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Even though Mr. Selfish and I had just spent 43 days in Japan from April to June of this year, we couldn’t resist going back to Japan during our annual Thanksgiving trip. We ended up spending 10 nights in Japan: 2 nights in Fukuoka, 4 nights in Okinawa, and 4 nights in Tokyo.

Japan Map

Traveling back to Japan made me realize all of the little things I had missed.

1. How Most Signs are Illustrated

I love the fact that most of the signs in Japan have cute little drawings accompanying them.

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Yes, I even found a sewer cover that was illustrated.

2. The Toilets

Not only are the toilets super clean everywhere, but they come with different sprays. At first, I was a little scared to use the sprays. But after I got through that initial fear, I learned to love the toilet sprays.

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Mr. Selfish and I even plan on installing a Toto toilet in our bathroom someday.

3. The Bowing

Mr. Selfish and I found the bowing to be quite courteous and charming. But be forewarned – don’t get caught in a bowing loop that never ends.

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4. The Yummy Rice Balls

Every convenience store sells rice balls stuffed with seafood, meat, and/or vegetables. Each rice ball is around 100 yen (~$1 USD) and makes for a delicious snack.

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We even mastered how to open the rice ball and eat it without actually touching the rice ball with your hands.

5. The Vending Machines

While you’re enjoying your rice ball snack, you can also buy hot or cold coffee from a vending machine.

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I don’t know why every vending machine doesn’t have hot and cold coffee for sale but I wish that they did.

6. The Different Snacks and Flavors

Mr. Selfish and I loved going into foreign grocery and convenience stores and seeing what type of local snacks and goodies there are.

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We enjoyed the taco rice flavored chips, which must be unique to Okinawa. Mr. Selfish also loves Crunky cookies. This time, we bought a whole bunch of Crunky cookies to bring back Stateside and are slowly making our way through the stash.

7. Q-Tips are Everywhere!

Ear hygiene is very important in Japan, and every hotel at which we’ve ever stayed in Japan gives you q-tips.

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When we were driving cross-country across the States, I found myself missing those complimentary q-tips.

8. Free Kleenex

In Japan, companies hand out free tissue packets with advertisements. I don’t pay any attention to the advertisements, and I get to blow my nose. Score!

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And those were the 8 things that I didn’t even realize I missed about Japan until we came back. I’m sure that we’ll travel back there soon enough again.

Next up is our 2-night stay in Fukuoka, Japan.