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Here are some of the little differences I noticed.
- The large trucks and heavy equipment tended to be painted pastel colors and have glossy surfaces. Blue and purple seemed especially popular.
- Every once in a while we'd see someone bicycling along wearing a white square mask over vis mouth. We weren't sure if the point was to keep out smog or pollen, to avoid spreading germs, or what.
- There were lots of vending machines just sitting out on the streets by themselves, not associated with any store. Sometimes there would be clusters of two or three as well. Mostly they were for drinks, especially soft drinks and/or fruit juice.
- Walking around Fuchu, I found many places where crops were being grown. Sometimes the fields would take up most of a block, other times just a single lot. Each field contained several different kinds of plants. I couldn't identify most of them, but I did see a lot of corn, and a rice paddy or two.
- I also saw some vegetable stands, but I don't know if they were associated with the fields.
- During the peak periods at the train stations, there were people who'd stand outside and hand things out. In the U.S., the things would have been fliers, but here they were little packages of kleenex with fliers contained inside.
- Sometimes, in the evenings, there would be young people—teenagers, I'd guess—singing and playing guitar on the platforms outside the train station, usually as duos, with audiences gathered around them. Sometimes they'd be playing tambourine or harmonica, too, that was especially nice.
- In the building at NEC where the meetings were held, there were these cute girls in green and white uniforms who would serve coffee at the start of the meetings. Too bad I only got to go to one meeting! Because of the uniforms, they reminded me of Girl Scouts.
- The crows all had big beaks. Also, at the park, when the crows wanted to move faster, they would bounce along, hopping on both feet at once. I've never seen the same thing in the U.S.
- I'm not sure this counts as a difference, exactly, but there was a brand of orange juice drink that had a solid orange can with a big smiley face on it. I liked that.
Visit to Japan, A
@ October (2001)