8 Reasons why I personally love Japan

8 Reasons why I personally love Japan

From quirky vending machines to refreshingly warm locals, traveling to Japan never fails to make for a delightful one.

It’s the little things that matter, and Japan nails them perfectly.

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Travellers to Japan have always been intrigued by its unique traits not seen in other parts of the world. It has some of the best traditions, landscapes and cuisines in the world, but what makes me look forward to visiting Japan every time are the little, quintessentially Japanese things that make traveling to the country special. Here are my personal reasons why I love Japan:

1. Awesome Convenience Stores

Image credit: ╬ಠ益ಠ)

Trust me, Japan is the only country in the world where I would happily take my time to shop in convenience stores. Drinks and snacks (especially uniquely flavoured ones) are aplenty – so much so that you’ll be spoilt for choice!

You’ll always see them at every street corner. Even in small towns in the middle of nowhere, you’ll still easily locate one or two. I’d always find myself popping over to the stores whenever I’m tired from walking, or when I need to seek  shelter from the weather. Convenience stores are part and parcel of Japanese lifestyle and they’re just so awesome.

2. Vending Machines

Image credit: Paul Keller

Just like convenience stores, you’ll always find those colourful vending machines, even in places where you’d least expect. Of course, you can’t expect everything from the convenience stores to squeeze inside these machines, but when you find yourself wanting to quench your thirst, they’d always be your saviour.

3. Cleanliness

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Streets are virtually spotless!

In terms of cleanliness, no other country does it like Japan. Everything is virtually spotless and you’ll be left wondering how the Japanese manage to do it even when rubbish bins are excruciatingly hard to find. Frankly speaking, when it comes to cleanliness, no other country matches up. In Japan, you’d never ever worry about stepping on anything that will make you go “ewwww”. And yes, this extends to their toilets as well.

4. Cool Toilet Seats

Talking about toilets, I just can’t get enough of their awesome toilet seats. These seats are so high-tech to every outsider, yet they seem to be a norm everywhere in Japan. They magically warm your butt whenever you sit on them, and that feeling is just so great that you’d wish you could just stay there longer, especially on cold winter days. Such toilet seats also have a wide array of functions that we don’t really need, and we can’t stop ourselves from wondering how such a humble toilet seat can be so technologically advanced. It seems that these one-of-a-kind toilet seats could only be found in Japan; they’re virtually non-existent in other countries even though they experience brutal winters as well.

5. Crazily Punctual Trains

Image credit: hans-johnson

Japanese trains aren’t just punctual; they’re super punctual like 99% of the time. To the point that they’ll formally apologise even when trains depart just seconds early! It’s a wonder how the Japanese could schedule their trains at ultimate precision. That’s a good thing for us travellers because we can always be assured that our travel time won’t ever be delayed.

In other countries, there’s always bound to be slight delays. Arrival timings are usually off by a few minutes as scheduled, which is considered a norm and nothing much of a big deal. Not in Japan though. When the timetable lists certain timing, the train will be there at that timing, not earlier or later. And there’s no room for excuses for that. With train travel that’s so predictable, you needn’t even worry about having your schedules derailed. That equates to lesser stress while travelling!

6. Obsession with Visual Presentation

Image credit: Joits

It seems that the Japanese love things to be so organised and pleasing to the eyes. Homes and guesthouses are proudly presented in tip-top standard. Historical towns are so well maintained in their authentic state. Even their food can be so well presented with a dose of creativity, and you couldn’t bear to destroy that genius edible masterpiece.

You just feel good when you see things so beautifully organised and presented, and Japan seems to be the only country which really emphasise on that. You wouldn’t get that same feeling when you’re travelling in other countries.

7. Cute Aesthetics Everywhere

The Japanese seem to be able to incorporate cuteness among the most mundane objects, like this set of barricades.

And if visual presentation isn’t enough, throw in the cute aesthetics that can be seen pretty much anywhere in Japan. No one exactly understands why Japan is so obsessed with anything kawaii. Cute cartoonish characters are virtually everywhere, and you can see them featured on product packages, advertisement, and even mundane things like signage, information boards and barricades.

Japan is a nation of mascots! Cuteness overload is everywhere! | Image credit: Takashi Nishimura

It doesn’t just stop there. In every region, city, town and tourist spot that you visit, there’s always a mascot that represent the uniqueness of the place. Everywhere you go, you’ll definitely see some of those cute, cartoonish characters that will bring out your inner child from within. Travelling becomes more fun, cheerful and light-hearted and you simply can’t get this experience elsewhere.

8. The People

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Most importantly, the local people are what make me want to visit Japan again and again. There’s just something which makes them the most polite, courteous and well-mannered people in the world, and it is not surprise that they’re most approachable group of people whenever you need their help. Never mind the language barrier, because they will always find some way to overcome that challenge and really go all out to ensure your problems are addressed.

Once, a fellow travel buddy and I had to catch a bus to our destination but it didn’t arrive at its scheduled timing. A couple waiting for the same bus helped us by calling the bus company to confirm that it was on its way. When it finally arrived, it was packed and it couldn’t accommodate all four of us. Out of pure kindness and consideration, the couple let us on board even though it meant that they have to wait hours for the next bus. Their sense of selflessness really left us a remarkable impression of the Japanese people.

Of all the countries I’ve travelled to so far, Japan stands out among all because of its people. The Japanese are exceptionally cultured and they’re always proud to portray such positive traits in everyday lives. There’s so much we can learn from them and that’s also one reason why I love Japan.

Indeed, Japan is the most traveller-friendly countries in the world. It all comes down to meeting the travellers’ basic needs and going the extra mile from there, and Japan is probably the one and only country that nails this perfectly. What do you think?

About Author

Tang Wai Kwan
Tang Wai Kwan

Tang finds joy through immersing himself in a local environment, savouring street food and meeting new people. He finds transit maps fascinating and loves navigating through different modes of transportation. While on the streets, he's easily distracted by cats, and he often wonders if cats in different countries "meow" in different languages. When he's not travelling, he's often seen consulting maps and exploring creative ways of getting between places for his next adventure.

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