Perhaps it's the geography of the country; the wide-open spaces of the Prarie, the vast cornfields in the midwest and the deserts of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah - Americans are comfortable with big. Big cars, big meals, big houses.
On the other side is Japan; 126 million people squeezed on to four main islands, with a total area 26 times smaller than the USA. The Japanese have learned to be economical with space - whether it be technology, houses or dioramas - which can be an issue when tall people visit the country. Heads are bumped on low doors, showers are too short, and train seats... well, it's cozy, put it that way.
This list, compiled by Bored Panda, shows tall people problems in this compact country, and we'd recommend bringing a helmet if you're over 6ft! Scroll down below to check out the list for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!
The cool and informative blog Japanese Journey by a 29-year-old man called Johannes gives some interesting insights into the struggles of being tall in Japan and travel tips to deal with it. Even though the 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) German is of average height in his own country, the average male height in Japan is 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in), so he does stand out. Here are a few of his everyday problems of being head and shoulders above people almost all of the time.
Bumping your head: When your body height is above the Japanese average, you will very likely bump your head. Most of the time, you will be aware of low door frames and the like and therefore take care. In old buildings, such as the shops in higashi chaya district, the shop assistants may even tell you to take care. However there will be instances when you won’t be expecting things to hang that low and therefore be less attentive. Funny accidents are bound to happen.
My own favorite items to bump my head against are the handles in the Tokyo metro trains. They hang at the height of my forehead, maybe at 172 cm. In the perfect position for the heads of people like me. This usually happens up to five times per trip, then I start to get it.
6’3” Lived In A Traditional Japanese House In Japan For Two Months. There Were Lots Of Exposed Wooden Beams
Things don’t fit: Many things won’t fit you. At my size, it is not that hard to find fitting clothes or shoes. However things that are shared by everyone, such as toilet slippers in restaurants, will be too small. Same goes for the interior features such as benches, tables and sinks.
When I was sitting at at the table in my girlfriend’s parent’s house for the first time, I was surprised by how low but still comfortable the table and benches were. Fortunately it didn’t take me long to get accustomed to it.
Asked A Guy To Take A Photo Of Me And My Friends With Some Bathing Snow Monkeys In Nagano, Japan. Checked The Photo Later
Life Being Tall In Japan. Side Note: This Was A Hit With The Crowd And There Were Lots Of Giggles
Being asked about your body height: “How tall are you?” is a sentence I haven’t been asked in the last decade in Europe. In Japan things are different.
Maybe one out of three times when my girlfriend introduces me to someone, usually women, I hear it. And while this makes me somehow feel like I’m positively impressive, the reactions that are shown upon hearing “180 センチ” (1.80 m) are even more pleasing.
Seeing far ahead on busy streets: When I went out on a Saturday evening in Shinjuku, the first thing I noticed were masses of people. The second thing was that, even though the area was packed, I could see anything. “Legolas! What do your elf eyes see?” shouts Aragorn in the back of my head.
Because I was a bit taller than most of the other short people there, I was able to actually see the end of the road without a head appearing in my view. “So this is how basketball players feel all the time,” I thought and enjoyed the evening.
Everytime I Visit Japan I Feel Like I Don't Fit In... I Wonder Why?
We Came, We Saw, We Raised The Roof
Stayed One Night In This Hostel In Japan. My Head Connected With This Light 8 Times
If I Could Summarize My Recent Trip To Japan In One Photo, This Would Be It
I'm 6'4" and the struggle was real