even ignore them as they see the light inside and ring again, and again. Then when I fnally go open the door to see what's the emergency, they all make a strange face and say in an embarassed air "aah, gaijin da !" (oh, that's a foreigner !) and walk away without even bothering to say what they came for ! The stereotype of the polite Japanese certainly does not apply to door-to-door sales people ! :angryfire:



It was cute the first few times but 2 years later it's driving me nuts. I can't even take a sh*t in piece anymore.

After 4 years, you'll have an idea of how I feel some days. Add to this stupid policemen who stopped me to check my bicycle registration or alien registration card (7 times in total) for absolutely no reason, old grandmas in my neighbourhood who still look at me with evil eyes as if I had raped and murdered their daughters and was going to do the same to them in a fit of dementia, just to be asked by the next friendly people I meet if after 4 years in Japan I can use chopsticks or sleep on a futon. :auch:

The problem is that it never stops, anywhere you go in Japan. I've come to realise that these smalls things acted on the life of a foreigner in Japan a bit like lifting a dumb-bell that is just right for your strength. The first 10 or 20 times you lift it, it's very easy to bear. Then you start to feel your muscle aching, and at every new flexion of the arm the pain becomes more intolerable until it becomes a torture. The idea is to take some "rests" and start again once we have recovered. Maybe that is why I have just spent 6 weeks outside Japan, and it did feel better afterwards. But right now it feels like the day after exercising, when your muscle ache when doing nothing and you shouldn't try to lift more weights until a few days if you don't want to tear a muscle.

--------end of rant--------

celtician
Jul 24, 2005, 19:54
Japanese NOISE is always grating and of a treble or high treble sound (shouting through loudhailers (same as N. Koreans do ..by the way!) everything is in the upper register....from squealing Avextrax artistes to those KAWA...iiii television presenters who annoy us everyday because they think they are still working in some Ginza "mizu-shobai" where you must speak with such an excruciatingly high voice. Jeezus Japs ...bring it into the lower register a bit....will ya?

celtician
Jul 24, 2005, 20:02
On Sunday there is a sad truck which comes SHOUTING at 8:00 AM and the sightly retarded truck owner leaves the loud hailer repeating and repeating while he picks up old junk ("steleo Ampu, Air con, Bi-shikkuru, Commpuutaa, Terrebbee, etc.) are these people truly retarded or WHAT? There is a time for business and there is a time for rest.

Silverpoint
Jul 25, 2005, 02:03
Japanese cities are definitely pretty noisy places during most hours of the day. Recently in Sapporo, the sound trucks have been starting to become rather irritating since now the good weather is here, they literally park next to Odori Koen (the main park in the center of town) and blare out some kind of propaganda for about 1-2 hours during lunchtime. It's particularly annoying that just when you get a chance to take a break from work, and want to sit in the park and enjoy a peaceful lunch in the sunshine you have it ruined by having to listen to the amplified ranting of some politician or other on a daily basis.

Some noise I like though. I haven't lived in Tokyo for a couple of years, but when I did, I found the pumping music, shouting waiters and constant tannoy announcements in places like Shinjuku/Shibuya made the place really come alive and gave it a feel almost like you've stepped into anime!

Nebiki
Jul 25, 2005, 07:05
I've read the some of the rural parts of Japan are rather quiet and undeveloped. Is this true?

Silverpoint
Jul 25, 2005, 09:45
Absolutely. People often talk as if there are two Japans. The city and the country. The country is much quieter and sometimes feels like it's from a different era. However, it still seems that you're never more than about 10 minutes from the nearest Lawson! ;-)

Pachipro
Jul 25, 2005, 16:06
Now back on subect. I lived in the suburbs of Tokyo and my apartment was a 7 min walk from the train station. When we visit, it is to the same area. Other than a snack that opened up across the street, and the paper thin walls, it was, for the most part, pretty quiet when I had my own place; away from the hustle and bustle of the area around the train station.

There are plenty of sounds I look back on with fond memories.

Those huge crows cawing in the morning.

