• 12

    Nicky Washida

    What a lovely, positive question, thank you JT!

    I love being able to go out for a run, or even to the combini at night, and not fear for my safety (in this area anyway, but at home I lived in a "nice" area and it still wasnt safe). I love being showered with compliments for being able to simply say "konnichiwa" and hold a pair of chopsticks. I love being able to travel by train anywhere in this city comfortably, safely and cheaply. I love being able to eat out at all kinds of places and not have to spend a fortune. I love Japanese baths and onsen. I love that massage is considered a necessary part of health maintenance here. I love that I can get to the ski slopes in a couple of hours. Ditto the beach I love being challenged and stimulated every day with something new. I love exchanging views with a bunch of people I dont even know but who all have this country, its people and its lifestyle in common I love being able to ride my bike around without being ridiculed or happy-slapped. I love having the perfect excuse to hole up in Starbucks for an hour ("studying Japanese")! Sssh! I love kaitenzushi I love karaoke booths where you can make a total tit of yourself in private instead of in front of the entire pub. I love that Japanese women seem to be the most vain in the world, and so I can ride on the back of their demand for all these fabulous beauty treatments and products. I love that the yen has so much buying power these days when I get in stuff from overseas. I love the fact that if I do something well (PTA, cooking etc) I am totally "erai" and everyone respects me, but on the other hand if I do something poorly, well, it is to be expected of course, I am not Japanese, I deserve a little slack. And above all, I love the fact that after 10 years of marriage my heart still beats a little faster when my Japanese husband walks through the door. Whether or not this would have happened had I married a guy from the UK I dont know, but I am very grateful for it nonetheless!

  • 9

    Nessie

    I love how the police are always so interested in my bicycle. They stop me to ask questions. Their admiration is amazing and I always brightens my day. I'm always like "Golly, this old thing. It's really not much to look at."

  • 5

    cleo

    The low crime rate & relative lack of mindless vandalism. Friendly people. The reliable transport system. The fresh fruit and veg (I gather this isn't such a plus in the cities, but out in the sticks we're really blessed with fresh produce). The beautiful starry skies (again, not in the cities). Especially not in the cities - the wildlife: tiny lizards, huge grasshoppers and preying mantis in the garden, red-faced pheasants, snowy-white egrets and ebony-black ravens in the fields, not to mention the kites circling overhead and the snakes that are rarely seen but leave their sloughed skins in the brambles and keep the rodent/frog populations under control. And to echo Nicky, most of all I love the fact that after 30+ years of marriage my heart still beats a little faster when my Japanese husband walks through the door.

  • 4

    ExportExpert

    Love the people, always polite and usualy patient and attentative, the women are so feminine, beautiful and stylishly dressed. The men are non threatening or overly aggressive and dont need to show their macho side unless needed.

    Love the country, the the food, the public transport, the business opprtunites, the madness, the night life, the fun, the language, the excitment, the hustle and bustle of living in one of the busiest cities in the world with the most amazing people, the lack of crime, the safety, the lack of wanton destruction and vandalism.

    The history, the culture, the sights, the sounds , the smells, the beer, the number of top bands and acts that play tokyo, the fun, the variety, the fashion, the style, the cheap interest on my mortage, pretty much most things thats why i have stayed for near 20 years. And lastly I like the fact that I am here.

  • 3

    Godan

    First, I love the simple pleasantries of everyday life here: the "aisatsu," knowing if you lose something on a train it will most likely be returned to you completely intact, seeing people generally work very hard and take pride in what they are doing, even if it means sweeping floors or cleaning up the street in front of their home. I also love the variety of what can be found in Tokyo, e.g. you name the food/brand/art form and it can be found. I also love the positives of not being like everyone else in terms of nationality, looks, and way of thinking. There are actually many people in japan who appreciate me for being myself and that is nice to know. Like Nicky, I also love my better-half who has put up with me for 15 years and produced two wonderful little boys. Not sure what would life would have been without you, but I can't imagine it having been this good! And lastly, as many here would expect, I love the martial art of kendo and all it has allowed me to learn about the people and culture of Japan as well as about myself. I could go on, but...

