3 Cultural Differences – Japan vs Philippines

If there’s one foolproof way I know to achieving your goals, it’s surrounding yourself with people who have already achieved the same goals. Does that make sense? 😀

In my case, I want to visit Tokyo by March 2016. So yesterday, November 8, 2015, I surrounded myself with people who have already been to Tokyo – the Little Japan in manila group members.

Little Japan in Manila is a group I found in Meetup.com. It’s a community of Japan and Nihongo lovers who meetup over at Tokyo Cafe near Robinsons Forum every Sunday. They only have one agenda in mind – share kwento/experiences/knowledge/stories to each other.

During the 2 hour meeting, I learned 3 differences between the culture of Japan and Philippines – from 3 nihonjins themselves!

Hanami festival sakura
Hanami is love!

1. Festivals
Unlike here in the Philippines wherein our all-out fireworks and celebration show is only during New Year (December 31), fireworks in Japan is a common thing. They have festivals every week, and it’s no surprise if you’ll get to attend one or two during your trip (assuming you’re in Japan at the right place and time!).

Bon Odori Festival Japan
Celebrate Bon Odori with a dance!

Hanami – the cherry blossom festival where people watch the sakura bloom. Hase, the meetup organizer, said it’s also an excuse for people to drink beer!

Bon Odori – it’s similar to our Halloween/All Saint’s Day where they remember all those who died through a dance. Hase said it’s celebrated every summer, around August 13-15.

Yuki Matsuri – a snow festival in Sapporo where people build snow and ice sculptures. It’s held every January.

Sapporo Snow Festival
Don’t you want to see this?

2. Overworking.

Taro, one of the nihonjiins in the group, said that unlike here in our country where people work for their family and to live a happy life, Japanese people work for work. He even said that when Japanese people get fired, they commit suicide.

Maybe because work for Japanese people is their purpose in life. So if they get fired, they don’t see anymore purpose in living in this world.

3. Food

Compared to Japanese food, they said Filipino food are too sweet for their taste buds. They noticed too that we Filipinos love eating meat but they aren’t used to that so sometimes, they buy their own veggies, steam it and eat it with a bit of meat. No wonder they’re all thin.

Want to meet fellow Japan lovers? Join us over at Meetup.com and get updates on our next meeting 🙂


MANSHON (マンション ) in Japanese means condominium or flat. Unlike here where it means you’re rich and you live in a big house. 


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