Japan, the country bursting with culture and screams uniqueness. I don’t believe there’s anyone who visited Japan and doesn’t love it. We all want to stay there (even if only temporary). Right? Right? After all these years, growing up with its animation and comics, I finally visited Japan. Japan simply doesn’t disappoint. These are the things I was amazed with about Japan that you can only see and experience in this definitely one of a kind country.
1. Uber Cool and clean Toilet
Warmed toilet Seat with many buttons – they are a God-send during winter. Who invented this? Seriously. I don’t know what the rest of the buttons do but I bet they are awesome to those who understand them. Especially in Tokyo you’d be pretty sure that all toilets will be clean and there will be tissue paper, unlike other countries in Asia. On top of that, they have cover for toilet seat and toilet paper holder.
2. Automated and Vending Machine Frenzy
With so many vending machines everywhere you won’t be caught dehydrated. Is there any other country more thoughtful? They even have a coin change machine for it. Oh and to warm your cold hands during winter the vending machines actually will dispense warm drinks. Talking about warming up your cold hands, they have a heater pouch that you can keep on your pocket to keep warm. And then there are gloves that will still allow you to use your touch screen smart phone and an outer boot to cover your heel/ shoes.
Vending machine acts as the cashier in fast food places. By fast food it’s not junk food. Food like ramen often uses machine as a method to pay and order.
3. Warm Towel and Wet Tissue for all
Even the ‘dodgiest’ restaurant will give you a good quality wet tissue with your meal in a sealed packet. At the start most will provide a warm towel. You even get a wet tissue with your purchase of popcorn – they know your finger will get sticky.
4. Everything is so well packaged
A single layer of packaging is never enough. First your biscuit will be individually or twin packed, then it will be put on a neat row of a plastic base. And that plastic base will be put into a beautiful box. And then the box will be shrink-wrapped or wrapped in a pretty wrapper paper like a present. And then it will be secured with a decorative rubber band. And then it will be placed into a good quality paper bag before being handed to you.
And then there’s special packaging for Onigiri to ensure the seaweed stay crips. And the packaging for fried chicken that you can tear in the center so you can grab half of your chicken piece and not try to slide half out. Need I continue?
5. People are so well mannered
Japanese are very well mannered. They will always give you their best smile and greetings. They treat everybody will respect which are super awesome. They won’t look down on you wearing a thong inside a luxury brand shop unlike in some other places (*cough* Singapore *cough*). They will treat you the same as well dressed guests. I admire them for this quality.
6. Actual Food is always look exactly like its perfect fake display
Do you ever buy a hamburger because it looks so huge, juicy and perfect on the commercial? And when it’s on your hand it looks sad and much smaller, and doesn’t even look like the poster at the slightest. This will never happen in Japan. They have fake display food everywhere for everything edible and they look exactly like the real one. On top of that they often taste as good as it looks. They food in Japan is either good or great.
7. Cute Commuter
Japanese must love themes so much that they even themed their commuter. In Fuji everything is shaped to Fuji mountain – the train doesn’t get left behind. Check out these super kawaii Fuji train. The Train to Disneyland has a musical ‘Be Our Guest’ playing on repeat, a cute mickey window and the cutest train handle. And there’s an express train in the shape of Darth Vader. Japan, I love you.
8. Japanese take comfort to the next level
They use different towel for different purpose. The face towel they provide is as soft as cotton. As to facial tissue, they have a lotion tissue that are so silky smooth and smells of essential oil.
To keep warm they have a warmed blanked underneath the dining table to keep your lower body warm. They also have hot water bottles that will keep your feet warm all through the nights.
Even public place like train has heater underneath the seat and warm waiting room for you to wait for the train. And have I mention warmed toilet seat?
9. You don’t need a lot of Space
In Japan, everything is so cute and compact. The restaurant often only has a seat for 20 people max, and the apartment is very minimalist.
10. Is that strawberry or a Gem Stone?
Fruits that we take for granted, piled up and left bruised is priced so highly in Japan. The Fruit like strawberry and mango in Japan are so well packaged and shockingly priced. Other priced items include cherry tomatoes, grapes, melon and uniquely shaped watermelon.
11. Well segregated rubbish bins
There are not many rubbish bins in Japan (can get annoying) but there are hardly any rubbish lies around. People are so good keeping their rubbish with themselves until they see rubbish bins (skill we get accustomed to eventually). And the rubbish bins are always separated into easy disposal of tins/cans/plastic bottles/glass/paper/general waste.
12. Sea of People
Last but not least it never cease to amaze me to see how many people there are in Japan everywhere we go (yeah we went to all the highlights places that will draw crowds) but that many people every day? That’s like 365 days a year of street festival. I love crowds so that’s cool for me. There are many other parts of Japan that are serene too. Basically whether you like crazy stuff or peace and quiet, there will be something for you in Japan.
13. Capsule Hotel
The capsule hotel could well be the father of all hostels and mix dormitories. It is the original low budget and space saving accommodation for salary-man to nap or when they had too much to drink to find their way home. I didn’t try to stay in one this time but would certainly consider on my next trip to Japan.
14. Photo Machine
Be energetic Japanese teenage by posing inside the photobooth in one of Harajuku Arcade. It is so colourful and you can add cute stickers, write on them and edit the photo afterwards. The most popular is to make your eye round and large, manga style. This photo session is so fun and will make a wonderful memorabilia.
Dress up as your favourite anime, game or manga character in the place that starts it all. If you are not into those sort of things, watching them is an experience on its own. You can best catch a glimpse of them on the weekend at Harajuku and Akihibara.