I think one of my biggest culture shocks when I came to Japan, oddly enough, was beach etiquette. Growing up in Texas (and then in Ghana), I spent a lot of time at the beach or outside in the sun, tanning.
I like it when my skin has a ‘healthy glow’ – when it’s “too pale” it kind of freaks me out.
Japan is completely different.
Most of my Japanese friends try to keep their skin as pale as possible, with hats, umbrellas, and extra sleeves in the summer.
One of my biggest shocks was when Ryosuke and I went on a “triple date” to the beach. The guys grouped off and played in the water – while the girls stayed on the beach and dipped their toes in the water. I had come in a full-out bikini (because, beach), but the other two girls were wearing long sleeve shirts, hats, and pants/skirts that covered their legs.
It was a real culture shock for me.
(it was also kind of boring. I lasted like 20 min sitting on the beach, chatting, before I waded out to the deep part of the ocean and played with my husband)