I recently wrote about things that gaijin focus on when they visit Japan, like wacky vending machines or maid cafes or love hotels. One of my Twitter followers asked me to write about the reverse, what Japanese people pay attention to when they go to the U.S., so I thought I’d write about that today. Seen from Japan, America is very hiroi (wide and spacious), and Japanese are always oo-ing and ah-ing at how big everything is. Items sold in stores are also much larger than Japanese are used to back home, and giant watermelons or the “buckets” of Coca-Cola (32-oz Big Gulps) stand out to them. Often Japanese will not see the real America for all the preconceptions they have in their minds, which is why every woman in the U.S. is perceived as “blonde” and every man as “tall,” even if they’re not. Except for hunting in rural areas, there are no guns in Japan, and Japanese often obsess over them, asking people how many guns they keep in their house or visiting the many shooting ranges that cater to Japanese tourists. There are very few curse words used in Japanese — most insults are variations of baka, meaning stupid — and sometimes Japanese people develop an affinity for the rather picturesque anatomical swearing that English is so good at.
Japanese are always shocked at how large drinks are in the U.S.