Japan, with a long and narrow shape stretching from Hokkaido to Okinawa. As the weather differs, so as the people’s temperaments and values. One can through the customs to local gourmets, get a glance of the traits of the people of a prefecture, as different places have different customs. And if you know the local common sense, then you will have a smoother trip. Not the general tourist images, this series is about knowing the real locals. The 10th article is about Aichi Prefecture.
Stingy and show-off
Perhaps from the history that Owari Clan, which ruled Nagoya at one time, promoted thrift and saving, the people of Aichi are conservative and stingy. First, for them what is cheap is good. They are sound and utilitarian. As they don't trust others, most of them prefer to keep their savings at home. They like to show off and be outstanding. As they don't really trust stranger, it needs time to associate with them.
It is the east and the west
If you check the definition of “East Japan” in dictionary, it is “a general term for areas to the east of and including Chubu region”. While for “West Japan”, it is “a general term for areas to the west of and including Chubu region”. Seems like Chubu region can be both East Japan or West Japan.
Worst driving prefecture No.1
The poor manner of Aichi people is quite famous. Traffic accidents rate is quite high, ranking as No.1 Worst Driving Prefecture in Japan for a consecutive 14 years. In recent years, there is even a term “Nagoya Hashiri (Nagoya Run)” to describe how bad the traffic manner that the other prefectures are not comparable. They will not hesitate to go on even if it is yellow signal, and even it is red signal, they will proceed based on their judgement on the road condition. You should be careful even if you are driving following the rules or walking on the sidewalks.
The morning services in cafés are gorgeous!
The basic of morning service at the café’s is that a drink comes with a toast and boiled egg. There are even cafés that serve bread, boiled egg, free-flow salad and free-flow drink at 1 coin (500 yen). In Nagoya, it is a custom to have a cup of coffee at café after a morning walk. As such the extra morning service can be found around Nagoya. Also, the manga café is originated from Nagoya. It is said that it first started by putting a lot of manga in the shop as a tactic to attract more customers.
They love red miso!
Miso cultlet, misu udon, miso oden, etc. The food culture of Aichi Prefecture cannot be described without red miso. Oden from convenience stores come with miso paste. In the supermarket, miso tubes are displayed along with sauces and soy sauces.
Komeda Coffee instead of Starbucks
Aichi people take pride in the coffee shop “Komeda Coffee”. Since its establishment in 1968, it has been the place for seniors and families to relax from early morning. It is the kind between café and family restaurant, and there are variety of drinks and food. All the food has a super “volume feeling”! The “Shiro Noir” is delicious. The sofa is comfortable. Once sit down, you don't feel like want to get up. There are plenty of newspapers and magazines too, creating a welcoming atmosphere. It can be said a model of Japanese hospitality.
Wedding Ceremony is gorgeous
“People of Nagoya is show-off”. A good example that supports this common belief is the gorgeous wedding ceremony. “The house will slant if there are 3 daughters in a family in Nagoya”, “Marry a Nagoya if you want a bride”. These were used frequently in old days. For example, load a truck fully with trousseau and has it run through the town; it is “marry with a truck”. Then a snack shower is performed on the day of wedding. Before the couple depart to the wedding hall, lots of snack bags of a size of pillow are thrown from the 2nd floor. For this, the neighbors gather and scramble to get them.
In Japan, there are many unbelievable “prefectural characteristics” that are unique to each prefecture and not applicable to others. Please also check out our next article in this series! Please comment and tell us which other prefecture’s characteristics that you want to know!