• 2022.06.07
  • Things They Just Don’t Have in Brazil
When I was a child, what I liked the best when we visited Japan was seeing my relatives, but I also enjoyed shopping too. I was in elementary school, so I liked going to stationery shops. My parents would buy me everything, pencils with cute designs, pencil cases, scented erasers, envelopes with writing paper, memo books, and so on. When I got back to Brazil, I wondered why they didn’t have such cute stationery, and I used to look forward to visiting Japan again in a few years time.
Even now I often think that Japanese goods really are better. Nowadays it’s not stationery that I want, but everyday necessities. They’re not the sorts of things that I especially think “I just can’t live without,” rather, things that “it really would be nice to have.” In this article I’d like to mention a few of those.

You often use food wraps, but in Brazil they only have a 28-cm wide one. In Japan you can get different size wraps, 15-, 22-, and 30-cm wide ones, right. Plus, the Japanese ones cut properly. The Brazilian ones don’t cut “nicely,” maybe because the wrap is no good, or maybe it’s the blade.
Almost all the ziplock bags are the basic, clear ones. The Japanese ones come in designs with characters like Mickey Mouse and Snoopy, or with all sorts of other designs like flowers or leaves. And they also come in a surprisingly wide variety of sizes. Plus, it’s fun using them, isn’t it.

The toothpicks are also different. The only toothpicks you can get in Brazil are sharpened on both ends. I don’t know why those are the only kind they have. When you keep toothpicks in a holder, sometimes you prick your finger on another toothpick when you try to take one out, which I don’t think is very hygienic. I think the Japanese ones are great because they have grooves at one end that you can snap off and use as a toothpick rest.

And the toilet paper is also different! Brazilian toilet paper looks the same, but you can’t flush it after you’ve used it. It doesn’t disintegrate, so it won’t go down the toilet. You have to put it in the toilet trash can after you’ve used it.
On top of that, tissues are something Brazilians aren’t in the habit of using, except when you have a cold. Unlike in Japan, people don’t have a box of tissues in every room.
Brazilians do use paper napkins at the table though.

In Brazil they don’t have the toilet seats with bidet function like they do in Japan. You have to buy an imported one and fit it.

Towels are bigger in Brazil. Japanese handtowels are 34 x 90 cm and bath towels are 62 x 120 cm, while Brazilian handtowels are 50 x 80 cm and bath towels are 70 x 140 cm. The Japanese-size handtowels are easier to use, right.

And there’s a cultural difference in that everyone in Japan, from children to adults, uses mini-towels. You can’t get that size towel in Brazil. Mini-towels absorb water better than handkerchiefs, so they’re handy on rainy days and so on. They are really useful for lots of things, like wiping your hands, wiping your face, wiping your hands before a meal, and wiping up the dishes, but they don’t have them in Brazil. Brazilian women might not even have a handkerchief in their handbag.

In Brazil the compresses come in very few varieties. In Japan it’s hard to know which compress to buy because they come in so many different types and sizes, and there are hot ones, cold ones, white ones, brown ones, and so on.

Well, there are a few of the things that are different in Japan and Brazil. What do you think?
Or is it just me who wants to buy 3 boxes of 15-cm wide wrap when I go to Japan?! (LOL)


  • Nami Minaki Sandra
  • AgeDragon( TATU )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobLanguage teacher,shadow box crafter

Born and raised in Brazil. After graduating from university, She has been teaching shadow box crafts that she learned while in Singapore where she resided for three years due to her husband’s work and she is also a language teacher. She is in love with the life here in São Paulo where cultures and traditions of various countries melt together.

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