It’s easy to fall in love with Japan from the first time I visited this beautiful country. The country does not disappoint and in fact, it exceeds expectations. There is so much to explore, and things keep changing so there is always something new to explore. Japan is a country that you can keep going back.
Reasons Why I Fall In Love With Japan
Japan is one country where I could happily shop at convenience stores. There are so many things to buy – freshly prepared meals, snacks, drinks, and ice creams are aplenty that you will be spoiled for choice. The sandwiches in 7-Eleven are amazing. The bread is soft with plenty of fillings and most importantly as tasty as those found in a cafe or deli.
There are even stores like Lawson 100 which has packaged food, fruits, vegetables, household items, stationery in addition to snack and drinks with most items only costing 100-yen (US$1). Can really shop till you drop!
In large cities, you can find convenience stores at every street corner. Even in smaller towns, there is at least one or two. Convenience stores are part of Japanese lifestyle and they are awesome!
Shrines, Temples & Gardens
There are plenty of shrines and temples all over Japan. While some have similar structures, there are some that are unique. Lucky charms, known as omamori, are sold in the shape of a amulet in a small bag. The aim is to protect you and bring you good luck.
Originally paper amulets were distributed in temples and shrines. Over time, the size of the amulets became smaller and more attractive to carry around. The charm must be kept close to keep the power inside with some exceptions.
There is so much tasty food in Japan! Ramen is one dish that I ate a lot during my trip in Japan. The slow cooked pork rib ramen is to die for, especially in the chilly weather. The soup is so good that I finished the entire bowl of soup.
It’s hard to find bad sushi in Japan. Even the sushi found at Family Mart is as good as conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Malaysia.
Vending machines are found everywhere in Japan. Even in places where you least expect like back alleys or car parks. Many of these machines sell drinks (hot drinks in the winter, cold drinks in the summer), but there are some that sell cigarettes and can soups too!
In Japan, it is considered rude and insulting to tip. This is complete change as compared to many countries around the world. They clearly count the change before returning to you.
Fall In Love With Japan’s Shopping
There is so many things that you can buy in Japan. Most of us love Japanese brands like Muji, Uniqlo, GU and more. The price of items is Japan is lower as you can buy them tax-free. Look out for Japan exclusive merchandise or brand collaborations which you cannot buy outside of the country.
Multi-Purpose Train Stations
Large train stations like Osaka Namba, Osaka Station City or Tokyo Shinjuku are not just train stations. They have supermarkets, department stores, shops, cafes, restaurants and more in the same building.
You Will Love Japan’s Cleanliness
There is no other country when it comes to cleanliness like Japan. Everything is spotless and makes you wonder how the Japanese manage to do it when rubbish bins are difficult to find. Japanese are thought to bring their trash home to dispose or recycle. One other thing that amazes me are the clean toilets, even if it is the public toilet in a bus or train station.
The taxis in Japan are spotless. They are mostly driven by old men proud of their jobs as taxi drivers. I had great taxi driver who spoke perfect English when he met us at Chitose airport, which I later found out that he previously worked in the US. During the trip, he keeps us updated on how long more the journey would take and if we the car temperature was comfortable.
High Tech Toilet Seats
The Japanese toilet seats are a technological marvel. The toilet seats warm your butt when you sit on them. It feels so good that you want to stay there a little longer especially on chilly winter days. The toilet seats also have other functions including water sounds to mask embarrassing sounds and jets of water to wash from the front or back.
You will love Japan’s trains as they are extremely punctual! They arrive and depart on time. It’s a wonder how the Japanese keep everything on time like clockwork.
Bullet trains significantly cut travel times. A bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka is only 2.5 hours as compared to normal trains which takes more than 9 hours. The trains are spacious, clean, and fast. If only they could add in Wi-Fi and electrical outlets, then it will be perfect.
It’s Safe To Walk Alone
Japan is one of the few countries where you felt safe walking alone at night. Crime still happens, you still need to take precautions, but I have never been approached by anyone while walking alone at night.
Fall In Love with Japan Because of its People
The most important thing is the Japanese people. They make you want to visit Japan repeatedly. The Japanese are polite, courteous, and well mannered. Even if there is a language barrier, they will find some way to overcome the challenge and go all out to solve your problem.
The Japanese are exceptionally cultured and always proud to portray such positive traits in everyday lives. There’s so much that we can learn from them. When it comes to travel it’s all about meeting the travelers needs and going the extra mile. Japan has nailed this perfectly and that’s one reason I love Japan.