I’ve already written about the 5 most difficult things of living in Japan, so it is time to level that with the best aspects of living in Japan. Save the best for last!
It is true, I wrote in my previous post that processes are not always efficient, but still there are a lot of things that are very convenient around here. To begin with the convenience stores at almost every corner and open most of the time. You can buy the best ‘konbini’ food in the world, find an ATM, pay your bills, buy your event tickets and so on. It always has a toilet.
As a matter of fact you find clean toilets everywhere in this country. In every toilet there’s a hook to hang your stuff. Next to every clinic there’s a pharmacy. Japan has the largest number of vending machines per capita. Not that I think that is necessary but they sure are convenient. Our toilet flushes itself, the cooking stove automatically turns off when my food is about to burn (I really don’t know how that works, but I think it is genious!).
There are remote panels everywhere in the house: to dim the lights, to change their colour, for the airconditioning, the floor heating,… My favourite one is the button to automatically fill the bath tub from the living room 🙂
4. Public Transport
Talking about convenience… Japan loves its trains and they are awesome. They are incredibly accurate, fast, safe and clean. And quiet (did you know it’s not allowed to talk on the phone?!). We are not always convinced travelling by car is the better option, since the trains are so good and the highway toll and car parking is so expensive. Tourists are very lucky to be able to buy a Japan Rail Pass that offers a huge deal on train tickets.
Do you remember that time when a Japanese company apologised after a train departed 20 seconds early? Yes, that is right. SECONDS.
It’s insane how many facilities there are for children, and most of them are free! Outside playgrounds, parks, amusement parks, indoor playgrounds, libraries, musea, you name it! Not only for free, also very aesthetical. I love the attempt to avoid plastic and the use of natural materials instead.
The Japanese are crazy about kids. Even more when they are foreign (think white skin, blue eyes and blond hair!). It’s the best conversation starter ever when you are trying to settle in. When it comes to kids, Japanese stop being shy and start talking, taking pictures or asking you to hold your kid.
I’ve never been too concerned about safety, but once you’ve experienced one of the safest countries in the world, it is hard to go back. Not everywhere in the world it would be a good idea to leave your car unlocked with your purse inside, leave your stroller wherever you please, … Trust comes in handy when you realise you forget your wallet after having finished your pizza and the owner says: ‘just bring me the money later’.
It might be a cliché to put ‘the people’ in first place, but the Japanese people deserve this spot. They are so polite, discrete, humble, respectful and helpful. Community-oriented, instead of going for the individual benefit. They are so considerate and remember even the smallest detail about what you said last time you saw them. They provide answers to questions you hadn’t even asked. They will burry you in omiyage presents!