Smart Phone Danger!


This sign and lots of others like it are all over the place in Japan at the moment. It seems that there have been a lot of accidents – people falling over things, walking into things and bumping into other people – and so there is a big campaign to stop people walking along while looking at or playing on their smart phones. But people really love their phones, so I wonder if the campaign will work?

How to Pray


In Japan there are lots of temples and shrines to worship the Buddhist and Shinto gods, and sometimes also nature spirits and just spirits in general. If you want to pray it is important to know how to do it properly, so there are often posters and signs to show you what to do. These signs are not only for foreigners. It seems that quite a few Japanese forget or don’t know how to pray properly too because why else would there be these ‘how to pray properly’ signs (sometimes in Japanese only) at so many little and out of the way temples and shrines!
This sign is at a hidden away Shinto shrine in Tokyo. As you can see, the 3 basic steps of o-mairi (worship) are:
1. Bow twice
2. Clap your hands twice and pray
3. Bow once more.
There are also other things like purifying your mouth and hands with water, and ringing the bell or gong, but the above 3 things are the main ones.

Sorting Rubbish


Japan is probably advanced, but also the most difficult country in the world when it comes to throwing away rubbish! This is because there are so many different bins for the different types of rubbish that we create. For example in this market there are six different bins to choose between!
The nearest one is for glass bottles and cans, the next is one for plastic ‘PET’ bottles. The white bins are for general plastic and vinyl. The brown one at the end with the green sign is for paper, magazines, newspapers, paper cups etc. and the final bin (with the red sign) is for general rubbish that doesn’t fit into the other categories.
Of course if you can’t read Japanese then it’s even more difficult to decide which bin to use. In that case I recommend looking into the bins to see if you can find stuff that matches what you want to throw away!