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Gaijin’s Foot

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By Chris Greenaway

One of the great things about living in Tokyo and backpacking though this great country is the overabundance of youth hostels and “Guest Houses” were you can stay for considerably less than if you chose to stay in a hotel. (The average price of a dormitory room in a Tokyo guest house will range between 1800-4500 yen per night.) There are a few downsides though. For one, you don’t have the privacy that one would have in their own room. The other big downside is having to share a shower and toilet with everyone else on your floor.

The later can result in you getting foot fungus and athlete’s foot. (Which will now be known as Gaijin’s Foot on this site.) Gaijin’s Foot is the same thing but you get it from sharing a shower with 5-20 other people and get their fungus in or on your feet. Since you will be pounding the pavement seeing the sights, catching trains and looking for work, Gaijin’s Foot could be your Mortal Enemy!

Beating your Mortal Enemy isn’t too hard as Tenactin and Gold Bond will certainly do the trick. However, since it will be hard to communicate this to a pharmacist who’s English won’t be good, you need to combat Gaijin’s Foot before it starts and the best way to do that is to buy rubber flip-flops and wear them to the shower at all times. You can get sandals at Wal-Mart very cheap but you can also get “shower socks” at Wal-Mart as well. These are much better as they fit around your entire foot preventing fungi from getting to your feet while giving you good traction in the shower. These can be had for less than 10 bucks Canadian or US so they are a great buy.

The last thing you want is to be in burning, itching agony when you are at a job interview or dancing with a girl at a club so combat Gaijin’s Foot before it combats you!

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Mike has lived in Tokyo for more than 10 years and loves sharing his knowledge about Japan's metropolis.

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