Take a peek with us at Jana’s recent Japan travel!
She spent 2 weeks touring the magic and majesty of Japan, and was astounded at the things she learned. Scroll on through to check out her photos – and to read through her impressions of this beautiful country!
The Impressive Part of Jana’s Japan Travel
“Japanese people are so kind, polite, and discreet,” Jana marvels. The lady is incredibly well-traveled – in Asia, as well as in the rest of the world – but she was blown away with her Japan travel. This vacation ranks up there as one of her all-time favorite travels. Here are some parts of the Land of the Rising Sun that charmed Jana:
How clean Japan is! The only trash cans you’ll see are beside vending machines. In other countries, people tidy up because they fear punishment; in Japan, cleanliness is a way of life. They believe that cleanliness and care are integral to their culture and character – a trait that is evidently part of their native branch of Zen Buddhism, Shinto. Here’s where you can read more about Japan’s cleanliness.
Everything is very well maintained. People like to say that Japan is what the future looks like, but the tech boom actually happened back in the 90s. So a lot of things you’ll see – like the bullet trains, for instance – actually date back 30 years. The reason they look so modern and run so well is because everything is so well-maintained. “There’s no reason to replace the stuff because they work so well,” Jana explains. Just goes to show – if you invest in good quality, and take care of that quality, you actually save more in the long run.
The food was stupendous. Japan is the home to the most Michelin star restaurants per capita – but you don’t have to hit up the fine dining spots to get some awesome food. Try out Jana’s favorites – okonomiyaki and Takoyaki. Even in the simplest, most innocent of dishes, you’ll find expert Japanese flavoring, sure to satisfy stomach and soul at the same time. Learn more about Japanese cuisine here.
No part of the country is the same. Travel from one city to another, and you’ll find various personalities. In one end, you’ll experience the graceful temples; on the other end, the pomp and flamboyance of Harajuku. Tokyo, Kyoto, and all the other cities have their own vibe. “Two weeks weren’t enough to see it all!” Jana exclaims. Discover more about Japan’s cities and attractions.
Lost in Translation
“Try to find someone who speaks Japanese to go with you!” Jana advises travelers embarking on their first Japan travel. She found that the Japanese people didn’t speak English – in fact, this report says only 9% of the population is comfortable speaking English. That could be because the Japanese people are generally quite shy, and afraid of making mistakes. It’s a good idea to go around with a local who can communicate for you, since the language barrier will definitely be quite challenging. Learn more about language barriers in Japan.
The branding and products were also an experience to behold! “You’ll find the weirdest stores,” Jana chuckles. One store in particular held everything under the face of the sun, from plushies to the most random things – things that retailers would balk at. Where’s the demand? Are these items trending? Is there a want or need for these products? Evidently, in Japan, there most definitely is.
She also discovered the fascination with manga and anime. “There are people in suits and briefcases walking around,” she says, “but they’ll have a Digimon on the handle.” She noticed that many people – children and adults – wear fashion items with anime and manga characters printed as designs. Here’s where you’ll find out more about the cultural significance of manga and anime.
For the Amazon community, this is particularly interesting. What you think is a product geared towards young people may be perceived totally differently over in Japan. The culture is so unique and so different; it definitely requires a fair amount of market research to identify feasibility!
Jana was smitten by the Kabuki theater. “It was mind-blowing,” she gasped.
The Land of the Rising Sun Awaits
Sometimes when you travel, you tell yourself to lower your expectations, lest you get disappointed. This time, Jana’s expectations were met – and exceeded. Japan’s culture is so rich, the people are so very polite and friendly, and the country as a whole is just so charming. “Two weeks just weren’t enough,” Jana insists. She’s dying to go back.
After this peek at her adventures, we’re dying to visit Japan, too.