The BEST & WORST of JAPAN

traveling japan best and worst

Traveling Japan

What we loved…

Food – Mmmmmm! Ramen! Sushi! Kobe beef! Udon! Japanese Omelets! Hay-seared meats! Barbecued squid! It’s all rich with delicious flavors and completely addicting! Anything you want, Japan can deliver, and deliver well! 

Preservation of History – Japan has preserved their history, their culture and their historical buildings and artifacts better than any other country I’ve visited. I suppose this is partially because they were the world’s biggest bullies for a very long time so no one was destroying all their shit. Historical bullies or not, Japan’s culture and history is well preserved and on display for your viewing pleasure.

Great Place to Wander – Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nara, Tokyo, wherever. As I just mentioned above, Japan has done a wonderful job of preserving their history, yet they are also super advanced and modern. From peaceful zen gardens to sensory overloading pachinko halls. From ancient temples and palaces to colorfully cartoon-like Harajuku street. I don’t always recommend this, but when traveling Japan, it’s a great idea to just get lost! Allow for some days to just wander or bike around. No plans needed – you’ll quickly realize that there’s no end to “just  stumbling upon” something awesome when traveling Japan.

What we didn’t love…

Refused Service – Rob and I were refused service at a number of different restaurants when traveling Japan. And we weren’t even our usual dirty backpacker selves. We were there during school break from Korea, meaning we were dressed like clean, put together tourists, who could pass for having money. We’ve never experienced this anywhere else in the world. They simply didn’t want the hassle of having to deal with foreigners. How rude!

Idiotic Subway System – Japan has one of the coolest train systems in the world. It’s insanely expensive, but it’s great. Then there’s the Tokyo subway system, correction subway systems. That’s right, not all the subway lines are owned by the same company, so you need different tickets for different subway systems, ugh! Good luck figuring that one out!

Too Much to Do – Japan is one of those countries that you simply must go back to many times. You want to see it in spring when their cherry blossoms are in full glory. Then you want to go back and enjoy some summer baseball games and visit the beaches. Fall brings entirely new colors and textures you can’t miss. Then there’s winter – hit the slopes, relax in natural hot springs, then explore the country while covered in glistening snow. You can come in each season, and still not do or see everything that Japan has on offer. You’ll just never feel satisfied that you’ve conquered this country in its entirety.

4 comments on “The BEST & WORST of JAPAN

  1. Masha
    April 1, 2017

    Just like the other “the best and worst” posts, this one is very interesting. The Gaijin Complex sounds so surprising to someone who’s never been to Japan. ( aka – me) In the West, Japanese people are so often portrayed to be so polite. How much was this as a result of saving the embarrassment of not being able to communicate? ( the linked article). I wonder. :/

    I had a Japanese coworker who used to tell me about Tokyo, how well it’s planned out. That every micro neighborhood has everything you will need within walking distance. She never mentioned the public transportation in Tokyo. It sounds insane trying to figure it out!

    The food, is making me feel very hungry!

    Great post! <3

    • Rob Stiles Masha
      April 1, 2017

      Thanks for taking the time to read the post.
      Japan is awesome…but yeah, I think a lot of it is just avoiding awkward situations. Like…maybe they didn’t know “what kind of foreigners” we were. We could be Dutch or French or American. I sure that’s part of it. But, there were times when we felt it could have been more than that. Something more pointed and rooted a little deeper than we were able to explore or understand in our short time visiting. We’d love to go back to Japan for an extended period.

  2. August 7, 2017

    Thank you for your great blog post! It was really interesting how people thought about Japan.
    We Japanese should take matters of communication seriously, because we are the host for the Olympic. Thank you for refer to it.

    I am living in Okinawa, and please come to enjoy beautiful beach and tex-mex food someday 🙂
    There is not too much to do…

    • Rob Stiles miwa/미와
      August 8, 2017

      Japan is great and we’d love to come back for a longer period of time. You can’t be serious that there isn’t much to do. For a forenign traveler, Japan is a treasure chest! We’d never bother with tex-mex in Japan because we love Japanese food so much!

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