Stayed in Tokyo for a year from 2004 to 2005.
I do not know why most Japanese do not speak English well. They studied English in school and there is at least one English language school nearby most train stations.
I have a funny thought. Maybe the government does not want to encourage people to know English too well ?? Easier to control the people when they read only Japanese newspapers, Japanese books, watch only NHK TV, surf only on Japanese websites ??? But why so many English language schools ? For show, so that you can't blame the government for not encouraging people to learn English ???
Met many Asian friends, from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and etc. They too, do not speak English well. I found Singaporean having advantages over our Asian friends in many areas because we know English. I also met young Singaporeans traveled on their own in different parts of the world. They can do it because they speak English (and of course they can afford too). Japanese need to go in group.
I went to Chinese schools. I was quite upset with the government when I saw Chinese schools being replaced by English schools in the old days. But now, I think it was the right decision.
Household Appliances and Cars
In Singapore we import a lot of Japanese products, we watch 40 inches TV, use big refrigerator, drive big Japanese car. But in Tokyo, the Japanese watch small TV, use small fridge, drive small car because their houses are small, car parks are small, roads are narrow.
Japanese women prepare breakfast for husband to eat and lunch for husband to bring to work. After work, they do housework and look after children. They have no foreign maid. When go dating, Japanese girls will take their own train ride there, pay their share of bill.
As compare to them, Singapore women, girls are so lucky.
Other than crowded city centre, people cycle in Tokyo. Women with high heel shoes cycle with a child in the front basket and another one in the rear basket. The working class cycle from their apartment to train station to take a train to work.
People cycle at footpath. It was annoying at first but later I got used to it.
As compare to Singapore, the cyclists in Japan are better protected from road accidents. How many cyclists were killed on Singapore roads ? Shall we not change our policy to protect them ?
Used to love Japanese food before my stay in Tokyo because Japanese food here in Singapore is very expensive and going to Japanese restaurant is such a high class enjoyment. But after eating Japanese food everyday in Tokyo, I started to have a funny thought. I doubted the Japanese really know how to cook. That is why they eat raw food most of the time.