I recently came back to the wonderful land of Japan after a long break (think that’s a pretty good joke for those that know I broke my arm!). It was too long away! As I travelled around the country again, I was reminded about some of the best, most fascinating things about this country. This crazy, funny country….
How cute the kids are
Japanese kids can be so adorable. Seeing the babies moved around in carts between school and the playground, or the kids holding hands on their school trip is super kawaii!
How awesome toilets are
All this buttons! Thankfully lots of places are putting up English signs to explain it all, and there sure are lots of options. My favourite has to be the warm seats, perfect in the cold winter!
How cheap drinks can be
At supermarkets or drug stores, drink bottles can go for as cheap as 79 yen! That’s about 70 cents in the US. Plus, there are much healthier options, such as Japanese tea.
How clean the trains are
Ever travelled on the trains in New York or another big city? It can be stressful, and downright dirty. Japanese trains, on the other hand, are clean and quiet. Go Japan!
Japanese department stores have these fancy umbrellas bag dispensers, to stop the floors getting wet form all the umbrellas coming into the store. Smart stuff.
These things really mount up in your pocket if you are using cash all the time! Equivalent to only 0.009143 dollars, they can be a bit of an annoyance on your wallet. Use Suica cards and other IC cards for payments, to keep the 1-yen coins away.
Some people are lucky (that’s me!) and some people are not so lucky. These pesky things can be a real annoyance. The good thing about Japan though is that vaccinations are not needed before you come. Saves a few hundred dollars, compared to other Asian countries.
Hospitality in shops
‘Omotenashi’ is what they call it here, meaning hospitality. Japan has the best in the world, and people are so eager to help. This means that there is always someone nearby if you are lost, need advice or can’t find the free wifi! No need to pay for expensive tour guides with everyone wanting to help you for free 😀
How slow ambulances are
A funny thing that you notice after living in Japan. The ambulances go sloooowly here, even when going to assist in emergencies, I presume to avoid creating any more accidents! Japanese people therefore consider it to be odd that our ambulances go so fast.
Able to go out at night in shorts and t-shirt
The summers stay warm into the night and early morning. No need to keep a coat on you at all times, like in Europe where it can get cold, meaning nights out are easier and more enjoyable.
Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who lived in New Zealand and Japan for many years. Having traveled across these countries, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel, and also worked at many leading tourism companies in both countries. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association. Those heading to Taiwan should check out his new site, Taiwanna Travel.
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