- You don’t need it
If you ever want to downsize or live life with only the essentials, move to Japan. They will teach you a thing or two about making a small space work.
When I first walked into my hotel, I thought it was tight. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it wasn’t what I was used to. I could manage with no problem.
Then I walked over to my friend’s apartment. I was visiting Japan because my uncle has a friend who was living there at the time and willing to be an amazing tour guide/friend. Her apartment was directly across the street from my hotel.
When I walked into her apartment, I was amazed. She didn’t even have a bed. Well technically she did. She had a mat that she rolls out with a thin mattress.
I always thought a bed with a necessity, apparently there is a whole country that would beg to differ.
I personally like my comfy bed, but I guess being in another country can really teach you how different living can be depending on where you grow up.
- Technology is crazy
You probably already know this, so I won’t get into it too much, but there are a few things I have to mention.
I walked into a store and was greeted by a robot. This robot is actually for sale to be somebody’s friend. My friend told me a lot of older people buy these robots so they have someone to talk to. I personally feel like a dog works just as well, but once again, I guess it depends what you grew up with.
I also went to a robot restaurant. This was a great time and I would recommend it to anyone that has the chance to go.
The last comment I’m going to make about technology is their photo booths. The booth has everything you need to make yourself look good, but you don’t have to pay $4.99 for an app like you do in America. This booth automatically clears your skin, smooths it out, and opens your eyes. There are several other options you can chose from to make alterations to yourself.
- Everything is about respect
This might sound random, but I’m going to be honest right now. One thing I noticed was how quiet everyone is on the trails/public transportation.
I asked my friend, Harumi (that you can see in the picture above), why nobody ever talks. She said that their culture is all about respect. Everyone on the train is sharing the same space. It isn’t fair for someone to be loud. What if the person next to you is trying to concentrate on something, what if they are tired, or what if they just don’t feel like listening to you? They shouldn’t have to. Nobody is going to get mad if you have something to say to your friend, but say it softly or wait until you get off the train.
As someone who lived their whole life two hours away from New York City and Boston, I’ve never seen this. I’m used to messy/dirty subway stations with crazy people. In Japan, everything is clean and people are respectful. It wasn’t as entertaining as catching the subway in New York, but it was relaxing and felt safe.
- Everything is beautiful and feels zen.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about Japan, but everything feels peaceful. It might be all the beautiful scenery and nature. It might be all the respect that people show to one another. Maybe it’s the fact that nobody litters and everything is clean and pretty. Maybe it’s the fact that I hiked up a mountain to overlook a beautiful city and was about to interact with animals that freely walked around.
Nonetheless, it’s beautiful to walk around and see another culture.
If there is one place I can recommend going to, it is Kyoto. Tokyo is fun, but it’s similar to New York City, but with a crap load of more people. But Kyoto felt like “real Japan”. The girls were dressed in native clothing, the land was beautiful, and the shops were unique.
- When you miss home, you can find comfort.
I went to Japan for the 24th birthday. I loved it, I was grateful, but I missed home. When I felt that I was worlds away, I walked down the street to Starbucks, whipped out my iPad, and watched Sex and The City. I know it’s not the same thing, but it made me feel like I was a little closer to home.