I wonder how they see me...

People told me before I came to Japan that I would probably be stared at quite a bit. That's because I'm a foreigner, or gaikokujin, living and working in Japan. In places like Tokyo, it's quite common. But as one gets farther out into the countryside, naturally, it's less common. At first, I didn't really notice. But today I did notice quite a few people looking at me. Actually, one person seemed to be scared and ran away. Hmm. Am I scary? Haha, I don't think so. But there are reasons for the confusion. I heard that in Japan, men should wear dark colors. So, I wear a black coat and black shoes. When I finish work, I am often still wearing my black suit pants. And it's cold now, so I bought a hat, which is black. Uh oh, that's a lot of black... So that's part of it. I am also about a foot taller than most people, and yes, I'm one of only a few Americans in Okayama right now. I guess I should make more of an effort to fit in and look as friendly as possible. I just wonder, what kind of appearance would make people more comfortable? Any ideas?

Anyway, last weekend I went to beautiful Korakuen, the garden shown in this picture. It was so nice, and the weather was great. You can see from the image what a nice place it is. I had a really good time walking around and taking photos. I wanted to share this image with you all. If you have a chance to visit Okayama, I really suggest going to Korakuen.

Coming up: I have found so many great restaurants here. There are two in particular that I will write about in the near future.


Mari said...

Hi, Adam! Good to know that you enjoy your visit to Okayama. I've never been there because I had grown up in east side of Japan and did not get much chance to travel to West. Though Japan is a lot smaller than US, there are so many things to see. You may have figured that out by now. Don't worry about some people looks scared at you. They are not going to do any harm to you. If they find out you can speak some Japanese, they will start feel a lot better. Don't worry about what to wear. But if you find some T-shirts with some Japanese funny letters on it (I've seen such kind sold in the shopping mall here in US), that could make some Japanese people laugh and ease their tension.

Abi said...

Hey Bro!
I am so glad to see your surviving! ;) I love all the pictures - maybe I should start a blog of NYC and married life. ha ha ha
My two cents :
People are just startled by your handsome good looks. It's only natural for people to look at something unfamiliar and even be a little scared by what they don't know - which would be you. I am glad that you are enjoying the food (naturally) and look forward to hearing more about your adventures.
How do you like your job? Hugs!

Summer Breeze said...

Thanks, Mari and Abi! I feel much better anyway. I think I was just having a moody day. Last night I went to a yakitori restaurant where they grill chicken and sausage and stuff right there. it was sooo delicious! and everyone was nice to me there. Oh -- Abi, yes, start a blog, it's a great outlet!! And work is going really well. Everybody has to put in their full effort, but it's a great job and I love it!

Jastis said...

Wow, I looked through some of your blog, and you have done some awesome research on Japan! Dialect differences, body language, holidays, culture, what color men should wear. Wow. Hopefully that is letting you fit in that much easier and understand all of the new things around you! It also sounds like you are willing to adapt and do your best to fit. That is a great attitude, and the Japanese people around you will really notice it and appreciate it. Gambatte!