A few weeks ago, on Twitter, I came across a tweet from @NatGeoTraveler. It was a post titled “101 things I love about Japan” written by Andrew Evans. So, I thought I’d just scroll on through the article and see what he had to say … and I was utterly entertained. From the language, to the food, to the culture, I found myself giving a little laugh saying “me too!”, “so true!”, “love it!” at pretty much every item Evans mentions … So … here is it … (note: the highlights are what I’ve came across 🙂 )
Mine happens to be blue but I do have a plastic umbrella! And I have to add that I also love how the taxi drivers wear white gloves AND pop open the door for you. Now I’ll just have to make sure I find some chocolate cheesecake sticks next time I’m grocery shopping. Yum!
The onsen is by far my favorite. I’ve never been on a cleaner, well-organized subway in my life. I could probably eat right off the ground. Not even kidding. And if I could understand Japanese, Clammbon would probably be playing on my iPod.
We’ve explored about 4 Tokyo neighborhoods so far and Harajuku is my favorite. Aside from it being the ultimate shopping corner of Tokyo, the culture reminds me exactly of Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls”. … I am SO used to bowing that I fear continuing to do it back home and the crazy looks I’ll get.
The trains run on time, all the time. Could never get that lucky taking the Metra in Chicago. Enough said.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t LOVE the toilet seat with options. Hey, it’s nice having the seat warmed up for you. It’s also pretty nice getting those warm washcloths. And how cute are Shiba dogs?!
Google cat shrines (Maneki Neko), youtube a sumo match, get some toe socks and phone charms (plural, the Japanese love their phone charms), and start wearing a hygienic face mask when you’re feeling sick (it’s the polite thing to do) and you’ll see what I mean. Added bonus, the vending machines often serve beer 🙂
I was an amateur at chopsticks before I came over here, and now I wouldn’t eat with anything else. Shabu Shabu is one of the best dinners I’ve had. And who didn’t love “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Getting the chance to actually seem them on the streets, priceless.
I think the affection for plaid goes along with the super-disciplined schools … and maybe why I wish I would have been forced to wear a uniform in high school (and maybe a colored hat in elementary).
I haven’t seen a Big Gulp yet, but with a 7-11 on every corner along with the many types of recycling cans alongside the building walls, who wouldn’t love it.
And of course the best for last, the Japanese.
A couple of others I would add … no liter anywhere, “arigato gozaimashita!” (being yelled at you every time you leave a store), yakitori, the process of boarding an airplane, “moshi moshi” (when answering a telephone), 100 Yen store, the bowing again, fur scrunchies, tom tom mae, the kid sized drinks, flip phones, kenson, green tea frappuccinos at Starbucks, Hello Kitty (everywhere), crazy tights, being told the price of everything you’re buying when checking out, green tea Melty Kisses, kids being able to walk anywhere by themselves, edamame, kimonos, the word “hai”, and the overall welcoming and kindness of their culture.
I’m about halfway through my stay in Japan and I can say that I absolutely love it. Sure, there are days when I feel homesick, feel lonely, and get frustrated but there are so many great things, it often outweighs any bad day I am having. So far, I’ve come across about half of what he lists. I’m extremely happy with what I have experienced and would be SO, very lucky to see all 101.