first, laundry. most people in America do laundry about once a week. the put it in the washer, and then they put it in the dryer. pretty basic, right? well that’s not how it’s done here in Japan. We do laundry every day. the whole family puts their stuff in together. we don’t let it pile up. If I had known this before I packed for the trip, I could have packed a lot less. Also, they only use cold water, to save power. My house, like most houses, does not have a drying machine. we hang everything up either on the lines in the backyard, on the balcony upstairs, or in the living room. By this point I’ve gotten used to everyone having their underwear out drying where everyone can see. I’m quite glad that I stuck by my decision to only bring plain things.
second, bathrooms. the room with the toilet is separate from the one with the bath. in the toilet room, there is a toilet and a sink. I’ve found that most restrooms, public and private, don’t have towels. public ones have air hand dryers. a lot of restrooms in people’s houses don’t have soap, or only have cold water in the sink (as is true in my house) or they might have no sink at all. Japanese toilets are in themselves interesting. The bathroom where you bathe is a small room where the whole thing is the shower. in my bathroom there is a tub to one side, and a movable shower head. there are 2 positions for the shower head. one is down low, where the faucet for the tub is, and one is up high so you can stand and take a shower like we would here. I didn’t find that one until well into the second week.