An American teacher working in Japan has revealed how schools in the country are drastically different to the US, with a spread of strict rules in place.
Megan Heeney, who is from Kansas and has been living in Kyoto for more than six months, made a TikTok video with an overlaid caption reading: ‘Things about my Japanese school that could send Americans into a coma.’
The expat then proceeds to list some of the surprising rules she has encountered, starting with no outdoor shoes to be worn indoors.
She explains, while showing a clip of the school’s shoe racks: ‘We all have to change from outdoor to indoor shoes as soon as we enter the school.’
Megan Heeney, who is from Kansas and has been living in Kyoto for more than six months, made a TikTok video detailing some of the unusual school rules she has witnessed
One of the rules that Megan says sends her ‘into an absolute spiral almost daily’ is the open window policy. She’s also not mad about the no piercings or makeup rule
Next up, Megan says the children are made to ‘clean the school from top to bottom every single day.’
She demonstrates their cleaning skills by cutting to clips showing the spotless polished wood floors and a rack of ironed linens.
At lunch times, Megan reveals that the children serves themselves food and clean their own trays instead of a lunch lady doing it for them.
She says on this point: ‘This admittedly blew my mind but definitely in a good way.’
One of the rules that Megan says sends her ‘into an absolute spiral almost daily’ is the open window policy.
The educator explains while modeling a knee-length padded coat: ‘They leave the windows open and there’s no heating or cooling in the hall so I have to walk around in a coat.’
On the appearance side of things, Megan says her Japanese school is very strict about certain things.
She details several of her major gripes, telling viewers: ‘Probably the most coma-inducing part is the dress code.
So far, Megan’s video on Japanese schools has been watched more than 15 million times with many viewers debating the rules
No outdoor shoes are allowed indoors at Megan’s school and the pupils must clean the school ‘from top to bottom’ every day
‘Girls either have to wear their hair in a low bob above their shoulders or in a pony. Definitely no dyed hair, so no anime protagonists.
‘And I don’t follow these rules but no piercings and no makeup.’
So far, Megan’s video on Japanese schools has been watched more than 15 million times with many viewers debating the rules.
Creator @Hayley wrote: ‘Honestly I like the shoes and the having to clean the school also the lunches but I think the hair thing is weird.’
While @fujiwara_no_fumos said: ‘I love that they clean the school. It gives kids a sense of community while encouraging them not to leave a mess for someone else.’
In another TikTok, Megan touches on some more general things about Japan that ‘could send an American into a coma.’
She starts with ‘no talking on your phones on trains’ and ‘honestly like no talking.’
The American continues: ‘I’ve seen a few people do it here and there and they only get judgy stares.’
In another TikTok, Megan touches on some more general things about Japan that ‘could send an American into a coma’
Next up, she touches on all you can eat and drink restaurants.
She explains that they are ‘pretty common and pretty cheap’ in Japan and she says that the ‘all you can drink restaurant is a responsibility I don’t think Americans could handle.’
One of the rules Megan says she has slipped up on while living in Japan, is the no shoe policy in dressing rooms.
She says that dressing room attendants also ‘give you a sheet to put over your face so you don’t get makeup or sweat or whatever on tops you’re trying on.’
Continuing on the theme of dressing up, Megan says when it comes to hot springs or public baths, ‘you are not supposed to wear anything at all. No swimsuits, no towel nothing. You’re supposed to go in there and hang out and bare it all.’
Lastly, an etiquette rule Megan says she has seen many expats ‘mess up countless times’, is around standing on escalators.
She explains: ‘You are not to block the escalator here. What I mean by that is one side of the escalator is for people who want to stand and wait for you to take you up.
‘The other side is for people who want to walk up. I wish I could tell you which side is which but it changes based on the region.’
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