I should probably have mentioned this earlier, but for anyone interested in studying Japanese or just knowing a bit more about some of the cultural differences, I must recommend some books. Even better, they're free!
The Japanese in Depth booklets by International Communication Institute are one Japanese man's insights into some of the differences, based on many years of international working and previously published as a newspaper column. I found them both fascinating and educational, with a mixture of cultural points, pop philosophy, pop psychology and discussion of actual linguistic differences. Of course, a few of the columns weren't to my taste particularly, but I found them very worthwhile; indeed, I've read them all repeatedly. They're not that long, and the e-books are available free from Smashwords.
From the first volume: This is vol. 1 of the collection of monthly columns contributed to The Daily Yomiuri, Japan's nationwide English newspaper. It amusingly illustrates how mindsets are different between English and Japanese. It's an eye opener for English as well as Japanese.