Or should you?
After our first day in Tokyo we felt there were a lot of reasons why you should NOT go to Japan. Or should you? At first, we wanted to keep it for ourselves but we feel like we have to warn you because you may be in for a shocker. So here it goes.
Why you would hate Japan
Their transportation system is way too efficient, the metro and their high-speed train (the Shinkansen; which looks like a white Darth Vader). It rides perfectly on time all the time, is fast, efficient and comfortable. In addition, last minute tickets are almost always available, for the same price and you can even fast forward your luggage to your next destination. What happened to the good old delay that allows you to utter your heartfelt complaints about the public transport system and your misfortune in general?
Tokyo may be the biggest city in the world but it looks like a village, with quiet serene streets around every corner. Due to lack of front gardens, residents create their own by placing flowers and plants before their houses. Bikes are used a lot, they must hate their own metro system too.
There is nothing interesting to photograph. I suppose all those Japanese camera brands are big in export because there is really nothing to take a picture from. Only some cute little streets, gorgeous parks, temples, shrines, neon and lantern lit up neighbourhoods with skyscrapers and tiny bars. In the rain it even gets worse, then everything looks like a scene from a movie. So sad :))
Everything is so clean and well maintained, no romantic urine smell under bridges like in Paris and Amsterdam. They play music in the streets and in the metro station. No ambiance at all.
There are magnificent parks everywhere, terribly well maintained. Guess people don’t want to walk through them, because they all hang out under those pink cherry blossom trees. Something to do with celebrating the beginning of new life. What’s that all about?
Toilet seats are heated! Now, who wants to sit on a lukewarm toilet seat on a chilly spring evening? Furthermore, the toilets have a lot of buttons, of which the use, at least to us, is unknown. At our Airbnb, after pushing a button we thought was for flushing, we were confronted with a squirting toilet!
Clean public toilets everywhere, for free! So stupid, they should manage the restrooms like the Dutch and demand money when somebody is in high need.
Why you would hate Japanese people
People are polite, always ready to help when they see a foreigner looking where to go, so annoying, they should mind their own business! And when you’re trying a new pair of shoes, they even tie your shoelaces! Could they be even more intrusive!
People wait for their turn, in straight lines, before the bus, the metro, in stores, so annoying! No chance to get in a fight and relieve the tension of a bad day against that person trying to cut the line. We’re starting to miss it, in Paris no day goes by without!
They take too good care of their stuff, for example the polished chrome headlights of taxi’s and garbage trucks that ride around, it’s too much! It hurts your eyes when the sun is shining.
It’s very impressive to see how Japanese people are driven to perfect anything they do. Every action goes with such precision and attention that you can imagine we were very disappointed in the food. It’s fresh, pure and delicate of flavour. Even though it may not be the most accurate yardstick for good food for everybody, Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants then Paris and London combined. The Japanese make food look like art and along the way also perfected drip coffee and whisky to give just a few examples. Bunch of show offs!
Their obsession to robotise everything, from toilet seats lifting automatically and trashcans with sensors to children sized (self learning) robots in the Softbank store (Yes, we met Pepper the robot! Hopefully available in Europe around 2031).
Most Japanese people look meticulous. Shiny polished shoes on every businessman. Brand new or just steamed and pressed suites, dresses and trench coats. The women move graciously and breath class and sophistication. Expensive vintage shops are everywhere in hip neighbourhoods. Walking around in our soy and soba noodle stained clothes, among those utterly fashionable people, in the latest fashion, we truly felt like EU bums!
And they don’t know how to party, boring people. During cherry blossom season, they all hang out under the blossoming trees, drinking, eating, so dull! And they even clean up the mess they make! Some locals invited us to join them on their blanket and offered their snacks and beer. They surely don’t know how to have a good time!
And when you still have some energy left after sightseeing, playing video games or pachinko in the arcades and drinking in the Golden Gai (bar street), you can rent a private karaoke room and continue the party there, Lost in Translation style!
Why Japan is always a good idea
I hope we’ve succeeded to give you an insight into our first impressions of Tokyo and Japan and why we’ll be staying here for a while because as you can see we love it here:))!!!