10 Reasons to LOVE Japan

Many people out there who are bloggers in both Korea and Japan, two countries I’ve lived in, tend to spend a great deal of their time on social media complaining about their surrounds. Japan sucks because blah, blah, blah. Korea sucks because blah, blah, blah.

No place is perfect and no matter where one lives in the world. There are things that could always be improved. I have been in Japan for more than five years and sometimes have my bad days. I have days when I would rather be back in Canada. The thing is though, most of my days here are happy. They are filled with joy and curiosity.

I have met many foreigners living here who aren’t so positive though. I’ve met some who truly dislike their time and experiences here.

Many of the people who come to my YouTube channels and blog do so because they are interested in Japan. They want to know more. Many of you are REALLY interested in Japan and I want to share Japan in a positive way.

I wanted to share some of the things I LOVE about Japan and why:

 

Japanese Holidays: There are so many of them. I’ve heard in the past that the government created so many statutory holidays because it was the only way to get Japanese workers to take time off and rest. Many Japanese workers don’t even take the days off that are allotted to them by their companies. There can be a stigma attached to those who take many days off as being lazy and not working hard for their team.

As a result, Japan has lots of holidays. Also, Japanese folks tend to adopt foreign holidays such as Christmas and Halloween. Those of course don’t come with time off work, but they are fun to celebrate.

 

Japanese food: It’s awesome…nuff said!

japanese Nabe or hot pot at my wife's family's house in rural Osaka Prefecture...delicious!
japanese Nabe or hot pot at my wife’s family’s house in rural Osaka Prefecture…delicious!

 

History everywhere: No matter where you are, walking or driving a bicycle, you turn a corner and there is some sort of shrine or temple. Historic homes are scattered throughout cities and once you hit the countryside, you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. There’s never a dull moment exploring back streets in Japan!

Japanese home with thatched roof in rural Osaka Prefecture.
Japanese home with thatched roof in rural Osaka Prefecture.

 

Seasonal Eats: Japanese people love seasonal food and beverage treats. Once the Fall comes, you can find chestnut and sweet potato snacks and sweets in convenience stores, bakeries and department stores. Seasonal beers on are the shelves in supermarkets. It’s good stuff! Winter approaches and there are different treats all over the place. Same goes for spring and summer.

Halloween Pumpkin Pudding KitKats
Halloween Pumpkin Pudding KitKats

 

A limited time Fall beer by Suntory breweries. (very yummy)
A limited time Fall beer by Suntory breweries. (very yummy)

Good looking/fashionable people: No matter what you’re into, there’s eye-candy everywhere you go!

 

Crazy Television: I often have no idea what it is I’m watching on TV, but Japanese variety and game shows are often strange and very entertaining. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, you’ll be thoroughly entertained!

 

New Years: They do the big party thing like in other countries on New Years Eve, but since this is the most important holiday event in Japan, there is more to it than that. Japanese employees actually take several days off, spend time with their families and spend a lot of time eating and drinking.

Take the time to visit a shrine on New Years day. Hatsumode is an impressive event to take in. People migrate to shrines to get their New Year’s fortunes for the upcoming year.  Some of the larger shrines even have English versions of the fortunes for foreigners.

New Years in Japan
New Years in Japan

 

Mountains: Do you like hiking? Do you like climbing? Do you generally like to get outdoors and explore nature? Well, Japan has more mountains than you can shake a stick at! Get out of the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka and you’re in an outdoorsman’s paradise.

View of Kobe from Mt. Rokko
View of Kobe from Mt. Rokko

 

Wacky food products: Seems many Japanese companies really have a WTF attitude towards creating flavors of food and drink. Even if it is clear that they probably wont make any money, they go for it anyway. Some examples of this since I’ve been in Japan are Pepsi Cucucumber, Pepsi Shiso, Kimchi soda and now Canada Dry Hot Ginger Ale.

 

Always Something Interesting: If you are in anyway a curious person, there’s always something interesting to see and do in Japan. If you like taking pictures, writing, or doing other creative things, this is the perfect place to be inspired!

 

Follow me on Twitter: @jlandkev

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