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Matthew Swanston

Canadian in China

Tag / Tokyo

10 Things I’ll Miss About Japan

There’s no doubt Japan has a unique culture, the subtleties of which became increasingly obvious the longer I lived in Tokyo. Its uniqueness is just as apparent in the competitive swimming world as any other; Japanese clubs develop their huge depth in the sport by requiring children to master perfect stroke technique before they are allowed to advance to the next level. Within this rigid structure are plenty of cultural quirks, like bowing to the pool to show respect before and after a race.

Cultural nuances in the land of the rising sun have little regard for outside norms; Japanese people do things their way, with precise method that they never stray from. Although adjustment was a bit of a process, I became accustomed to Japanese life over the better part of the past year. I’m already missing some of the small things now that I’m back in Canada for the summer. Here are 10 of them, in no particular order.

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Spring Break in Tokyo: Part 1

The end of my teaching practicum coincided with the beginning of spring break. I thought about traveling out of Japan for the week, but why leave? Despite having already lived in Tokyo for months, there were so many areas I had yet to explore. I set off with a backpack and a camera at my side (like a true gaijin?), but instead of leaving Tokyo, I went full tourist inside the city. Here are some of the things I saw.

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