You’ve finally made the trip to Japan! You’ve seen the sights, enjoyed the sounds, and ate all the delicious food along the way. But time flies like a stick of butter off a Japanese supermarket shelf when you’re having fun, and before you know it, it’s time to go home.
We know, leaving is hard, and you’re probably missing these things about Japan already:
1. Convenience stores
The convenience stores in Japan are just amazing. You can find almost anything you need to get through the day, from stationery to fresh underwear, and they’re practically everywhere.
But what you’ll really miss is the variety of delicious bentos, sandwiches and desserts that you can grab in a pinch. They’re so convenient and so good!
Compare that to back home where the closest thing resembling actual food in the local 7-11 is a corndog that’s been sitting there longer than Leo without an Oscar. Actually, don’t.
They can be a little intimidating at first with all those mysterious buttons, but once you’ve tried a washlet, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
It’s 2016, we have cars that drive themselves and computers that can beat humans at Go – why aren’t warm toilet seats that wash, dry and deodorize your butt standard by now? Unfortunately, until we get to the bottom of this, Japan is the only place where you’ll get the best toilet experience in the world.
Who doesn’t like walking into a shop and be greeted by a chorus of cheery shop assistants? And it goes beyond greetings too – at some shops like Tokyu Hands you can buy something as small as a ¥100 pen or eraser and have it beautifully gift wrapped, for free.
Whenever I travel out of Japan, I reminded just how much I take that good service for granted. Especially when I’m standing at the restaurant cashier waiting to pay for my food and everyone working there just walks by and ignores me for a good 5 minutes.
The train system in Japan is so well planned and maintained it probably blew your mind when you first got here. It’s so good, you can literally get to almost any part of Japan from your nearest train station.
If you’re in Tokyo and feel a sudden urge to go to Hokkaido for their delicious soup curry, it’s as easy as hopping on a local train to the nearest bullet train transit station and BOOM! you’re there in 4 hours.
No fuss, no muss, and the trains are clean, convenient and punctual to boot. Sure, the fares aren’t cheap, but they’re absolutely worth it and the sense of freedom is priceless. (Unless you’re a Japanese salaryman who on average, has a grand total of zero personal days off a year. But that’s a story for another time.)
This is why you’re here right? Japan has the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world, from fancy three star French restaurants to a recently crowned one star ramen joint.
The variety of food you can find in Japan is staggering, and despite what many people think, they’re mostly very affordable – at the above mentioned ramen shop Tsuta, despite their Michelin star rating, the prices are almost the same as the regular stuff.
Once you’ve had a taste of Japan, you’ll definitely be back for seconds or thirds. So hopefully you won’t be missing all these things about Japan for too long!