5 Ways in Which New York City Differs from Japan

Featured image: NYC flag flying high at Tokyo’s DisneySea park.


1. People talk on their phones, when possible, while on trains.  

2. People, including myself, eat food while walking around. Pretzels, hot dogs (not me), food truck treats and other assorted items. Folks on trains do not hesitate to eat chicken wings or break open a box of pizza during a ride. 

3. Food trucks are all the rage here and in many American cities. I never saw one anywhere in Japan, nor did I see a single food stall on any sidewalk (which was extremely commonplace in Bangkok). 

4. Finding an electrical outlet to charge one’s phone or other device is simple here. NYC now even has begun replacing sidewalk pay phones with free public charging stations. One may also charge up in any number of restaurants, cafes, or other interesting locations. 

In Japan, much of this is either frowned upon or just not available at all. For example, I went to Tokyo Disneyland thinking there was a good chance there to be able to recharge, with everyone taking photos and what not. I wanted to cut off a dying battery at the pass by charging up during a mid-afternoon lunch at the Eastside Cafe–a very nice restaurant in the American-themed Main Street area. 

Right as I walked in I jumped on an outlet in the waiting area. I noticed the hostess kind of looked at me askance as she came over to lead me to my table. Then, I immediately plugged into another outlet directly next to my table. “Yes! This place is loaded. ” About ten seconds passed before my server told me apologetically, this is Japan after all, that the outlets are for “emergency use only. “

NOT at Tokyo Disneyland…

5. New Yorkers are loud. They do not hesitate to shout across the street at friends. They play music loudly. They cuss loudly. They honk horns ten seconds before the redlight changes to green. 

Some may even say New Yorkers do not hesitate to tell you how they feel. 

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