Written By: Coco Yancey
Edited By: Marrista K. Stubbs
Despite everything that’s going on with COVID-19, Marrista and I still have plans to move to Japan later this year. We both miss it and often talk about life in Japan. Having recently returned from a 2 week vacation, the Japanese lifestyle and activities are still fresh in our minds. People often ask what we miss most or what there is to do, so I’m sharing the top 5 things I miss about my time in Japan.
1. Themed Cafes
Leave it to Japan to have some of the coolest, wackiest, and most unique cafe experiences. From rare pop-ups, like limited-time Sailor Moon and Pokemon events, to once in a lifetime encounters with owls. Japanese cafes have every kind of theme for every kind of person. Anime, vampire, maid, reptile, and Gundam are just some options to choose from! Personally, my favorites are the cat cafes with breeds you don’t normally see in America.
There’s absolutely nothing that I love in this world more than Japanese food. Eating out in Japan is an experience in itself. It’s so enjoyable that it can be easy to find yourself trying new restaurants every day. The food is always perfectly seasoned and portioned! It’s also a lot healthier because of how fresh the produce and meat is. When I was on vacation I ate so much and still managed to come back home smaller than I left. I won’t even get started on the amazing quantity and quality of sweets and desserts available. You can never go wrong with the rolled crepes; best I’ve ever had.
I’ve always been fascinated by Japanese culture. It’s completely different from my own and I enjoy learning and experiencing it. During one of my most memorable days, I was able to hold a historic sword at Osaka Castle. I was also able to take part in a tea ceremony, have a lesson in calligraphy, and wear a Kimono through Airbnb Experiences. More Japanese traditions include ninja training, Kabuki shows, sumo wrestling, and quarterly festivals. With Japan having such a rich history, there are so many more traditional experiences to have that will change your life.
It may seem kind of, well, lame to genuinely miss transportation in another country. It’s for a good reason though. I don’t drive and transportation in America is piss poor comparatively. With busses and trains being constantly late and/or early. I didn’t have to worry about that in Japan because everything always arrived on time. Scheduling is prompt and taken seriously. As an adult, it’s a huge relief to know you will never be late for anything; and nobody wants to miss their vacation plans because of a late train. People keep to themselves, not making a bunch of noise, which makes for an enjoyable ride. Plus, the train stations and bus stops are well kept and clean.
It’s a fact that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Not once in my time spent there did I feel like I was in danger. Even at night time. I often walked back to my Airbnb at extremely late hours but was never scared. The streets weren’t particularly that well lit either. However, there was just such a sense of calm and purity. Crime rates are drastically lower than in the US. Japan has strict gun laws as well; adding another layer to your safety. Of course, you do still need to always be aware of your surroundings.
Japan is such a multifaceted country full of variety. The a beautiful balance of wacky and conservative, which means there’s something for everyone! Take a trip and see for yourself and keep coming back for more travel tips and information.