Why Japanese People Wear MasksnI was asked why Japanese people wear masks by one of my friends recently, and suddenly I had a flashback. Since I had worked for a company in Tokyo for almost 2 years and dealt with tourists all day long, you would think I would have been asked Can you recommend some places to see in Tokyo? However, the most asked question was Why do so many Japanese people wear masks?nBefore I came to Japan, the only time I saw someone wearing a mask was my dentist! Yet, this was a proper surgical mask.nSo here Ill explain the 9 major reasons why people wear surgical masks in Japan (and other Asian countries).nnnnREASON ONE: Feeling IllnThis one is the most self-explanatory, but believe it or not when youre sick with a common cold or a cough youre expected to wear a mask!nImagine being on a crowded train and youre coughing away, without a mask on, it can come off quite rude to the people around you as they dont want you to spread the germs!nIf you enter a doctors clinic or hospital youre actually required to wear a mask if you show up without one, the medical staff will soon make sure youre wearing one!nREASON TWO: Not Wanting to Catch a ColdnSimilar to my first reason, others wear a mask to protect themselves from colds and any other potential nasties they think they could pick up from others!nIt kind of makes sense, catching a crowded train is part of most peoples daily routine here in Japan and being physically close to other people may encourage this!nREASON THREE: HayfevernSpringtime can is also a common time for masks due to the spread of ( or Kafunsho), which means hayfever in Japanese.nI do remember on the first day of spring I came into the office and realized all my colleagues were wearing masks, and I thought to myself Ohhhh gosh, Im coming home with a cold today, but after asking everyone they simply replied that it was a case of Kafunsho.nREASON FOUR: Too Lazy for Make-up or ShavingnnSometimes if you dont feel like putting on make-up or shaving your 2-day stubble you can easily put a mask on and duck out to the local Convenience Store.nOr maybe you have a pimple or like my case; woken up with a face that just didnt look right after a big night out (Every Saturday for instance).nREASON FIVE: Fashion StatementnWho would have thought?! This is the one I find the most fascinating!nIn Japan, not all surgical masks are white! They come in a range of colours and some even come printed with your favourite Anime characters on them!nHappening to be wearing a Pikachu onesie out? Why not wear a matching Pikachu mask?! Entirely acceptable, particularly during Halloween!nnREASON SIX: Wind resistancenYes, you read that correctly!nMany Japanese people, while riding bicycles, scooters, motorcycles or especially go-karts (lol), youll often see them wearing masks to stop the wind from drying out their skin out! They also help with aerodynamics! (Kidding)nREASON SEVEN: SmellnSometimes places just smell really bad, imagine in the afternoon after a hot and humid day and its time to catch a crowded train, full of perspiration and all the rest nOr maybe at the bar, maybe a place that you like a lot, but they allow smoking insidenREASON EIGHT: Dont Want to be recognizednSometimes people dont want that chance of running into someone they know, so to reduce those chances theyll wear a mask. They may even be a famous idol or celebrity, and so hiding their face is the best way to get around unnoticed.nREASON NINE: Air PollutionnJapan doesnt really struggle that much with air pollution, however, sometimes the smog from China can blow over! Up to the point where you can even see it!nIn these cases especially, you see on the news We suggest wearing a mask today. There are even masks specifically made to protect from air pollution up to PM2.5.