To most of us, Japan is one of those distant exotic countries that are always on our travel list. But with everything that is going on in the world right now, booking a flight can be quite tricky. Luckily, there are other means of transportation. Like TikTok.

Yurié Collins, aka BabyPinkHaus, was born and raised in Japan and moved to the US for college when she was 18. Collins had spent 10 years in New York City but recently went back to the Land of the Rising Sun. There, she started a video series, revealing everyday differences between the two countries.

The candid clips are really insightful and perfectly portray the subtle nuances that set these distinct cultures apart.

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Image credits: babypinkhaus

@babypinkhausI swear I’m from here 😭✨ #japan #japanesetrain #harajuku #ハーフ #fypシ♬ original sound – Yurié/ユリエ

“I am what Japanese people call a ‘hafu,'” Yurié introduced herself to Bored Panda. “It is a term that comes from ‘half-breed.’ My father is American (white Irish) and my mother is Zainichi (ethnically Korean, born and raised in Japan). Growing up here, people were constantly reminding me that I was ‘different,’ which happens to be the same word for ‘wrong’ in Japanese, so I never felt like I belonged here.”

Official data portrays Japan as an ethnically homogenous nation. According to census statistics in 2018, around 98% of the country’s population is Japanese. So you can imagine that people who look different there stand out way more than in an ethnically diverse country such as the US.

Yurié was thrilled to move to the US, where she dreamed of being an all-American girl. After all, her dad was American. However, the reality turned out to be different than what she had expected. “I was shocked upon arrival when I was immediately labeled as ‘Asian’ by Americans because my whole life, it felt like I wasn’t ‘Asian’ enough to be Japanese. That was the biggest shock for me.”

People on the train are mindful of noise

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

It’s safe to leave your valuables unattended

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

The first TikTok in this series was actually an accident! “I had moved back to Japan at the end of 2020 with hopes to heal my relationship with my home country,” Yurié explained. “I started a YouTube channel to introduce Japanese culture and anime through street interviews, with the intention of telling the truth about Japan—a country everyone in America seemed fascinated by but often misunderstood.”

“One afternoon in Tokyo, I was editing one of my YouTube videos at a cafe and had to use the restroom. I realized I could leave my laptop unattended as that’s what everyone does. I thought that would shock my friends in New York, so I made a TikTok about it.”

Laundry machines come with detergent already in them

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

You can buy snacks at the train station with your train card

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

@babypinkhausThings are very convenient here 🥲 #tokyo #suica #icoca #japanesetrain #fypシ♬ original sound – Yurié/ユリエ

Yurié thinks the biggest difference between Japan and the US is how the two value individuality. “In Japan, we literally say, ‘The nail that sticks out gets hammered down’ and the word for ‘different’ is the same word for ‘wrong.’ It’s not a good thing to stand out in Japan (although many Japanese people I’ve spoken to say they wish they could express themselves the way Americans do).”

I think both cultures admire the other, so I believe they can absolutely get along. I also believe they can both learn from each other. Because as much as I hate the discouragement of self-expression in Japan, I think Americans should learn from the value of social consciousness and responsibility beyond self-advancement. “

There are umbrella bags so you don’t have to carry a dripping umbrella into places

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

@babypinkhausI love these things 💗🌂✨ #tokyo #hellospring #uniqlo #fypシ♬ SugarCrash! – ElyOtto

Japanese phones don’t let you turn off the camera shutter sound

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Mobility exercise that every Japanese person knows by heart

Image credits: babypinkhaus

Image credits: babypinkhaus

@babypinkhausIt’s cool what the body remembers 😊 #ラジオ体操 #radiocalisthenics #japan #fitness #aapi #fypシ♬ original sound – Yurié/ユリエ

“I would like to say thank you to all of my followers,” Yurié added. “It means so much to me that people like my videos about my home country, which is such a beautiful and complex place. I believe it’s my job to tell the truth about Japan and show it unapologetically to the world. That’s the intention I carry behind every video. Please stay tuned for more!”

Here’s what people said after watching Yurié’s TikToks