As a foreigner, I stand out. I expect to be watched, stared at, followed (by kids), touched (by old ladies), run away from (by kids) etc. Most Japanese, of course, don't understand what life is like as a foreigner in Japan. One exception is my fiance. He totally gets it. He is constantly asked "Anatwa nihonjin desuka?" meaning "Are you Japanese?". He is constantly watched, stared at and run away from (by kids) all because......he is tall. He looks Japanese . He speaks Japanese. He is Japanese. But he is also 197 cm or 6 ft 5 inches tall. This is pretty rare in Japan.
He constantly has to be careful about hitting his head-but it happens all the time. He has to bend to get on and off the train. Leg room is an issue and shopping for clothes.....a nightmare. He wears a size 13 shoe which isn't huge in Canada as you can buy that size at any store....but here...might as well be a size 22.
Though he hates shopping here, he really needed a shirt for work so we went into a shop. The clerk looked (up) at him and said the familiar word "oki" meaning "big". We asked that he be measured for a shirt and the guy looked around and found the ladder. I'm betting that the ladder has never been used to measure someone. It was such an amazing thing to see which is why I took this picture. It says everything, doesn't it?