What’s minuscule, potentially harmful and is very possibly lurking on your cash money? A multitude of bacteria and viruses, that’s what. It turns out that coins and bills are some of the dirtiest things you touch every day. Two Chinese bank clerks recently learned this the hard way after contracting a very unpleasant condition, supposedly on the job. Heads up, you might not want to read this while eating.
As you may have heard, there’s an epidemic in South Korea. Since last month, more than 150 people have contracted the deadly MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus, among whom 19 have died.
As a result, foreign tourists in South Korea have been leaving the country in droves, and the usually-thriving tourism industry has been suffering. To try and help alleviate matters, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has made a somewhat unusual decision: they will pay tourists US$3,000 if they contract MERS while in South Korea.
If you’re tired of receiving vacant smiles and flippant customer service at your local grocery store, you may want to make a trip to Japan, where the customer always comes first and every transaction is concluded with a graceful bow.
This remarkable attention to customer service even extends to the handling of cash transactions in shops around the country. Akin to an art form, a simple payment to a store clerk in Japan will inevitably set off a series of steps and precise movements to satisfy the needs of both parties and respectively complete the exchange. Come with us as we take you through the steps of a simple transaction in Japan. The attention to detail and the clever reasons for it will surprise you.
Do you ever daydream about what you would do in certain strange situations? Like how you would react to walking into a bank only to find a cat sleeping on an ATM, perhaps?
One Twitter user in Japan did not have to daydream this funny scenario–they lived it. We’re not sure how it came about, but we’re so glad their first reaction was to document it and share it online.
Ladies, do you think that life is all fun and games for your male counterparts? As a multitude of men would have you know, that’s certainly not always the case.
The following list chronicling all the expectations and financial burdens placed on Japanese men both before and after marriage has been circulating the web. Of course, not to rule out the many challenges that women also face, myself being a woman, perhaps it would be better to just say that life can be a real drag for everyone.
For the most part, Japan is a pretty great country to live in. Among a host of other positives, it’s clean and safe, with good infrastructure and reliable transportation.
Still, some people move to Japan and find that even if they like the overall package, it doesn’t quite have all the comforts of home. Today, we’re taking a look at a list compiled by blogger and internationalist Madame Riri of five things expats wish Japan had, plus adding our own explanation of why it’s sometimes a good thing that it doesn’t.
There are certain privileges that come along with adulthood. For example, if I decide I really want to eat a bag of cookies for dinner or stay up until sunrise playing video games, there’s really not a whole lot any other person can do to stop me (even if my body is likely to eventually break down in protest of the unhealthy lifestyle).
Likewise, one you hit the age where you stop getting an allowance from your parents and start earning a legitimate paycheck, you’re generally considered to have earned the freedom to spend your money however you want. And just like you wouldn’t take kindly to someone trying to reinstate a bed time for you, seniors in Osaka aren’t too crazy about a government offer to check up on how they’re spending their government-administered pensions.
Do you find yourself living in the now, enjoying the time and money you have presently without worrying so much about putting away for the future? According to one economist, the language you speak may play a role in how well you’re able to save money. Speakers of Norwegian or Japanese, for example, are more likely to save more money per year, and have more money saved up by the time they retire, than are speakers of, say, English or Greek.
But what is it exactly that differs between these languages, and most importantly, what relation does that have to money?
Japan’s got an unabashed soft spot for beautiful people, with attractive models and celebrities used to promote everything from fashion lines to insurance packages. At the same time, the country also has a deep respect for financial stability and economic vigor.
Recently, fashion magazine AneCan pitted these two cultural values against each other by asking readers which guy they’d rather date, an ugly dude who’s flush with cash, or a hottie who doesn’t have a job?
Last week saw the execution of Chinese millionaire Liu Han. He was the president of Hanlong, a mining company that seemed to borrow their mission statement from Corleone Family, what with being involved in government corruption, weapons smuggling, murder, and dabbling a but of mining here and there.
He was also at one time named the 148th richest person in China according to Forbes Magazine. At the time of his death, this fact had inspired media in Chinese to conduct a millionaire mortality study which claims that the average age of death for a Chinese millionaire is a startlingly young 48 years old.