  • 3

    Johannes Weber

    I love the language, because it's a treasure box of illogical surprises. Everyday I discover new quirks in the Japanese language, which are fascinating because they don't make much sense. I love the patience of people if they have to explain time and again since my Japanese doesn't contain the correct senmongo. I love it how I get the impression of being smarter than I actually am because of the troubles of locals with foreign languages and other foreigners with the Japanese language.

    I love the atmosphere among foreigners in Tsukuba, since we are all in this together and the backside of the Japanese society brings out the best in the foreign community. I love the opportunity of making friends from all venues and all parts of the world here. I love the way how I can find common grounds with others here.

    I love the fast internet connection. I love Shinkansen and Tsukuba express, because they are really nice trains.

    I love seeing mountain ranges next to the ocean. And I love the onsens. Japan has wonderful natural sites.

  • 3

    nihoncritic

    Wow, I can't believe there is something positive on this site. By the looks of all the posts, I figured everyone wanted to burn down a building or kill someone due to all the complaints and frustration.

    Here are my few things:

    1) Good manga (My latest reads being bambino (italian cuisine) and bartender

    2) transportation accessibility

    3) onsen

    4) convenience and the abundance of food

    5) generally respectful people

    6) great seafood!

    7) the motor/auto prevalence

    8) small cultural stuff like beer and edamame kind of stuff

    9) night life

  • 2

    jamplass

    My top 3: 1. The transportation system-You can get practically anywhere without having to rely on an automobile. 2. The food-generally is very good. And in the larger cities you can get good variety of "ethnic" food as well. 3. Environment-generally safe and clean (well that's two). There are few "bad" neighborhoods in Japan where you might fear for your safety.

  • 2

    smartacus

    1. Convenience stores. The range of products and services is amazing.
    2. Takkyubin. Fantastic delivery service.
    3. Service in stores and restaurants.
    4. Availability of tradesmen during irregular hours. One recent Saturday night, I needed an electrician and I was able to get one. Impossible in my country.
    5. Relative safety. I have never felt unsafe walking outside at night.
    6. Transportation network.
    7. Warm toilet seats.
    8. Getting a haircut and the way they pamper you.
    9. The elegant fashion style of the women. Which in turn makes me dress up when we go out for dinner.
    10. Oshibori

    So many more, but that will do for a start.

  • 2

    LockOn

    What a nice question JT! And all the positive comments are pleasant to read for a change. Reminds me how much I've taken this country for granted. A positive start to Monday.

  • 2

    iceshoecream

    @Serrano Look for international parties in Tokyo. They are usually 2000-3500yen for at least two hours of all you can drink. Great starters for an all night in Tokyo which is also one of the things I like about Japan.

  • 2

    tmarie

    My husband My friends Onsens

  • 1

    Godan

    Definitely agree with Smartacus on #s 1, 2, 3, and especially 7 this time of year! Great list!

  • 1

    iceshoecream

    Really low criminality rate. No need for a car. Conbini services and no need for a credit//debit card for online shopping. Fashion! And 100yen shops.

  • 1

    edojin

    There are many reasons why I like living in Japan. Not mentioned above is the health-care system, which works wonderfully. The transportation system gets you anywhere you want to go easily in any city in Japan, especially the major ones. And for me, I love the public bathhouses (sento): I go every night without fail. I love to soak in the hot baths and chat with the locals. And the friendliness: I can go anywhere in Japan and find friendly people everywhere. Then there is the Post Office system that includes such treasured things as postal insurance and postal social security coverage. I could go on and on ... but will stop with the above ...

  • 1

    oginome

    Love this page! Makes such a change from the usual anger, bitterness and disillusionment with Japan that characterises the comment section.

  • 1

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    The women.

  • 1

    Garrison York

    1.girls 2.sake 3.girls 4.sake 5.ramen 6.sake 7.girls

  • 1

    Gurukun

    The safety. Not much of drugs in schools. Safe for children....except for the random child stabbings once in a while.

  • 1

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    I love the regularity of the train service - if your train is due at 8, and you arrive at 7:59, you'll catch it. If you arrive at 8:01, you've missed it, but never mind, wait five minutes and another one will turn up.

    I'm not always enamoured of the people on it, but you can't really fault the service.

