Are you having second thoughts on whether you should consider Japan as your next destination? Well, let me shed some light on this matter. Hopefully, you will be convinced by the end of this article to visit the Land Of The Rising Sun.
Admittedly, I haven’t fully explored Japan yet. In fact, I have only been to Tokyo Prefecture, southern part of Yamanashi Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. I know that there is so much more places to see and things to experience, which is why I believe that people should visit Japan more than once.
But even if I didn’t get to see a lot, I can give you 10 solid reasons why you should book that ticket now.
1. Physical beauty
This is the most obvious reason, and I think this is the first item on everyone’s list in terms of deciding where to go on vacation.
Japan is so beautiful! I just couldn’t get enough of its beauty when I was there. I found myself staring at its gorgeous gardens and just voiced out, with no hesitation whatsoever, “I want to live here”.
It was love at first sight. The flowers were alluring. The trees were perfect. No camera can fully capture its radiance.
2. Food and Drinks
Admittedly, I’m not much of a foodie. A big chunk of my budget is usually spent on sights and experiences, not on food. However, this trip was an exception. I love Japanese food ever since… well, I can’t remember. I would eat at Japanese restaurants in my country so I was so excited to eat real, legit, authentic Japanese food in Japan!
Every bite is an adventure. I wish I could taste everything but obviouly, that wasn’t feasible.
I was overwhelmed whenever I passed by shopping districts in Tokyo. There were so many stores that sell unique items.
You can go to Takeshita Street in Harajuku for preppy and kawaii (cute) items, Ameyoko in Ueno for cheaper finds, Asakusa for more traditional Japanese merchandise, Akihabara for anime products and electorics, Don Quijote (Donki, for short) for basically anything you can think of, and Shinjuku and Shibuya for those Japanese cosmetics we all love (Shu Uemura ❤️❤️❤️)
4. Culture and History
Some might believe that modernization kills traditions. I don’t think this is true in Japan. Tokyo, as we all know, is a megapolis. But even inside the realm of this prefecture, the traditions of ancient Japan still exist. It may not be at par with Kyoto, but the heatbeat of their undying culture was loud and clear.
There are shrines and temples around. Sumo is still being practised. Kimono is very much alive that the locals wear it on special occasions or during their visit to shrines. It was so cute to see children wearing colorful kimonos in Shinto shrines. I think their parents take them there when they reach a certain age.
The best part is, you can actually rent one for a day. You get to see how intricate wearing a kimono is, layers upon layers until you can hardly breathe.
5. Gaming and arcade
Japan takes gaming and arcade to a whole new level. This is the country where skilled players are everywhere. Some locals are so good at it that I don’t think it’s just a pastime for them. They were serious with their art.
If you want to experience this fantasy world, you can visit some arcade shops in Shibuya, Akihabara, and Shinjuku. Take note that some are really huge. They can go up to 4 floors or maybe even higher.
I’m sure you heard of the idea that everything is efficient in Japan. I’m here to tell you that it’s true!
One of the things I’m really impressed with this country is their transportation system. I don’t need a car here because the railway system is more than efficient.
It took me just 1 hour and 15 minutes to cover 84 kilometers. 8 kilometers is just a short ride away; whereas, in some counties, it will take you 2 hours because of heavy traffic and poor public transportation system.
7. Night lights and night life
Tokyo never sleeps. If it’s bright at day, it’s brighter at night. You can have many options on how to spend your time during the night. You can drink at cozy street pubs or party at high class clubs. You can go sightseeing on rooftops or join the crowd on the streets.
You can drive mini carts while you’re dressed up in anime costumes. You can explore new places to eat. You can even opt for a karaoke session if you feel like it. This is a place where visitors will never get bored and 24 hours in a day won’t be enough.
This point is connected to number 7. The reason I enjoyed the night life was because I felt safe. I walked the streets past midnight without fear and anxiety.
Japan is said to be the 3rd safest country in the world, next to Singapore and Luxembourg. When there were ongoing constructions, I saw workers directing the flow of people to areas that were safe. There are warning signs on site as well. This is a basic safety practice that a lot of countries missed out on.
Aside from your own safety, your belongings are also secured. One of the biggest surprises I had was during my first lunch in Japan. It was with a very lovely girl at a buffet restaurant. I was beyond shocked when she just left her valuables on the table while we went to get food. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
The reality of safety in Japan was so real for me because it just so happened that 3 nights before my trip, my phone was stolen. There were no immediate police around and no one really helped me. Then, all of a sudden, I’m transported to place like this. I felt like crying for my country when I saw how far we are from others.
I’m not a super techie person, which is why I don’t have much photos of technology in Japan. But I don’t have to prove to you that technology is one of the country’s strengths. Just think of brand names such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nintendo, Toshiba, Casio, Panasonic, and so on and so forth. All of them are Japanese brands recognized around the globe.
But there is something I can share with you. It was so cool to order my food and drink through a machine. Majority of the restaurants in Tokyo seem to have this setup. I also saw a self service vending machine carpark. I seriously wish I took a photo of that.
But I think the biggest shock I received was the very first time I saw their toilet. What are all these buttons?! There were so many od them! I have never seen such a complicated toilet. Some don’t even have english translation so I pressed everything trying to figure out where the flush button is. Then I found out that the flush function wasn’t there. I felt like I need to undergo potty training all over again.
You can argue that there are other places that are beautiful. That’s true. You can also think that there are other places that offer good food and drinks. That’s also true. You can argue that everything I have mentioned can be found in other places.
So what sets Japan apart?
The answer is people. I have been to other countries before but never have I seen such kindhearted , respectful, caring, helpful, and welcoming people. They assisted me even when I was sometimes shy to ask for directions. They stepped outside their work post to guide me on where to go and how to operate a machine. They even apologized that they don’t speak english well (I should be the one to apologize for giving them a hard time). They were willing to give their time and resources to make me feel welcome. Even when I felt like an outsider at times because I can’t speak Japanese well, they never let me feel out of place.
These people makes this country special. You cannot find them on just any other places. Their kindness is a part of who they are; it is a part of their upbringing. I miss them so dearly and I wish I can see them again.