The sound of a motorcycle delivering papers at 2 or 3 in the morning.

The song the driver of the kerosene truck always played: "It's a small, small, world we live in...." Jeeze, that song stayed in your head all day!

The song that the driver selling clothes poles played: "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

The yaki imo guy: Yakiii imo, ishi yaki imo." These are sweet potatoes cooked on rocks.

The volunteers walking around the neighborhood on winter nights yelling, "Hi no yoooooji," Be careful of fires, and slapping two sticks together.

The distant ambulances and police cars screeming through the night. There seemed to be at least one a night.

The occassional car speeding down the narrow streets at night making the apartment shake.

What I really didn't like was the jets from Atsugi US Navy base that screamed over the area in the mornings and shook all the houses. The sound was really irritating, especially when it continued for two or three hours.

I always enjoyed the noises and sounds around the station and in department stores.

The sounds of the waiters in the Izakaya or aka chochin yelling out their orders to the kitchen, "Dai Jokki icho onegaishimasu," One large draft beer!

But compared to where I live in the states, Japan is a much noiser place, and I really don't mind it. Here the department stores, malls and restaurants are so quiet by comparison. Too quiet.

To think of it I really can't come up with any noises that irritated be about Japan other than the jets.

Silverpoint
Jul 26, 2005, 01:47
Perhaps this shouting through loudhailers and "sound trucks" are leftovers from the second world war so 'Jap" is appropriate in this case with emphasis on Dumb

Forgive me if I have missed the point here somewhere, but I cannot see any connection whatsoever between sound trucks and WW2.

If you're the kind of person who likes to troll (post inflammatory crap to get other people angry) then good luck to you, but frankly I think you're in the wrong forum.

I'm sorry to the other decent members of this forum because I hate getting dragged into these kind of pointless arguments, but there's only one "emphasis on dumb" that I can see here, and it goes by the name of celtician.

Maciamo
Jul 26, 2005, 12:19
The song the driver of the kerosene truck always played: "It's a small, small, world we live in...." Jeeze, that song stayed in your head all day!

The song that the driver selling clothes poles played: "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

The yaki imo guy: Yakiii imo, ishi yaki imo." These are sweet potatoes cooked on rocks.

The volunteers walking around the neighborhood on winter nights yelling, "Hi no yoooooji," Be careful of fires, and slapping two sticks together.

The distant ambulances and police cars screeming through the night. There seemed to be at least one a night.

These are not so annoying noises. Some even have their charm. What I dislike is the manners of some people, especially the door-to-door salesmen who ring 3 or 4x even when I ignore them because anyway they'll walk away when I open the door and they see I am not Japanese; the delivery men shouting in addition to ringing to be sure that the the whole neighborhood knows that Sato-san has received a parcel; the hundreds of drunk salarymen shouting, guffawing and vomitting in the streets almost every night; people advertising products in loudspeakers, especially if they are passing around my house in a van/truck, and even more if they are advertising for religious sects, as they often do in Ginza, or stupid politicians who can't say something more interesting that "I am Yamazaki, vote for me. I am Yamazaki, vote for me,. Thank you, thank you.".

This could lead us to a new debate about the meaning of "manners" in Japan vs western countries. I never quite understood how it is bad manner in Japan to eat while standing or walking, blow one's nose in public, for women to make up in trains or not to get out of the train to let other people get off, but on the other hand it's ok to shout at the face of people in deafening loudspeakers, take all the pavement/sidewalk by walking 5 people side-by-side and not letting faster people overtaking them, grope women in trains, or not let people with few purchases pass before you at the supermarket counter. If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed.



But compared to where I live in the states, Japan is a much noiser place, and I really don't mind it. Here the department stores, malls and restaurants are so quiet by comparison. Too quiet.

I used to like the cacophony of the electronic shops, stations and restaurants, but sometimes one aspire to some quiet when going out, which is difficult to get in Japanese cities.

