Coffee Break (Monthly Report) / May 2024 issue

Marshall Elliott Ginsler Viner Exchange Coordinator

Difference in culture

 Hello. This is Marshall Elliott Ginsler Viner of Sagamihara International Lounge. The season of fresh greenery has arrived, how are you all spending your time?

 Did you all have a relaxing Golden Week? I visited tourist spots in Kanto and Kansai with my family during Golden Week. Traveling with Canadians who were visiting Japan for the first time, I was able to rediscover many things about Japan that I was unaware of, such as the differences in culture and cityscapes, and the good things about Japan. For example, not long after I came to Japan, I was traveling and someone told me, ``There aren't many trash cans here.'' Yes, Japan has beautiful streets, but compared to Toronto, where we were born and raised, there are fewer garbage cans in the streets. On the other hand, my family was happy that, unlike in Toronto, all stations in Japan have toilets. We also talked about tipping culture. In Canada, it is etiquette to leave a tip along with the bill when leaving a restaurant. It can be said that "takeout" is also a difference in food culture between Japan and Canada. Therefore, one day when I was eating with my family at a restaurant, one of us got sick and asked to take home some leftovers, which was confusing. However, when I asked the staff if I could take it home, I was relieved when she answered, "Yes."

 It may come as a surprise, but my family likes Japanese convenience stores. There are convenience stores in Canada, but I don't think they are as well-stocked as in Japan. I was really excited about the variety of Japanese convenience stores and the machines that make smoothies and coffee.

I think it's going to be hot and humid from now on, so please take care of your body.