10 things I miss about Japan

While visiting Japan I did my best to immerse myself for the few weeks I was there, experiencing a little of everything and enjoying most of it. I visited various places, ate various foods and met a lot of persons but now that I am back in Jamaica there are certain experiences or things I miss about Japan the  most to in the middle of the night I decided to put together this post entitled – 10 things I miss about Japan. If you have ever been to Japan I’l be very interested to know if you also miss anything from this list or leave a comment if you miss anything different.

  • Akihabara

The holy land for fans of anime, manga, figures, maid cafes, electronics and more. I could have spent 3 weeks in Akihabara alone… if I had 100 million yen. I visited twice and left with my pockets empty but my geek heart overflowing with joy. I sensed an Akihabara addiction coming on, I want to go back so badly, so not surprising, now I miss it.

  • Combini

Convenience stores are everywhere in Japan, most are open 24 hours and sell everything from snacks to magazines to liquor. There is never one too far away and with tiny fridges and food stores in most Japanese homes I soon realized that that I had to get used to the combini lifestyle, I actually did get used to it, now I miss it.

  • Food choices

I’m not much of a foodie but if I lived in Japan I’d have crazy fun visiting a different restaurant or food stall in which ever major city I am based every day. I swear every other sign I passed in some areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto was advertising food. It’s 3am in the morning while I draft this post, I am hungry and now I miss it.

  • Feeling like a giant
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At 183cm and 155lbs I am no giant, but in Japan I sure felt like one! Banging my head while exiting the train, crashing into walls, counters and furniture while indoors and feeling like everything from the toilet to the fridge and even the washing machine was one size too small or a bit too low. In Japan I was no Godzilla, but I was a giant, now I miss it.

  • Hearing Japanese

My “Japanese” experience started in LAX of all places as I boarded my JAL flight and heard the beautiful sound of Japanese all around me. For a split second I thought “Why the hell are you going Japan? You don’t speak Japanese!” When I landed in Narita it took a few minutes for me to believe that I was in J-Land and while I didn’t understand 93.477863% of what was being said for the next few weeks, my ears were filled with Japanese goodness, and now I miss it.

  • Trains

The train system in Japan is the best in the world. Trains are hardly ever not on schedule and with an intricate rail network covering major cities or far into the countryside a car may be an unnecessary luxury to most. I love Japanese trains, the variety, the designs, the station announcements, the jingles etc., and now I miss them.

  • Super Fast Internet

Jamaica’s Internet speeds have come a far way in recent years and while my current ISP tells me I have a 15mbps connection I almost never get those speeds and for someone like me who uploads a lot of files, photos, videos etc the measly 1mbps upload makes me wish I owned an RPG sometimes. In Japan the internet was always fast, both upload and download, now I miss it.

  • Safety
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I am from Jamaica, where unfortunately violence and crime is much a part of the culture as ackee and salfish. Then there I was in Japan with no need to lock doors, dropkick a pickpocket or be constantly aware of my surroundings. I could get used to that safe feeling, but now I am back in Kingston, and now I miss it.

  • Pretty Girls

I wouldn’t say I am overly attracted to Asian women, but I do like women. Most Japanese women and girls seem to almost always be made up and a trip to places like Shibuya, Shinkuju, Ginza and Harajuku will massage your eyes with sights of good looking Japanese girls. While I am no fan of the weird duck walk or that high pitched manner of speech I like pretty Japanese girls, and now I mis them

  • Getting stared at

My biggest concerm about going to Japan wasn’t that I didn’t speak Japanese but because I was “different”. I read and researched extensively and watched countless videos of persons sharing their experiences as a dark skinned person in Japan. In the end there wasn’t really anything to worry about and after a while I kinda enjoyed the wide-eyed stares I got from mostly kids and elderly folks. Now I don’t look so “special” anymore, and I miss it.

[love]

16 thoughts on “10 things I miss about Japan

    1. That’s how it seems to me, too. I visited Taiwan last year, traveled cross country and was so missing it once I was back in Europe. This year I moved here and married, live a stressful life and can’t even enjoy all these things I so missed before. Now I kinda miss the slow-paced Europe :)

  1. I’m happy to hear that you didn’t have any issues with looking “different”. I remember when I was in Japan the feeling of being watched and standing out in a crowd. Not as much in Tokyo because people there are used to seeing “gaijin” but in smaller towns.

    That’s actually one of the things I didn’t like about Japan – no matter no long you live there – could be your whole life! – you will never be “Japanese” and people will always look at you as an outsider. I’m not really faulting them, I’m just observing that it’s a very homogeneous society.

    For example, I felt the same way when I visited Jamaica :) I worked in Kingston and had to go places most tourists don’t get to visit (I think most tourists avoid Kingston entirely) and I always felt out of place.

    1. yea in Japan non-japanese will always be “outsiders” it’s one of those things foreigners visiting or who plan to or are living there for a while will just have to get used to.

      Yea seeing tourists in Kingston unless there is a big event going on is kind of um “different”

  2. I know how you feel about hearing Japanese. When I was connecting to another flight in Dallis, I found the gate filled with Japanese passengers heading toward Japan. I was totally ecstatic and just stood next to the gate absorbing the sound of people speaking.

  3. I completely understand! My husband and I went to Japan for our honeymoon last year and I already am dieing to go back. I miss everything on your list, and then some!

    I especially miss the kindness of the Japanese people and how wonderfully efficient everything is!

    Did you go to a Neko Cafe? Those are an absolute must for cat lovers =)

  4. Great place to be indeed, and you do a pretty good job of evoking it for us:-)

    Now, perhaps you or your blog readers might want to have a look at “Simon and Hiroko,” “ a dramatic love story located to a large extent in Japan, which has gathered several appreciative reviews and blog interviews.

    Available at:

    Amazon

    Kobo

    On sale at $0.99 for several days only.

    I wish you’d take a stab at it too, as impressions from current residents would be very special for me.

    I lived two years in Tokyo and I enjoyed the place very much.

    Cheers.
    Marius Hancu
    Goodreads

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