Pachipro
Jul 27, 2005, 02:21
Originally Posted by Pachipro
The song the driver of the kerosene truck always played: "It's a small, small, world we live in...." Jeeze, that song stayed in your head all day!

The song that the driver selling clothes poles played: "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

The yaki imo guy: Yakiii imo, ishi yaki imo." These are sweet potatoes cooked on rocks.

The volunteers walking around the neighborhood on winter nights yelling, "Hi no yoooooji," Be careful of fires, and slapping two sticks together.

The distant ambulances and police cars screeming through the night. There seemed to be at least one a night.

These are not so annoying noises. Some even have their charm.
Maybe you misunderstood my post. These were sounds I enjoyed.


What I dislike is the manners of some people, especially the door-to-door salesmen who ring 3 or 4x even when I ignore them because anyway they'll walk away when I open the door and they see I am not Japanese; the delivery men shouting in addition to ringing to be sure that the the whole neighborhood knows that Sato-san has received a parcel; the hundreds of drunk salarymen shouting, guffawing and vomitting in the streets almost every night; people advertising products in loudspeakers, especially if they are passing around my house in a van/truck, and even more if they are advertising for religious sects, as they often do in Ginza, or stupid politicians who can't say something more interesting that "I am Yamazaki, vote for me. I am Yamazaki, vote for me,. Thank you, thank you.".
Here I have to agree with you. Having not lived in Japan for more than two weeks/year since leaving I forgot about these somewhat annoying things. The politicians used to bother the heck out of me, especially during the day when I was teaching a class at my home or theirs. I could tell that even my adult Japanese students were somewhat embarrassed at them. When I was a student I was not home much in the day, so I hardly experienced the door to door salesmen. I usually just completely ignored them.

As far as the drunk salarymen are concerned, I never much experienced them near my apartment as I lived in the suburbs, but they were in abundance around the stations. Usually I just ignored them as, after time, I became accoustomed to it and hardly gave it a second thought. It became 'normal' after some years.

This could lead us to a new debate about the meaning of "manners" in Japan vs western countries. I never quite understood how it is bad manner in Japan to eat while standing or walking, blow one's nose in public, for women to make up in trains or not to get out of the train to let other people get off, but on the other hand it's ok to shout at the face of people in deafening loudspeakers, take all the pavement/sidewalk by walking 5 people side-by-side and not letting faster people overtaking them, grope women in trains, or not let people with few purchases pass before you at the supermarket counter. If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed.
This may prove to be quite interesting. Bad mannered by whose standards? Yours? Mine? European? Middle Eastern? African? But isn't 'manners' a matter of culture? Here in the US it is considered bad manners to slurp ones food, but in Japan it is quite acceptable. In other countries it is considered good manners to give a loud belch after a good meal while in other countries it is not. In some Middle Eastern countries it is considered rude and bad manners for a man to cross his legs and show the sole of his shoe while in other countries it is quite acceptable. So who sets the standards on what is bad and good manners in a country that is not one's own?

Maybe the debate should focus on why the Japanese do not think of other people and their feelings when out in public, such as walking 5 across down the street, or let the person with one or two items go ahead in a supermarket, or why they do not give up their seat to old women and pregnant women. Or the mother holding her young child over the curb so they can pee? I don't think it is bad manners per se because it seems to be quite acceptable there. That's the way it has always been and, even if other Japanese do not like it, they rarely say anything about it. I think it is more a lack of feeling/empathy for others and maybe that is what is lacking in the culture.

But getting back on subject.

As far as pachinko parlors go, I used to, and still do, spend alot of time in them (thus my handle) and they are VERY noisy and can actually do damage to your ears. However, you do get used to it and regulars (pachipros) learn to wear ear plugs. I always take a few pairs with me when I am going to Japan.
Also, Pachinko is VERY popular among young women these days, especially the Office Ladies (OL's) and college women as well as housewives. Thus alot of machines have become "cute" to lure them in and I hate it! I am amazed at the number of women playing these days. Sometimes they outnumber the men on a weekday! Playing a "cute" machine is no fun at all. Many Japanese males, especially salarymen, play at least once a week if not more on their way home.

