From a foreigners prospective living in Japan does seem strange, and unsurprisingly this isn't a new phenomenon. I recently came across scans of a book ‘Sketches of Japanese manners and customs’ from the 1860s written by a British guy living here at the time.
The book is available online here. If you've got a few minutes to kill, which judging by the fact that your reading my blog you probably do, have a look. It reveals a lot not only about Japan but about western attitudes as well.
One nice example is a comment the author makes about the Japanese custom of communal bathing, 'It would seem natural to conclude that such a system must have immoral effects, but the Japanese attribute no evil consequences to it'. Westerners are really such prudes... but they really did a good job of moralising Japan.