20 Useless Things in Japan – Foreigners’ Opinions

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加

There was a thread in a famous Japan expat site – Gaijin spot, discussing about “Useless things in Japan”. Here I put some of those foreigners’ opinions together in this article. See if you agree with some of these. 🙂

Useless Things in Japan

useless things in Japan

p/s Number does not mean ranking.

1. Shoe Shops 靴屋
“It’s difficult to find clothes that fit, but shoes are the hardest. Regular shoe shops are useless >_<”

2. The “Thank you very ました” from convenience store staff

3. Elevator Girl
“Elevator staff are useful for kicking out people who are just in the elevator for a free ride, hence allowing room for the pram (stroller)!”

4. Happo-shu 発泡酒
“Happoshu is also a useless item, I wouldn’t let my dog drink that skunk p!ss.” (comment from a user)

5. Katakana カタカナ
“The most absolutely USELESS thing in Japan is Katakana. Unless one is trying to prevent the entire nation from EVER speaking or understanding other languages. THEN it serves a very practical purpose.”

“What’s the connection between my pointing out that Katakana is useless due to it being no different from Hiragana and never used to assist in the PROPER pronunciation or enunciation of foreign words and your lame and incorrect assumption that I’m “offended” over Japanese people being brainwashed into believing that two identical phonetic alphabets serve a purpose…?”

6. Pachinko パチンコ
7. Too much wrapping 過剰な包装
“combini and other shops that wrap everything in a bag after bag unless you catch them before they start”

8. 10% discount sales 10% OFF セール
“is there any meaning with that sale?”

9. Baka Gaijin バカ外人
10. Public Announcement 公衆アナウンスメント
“public announcements at 7:00 a.m. in the facking morning (if your grannie can’t wander off without getting lost, time to put her in a home)”

“Announcement in Densha, it’s very annoying. It makes no difference with those people who talk on phone in the Densha.”

11. Love Hotel ラブホテル
12. SMAP
” I actually can’t think of ONE DAY, since coming to Japan that they havn;t been on TV. Honestly!!, they are LITERALLY on tv EVERYDAY! Do Japanese people like Kimutaku that much?!?, over exposure or what??”

13. English Teachers
“After all, they don’t speak English.”

14. Overtime work 残業
15. Stamp 印鑑
“Why can’t it be just signature?”

16. Marriage Hunting 婚活
17. Shaken 車検
“Shaken is a useless waste of time and money. Japanese companies build some of the best cars in the world, why on earth do they have to run them through that stupid inspection every year or two ?”

18. Police 警察
“police that tell me to turn my bicycle light on at night…………..then again, not much crime so guess they have nothing better to do”

19. Politician 政治家
“Japan has been in recession for years but the politicians still do nothing with it.”

20. Shower stools シャワーベンチ
“shower stools, who the f### needs to sit when showering…stand up you lazy f***!!!!”


After all, I think everything in a country (or in a community) serves its cultural purpose. It is true that those things up in the list can be useless for foreigners depending on country, but it does serve some purpose, or should we say it has a historical reason of which it developed to the present.

Let’s pay more attention to the cultural background and context of those “useless things”. 🙂

A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.