I used to like the cacophony of the electronic shops, stations and restaurants, but sometimes one aspire to some quiet when going out, which is difficult to get in Japanese cities.
I too enjoy the cacophony of the city and train stations and yes, it is very difficult to get some peace in Japanese cities. However, out in the suburbs, away from the train station, it is pretty quiet. That's why when I go back to live, I will settle out in the suburbs, in a bedroom town where there is nothing but houses, apartments, and the local park. There you can actually enjoy some peace and quiet on a nice spring day, take a leisurly stroll or a nice bike ride. Sure there will the usual noises of the politicians or salesmen selling their wares, but it is so much better as you have the best of both worlds and they are usually about 10 minutes apart.

deadhippo
Jul 27, 2005, 02:59
of all the noises in japan i hate macdonalds irrashaimase
but i havent been there for over a year and have no plans to go there soon so i dont have to worry about that
i live beside route 16 and its noisy but im used to it now

Pachipro
Jul 27, 2005, 03:15
Ahhh Rt16. Many memories traveling that road from Sagamihara to Yokohama to party!

McDonalds? Believe it or not I met my wife at one in Sagamihara 24 1/2 yrs ago! She didn't work there or anything. We just happened to share the same table together. Someday I'll post that story.

deadhippo
Jul 27, 2005, 11:39
my friend also met her (maybe future) husband there
i think a smile would be enough though

Pachipro
Jul 28, 2005, 01:16
:lol:

Is this acceptable? :wave:

Maciamo
Jul 28, 2005, 02:02
This may prove to be quite interesting. Bad mannered by whose standards? Yours? Mine? European? Middle Eastern? African? But isn't 'manners' a matter of culture? Here in the US it is considered bad manners to slurp ones food, but in Japan it is quite acceptable. In other countries it is considered good manners to give a loud belch after a good meal while in other countries it is not. In some Middle Eastern countries it is considered rude and bad manners for a man to cross his legs and show the sole of his shoe while in other countries it is quite acceptable. So who sets the standards on what is bad and good manners in a country that is not one's own?

There are two kinds of bad manners:

1) those that are just a matter of form or politeness, such as slurping, blowing one's or belching, which some will consider disgusting while other won't mind.

2) actions that actually harm or disturb other people regardless of their sensitivity or accustomization to a certain level of disgust. For example, pushing or molesting people in trains, ring at sb's door until they come to open even when ignoring them, or not letting people walk past you in the street because you can't "break your formation" with your pals. In any case, none of these things are not considered good manners in Japan, which is what I was trying to imply when I wrote " If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed."



Maybe the debate should focus on why the Japanese do not think of other people and their feelings when out in public, such as walking 5 across down the street, or let the person with one or two items go ahead in a supermarket, or why they do not give up their seat to old women and pregnant women. Or the mother holding her young child over the curb so they can pee? I don't think it is bad manners per se because it seems to be quite acceptable there. That's the way it has always been and, even if other Japanese do not like it, they rarely say anything about it. I think it is more a lack of feeling/empathy for others and maybe that is what is lacking in the culture.

It's just a matter of education and personal sensitivity. What I wanted to say is that I am surprised that people who are generally so little sensitive as to pee, spit or vomit in public, slurp their tea and noodles, make enough noise to distrub an entire neighbourhood, push or grope people in trains, read porn (sometimes even touching themselves) in trains and refuse to give their seat to old or pregnant women... how can such people be pointing an accusing finger to someone eating a sandwich blowing their nose in the street ? :mad: I'd say it is not only in conflict with their lack of sensitivity for other things, but it is also incoherent, as the Japanese do not mind eating ice-cream in the street, but will openly criticise someone who eats even a croissant. I remember vividly that I was scolded by my in-laws because my mother-in-law had seen me eating a sandwich from the combini in the street !


Also, Pachinko is VERY popular among young women these days, especially the Office Ladies (OL's) and college women as well as housewives.

