What I love about Japan

Posted in Japan on 30 March, 2008 (22:49)

It’s pretty much 5 months to the day since I was living it up in Japan, and some 7 before i’ll be back there, so I thought i’d just scribble down a few things I miss about that oh so awesome place..

Akihabara

The mecca of geeks, Akihabara was literally 5 minutes from our hotel in Ochanomizu (Tokyo Green Hotel, v. good!) so as you can imagine we spent alot of time here, this was usually in the evening after a day of exploring Tokyo. We’d unwind by playing arcades, UFO machines and also collecting copius amounts of capsule toys. The shops here were amazing, selling all sorts of Otaku wonders, games, anime, gunpla :) I could’be spent so much money but my piddly suitcase and fear of excess baggage charges kept me in check, nest time will be different :)

As well as the ton of small stores, Akiba is home toYodobashi Camera, an insanely huge electronics store which sells just about everything and even has a driving range on the roof! it’s a great place which is open late and well worth checking out!

One thing that did surprise me about Akiba was how early it shut down, most shops were shut by 9pm, which I guess is normal for anywhere else but this is the famous 24 hour electric town! The arcades didn’t seem to shut though so I had plenty of opportunities to go and cry at people being unbelievably good at games, the most insane being ‘Pop and Music Adventure’ a little vid is posted below..

Vending Machines


The bloody things were literally everywhere! selling mainly soft drinks, cigarettes and beer at dead cheap prices, which was just as well really as I drank tons every day(it was really hot despite being October/Novembet). They were so handy, and I don’t just miss them for that, it’s more that these machines can be placed on the streets safely, a sign of how respectful people are of private property.. if they tryed doing this in England the things would be trashed in 10 minutes flat.My personal favourite was Qoo, a yummy still orange drink that i’m looking forward to guzzling again! :)

Capsule Toys

In capsule toys over here we get bouncy balls, crappy fake jewlery and other rubbish which isn’t even worth mentioning. In Japan, they get all sorts of amazing toys, from little figures and toys to Nintendo DS styluses! I bought buggerloads of these, and actually made quite a tidy profit on ebay reselling my DS Styluses I had doubles of :) This pic is inside Yodobashi Camera, I think there were at least 2 rows of machines like this, and many arcades also had whole rooms full of machines, amazing!

Mascots


Loads of companies in Japan have a cute little mascot as part of their company logo/style, it’s a real breath of fresh air compared to the boring, stoic designs we get over here. They were everywhere, from the Gero-Gero cyber cafe’s with their Frog, to Donki Kingdom with the penguin, and this little guy was on the side of a shipping center in Asakusa, probably just reminding people to be happy :) It’s just another sign of what a fun loving culture they have over there.


Efficiency


Japan put us to shame, they really do. Tokyo is such a clean, organised city. Trains are always on time, and run super regularly – we were never waiting more than a couple of minutes. They’re big on uniforms, so even the most menial job will come with a jazzy uniform, we saw a guy whose job was to clean leaves out from the grate surrounding a tree on the street, dressed super smart in his company uniform.

The thing that impressed me most was the roadworkers. While we were in Tokyo the road outside our hotel was having a large amount of work done, this always occoured at night and was accompanied a number of workmen in jazzy flashing uniforms who were there simply to direct you past safely. There was also a little sign detailing what time they would be there till, and sure enough they were always gone by then, and where they had been working was perfectly resurfaced and clean, none of this patchwork crap we get over here!

So those are just a few little, and very random things about Japan that struck me the most, can’t wait to be back there!

Thanks for reading! Here are some of my other posts you might like

Awajishima Burger - Finally!
Sasebo Burger
Eating out, Yatai style!
Shika no Tsunokiri - deer antler cutting ceremony in Nara
Osaka's giant duck
Tested: Garigari-Kun "Rich" - Napolitan Flavour

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