The thought of visiting Japan made us cringe, because we heard how expensive it can be. Last year, we were on budget prior our trips, wondering if we will able to make Japan into our itinerary. We debated for couple of weeks whether we should visit Japan or not. Luckily, Lilo found a flight ticket that cost $81 one way from Busan, South Korea to Osaka, Japan. We couldn’t believe how cheap it was! No doubt did that ignite the flame of our curiosity to visit this country. We thought, okay why not at least for about a week? During our trip, we went to cheap restaurants and bought snacks from local markets. After traveling for about 9 days in Japan, we were relieved to have this opportunity to visit Japan. The cultural experience there was exhilarating – we learned so much about their customs, culture and history. Sure it was somewhat expensive, but from what we heard, Japan isn’t expensive as Australia, New Zealand or Norway.
But let me tell you something:
You should NOT skip Japan.
Japan is a beautiful country to visit with so much to offer. Here is 10 reasons why we find Japan amazing:
Rather than getting mad when bumping into each other on the street, they’d bow down and say “sorry!” When our Japanese friend was wincing in pain on the ground (we didn’t bother to invade her privacy since she seemed that she didn’t wanted to tell us what was wrong), other Japanese workers nearby came to help and kindly offer her to use their restroom and drink water to ensure she’s okay. When Lilo and I weren’t sure when to get off to Shin-Osaka station to get off (there are Shin-Osaka and Osaka stations), a girl kindly offer us help; we pointed “Shin-Osaka” station on the map, and she made sure that we get off the right one. I couldn’t tell you enough how genuinely friendly they are. Every friendliness we’ve encountered was astonishing.
2. Daily lifestyle
Would you believe me if I told you that I saw a grandma riding on a bicycle by herself in Osaka? If you see one, how can you not resist dropping your jaw and stare like a fool? Since I am from America, I don’t really see that…at all. I saw couple more elders riding on bikes,“Lilo! Did you see that!? Elders are riding bikes here!” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was impressed! We also spotted a mother riding her bike with her two children behind her. We also saw a little girl (about 5 years old) walking to school by herself. The daily lifestyle here is obviously pretty different than America’s. Sorry, Americans.
It’s no surprise that Japan is well known for their technology. You’ll see a lot of amazing technologies, such as the washlet toliets, robots and parking garage elevator! When I arrived in Japan, one of things I most look forward to was the washlet toliet. With many different controls, you can decide how light or strong you want the water to jet into your anal. When I first tried it out, I couldn’t help but to burst out laughing. I bet people were listening since the restroom was quiet and heard “hahahaha!” from the stall.
Sushi. Ramen. Curry. Udon. Onigiri. Soba noodles. Did I mentioned sushi? There are a lot of fresh food. Obviously, no other countries’ attempts at making Japanese food is greater than Japan itself. The sushi tastes vastly different here comparing to America’s. You just have to try so many food! If you are a Yelp lover like me, try to use TripAdvisor to search for great eats. Although Lilo and I were on budget and did not went to many restaurants, we still had couple of oh-so-delicious Japanese food. Everything we tried was so fresh, just heavenly.
5. Cultural & Landscape Attractions
Japan have so many scenic attractions: temples, shrines, castles, zen gardens, Mt. Fuiji, Okinawa Islands and other countless places. A lot of them have historical stories that you may find it interesting. There are so many places to go that you’ll need to sort out your priorities if you are staying for short time. Everything is just utterly breathtaking.
We personally love festivals! It’s a great insight to peak into their culture and see the beauty of it. There are myriad of festivals: Sakura (Cherry Blossom), Obon, Sapporo Snow, Kanamara Matsuri and many more festivals. The most popular one is the Cherry Blossom festivals during springtime. We haven’t been to festivals here in Japan but hoping to grab the opportunities in the future.
Japan is known for their ingenuity. They created numerous of businesses that locals and tourists alike are crazy about: capsule hotels, animal cafes, Make-your-own ramen cup shop, outdoor onsens, maid cafes, beers and cigarettes vending machines and the likes. Do your research before heading to Japan, because you’ll never know you’ll find something you’ll love to do!
All transportation there are very effective! There are JR bullet trains, trams, subways, buses, cars and even bikes! The accessibility to different transportation is remarkable. We sighed a relief when we purchased the JR pass and can get to different destinations in just 9 days. With the JR line, you can get from Osaka to Hiroshima in just about 2 hours 30 minutes comparing to driving for about 4 hours. You’ll get to your destination in no time. If you want to take the JR trains, make sure you get the JR pass prior arriving there. That’s important! You can’t just walk in and buy it. You must purchase it in advance.
9. Anime Culture
Anime has been influential around the world due to their styles, fantastic stories and vibrant characters. Many people around the world are engrossed anime and manga; they even dress up (which is called cosplaying). People around the world who loves anime would dream of going there.
10. Feeling safe
It has one of the lowest crimes and considered to be one of the top peaceful countries in the world. You don’t really have to worry safety there. You don’t need to fret so much about your safety at day and night.
If you worry about the prices in Japan, it is recommended that you use Couchsurfing to find free accommodation and be on budget. Spend wisely. Hope these reasons are proven enough for you not to skip Japan; Japan will enrich your personal growth as your learn their culture and broaden your mind.
Have these 10 reasons convinced you?
If you have been there, do you agree these 10 reasons?