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.
Before you try to convince me otherwise, check out this list of 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan Right Now, aka 10 best things about Japan 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.
#2 How freakin’ clean it is
You won’t see any litter or a discarded cup or cigarette 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 (don’t do that), and they will probably taste like nori. Even Tokyo is so clean to the point where everything looks brand new! Japan is the window into a 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 captivating and genius Japanese culture is
Japanese people create cartooned versions of everythingand make plastic food look incredible. They have the weirdest flavors of food ever and 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 traveled 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 in 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 countries in the world, Japan is considered the safest in Asia. According to a report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, only 1.4% of the population has been victims of assault. 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 by the time you wake up.
#10 How awesome Japane people are
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 a dedication to mastery.
…so, has anyone bought me tickets to Tokyo yet? Or Osaka? Anyone?
Tags: why visit Japan; reasons to visit Japan; why you should visit Japan