  • 0

    Ryu Oni

    I definitely have to agree with Jamplass, those 3 points are definitely in the top reasons I love living in Japan, especially the respect that the Japanese have for one another (mind you, I live in the countryside. Might not be the case in the cities). I also love how Japanese shops are diverse and cater to a great number of people's possible needs, it really helps when you want to create a personal look (at home, or in the wardrobe). Also, I LOVE the vast amounts of vending machines that are all around Japan. Often have I been saved from tiredness by the oasis of a Georgia Coffee vending machine.

  • 0

    Serrano

    Getting my order correct and correct change at Makudonarudo.

  • 0

    illsayit

    husband and kids, home baths systems, tatami

  • 0

    Foxie

    I think you guys in Tokyo are spoilt with the transportation system. I only get 3 buses a day in my village, so I need a car.

    OK, here is my top 10:

    1. Hot springs everywhere

    2. Uniqlos everywhere

    3. Sushi everywhere

    4. Mochis everywhere

    5. Convenience stores everywhere

    6. Washlet Toilets everywhere

    7. Funny English everywhere

    8. Japanese cars everywhere

    9. Green tea icecream everywhere

    10. Shrines everywhere

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Low income tax. Sashimi and yaki-tori. Great snow and excellent ski-resorts which are inexpensive. Cheap nights out with all you can drink!

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Oh, one more thing - having shop staff bow at me every time I go shopping or to a restaurant. I enjoy the status of feeling like a God.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    "Cheap nights out with all you can drink" Where?! Answer now, please!

    @ Serrano - most izakaya and restaurants in my town have Nomi-Hodai - don't know the situation in Tokyo. I have had an all you can drink for 800 yen for 2 hours before! Usually no more than 1500 yen. Real beer too, I think! Times like that, the gaijin can't help liking this joint...

  • 0

    SquidBert

    Japanese

    • People
    • Nature
    • Food
  • 0

    Serrano

    Tatami! Someone said tatami! Yes! That is a great invention, whoever invented tatami is a genius!

    From late spring to late autumn I sleep on tatami like a baby! Of course whoever invented electric carpets is also a genius! From late autumn to late spring I sleep on my electric carpet like a baby! But before I got my electric carpet, I slept under my kotatsu like a baby!

    Garrison York - What's your #8?

  • 0

    wontond

    I love wandering the streets of Tokyo and Osaka. It didn't matter which neighborhood I was in or the time of day, I always felt safe. I'd frequently spend my days off exploring the city walking for 12 hours until there were blisters on my feet.

  • 0

    Elvensilvan

    • Punctual public transport
    • Ramen
    • Onsen
    • Polite service
    • 24-hours convenience stores
    • Sofmap
    • Akihabara
    • Point card
    • Fast snail mail ... does that even make sense?
    • Internet service ... even on mobile phones with teeny-weeny screens!
    • TV shows ... even on teeny-weeny cellphone screens!
    • Fast customer support
    • Hanabi
    • Hanami
    • Yakiniku
  • 0

    Serrano

    "The girls with the nice thick legs"

    They're not thick, they're perfect!

  • 0

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    I love the way that, if I'm presented with a problem I don't want to consider, I just have to tilt my head, purse my lips and blink rapidly, and it's considered the same thing as thinking about it.

  • 0

    TimeiClic

    @Serrano; I said 'nice thick' not 'bad thick'. I love the shape of the legs of the girls here. Nice and stacked, with loads of muscle definition.

    Amazing.

    And I agree, they are perfect.

  • 0

    unreconstructed

    I love how the police are always so interested in my bicycle. They stop me to ask questions. Their admiration is amazing and I always brightens my day.

    I have had the bike harassment conversation with a lot of furriners in my neck of Japan - and not just white westerners. It's like there are two types of us for the J-cops. Riding out to the seaside near where I live I used to cycle past a number of kobans and police on corners.I would have my ipod earbuds in, baseball cap and shades on, open bottle of tea or juice in one hand on summer days, and I never got stopped. Granted, I was always on large frame mountain bikes but still, I never once got so much as a second look from the cops.

