Published by Antonio Tajuelo
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In Japan a lot of people are smokers. However, it is very interesting to see how smoking works very different in Japan versus my country, Spain. In Spain you are allowed to smoke in the street, but not on shops, restaurants or public transportation. In Japan, surprisingly, you are allowed to smoke at most restaurants... but smoking on the street is forbidden in many districts!
How is possible that Japan has smoking norms that are just the opposite of the Spanish ones? For understanding it, first we need to learn about Japan society values. In Japan, the street is a community place, a public space, and therefor it must be respected. In order to preserve it clean, no trash should be thrown to the floor and no smoking is allowed. That's why the floor of Japan's cities is always pristine. On the other hand, a restaurant is considered to be a private space, so here the rules are made by the business owner.
Despite smoking is not allowed in many Tokyo streets, there are smoking areas, like the one featured in this picture.
Sign on the ground, warning that smoking is prohibited on this area.
Smoking area at Ikebukuro.
This one of the many "cigarette shops" in Tokyo. Sales are made through vending machines. Inside you can find just a smoking area.
Strange cigarette box ^^.
Of course, always there is someone who breaks the rules, heheheh!