{ a perpetual goodwill and beautiful thinking }

Missing Japan


When I told people I've known and friends that I'll be back to Japan for the third time, most of them said, "Of course you will!", or "I know right?! Japan's amazing!".

And boy, how I could not to not agree with them? I love being in Japan.

Even after I went back home with fatigue all across my body due to a long, extended travel this summer, I still insist that I can't never get tired of Japan. What makes Japan so special to me, and the majority of people who were visiting?

Living the futuristic world...

A must visit while in Tokyo: Miraikan.

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the greatest metropolitan city in the world with 33 different districts to explore and even on my third visit, I haven't even explore a quarter of it. One of the most remarkable things about Tokyo is their amazing futuristic, high-technology lifestyle.

I came across an amazing museum of Japan's emerging science and technology in Odaiba, and was baffled with their advanced thinking on making the world a better place for people living. Not to forget to mention the existence of robot assistance in every corner of Tokyo shops. Or pretty gadgets I never think of at every Yodobashi stores. Or every littlest devices I came across Tokyo that made my life so much easier.

... Yet culture is still one of their most important business

I could probably say that Japanese cultures are intricate, yet draws a lot of attention to people across the world. I remember being exposed to Japanese culture via my obsessive manga reading when I was an elementary student, which ultimately made me read more of it on various websites and even purchasing some books solely for it.

The first time I tried something new and being in the cultural boundary was when I tried my first Ukiyo-e lesson at the Asakusa area on my last year visit to Japan. And the time when I finally tried my first Yukata while visiting an onsen theme park. Appreciating culture is totally welcome here and I can say that they will be so happy if you're interested in their culture.

Dang, missing that crazily beautiful Yukata already!

The toilet of the future

Yes, I took this while taking a dump. Just saying. Hehe.

As I stated before in my last year writing, Japan will always be my number one for, akhem, toilets. Toilet is the first thing I was looking for the moment I landed and I immediately took toilet break at the closest toilet I found from the aircraft.

Toilets/ bathroom, in the context of sanitary or hygiene, is always be a big deal. They have sprinklers for cleaning after you take a big dump, toilet heater that helped me staying seated while on winter season 3 years ago, and wind blower in case you're too lazy using toilet papers. And it's almost everywhere you'll find this kind of Japanese hi-techs.

Clutter free lifestyle, and Zakka

When it comes to producing products that will organise your clutter while being cute at the same time, Japan it is. The whole art of organising has become a new lifestyle in Japan, apparently given the moniker Zakka. You will find A LOT of shops that revolve around zakka all across Tokyo. From the bigger, much known Daiso or Tokyu Hands, to smaller, handmade shops located down inside the neighbourhood.

Pedestrian friendly living


This has nothing to do with the streets, but notice how organised streets are even the smallest ones.

Trust me, I love to walk everywhere, despite a media report that stated that Indonesians are the laziest nation in the whole world. They seem to ignore some points that most of places in my country aren't pedestrian friendly. Sidewalks filled with food vendors, holes, and sometimes motorcycles at peak hours are the obvious reasons. Plus, street harassments (those damned catcalls and 'mau ke mana, neng?' or equivalent to 'where you going, miss?') are also everywhere, making sidewalks even more unbearable.

Fortunately, I will never get tired walking round and round at Japan. Public facilities are amazingly plentiful, making it suitable also for people with disability. Let's say about the chirping sound you'll hear when crossing the road or while walking inside the train station. Or, sidewalks accessible for visually impaired people.

Om-nom-nom! FOOD!

I love Japanese foods. Especially ramen. I visited a quite well-known ramen museum in Yokohama just for the sake of my curiousity of ramen. While there are plenty of ramen shops now in Indonesia, eating one in Japan is one heck of experience that will always be so interesting. Plus, there will be no pressure at when it comes to eating alone, which I am so happy with, hehe.

Perhaps the most introverted ramen shop I came across is the one I found in a small alley in Shibuya. The eating space was a small cubicle fitting only one person and there's a partition that will cover your upper parts so you'll not able to see the server's face. Amazing.