I rarely see young women queuing at my local pachinko parlours (just before 10am when it opens). My wife and her numerous friends never play pachinko and can't even enter in one. So it may depend on other factors than age too.

Mars Man
Aug 3, 2005, 09:14
Wow!! Maybe my long-term stay here has helped me kind work myself, unconsciously, into the woodwork. But I would say that some people here do have problems with not being able to think of those at the other end of them there loud speakers on wheels. I don't mind the yaki imo folks--even bought some--or the clothes pole salespeople, the old farm equipment collecting people and such, BUT I hate election time!! All that panic in their voices "Yoroshiku onegai itahimasu!!!", "dare dare desu!!!"

Otherwise, I don't really have any complaints here in Shiga--a small village of about 6000 slow moving country folk which merged with Matsumoto (Nagano) this past April. In fact, a few of my little ladies friends from the big Tokyo area came here to visit and couldn't get to sleep at night because. . . it was too quiet! (I'm probably the noisiest being (along with my three sons) in the neighborhood. I held an outdoor concert here in my back yard some four years ago with about 12 different bands joinning in, and when we have BBQs I play hide-n-go seek with my little two boys and their cousins, running around and screaming up to about 9:30 or so. I'm legally American and am noisy--but I have no big complaints now, just the elections.

celtician
Sep 7, 2005, 15:07
Some poor psychologist should do a thesis on how the Japanese support the noise levels in a Pachinko arcade (usually the lower classes and TB tarento) As Maciamo already said "one jumps out of one's skin when the door opens!" The 'Pachinkos' must be slightly deaf by now so they need these sound trucks to shout at them so they can hear who to vote for. That's all.

celtician
Sep 7, 2005, 15:12
Speaking of politeness....The Japanese don't even have their own word for thankyou!
Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!

nurizeko
Sep 7, 2005, 20:56
I could never live in a big city, i like being able to see the countryside inbetween buildings and on the horizon from my house, i like the fact i can walk right out to farmland and little woods, especially good when im feeling completely faithless with the world.

I like the fact tree's are just as common a sight within my city as the buildings, and the fact the areas i know and how to get around pretty much cover the city, except for residental neighbourhoods ive never visitted.

I like the way there's an actual quiet durring the night for sleep, and the middle of the day aswell.

I like the way its just small enough, just less important enough that life in general is fairly laidback (for a city) and that traffic-jams are the odd rarity or shortlived tradition of 5pm, and that i can actually strike up a conversation with a stranger if i wanted to, but its large enough that there isnt that too creepy community spirit that exists in smaller towns.

Finally simply because its where i live, it has its merits, but, ontop of that my city has been my home since i was eight, i know it like i know myself, so its part of me, from the alley's off main street right up to the linn of dee in the cairngorms.



Anyway, moving on from my rant :relief: , i would love to visit japan, and i will, and see the sights, i considor myself a bit of an explorer, but to live in a japanese big city?...when someone thinks city of cities, its either new york or tokyo ide emagine so...nah, i wouldnt want to live in a big city, at least not too far in.

But who knows, anythings possible.


Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!

Any links to support that claim?
An interesting hypothesis, suprising if it is indeed fact.

Mike Cash
Sep 7, 2005, 21:20
Speaking of politeness....The Japanese don't even have their own word for thankyou!
Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!

Term of the day: "false cognate"

Look it up.

zero g
Sep 10, 2005, 06:17
well I would stay at a city and then explore most of Japan, I know I'm from california but I would visit Japan despite the bad noises...

Maciamo
Sep 10, 2005, 11:48
well I would stay at a city and then explore most of Japan, I know I'm from california but I would visit Japan despite the bad noises...

That's not that bad as a short-term visitor. It can get annoying when you have lived there for years and aspire to some quiet at ANY time of the day.

Mike Cash
Sep 10, 2005, 12:05
If you want some quiet time, then you might consider moving out of Tokyo....

That's sort of like living next door to a glue factory and wondering why it stinks.

ArmandV
Sep 10, 2005, 12:23
Buy some ear plugs.