In the Life section, we will introduce some aspects of the everyday lives of the people in various parts of Japan.

Have you ever shoveled snow? Not enough snow falls in Tokyo for it to pile up much, but in northern Japan there are places where the heavy snowfall results in snow corridors as high as 20 meters! In areas such as these, people shoveling snow off driveways and sidewalks in order to walk or drive can be seen quite frequently in winter.

When it comes to building houses in northern Japan, the prevalent style is to construct roofs with shallow slopes so the snow does not pile up and fall onto the heads of people below. In Tokyo, traffic lights are often arranged horizontally, but in northern Japan they are installed vertically to prevent snow from accumulating and obscuring the light.

Unlike Tokyo and northern Japan, Okinawa, famous for its beautiful ocean where coral reefs and tropical fish can be seen, is characterized by a warm average annual temperature (about 20 degrees Celsius) and high humidity. Some Okinawans even feel that winter cold has arrived when the temperature drops below 20 degrees. Because of this, traditionally built houses often have large windows in entranceways, verandas, and corridors. Also, unlike other prefectures, the asphalt used on roads is generally made of a mixture of coral and limestone. Due to this it is very slippery, so rental car shops will usually advise customers not to slam on the brakes, especially on rainy days.

There are innumerable unique customs in each prefecture, from the structural makeup of downtown areas to everyday activities. We hope you have a chance to experience the wide variety of differences in the lives of Japanese people.