This is a post that has been long coming. I always wanted to make a list of the things I like about Japan, but If I made it the first 3 months I was here this list would go well into negative stuff 😛
The list will get updated in later posts as I find more things to add. I will only write about things I like here, and not the things I don’t like.
First of all one of the things you just can’t hate is the kindness of most of the people here. Japanese people are kind of hard to approach and talk to but once you do that, what you immediately notice is that the majority of them are very helpful. If you ask a question, or if you ask for a small favour they feel obliged to comply. Even if they can’t, even if they don’t know how they will do their best to help. Which sometimes can end up being a little embarassing as they can’t seem to say: “No I can’t help you” and they can end up wasting both your time and theirs trying to help you while it’s obvious they can’t. As I said above, very kind people.
One other thing I like about this place is the fact that it’s full of contradictions. Japan is a very conservative country, full of traditions and drenched in social codes, unwritten rules and laws that people have to follow. And yet it is also the strangest country in the world. You can find the weirdest, strangest and most probably sickest stuff ever here, especially in the Tokyo area where I live. Just to name a few of the famous “strange stuff”. Maid cafes, cat cafes, akihabara’s hoard of otakus charging figurine stores, Don Kichote (a pretty sick shop where you can find every thing…) e.t.c.
Technology is something that surrounds you in Japan, if you live in Tokyo. Surrounded by advanced transportation systems, computerized toilets and robots makes you feel like you are in a sci-fi movie at times. But despite the looks Japan is not as techonologically advanced as it wants to portray. That can be understood if you see that many of its banks don’t know what e-banking is and that many companies prefer to do things “the old way”. But still, technology surrounds you especially if you are in the crowded areas of Tokyo. Another example of contradictions in Japan.
Of course something that can not be out of this list is the dormitory. It deserves, and will get, more than a few post of its own but for now let’s just say that part of being a foreign student in japan is living in such an international dorm. I am living with people from literally all over the world. India, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, Germany, England, Spain, Maroco, Canada, US, Korea, China … to name just a few. Living together and socializing with people from so many different backgrounds daily in an international dormitory is a unique experience. You roam the corridors and can hear all different kinds of languages. Who would have thought that I would have friends from so many different countries? Definitely expect more posts coming regarding the dormitory.
Being an avid music fan I can’t look over the sheer amount of festivals and concerts happening here. Compared to my country (Greece) it’s like a completely different world. Just to name a few which are coming right around the corner:
- Fuji Rock Festival 2010
- Summersonic Festival 2010
- Placebo and Is Tropical Live Concert
- Loud Park 2010
And these are just concerts/festivals containing bands I like. There are many more happening in between for which i just don’t care 😛 .
These were just some of the things out of my head right now that I do love about Japan. There are more which will be added later I guess. Of course this does not mean that Japan is the best country ever, or something. There are many things I outright hate about Japan and for which I will make other posts later. I did not want to start with a negative post. And as I write this I am about to leave for 3 full days camping in Naeba Yuzawa for the above mentioned Fuji Rock festival. It is going to be one hell of an experience full of music and of course I will make a post about it later. Rock on!