One of the best things about running J-List is the way it enables me to flit between Japan and my home in San Diego, where I can restore my internal stores of Mexican food. Here’s a blog post about 12 things I obsess over when traveling between Japan and the U.S.!
J-List is going to be at Anime Expo with our sister companies JAST and J18 Publishing. We hope you’ll visit us at booth #4521 in the 18+ area and see all the amazing products we’ve got for you…including a limited edition J-List sticker! Can’t attend AX? We’ve got an awesome $25 off $125 or more sale, with code AX2023!
Traveling to Japan, or from Japan to the U.S.? Here Are Some Surprising Things to Keep In Mind!
Before I Leave: Get Rid of Japanese Coins
In the U.S., if you have a pocketful of change, you maybe have $2-3. But because Japan has moved its $1- and $ 5-equivalent units of currency from paper notes to coins, coins are actually useful for making purchases. But before I travel to the U.S., I always make sure to spend all my Japanese coins to avoid carrying a bunch of weight around.
It’s Actual Time Travel
Want to experience time travel? Just fly from Tokyo to California. I leave at 7 pm, Japan time, and arrive at 11 am on the same day, before I left. Of course, I’ll lose that extra day when I go back home. There’s nothing free in this world.
If you have an Apple Watch, it’s not hard to score 28 or more hours of standing during a single day. It’s fun!
Jet Lag Will Kill You
It’s usually a 10-hour flight between Japan and the West Coast of the U.S., which isn’t a problem at all. The bigger issue is dealing with jet lag. One approach is to be hyper-active, going shopping or doing other activities until it’s time to sleep. I find Japan-to-California jet lag to be quite a challenge to overcome, but going the other direction is much easier.
San Diego is Cold??
San Diego has the most beautiful weather in the U.S., right? That’s often the case, but not during “June Gloom,” when it’s often overcast and too cold to wear shorts. Meanwhile, it’s usually over 35℃ / 95°F in J-List’s home city of Isesaki, which often registers as the hottest city in Japan.
Driving On the Other Side of the Road
Japan took all its early transportation cues from “Great Britain-senpai,” so they drive on the left side of the road, the same as most former British possessions. This means I have to watch my dyslexic butt and make sure I don’t drive on the wrong side of the road. It’s generally not difficult: as long as I’m closer to the center line than my passenger in any country, I’m fine. A bigger issue is getting into the wrong side of the car, which I do roughly 100% of the time.
Travel to Japan: Parking Culture?
The Japanese have a compulsion about backing into any parking spot…even when shopping at Costco, where they’re presumably going to fill their car with purchases. Being an individualistic American, I do the opposite of what everyone around me is doing, so I park head-first into spaces in Japan, and back into spaces in the U.S.
Get Ready to Shop
There’s nothing like heading out to the outlet mall to pick up things I might need back in Japan over the next year, like underwear, health supplements or protein powder. Thanks to COVID, which made it impossible to return home for 2.5 years, I tend to get obsessive about buying extras of everything.
California, Land of Mexican Food
The best thing about being home in San Diego is never being more than 20 feet from Mexican food, and just this week, we’ve managed to eat fish tacos at least five times.
Curious to see the long history of J-List and Anime Expo? Here’s a blog post for you!
Get Ready for Weight Gain
The portions in Japan are a little different from those in the U.S., even under the best of conditions. I know that any visit to the U.S. will be followed by a few months of dieting to lose the extra weight I’ve put on.
California is a Haven for Smokers??
According to J-List’s staff Yasu, California is actually a better place for smokers than Japan, because you can usually smoke outside in the open air as long as you are careful with your ash and butts. Japan banned smoking from nearly all public places, except for closed-off, ventilated rooms for smokers to light up in.
California is a Low-Stress Environment Compared to Japan??
Another observation my Japanese employee made is that it’s great to be in California because the expectation to perform at a high level is much lower. “If I’m in charge of making reservations for hotel rooms for an event, it’s super important that I get every detail right, working with multiple people to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here in America, the approach to work is less intense, and I can leave it up to others…even though the reservations might not get made properly.”
Also, while Japanese people are always extremely punctual, Yasu has learned that working with Americans is more relaxing, since we’re on “gaijin time” and don’t expect everything to happen right on time.
Got Any Feedback About Traveling to Japan?
Thanks for reading this blog with thoughts on traveling to Japan and to California. Have you noticed anything special when you visited Japan, or when you came back? Tell us below!
Also, make sure to follow J-List on these platforms!
- Twitter, where Peter posts anime booba for you
- Facebook, where we share memes and discuss anime
- Instagram, for fans who want to keep up with J-List products in your Insta timeline
- Discord, if you want to chat with other J-List customers of culture
- Finally, check out J-List’s new short video blogs on YouTube or TikTok!
J-List is getting ready to have a blast with everyone at Anime Expo, where we’ll be at booth #4521, in the 18+ section of the show. If you can’t be at Anime Expo, never fear: J-List has a super $25 off $125 or more sale for you, using code AX2023! Get shopping now!