Top 10 acts of customer service that Japanese men would rather do without

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In Japan customer service can be pretty unreal. Little things like taxi doors opening or closing automatically and complimentary reading glasses at check-out counters are harmless and go unnoticed by many locals, and are probably under-appreciated. Sometimes, however, the desire to please the customer and attend to their every need is a little over the top and some people find it just down-right annoying. 

Online research group iResearch surveyed a group of 200 male 20-somethings for their thoughts on “Which services do you secretly wish people would stop providing?” Some of the results are pretty understandable, but some of them make you wonder if the guys surveyed just hate people in general!

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10 incredible tales of kindness on Japanese trains, as told by foreigners

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We recently regaled you with Truly Terrifying Japanese Train Stories told to us by foreigners, which included everything from runaway trains to perverts and nuns. Today, we’re going to relate to you foreigners’ stories of unbelievable acts of kindness they’ve experienced on Japan’s trains.

You’ve probably already heard a few stories of Japanese people doing good deeds, like lost property being returned or someone helping out the hapless foreigner who doesn’t speak the language. But Japan’s special brand of kindness goes much deeper than this. You know, things that when you see them they make you think, “Wow, that would never happen in my country!”

Join us for some miso soup for the soul: stories of extreme kindness on Japanese trains, after the jump.

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The female cosplayers (and their occasionally male characters) of Summer Wonder Festival

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Last weekend, it was once again time for Japan’s model and garage kit enthusiasts to gather for the summer iteration of Wonder Festival, held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture. But while the event’s primary goal is to showcase the talents of those recreating anime and video game characters in plastic and resin, you’ll also find plenty of fans bringing their favorite heroes and heroines to life in flesh and cloth, as Wonder Festival has also become a major draw for cosplayers.

But would the soaring temperature during this year’s Summer Wonder Festival keep cosplayers in their air-conditioned homes? Not at all, and we figured if they were going to brave the heat, we would too, so we grabbed our camera and headed for the convention.

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Dad finds way to outsmart “too cool for school” kids, gets them to blaze through summer homework

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Right now kids across Japan are rejoicing that their school summer break has finally arrived, despite the fact that, like other students in many other parts of Asia, they’re given stacks of homework to complete during their month off.

This homework is often piled on top of other summer cram-school study sessions, camps, and other activities their parents may have already signed their children up for up, and over the years mothers and fathers have found it increasingly hard to keep their kids from putting their summer homework off until the last minute, especially once they reach that “rebellious stage” children usually go through. In fact, summer homework leaves some parents so stressed out that they even seek out homework completion services than spend endless days nagging at their kids.

Fortunately that won’t be the case this year for one Japanese father, who had the ingenious idea of using reverse psychology on…

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Counting in Japanese just became a whole lot easier with this handy infographic

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One of the beautiful (or painful, depending on how you look at it) aspects of the Japanese language is its complex system of numbers and counting methods. For starters, there are two commonly used systems of numbers–often referred to as the Sino-Japanese numbers and the native Japanese numbers–that are used in different contexts, as well as a seemingly limitless number of counter words. Confused yet?

So how the heck do you become a master of Japanese numbers? Well, a good way to start is by checking out this handy-dandy infographic put out by Japanese Video Cast! 

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You’re Not Really Japanese Until You Have a Set of Sliding Door Power Outlet Covers

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Yes, you can use chopsticks, and yes, you pronounce the words karate and karaoke “correctly” in the middle of your otherwise English sentence, but you’re not a hardcore Japanophile until you’ve kitted your home’s power outlets out with these hugely unnecessary but utterly brilliant shoji sliding paper door covers.

Made by hobbyist and blogger Tori Sugimura, these little wooden boxes feature delicate sliding doors and real washi paper panels as well as traditional Japanese design features like flowers and wading cranes.

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【Life Hacking】 Eight Great Tips for Getting a Seat on Japan’s Crowded Trains

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Taking the train during weekday rush hours is a grind in pretty much any country, but Tokyo and Osaka are almost in a league of their own. We’ve all seen pictures and videos of station staff wearing white gloves leaning against walls of commuters and stuffing them inside trains to the point that the entire carriage tilts dangerously to one side, and no doubt many of you have experienced the sweaty, space-invading hell that is Japanese inner-city transport firsthand, but did you know that it doesn’t always have to be such a miserable experience?

Thanks to the knowledge being shared by Japan’s commuting elite this week, you might just be in with a chance of grabbing a seat – and with it a few cubic inches of breathing space – during your next rush-hour journey!

All eight seat-scoring secrets after the jump >

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