Manpris? Socks and sandals? It's a normal thing here. Yep, and I condone it. In the case of manpris, I even applaud it.
There is a magazine here entitled "Fine Boys" and there is always an attractive man on the cover.
Have you ever wondered where your Cub Scout uniform disappeared to? Japan. Men and women alike wear those blue shirts with the American flag patch on one shoulder and the patch from the Scout council the shirt came from on the other, along with the troop number.
On the topic of other slightly misplaced usage of shirts, on a daily basis, I see men wearing shirts with "ARMY" and "US Navy" and "USMC" printed on them. Uhhh...why?
English is pretty pervasive here and shows up on just about everything. My favorite t-shirt: Smooth like Butter. My favorite English misuse: Sweet lovers' new luxury to savor cakes scorched by patissiers. (It's on a bag and they use the word 'scorch' repeatedly. I really have no idea how that is supposed to sound delectable)
Kids? Adorable. (As if that was even in question) But they are also very independent and surprisingly self-sufficient and their parents don't have to keep them on leashes to keep them safe.
I never expected to spend half of my budget on ice cream. It's not just me though. Everyone buys ice cream or some kind of frozen treat quite frequently and regularly (after most meals).
I crave noodles here more than rice. (Soba in the summer heat? Heaven)
Everyone here is beautiful and/or handsome.
Women almost always wear heels.
During the 7th inning stretch at baseball games, people sing and dance along to the song, "YMCA". I asked and have no idea what they did before the Village People.
Every music store I have been in has an unusually large jazz section, at least it seems uncharacteristically large considering it's the same size as the entirety of the rest of the American music genres.
Matsushima felt too small to me (only about 20,000 people). Sendai is just about perfect (1 million people). Tokyo, though, does not feel too big either (8.7 million people).
I am addicted to the Japanese language. When I go out, I listen to it all around me and try to pick out words but mostly, just try to figure out the prosody of the language. When I go home, I miss hearing Japanese and so I turn on the TV.
I still can't speak Japanese. Not even a little bit. When people talk to me in Japanese, my mind goes blank and I panic.