Some other foods that I love to eat while in Japan was the classic gyudon and of course, sushi. Did you know that I love salmon roe so much even though I know that someone's mouth can be so smelly after eating a bowl of it?

Pop culture, pop culture, and pop culture


This picture is the most accurate description for my first contact with Japanese pop culture.

I grew up reading Doraemon as my very first manga and waking up at 5 every Sunday morning just to catch up on animes only available that day. Japanese pop culture has been subconsciously implanted in my brain ever since... I don't know. Maybe I was oh, so little to remember.

Having a trip to the mecca of anime and manga is somehow another amazing experience for me. Every time I see a mascot I saw in the past, the nostalgia suddenly bursting through my head and once again, I feel so young and happy and it's totally okay.

Speaking about being okay, I think it's awesome that you can actually be free for expressing yourself and speaking on behalf of your fandom and obsession without the fear of being judged (which unfortunately happened a lot in my own country ;_;). I came across a lot of people cosplay-ing at many different place aside from the glorified otaku heaven, Akihabara (See Fredrik Knudsen's Down the Rabbit Hole on anime and otaku: [Part 1] & [Part 2] for a brief history of otaku-ism in Japan). At one night at Shinjuku, I passed on hordes of fanboys of a certain idol group having an e-concert (?) in front of a giant screen... and people seem didn't mind since they didn't cause havocs or other atrocities.

Altruistic citizens

People in Japan have this mindfulness to other people that taught me a lot while on my journeys there. You will find it ordinary for people to line up, stay silent while on train, and basically... being non-egoistic, something perhaps an advanced nation should be in my own vision.

I found a section while exploring Miraikan teaching young people in Japan about altruistic behaviour in their daily life. I love how they give choosing public transportation than driving to prevent traffic jams as a one of the fundamental examples of such behaviour. I swear, that hit me really hard as an Indonesian, a sucker on public transportation and a master of traffic jams at Jakarta.

Thus, being in Japan bring me a lot of comfort. I once lost my phone in an arcade and it went back to me safely. Another instance, I was baffled seeing people don't mind leaving their phones or bag while on a café in Universal Studio. Or, when I stupidly leave my house keys hanging in front of the house and still being safe for the whole night.

Kombinis and Vending Machines

A trip to Japanese kombinis (or convenient stores) is a new type of treasure hunting for me. I could find my new favourite drinks even when I don't understand any single hiragana or kanji or katakana. Or discover delicious instant ramen I could try when I reach home.

In the other hand, there are vending machines that I found in every single corner of the street (even at the much remote area steep hilly road when I explore Kyoto last year!). Once again, I salute Japan for not being destructive on their own properties. Every single vending machines in Japan works perfectly and never in my experience they ran out of drinks.

Plus, ATMs are in every kombinis, so consider it literally a treasure chest that will save your life (from running out of cash, obviously).

Absolutely not appropriating some other culture, hehe.

What's your most favourite part of Japan? What do you miss from visiting Japan?

4 comments

  1. Almost every points you write are also my favs too. Tho I've never been to Japan before, but I need to take my faith with me and will be there for pre/post Olympic 2020 games! But, my most favorite and excitements are museums and those stationeries shops! Oh God, if I have all the money in the world, I think I could buy Tokyu Hands! hahahaah. I love pretty stuffs damn high!

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    1. I will absolutely be extremely happy if I can go to Japan during the Olympic games! It might be 3 years from now, but people in Tokyo are really looking forward for it! There are already several 2020 Olympic merchandises found almost everywhere in Tokyo!

      I am totally agree with the idea of buying the whole Tokyu Hands (if I have the moneehhhh!!1!), Jan! xD

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  2. I think if I ever found myself in Japan, I would just eat all the food they have to offer! Thanks for sharing :D

    cabin twenty-four

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    1. Absoutely!!! Not to forget those desserts they have too! :9

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