The inevitable response to my two Room 101 posts was “well, if you don’t like it then you should move” but that really is missing the point. People have a right to moan about wherever they live or the situation they live in but I think it all depends on the depth of the complaints and I can honestly say that none of my gripes are felt really strongly. Anyway, as its approaching the 1st anniversary of the great earthquake as well as this being my 600th post on this site I guess its right to balance out those last two posts with some more positive things about the city which has become my home.
Like I said in the Room 101 Japan post some of these really do depend on what side of bed you get out on that morning. Anyway, here in no particular order are my top reasons why I’m content with living and working in Japan:
* Good customer service – Whenever I go away I soon realise how good it is. Less waiting, a friendly smile and they seemingly have a desire to actually want to serve you. Stores are packed full of staff (probably too many to be fair but lets stick with the positives) rushing around to provide the best customer service.
* Clean streets – Shopkeepers take pride in their part of the pavement outside their store and can often be seen sweeping up rubbish or leaves.
* Cherry Blossom parties – A great excuse to drink on the cheap with friends not get stared out! Read more here.
* Efficient trains – So efficient that you can get frustrated when they are running out of sync. The standards have been set and lateness is a big disappointment.
* Japanese girls – Sure, theres more to Tokyo than the never-ending supply of hot girls despite what the media are constantly saying about Japan’s declining population. They always really make the effort to look as good as possible whether they be going to a restaurant or bar or even just to go shopping! If they step outside their apartment they always looks their best. Read more here.
* Lost and found – If you lose it you have about a 99% chance of getting it returned to you. Read more here.
* The food – So much great Japanese food as well as everything else. I was that guy 10 years ago or so saying “Well, I’ll eat a fish finger but theres no way I’m eating raw fish. Yuk!” How times change eh!
* Acceptance of all bank notes everywhere – Most other countries don’t like to accept payment with the big bills but thats never a problem in Japan where you can buy anything, however cheap, with a ¥10,000 note.
* 24 hour city – Many cities say they are 24 hour ones but its just not true. However, Tokyo is and all its convenience stores, McDonalds and lord-knows-what-else are open all the time.
* No Pressure – Us foreigners don’t have the pressure to conform to the norms of Japanese society like the locals do.
* Karaoke – I don’t go so often these days but the many karaoke boxes around the city are a great place to continue a party through the night.
* Izakayas – I love going to cheap Japanese styled izakaya bars and eating a range of dishes with my beer.
* 100 yen shops – The amount of stuff they have in these is unbelievable.
* Mount Takao – If one needs respite from the city there is a mountain in Tokyo about 90 minutes away which is easy to climb, has good views of the city, a monkey zoo and in the Summer there is an amazing value garden party every day. Read more here.
* No pressure to leave restaurants – You can order just one cheap drink and stay there for hours and the staff won’t bat an eyelid.
* Don’t have to get up early – My job starts around lunchtime in the week so I don’t need to use an alarm clock on those days.
* Premier League Live at night time – More live games are available here (and indeed most places outside the UK) than back home which means I can more than keep up with all the goings on in the best league in the world. Its just a shame that Leicester aren’t in the top division!
Too much positivity here? If so, then you may be more interested in reading about the things in Japan I’d love to consign to Room 101. Click on the following links: