I thought long and hard about the title for this article. First I thought about a simple “Things You’ll Miss When You Leave Japan”, then I also thought about a sincere “Reasons Japan Is The Most Freakin’ Wonderful Country To Ever Exist”. To be honest, for like 10 minutes my title was “Take me back to Japan, oh please take me there on the next plane, it leaves in 3 hours already”
I visited Japan for the first time this spring and fell in love with the country the minute my flight landed, right after my mind cleared a bit of the fog it was submerged into during the 13 hours flight.
Japan it’s the most amazing country I’ve ever been too and probably I’ll ever go to. There is no other place with people so kind and civilized, food so delicious and landscape so stunning. I mean, if there is, I would really like to know!
Anyway, before you try to convince me otherwise, make sure to check out this list of 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan Right Now, aka 10 things you are for sure going to miss when you leave:
#1 How stunning its temples and shrines are
All the beautiful ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are reason enough to visit Japan. One of the best-preserved cities in Japan, Kyoto offers something like 2,000 Buddhist temples and shrines within the limits of the Kansai Region city, while Nara is home to no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and to some of the best temples not only in Nara Prefecture, but in the country.
You should see them with your eyes, they look just stunning!
#2 How freakin’ clean it is
You won’t see any litter or a discarded cup or cigarette butt anywhere, the streets smell nice and the bus drivers wear white gloves. Like, white white. Like, how-is-that-even-possible white. Japan is so clean you could safely lick the sidewalks, and they will probably taste like nori. Even Tokyo is so clean to the point where it almost looks brand new! Japan is the window into the future where people respect their surroundings.
#3 How amazing its natural landscapes are
Japan is filled with perfect landscapes scattered across the country for people to soak in its beauty. For many people, the image that immediately springs to mind in conjunction with Japan is actually skyscrapers, bright neon lights and advanced technology, but there’s a lot more to Japan than its urban landscapes. The stunning spectacle of Mount Fuji, the magnificent sight of Arashiyama bamboo Forest, the many temples and gardens and the magnificent rugged mountains make Japan an ideal destination for nature lovers all year round.
#4 How weird it is
They make cartooned versions of everything, they make plastic food look incredible, they have the weirdest flavors of food ever, they have bizarre and strangely addictive music videos. They invented banana slipcase, square watermelons, baby mops and cuddle pillows. They have toilets that talk to you, blow dry your bum, and even play music for you (both to relax and mask) while you do your business.
Yep, that was a weird moment.
#5 How efficient public transportation is.
As much as Tokyo rush hour sucked, I do miss being able to commute all around the city and country by train. Also, I really appreciated the punctuality of trains in Japan. During my two-week trip, I travelled mostly by local trains and the Shinkansen, and those trains were never late, not once!
Imagine being in a place where if a train is due to arrive at 8.30, it actually pulls in at 8.29 and 40 seconds and leaves at 8.30. Still freaks me out, but in a great way of course.
#6 How cute everything is.
Japan has a kawaii (cute) culture, and it’s getting cuter all the time, even right now. Almost all major companies in Japan have a cute mascot that represents the company. Even the Japanese police force has a mascot! Sociologists say that it’s “escapism”, a tendency to escape from daily reality or routine by indulging in daydreaming and fantasy. Artists say it’s one of the Japanese aesthetic ideals. The simple truth is that Japanese people just like cute stuff.
But then who doesn’t?
#7 How beautiful Sakura Bloom is
In spring the sakura bloom in Japan and everyone wants to be outside to catch this million dollar view.
#7 How good the food is.
Was there ever any doubt that Japanese cuisine would make the list?
Any random hole-in-the-wall food place makes the best Sushi/Sashimi/Donburi/Ramen/Udon/Kobe beef/Soup/[insert any food] ever in existence. Even the 7/11’s are equipped with high quality food that will have you weirded out, and drooling at the same time!
Also, did you know there are more noodle shops in Tokyo than any other city in the world? Did you know that Japan is the country with the most three-star Michelin restaurants?
#8 How great it is to constantly have a feeling of personal safety
One of the safest country in the world, Japan is considered as the safest in Asia with only 1.4% of the population had been victims of assault, according to report by Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Japan is so safe you can party like it’s 1990, get falling down drunk in central Tokyo and still have your wallet and mobile phone when you wake up.
#10 How awesome people are .
Japanese people all just seem to be little rays of sunshine. They’re polite, they’re gracious and they somehow remember your name after only meeting you once (I so do not have the same talent), and they’re always fun to talk to! The language barrier is difficult at times, but they will do ANYTHING to help you. I’ve met some great people and having to leave them so soon indefinitely was the hardest part about leaving.
Honestly, I’ve left out so many mind blowing things that you are missing out on experiencing by not visiting Japan. Its 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, its unique fashion sense, Tokyo night-time, wasabi Kit-Kat, Automatic Taxi Doors (?). But honestly, I have to say that what most inspired me more about Japan was experiencing a culture that demands perfection.
That’s what you will learn (and miss) from Japan and Japanese folks: whatever they may be doing in life, whether it’s trying to solve big global issues or making delicious noodles on a street corner, they do it with dedication to mastery.
…so, has anyone bought me tickets to Tokyo yet? Or Osaka? Anyone?