Interesting Tidbits That I Never Knew #1
1. School girl uniforms are not only required uniforms for school but they are fashionable and worn at any time during the day and week, whether the female is in or out of school.
2. In conjunction with the above noted tidbit, it is very easy to feel like a creep when walking in downtown Yokohama.
3. Mario Kart is in arcade game form here in Japan. Not only does this make Mario Kart one of the greatest console video games but it makes it the ultimate arcade game. Driving against three other opponents, you have the option of playing an extra 100 Yen (equivalent to $1 CDN) to have a card printed out of your stats. This card can then be used in future games and it continually documents your stats, remembers your driver, allows you to collect items throughout the game and registers all information in the arcade cabinet. It's easy to blow tens of dollars in one sitting on this amazing game.
4. The Yokohama ferris wheel in Minato Miria centre (which is the main city centre and home to Landmark Tower, Yokohama's tallest building with the world's fastest elevator) acts as a clock with 60 lights around the circumfrance to indicate seconds as they tick by. Every 15 minutes, on the quarter hour, the lights burst into a spontaneous and brilliant light show for five full minutes. This makes the ferris wheel one of the largest and more interesting timepieces in the world, considering Big Ben just sits there and chimes occassionally.
5. Do not believe all of the hype regarding the high cost of living in Japan. While it is easy to get lost in the hype of a city and spend hundreds of thousands of Yen on the very best, a fantastic living can be made on eating well and planning. Supermarkets offer fantastic meals at extremely cheap prices and there is a nice variety of well-known name brands and generic products, much like those in Canada and around the world.
6. The Japanese people are unbelievably hospitable towards tourists and foreign citizens. It has been noted that while other Asian countries frown upon using English to assist tourists, Japan feels almost obligated to help out in any way, shape or form. Almost all commercial enterprises have a grasp of the English language and are always willing to assist you.
7. Avoid the fast-food chains by eating at Mos Burger, a burger joint that grills up burgers and fries immediately after you order them. The burgers are fantastic and meals are extremely cheap!