Imagine this. You’re at a fireworks festival with almost one million people in attendance. Everyone is scrambling for a place to sit and stampeding for the exit when it’s over. In between standing in line for a tasty treat and being dazzled by the fireworks spectacle, you realize something terrible. You’ve lost your wallet. Now what?
In Japan, you just go to the nearest police box, or koban! In 2014 alone, a stunning amount of cash and lost possessions was turned into police stations around Tokyo. In cash alone, over 3.3 billion yen was turned in. That’s a whopping US$27.8 million picked up and taken to the authorities. Could that happen anywhere else in the world?
Valentine’s Day, as you’re undoubtedly aware thanks to the abundance of heart-shaped goods that have suddenly appeared on shop shelves, is almost upon us. But before you break out that chocolate-making kit or ass-shaped pastry for your special someone, take a look at this downer of a statistic: Seventy percent of Japanese 20-somethings recently surveyed think that money is more important than love.
Maybe you should add your bank statement to your Valentine’s Day card? If you’re already wishing February 14 had come and gone, join us after the jump for this decidedly un-romantic story.
The common stereotype about women among sexually frustrated, mostly parents’ basement-dwelling, men is that girls only go for attractive, rich guys, and never the nice, tender guys with warm hearts and chic fedoras.
Well, when it comes to one of those observations, anyway, there appears to be at least one cultural precedent of a diabolical hidden message that seemingly proves the stereotype right in one of the very words that defines men and women’s relationship in Japan…
Christmas Eve in Japan is very much a date night, perhaps the biggest of the year. Couples go to see festive Christmas lights, have a nice dinner and exchange gifts; the night really matters. But about those gifts…
How much money are you planning on spending on your significant other this holiday season? How much are you expecting them to spend on you? If you’re single, how much do you think your potential darling would want to dish out for a Christmas present? A recent poll gives us a great insight into how much we should probably be spending.
A survey out this week asked 200 salarymen – office workers in Japan – about their work and lifestyle habits. The findings have been reported in the Japanese media under headlines such as “The bad habits of low earners” and “People on a low income pee in the bath – but why?!”
But this kind of survey tells us more about the survey creator’s attitude towards low-income citizens, than it does about the employees who answered it.
One cool thing about living in Japan is that, whether you’re in a bustling city or the open countryside, you’re never too far from a vending machine. True, you won’t find any canned ramen in many machines outside of Akihabara, but so long as there’s power to run one, you’re pretty much always within a few hundred metres of a machine selling both chilled and hot drinks.
We’ve seen some unusual things turning up in Japan’s vending machines over the years, but cans of peach juice with money taped to them is definitely a new one.
We all have our funny little habits and daily rituals. Some of us don’t feel settled at night unless we’ve put all the dishes away or spoken to our loved ones on the phone. Others can’t head to bed unless they’ve first checked that the front door is locked or whipped the shower curtain open to ensure there isn’t a monster, murderer, or acid-spitting xenomorph in there waiting climb out of the tub after they’ve fallen asleep.
But did you know that some people in Japan are now getting into the habit of putting their wallets to bed before themselves?
Many readers likely remember the terrible story about the man whose guide dog, Oscar, was stabbed multiple times while the pair was en route to the owner’s work. Oscar didn’t bark nor react to the stabbing and it was only when a co-worker saw the blood on him that anyone realized what had happened. An investigation was launched and people around the world reacted in anger and severe disappointment that anyone would harm a dog like this.
But while there are people who will hurt animals, there are even more who are kind and loving to them, and one such man from Saitama is offering a big bounty to find this criminal and put him behind bars.
When it comes to cash, we all no doubt have our favourites. I, for one, have a huge soft spot for those nice, big 500 yen coins since every time I hold one I feel like I’m either shopping in a medieval market town or about to plonk it down on a bar counter to cover the cost of my beer, bath and bed for the night. Those flimsy little one yen coins, however, have a habit of seeking me out, and I always find myself trying to palm them off on convenience store clerks, devastated when I’m a single coin short of the nine yen they’re asking for.
In a recent poll, 477 My Navi Woman readers were asked which of Japan’s coins and notes boasts the “coolest” design. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number-one spot went to the 10,000 yen note – the largest denomination available and worth roughly US$100 – but there were some surprises in the list too. Join us after the jump for a closer look at some of Japan’s cash.