Japan Today recently polled readers on some of the things they like most about living in Japan.
Here are what many readers had to say.
— My top 3: 1. The transportation system-You can get practically anywhere without having to rely on an automobile. 2. The food-generally is very good. And in the larger cities you can get good variety of “ethnic” food as well. 3. Environment-generally safe and clean (well that’s two). There are few “bad” neighborhoods in Japan where you might fear for your safety.
— I also love how Japanese shops are diverse and cater to a great number of people’s possible needs, it really helps when you want to create a personal look (at home, or in the wardrobe). Also, I LOVE the vast amounts of vending machines that are all around Japan. Often have I been saved from tiredness by the oasis of a Georgia Coffee vending machine.
— I love being able to go out for a run, or even to the combini at night, and not fear for my safety. I love being able to travel by train anywhere in this city comfortably, safely and cheaply. I love being able to eat out at all kinds of places and not have to spend a fortune. I love Japanese baths and onsen. I love that massage is considered a necessary part of health maintenance here. I love kaitenzushi. I love karaoke booths where you can make a total tit of yourself in private instead of in front of the entire pub. I love that the yen has so much buying power these days when I get in stuff from overseas. I love the fact that if I do something well (PTA, cooking etc) I am totally “erai” and everyone respects me, but on the other hand if I do something poorly, well, it is to be expected of course, I am not Japanese, I deserve a little slack.
— First, I love the simple pleasantries of everyday life here: the “aisatsu,” knowing if you lose something on a train it will most likely be returned to you completely intact, seeing people generally work very hard and take pride in what they are doing, even if it means sweeping floors or cleaning up the street in front of their home. I also love the variety of what can be found in Tokyo, e.g. you name the food/brand/art form and it can be found. I love the martial art of kendo and all it has allowed me to learn about the people and culture of Japan as well as about myself.
— Convenience stores, Takkyubin, Service in stores and restaurants, Availability of tradesmen during irregular hours. One recent Saturday night, I needed an electrician and I was able to get one. Impossible in my country, Warm toilet seats, Getting a haircut and the way they pamper you, Oshibori.
— The health-care system, which works wonderfully. I love the public bathhouses (sento). And the friendliness: I can go anywhere in Japan and find friendly people everywhere. Then there is the Post Office system that includes such treasured things as postal insurance and postal social security coverage.
— Low income tax. Sashimi and yaki-tori. Great snow and excellent ski-resorts which are inexpensive. Cheap nights out with all you can drink! Having shop staff bow at me every time I go shopping or to a restaurant. I enjoy the status of feeling like a God.
— The low crime rate & relative lack of mindless vandalism. Friendly people. The reliable transport system. The fresh fruit and veg (I gather this isn’t such a plus in the cities, but out in the sticks we’re really blessed with fresh produce). The beautiful starry skies (again, not in the cities). Especially not in the cities – the wildlife
— Love the people, always polite and usually patient and attentive, the women are so feminine, beautiful and stylishly dressed. The men are non threatening or overly aggressive and don’t need to show their macho side unless needed. Love the country, the the food, the public transport, the business opportunities, the madness, the night life, the fun, the language, the excitement, the hustle and bustle of living in one of the busiest cities in the world with the most amazing people, the lack of crime, the safety, the lack of wanton destruction and vandalism.
— Good manga, transportation accessibility, onsen, convenience and the abundance of food, generally respectful people, great seafood, small cultural stuff like beer and edamame kind of stuff, night life.
— I love the regularity of the train service – if your train is due at 8, and you arrive at 7:59, you’ll catch it. If you arrive at 8:01, you’ve missed it, but never mind, wait five minutes and another one will turn up.
— I love wandering the streets of Tokyo and Osaka. It didn’t matter which neighborhood I was in or the time of day, I always felt safe. I’d frequently spend my days off exploring the city walking for 12 hours until there were blisters on my feet.
— Punctual public transport, ramen, onsen, polite service, Sofmap, Akihabara, point card, Fast snail mail … does that even make sense?,Internet service … even on mobile phones with teeny-weeny screens, fast customer support, hanabi, hanami, yakiniku.