  • 0

    aedfed

    1. Hiking - There are trails everywhere and great maps that help you find them. Plus people you meet at the top of a 3,000 metre mountain don't do a double take when a foreigner shows up. 2. Clear November days. Not too hot, not too cold and lower humidity. 3. Clean, timely and predictable public transportation system. 4. Interesting little family-run restaurants with good reasonably-priced food. 5. The smell of tatami. 6. Sleeping in a futon on tatami. 7. Onsens in the winter - especially after a long hike or bicycle ride. 8. Tonkatsu - I've never had any good tonkatsu outside of Japan. 9. The smell of orange blossoms and freshly picked tea leaves. 10. Not having to live in Tokyo, Osaka, or any other big city.
  • 0

    Tim_Fox

    This might be strange to say, but I really enjoy being able to do my own thing here without being bothered or thinking my hobbies are strange (yoga, tai chi and ukulele) - unlike New York City...

    People here are much much less concerned with social status than New York City. In New York, meeting people is about subtling figuring out about how much money they make and what they pay for rent. Also, a ridiculously huge premium seems to be placed in New York on how much university education you have. People don't seem to care about all that nonsense in Japan as much... Here - work is work.

  • -1

    Serrano

    "Cheap nights out with all you can drink"

    Where?! Answer now, please!

  • -1

    TimeiClic

    ^haha, for what possible reason did that get voted down?

  • -1

    timtak

    Japanese nature, its variety and abundance, and the price of beach and mountain side property. Clean posterior thanks to great toilet technology and concern for personal cleanliness. Clean house due to not wearing dog faeces bearing shoes into my home. That I am not as fat as most Britons my age, thanks to my Japanese wife, diet, and lifestyle. My children are happy and not banished to another room at night. All the Japanese technology that I use (and for that matter that rich Britons use if they can afford it). Deflation. Things are cheaper now then when I arrived in 1991, though my income has tripled. Japanese cars, especially my own Subaru WRX estate. Freedom to think what you like, lack of judgemental-ism, lack of a moral-linguistic straitjacket. Lack of violence, theft, and violent crime. Opportunities to sing. I may even be able to sing in tune before I die. Till then, people do not complain. Humility and comparative lack of people who get their kicks out of putting people down. Shimano bike parts on cheap carbon bikes on empty country roads with only a little police harassment. Beautiful people, beautiful place.

  • -2

    VicMOsaka

    Good to see all the positive posts about Japan for a change instead of certain JT readers who bitch and moan about Japan and it's society all the time.

  • -2

    unreconstructed

    Love how kids (and not a few adults) often seem to think there are only two nations on this planet - Japan and America.

  • -2

    TimeiClic

    I ride a road bike worth over 1.5 million yen, and not once have I been stopped on that (they would have to stop me when I am sat at the lights, granted).

    I also ride a crappy 10,000yen Mama-Chari, and have been stopped on that loads of times in Tokyo and Saitama.

    My reasoning; either a; if I am on my racing bike, with full racing kit on, helmet, and shoes clipped into my pedals, the chances are the bike is mine - would have to be a pretty opportune day that I could walk out of my house dressed head to toe in lycra, and find an unlocked road bike that not only fitted me perfectly, but also had the same manufacturers pedal cleating system as the one bolted on the bottom of my shoes.

    b; the cops don't understand proper bikes, and would rather target slow mama-charis that are easy to stop and not unusual and therefore scary to them.

    Probably somewhere in the middle of the two, come to think of it, although logic would dictate that if I was indeed riding a stolen racing bike of a value similar to mine, that would be a much bigger bust for the cops than a cheap bike.

  • -3

    TimeiClic

    • The girls with the nice thick legs
    • Combinis
    • Sofmap
    • Yamato Kuro Neko -The Yen to GBP exchange rate
    • Quiet neighbours
    • Matsuya Gyudon
    • etc
  • -4

    Serrano

    "They pay me loads of money"

    Who is they, and do they have more money to throw away, nyuk nyuk!

    "Transport is brillant if a little busy"

    A little busy, eh? Understatement of the year? Nyuk nyuk!

    "being with kids always gets you welcomed"

    Except on planes.

  • -5

    unreconstructed

    The red carpet extended for us Yanks.

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