5 Japanese Products Perfect for the Business Traveler
If you travel a lot for business, you might have noticed a difference of accessibility in countries. What may be easy to find in one country might be nearly impossible to find in another. Different cultures have adapted to the specific needs of their citizens. This is exactly the case in Japan, where efficiency and order is highly valued. The culture has produced quite a few unique products that are very useful for the business traveler. Here is a look at the top Japanese products to look out for on your next trip to Japan:
1. Vending Machines
Outside of Japan, vending machines normally carry simple snacks like chips, crackers, soda, and water. You are lucky if you find one in every town, let alone right when you are when in need of a quick food fix. This is where Japan gets it right. Vending machines are on every block and supply patrons with a wide variety of products. Look for vending machines filled with intricate hot meals; ice cream desserts; fresh produce like eggs; and hundreds of varieties of juices, sodas, and milk. And that’s just the food! Items like magazines, cleaning products, and personal hygiene products are also available. You can now eat like a king on the run!
Photo of Japanese Vending Machine via Corpse Reviver / Wikipedia
2. Cell Phone Screen Protectors
Japanese people are quite attached to their cellphones. It’s not unusual to see an entire subway car filled with people on their cellphones or tablets! It is quite popular now to cover your cell phone screen with a screen protector that doesn’t just protect the screen from scratches or breaking. These special protectors have a special design to block prying eyes from reading the screen. When looking at it straight on, it has a simple design of your choosing (think cartoon character for young girls). However when the screen is tilted, the protector changes to black and the screen is unreadable. This prevents anyone from looking at your personal and private messages and emails while you are in a crowded area.
3. Ofuro Baths
You’ve just come back from a long hard day at work and you need something to help you relax. Look no further than the ofuro bathtub in your hotel room. Most Japanese homes and hotels have their own ofuro bathtub. It is different than a Western bathtub in that it is always filled with hot water and you shower with the shower head separately. It’s use is to simply lay in the warm water and relax. Some hotels have a small spa area where you can enjoy the ofuro, while others have an individual ofuro in every room. Don’t miss out on serious relaxation time!
4. Convenience Store Food
On many trips, you might not have time to sit down for a full meal and have to take lunch back to the office. Japanese convenience stores, called conbini, are filled with fresh food ready to heat up and eat. Most conbini will have a full refrigerator section with ready-made meals for every taste. Make sure to try udon soups, cold ramen noodle dishes, curry and rice, meat and rice bowls, and sushi rolls. They all are made that same day and will be half of the price of going out for lunch. Win-win!
Photo of Japanese lunchbox via Kanko / Wikipedia
5. Railway Attendants
Japanese railway station attendants, commonly known as pushers, are something of a novelty for visitors. These pushers stand on subway and train platforms and help organize lines to wait for the incoming train. If there are many people crowded on the platform trying to enter, these attendants will gently push the riders into the car. Think white gloves pushing on your back to help you catch the train. This is extremely helpful for those stuck travelling during rush hour in Tokyo and are weary of struggling to get on the subway. These pushers will help you and show you where to enter the car and follow up by politely pushing you inside. Sounds strange but it is very helpful! Plus the bow when the train pulls away is priceless.
Photo of Japanese railway attendant via DailyMail
Make sure on your next business trip to Japan, you look out for these novelties that will help make your stay that much better. In preparation for your trip, make sure you also take a Japanese level test and begin your language courses. You can then order your lunch from the conbini without batting an eye!