I never stayed overnight in a hospital in the US except when I was born, so I can't really compare, but I can tell about my experience here in Japan.
The hospital floor I was on was the surgery floor. The day I checked in, I was in a room with three other women. They were all bed ridden, with their curtains closed, so I don't know anything about why they were there. I had surgery the next morning (Monday), then spent that day until the next morning in the room next to the nurses' station. The next morning (Tuesday) I moved to a room with five other women. Like the first room, these people also stayed in the beds with the curtains closed, although these people had visitors during the day within their curtains.
Every morning, the loud speakers woke everyone up at 6 am and the lights all turned on. Through out the day there were other announcements, like meals were about to be delivered or nurses would be coming to check or other things I didn't understand. At 9 pm was the announcement about lights going out, then they did. There were motion sensor lights near the floor, so if I got up I could find my way to the hall to go to the toilet. The night nurses all had flashlights.
Every day, each patient got one of these cards to record toilet trips. Urine had to be measured and the amount recorded. There are six kanji to record kinds of poop! The only one I know is second from the bottom, which means watery.
Each person had a thermometer kept at their beside to use while there. In Japan the thermometer is under the arm not in the mouth. I think the first two days or so the nurses checked temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen level six times a day, then three times a day after that. I kept my own chart each time they did.
I was allowed to start walking the morning after surgery (after xrays and blood tests said all was good), so I walked the halls as much as I could. I thought it would help me get to go home sooner.
There was only one shower for the entire floor and it could only be used between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. There was a sign up sheet on the door. Very few people signed up, so starting the second day after surgery (Wednesday) I could take a shower pretty much anytime between those hours.
I liked the bed moving up so it was like a lounge chair. The pillow was the typical Japanese pillow made of chopped up plastic straws. I prefer regular fluff kind of pillows. I didn't sleep well at all. Besides the snoring and coughing and other types of noises people make in their sleep, there was a lot of hospital alarm kind of noises and the nurses' squeaky carts and stuff like that.
There was a day room, with manga books and a televison and tables and chairs. The family members of patients waited there and some patients who were ambulatory hung out in there. I could practically see my apartment from the window there. I live about a 10 minute walk from the hospital. I kind of "met" a patient and his wife through seeing them in the doctor's waiting area and having tests. I guess he was on about the same schedule as I was. I was happy to see familiar faces the day after my surgery, but sorry that he was going through what I was. I finally talked to the wife in the day room. I called him my byoin no tomodachi, which means hospital friend. I wrote him a little note after his surgery that said get well soon in hiragana. His wife wrote me a nice note back in hiragana.
Is there anything else I can tell you about the Japanese hospital experience? If you've been in the hospital elsewhere, what is different or the same?