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first time gaijin

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  • first time gaijin

    This will be my first time going to Japan, and I'm wondering:

    How do I dress so I do not look like an American? I know I'm going to stick out anyway, but I want to dress to blend in as much as possible. I'm only in my middle twenties and plan on dressing casually. (I'll be going on a guided tour probably.)

    I have several medications that I have to take for my thyroid and other conditions. Are there any webpages that state what I have to do so I can take my medication while in Japan. I cannot stop them for any reason.

    Thank you!!!!!

  • #2
    Re: first time gaijin

    Don't want to look like an American, forget it; unless you study how the Europeans dress.

    Bring a note from your doctor, just in case.

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    • #3
      Re: first time gaijin

      As for your medications, be sure to KEEP THEM IN THEIR ORIGINAL DISPENSED PHARMACY BOTTLES and GET THE GENERIC NAME OF EACH DRUG AS BRAND NAMES AREN'T ALWAYS THE SAME FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY BUT GENERIC NAMES (the chemical name of the drug) IS THE SAME. Have the doctor write down the chemical names of each of your meds next to the name of any BRAND name drugs that you are taking so that if your RX bottles are examined, you have a list for them to read. BE SURE THAT WHEN THE DOCTOR MAKES THIS LIST, HE PUTS HIS OFFICIAL RUBBER STAMP WITH HIS LICENSE NUMBER ON THE LIST. This make everything all fine and official and anyway, most Japanese customs speak English and you are not the first person to be traveling with meds. So long as they are in their proper RX bottles accompanied by their chemical/generic names, you will be fine.

      As far as NOT looking American, um, kinda tough to pull that off if you aren't Japanese. The Japanese tend to dress very trendy and buy/wear a lot of the same type of clothes that we do (I see the wealthier ones shopping a lot in NYC) especially anything designer or luxury and the kids wear trendy whatever the kids wear around the world trendy! Japan is a very 21st Century country! They are ahead of us on some levels - electronic design, car design and more technology, just as France and Italy are say, in fashion and jewelry design. I would not walk around slovenly, but just neatly dressed for day time outings but if you go out, I'd step it up per the establishment's code and if you're going to do Karaoke, (very big in Japan) then it's whatever you were wearing before you got there and became very drunk to sing. Japanese people are happy, friendly people. I have a penpal there now for over 11 years and when I met him - and he is highly placed in Kobe Chamber of Commerce - he was very neatly, but casually dressed for our long flight back to the States and he was one of the most interesting and pleasant people I've ever met.

      What's more important are the greetings of bowing; if you are going on business, there is special etiquette you should know. Beyond that, be your normal, courteous, respectful traveler and read up on Japan and their culture before you go and you should be fine and enjoy your trip to Japan! They will surely enjoy having you
      Colleen Costello
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