The view from Chome street, a three minute walk to TUJ!

Tokyo is an amazing and inspiring city and I am spiraling in the honeymoon phase with it.

Here is a short list of cultural difference that I have experienced:

Culture The people are extremely polite. It’s in the culture that they “keep the peace.” People care about the quality of life; not just for the individual person, but the overall quality of life for the community.

Public transit Riding the escalators to the public transit, people that are not rushing walk on the left side, opening the entire right side for people running to catch their trains. The trains are always on time or -/+3 minutes late (not counting unusual delays.)

Garbage The garbage is divided into burnables (food, clothes, paper), non burnables (plastic), and recycled cardboard, cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles.


Gresham Smith and Lourdes Monje excited for the first day of TUJ orientation.


I had to get one, too! Photo credit: Lourdes Monje

I lucked out by not experiencing culture shock (so far!). I absorb and retain everything I am learning about the people and the culture.

Welcome Party


Gresham Smith, Anatol Steck, and Lourdes Monje socializing at TUJ Welcome Party.


Fumitaka Takiurs enjoying the brownie at TUJ Welcome Party.

Food It can be cheaper to dine out instead of buying groceries. 7/11 is a great option for cheap, healthy, and fresh food. There are convenient stores and vending machines at almost on every street.


Grocery stores have 40% sale on lunch boxes an hour before the stores closing time.

Architecture The Japanese architecture have a system of “scrap and rebuild” as a means to purify the space. Depending on each case, houses are demolished around every 20 years for a new generation. It’s considered “weird/uncustomary” to have an old house that another family has lived in. Temples and Shrines are also demolished to purify the space.


Why can’t our Starbucks have two stories of bookshelves?


Lourdes Monje capturing the moment of Liangchi Zhang (Lynch) and his favorite architect Tadao Ando. Jazzmynn besides Lynch enjoying the moment.


Lynch Zhang, Jazzmen Hong, Najah Yasin (me), Lourdes Monje in Roppongi Hills after buying textbooks at the grand Starbucks. Photo Credit: Gresham Smith


While buying school supplies in Tokyu Hands, Lourdes Monje spotted the cute animal-shaped pen section. Uh-oh!


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