Top 3 Deceptively Simple Features of Japan I'll Never Forget

1. Sliding Doors
These doors are the coolest. Face it, we've all had times where we want to hang a new picture or rearrange the furniture; but imagine if you could rearrange the walls! These doors are like movable walls that either create rooms or wide open space. The design is quaint and you have options all year round.

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2. Japanese-style Bath Area
When I first went to Japan I wasn't so convinced about baths; they're too womanly for a man I thought to myself. But it irresistibly grew on me in the first months of living in Japan; more so for the architecture of the bathing room layout. For those still afraid, picture the Japanese-style bath as we picture hot-tubs. Nothing to be afraid about if we're talking hot-tubs right? Everyone's still manly when entering a hot-tub right?

Anyways, I love the architectural design. Imagine you enter the bathroom and every dang thing is waterproof! Not only waterproof but a wide open space where you can outstretch your arms and twirl circles without bumping into anything!... not that I've ever done that. In this room of dreams, you shower and do the cleaning bit outside of the bath,...outside the bath! Squeaky clean you enter the bath water that has been waiting for you crystal clear, hot, and pristine. Then you just chill. It's wonderful.

3. Genkan
What is it?
The Genkan is great. You leave your shoes here and enter the house. The differentiating aspect of these entrances is that they are not the same height as the rest of the first floor of the house. You step up into the first floor of the house from the genkan.
Why is it great?
I love the genkan idea mainly because of two things:
  1. it's practical and simply feels good. It's practical because no dirt gets tracked into the house ever! Did I ever mention that you never enter a Japanese house with your shoes on? Some people in Japan even think this is a custom specific to Japan. 
  2. the genkan simply feels good. It creates a psychological  entrance/exit -type distinction. You're in. You're out. I'm home. I'm going out. I'm starting the day. I'm ending the day. Albeit subtle, I was amazed at the difference in coming home to my apartment in Japan and coming home to my place in Canada. The feeling is totally different!

That's it for now! I hope you enjoyed the list and we'll see you next time!


Ben and Kailey lived in Japan not too long ago and also visit Kyoto every year.

Ben is developing a Japanese Practice site. It's current main functions are:
1. a Flash Card system that features a leveling system where you must answer correctly and "level up"to gain new cards, receive money and buy new decks - anime decks included!
2. Fill in the Blank system where you can choose to focus on particle practice or verb practice etc.
The Japanese Practice Blog is here. Check out the Japanese Practice site here

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