Upon arriving in Japan, you quickly realize the country lives up to its image abroad: the landscape is beautiful, people are courteous, and there is almost no space anywhere. Indeed, you're likely to feel somewhat claustrophobic at times, particularly if you're accustomed to the wide streets of the American Midwest. Nevertheless, like anything else, you get used to it.

Except at restaurants. Despite my decade-long experience in the country, I never feel entirely comfortable at a majority of eateries. Most downtown restaurants and cafes seat guests close together. Aisle space is limited and tables are kept full to offset tight margins and expensive rents. Often, tight quarters force customers to rub up against one another as they make their way to their table or find the bathroom. The problem is even worse during winter months when diners don extra layers.

Manga artist Mo (@mori2ta) recently touched on how bad some places can be. The illustrator was having lunch with a blogger-friend when she noticed something about the table where they were about to sit.

Reproduced with permission from Mo (@mori2ta)

Reproduced with permission from Mo (@mori2ta)

Although Mo looks at herself, I can't help but think that the cafe seems cramped. Maybe they should get their drinks to go.

If you like Mo's manga, we've featured her work many times before. You can see her page on our sister media Grape, in Japanese, here. She often covers everyday scenarios with a humorous twist.

The artist is also active on Twitter and maintains a blog. Both are worth checking out.

By - Luke Mahoney.