Coming To America: A Culture Shock


Eri Minamimoto, Staff Writer

In this article, I want to talk about the difference between Japanese culture and American lifestyle.

First, the most surprising thing is that American people don’t  use trains, except city people. In Japan, the most popular transportation is the train. So, I usually ride train to go to high school or walk. And also, most trains arrive exactly on time. But,  in the U.S., most don’t walk along the streets. That surprised me the most. I feel like most American people tend to like cars. 

Second, When shopping in Japan, people typically pay for items with cash, and they place their cash in a tray beside the register for the salesperson to pick up, count, and process. The salesperson will place change in the tray for the customer to pick up after the transaction is complete. When I came to America, most people used their credit card for shopping. It’s very useful, but I feel like cash is better than a card. That’s because, if we lost the card, someone might use it. I mean, I can say the same things with cash, but the credit card has more money in it!

Third , space in Japan is more precious than in America. Japan is an island and is, thus, very small. It’s only about the size of California. So, when I came to America, I felt like everything was big–houses, cars, and many other things. Japan has many apartments to economize on space.

Fourth,  most American people don’t eat rice. I was very surprised about that–that’s because I always eat rice every day! I sometimes eat bread with my host family, but they don’t eat rice not at all! That’s was my biggest culture shock.

You might experience culture shock when traveling  between Japan, too. Comparing the differences between Japan and the United States is very interesting. But, it is also very important to learn other countries’ languages. I think language shows a nation’s culture and what’s important to those people. That’s why I am trying so hard to learn the English language.