Living Japan #7: How to be a Tokyoite (A Non-exhaustive List)

1. Walk fast, really fast.

2. Sprint a block to outrun a blinking green crossing light.

3. Run towards the closing train door (there’s a word for this : kakekomi-josha).

4. Squeeze into the fully packed subway.

5. Fit all of your stuffs in your 20 m2 “cat’s forehead” apartment. Have a try at minimalism and fail.

6. Curse the snow for delaying the trains, drenching the streets, and making the pedestrian way slippery; its beauty isn’t worth it!

7. Line up for an hour or two for a scoop of ice cream at that newly open shop, or a seat at that new Michelin-starred restaurant.

8. Don’t greet your neighbor. Don’t knock on their door to say hello when you’ve just moved in. Avoid sharing an elevator with them.

9. If you bump into someone on your way, give the quickest glance and say sumimasen as quickly as possible with a straight face. This is the best way to handle this inconvenient situation. Don’t stop to say sorry and smile.

10. Actually, don’t smile at all.

11. In winter time, wear a mask, literally and figuratively. Protect yourself from the cold, protect other people from catching your cold, protect yourself from pollen, and protect your makeup. It’s a must in workdays.

12. Bear with the rude taxi drivers. Somehow they’re allowed to drive recklessly – maybe it’s part of customer service.

13. Only speak in the train in the night time and/or when you’re drunk, even only slightly. I didn’t think I’d have to teach you manner mode.

14. Go to izakaya after work every day, followed by an all-night karaoke if it’s a Friday.


How to Dress

1. Female: skirts and nude stockings. Tan trench coat in spring and autumn. Always wear socks, no excuses.

2. Male: plain black or navy suit, white shirt, and necktie, all year long.

3. Fresh-grad jobseekers: plain black suit, white shirt, black shoes. Yes, only that particular set.

4. Everyone, in winter: Canada Goose downs. Actually, wear them up to early spring until you sweat inside them, you didn’t pay a thousand dollars only for three months.

5. Wear branded stuffs, extra point for wearing CDG or for young people wearing Supreme. Too expensive? Go to the secondhand shops, silly.

6. Avoid wearing jewelleries, such as elaborate necklace, even if they are made of wood or fabric. That’s too much unsubtleties.

7. Keep it up plain and simple. Patterns are fine when the colors are humble. Kimonos are exceptional, of course.

8. Everyone, on the weekends: wear WHATEVER you want. Go crazy! Wear anything you want, be creative and  expressive, celebrate being a Tokyoite. These are the days to be alive!


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