Oct 30, 2017

The unexpected door opener

If you're like me, your time in Japan has lulled you into a bit of a false sense of security when it comes to personal safety and belongings. If I go to a coffee shop, I'll happily pop my bag on a table to "save" my seat, knowing that it's not going to go missing in the two minutes that I'm placing my order at the counter. I can't remember the last time I deliberately locked the car doors. And the same goes for my house - if I'm at home, I don't think to myself "oh - I need to lock the door behind me!" like I would perhaps back home in Australia, or in the States where hubby is from.

The unexpected door opener photo

Pic Credit: Flickr User the-wraith

There's something though that's made me reassess that - the little old lady in our neighborhood who goes from door to door selling fruit and vegetables.

She's honestly the most pushy saleswoman on the planet (seriously - I once bought a month's worth of edamame from her because I didn't know how to get her to leave otherwise), and I'd taken to ignoring the door when she came by. Since my Japanese is poor at best, it's easier to have my husband deal with her since he's much better at the conversing side of things!

Now though, she opens our front door if I have it unlocked, and just lets herself in - I told you she was a pushy saleswoman! My husband says that this is fairly normal, and that people will do this in Japan...especially out in the countryside areas - but it's news to me! 

Is this something you've ever come across during your time in Japan? I'm curious to know how "normal" it actually is!



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!


  • edthethe

    on Oct 30

    yeah! and apparently, it is not considered trespassing. The genkan is perfectly ok to enter as if it is your front porch

  • JTsuzuki

    on Nov 9

    Wow! I have never had that happen and would flip out on someone if they did. That said, I lock everything. When I really lived in the countryside, a religious group started hassling me bright and early every Sunday, but no one ever tried the doorknob to my knowledge. That said, I was in bed with my pillow over my head, waiting for them to go away.

  • genkidesu

    on Nov 9

    @JTsuzuki right? It really bothered me! I'm like...this is my house! God forbid if I'd just gotten out of the shower or something! You can bet I've definitely been much more aware of my previously poor door locking skills...it's locked all the time now!