Guest Post By Joanna Cheng
You’ve gotten a glimpse of Japanese culture in movies and magazines, but have you ever step foot on the country’s soil? The islands of Japan are a must-go travel destination for anyone with wanderlust. Whether you’re a food lover or adventure—or anything in between—the place has plenty to offer for any type of traveler. There are tons of reasons to buy a plane ticket to Japan, but here are the top reasons:
1. The Food
Toss your California rolls to the side, because after you try authentic Japanese food, you won’t turn back. The people of Japan embody “shokunin kishitsu,” or “craftsman spirit.” In a nutshell, this means they pride themselves in only putting out products of the highest quality, from organic skincare to food. When you bite into mainland food, you’ll instantly recognize the hard work and detail that’s put into it. Sashimi is buttery, noodles are fresh, and overall, everything gives you an explosion of umami.
You’ll find plenty of tourist-authored articles online rating the best places to eat, but almost everything is delicious. Be spontaneous and try a random food joint in one of the train stations, like a standing udon bar. You won’t regret it!
2. The Sightseeing
Japan is known for being highly innovative, and it’s definitely shown in the design. Every corner of Tokyo is like a treat to the eyes: the hustle and bustle of rushing people, the blown-up and well-lit signage, the never-ending skyscrapers, and much more. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one of the best places to get a view of the skyline from up above.
A more calm part of Japan, Kyoto, is an amazing sight as well. Take a three-hour bullet train ride away from Tokyo and enjoy towering bamboo, intricate temple and shrine design, and unique and lush greenery that can’t be found in the states. Almost everywhere presents itself as a picture-perfect opportunity.
3. The Shopping
Shopping in Japan is an experience you won’t get anywhere else. Not only is product quality magnificent, but the options are endless. Many department stores go up to four floors, with each floor offering a different selection of products. Ginza and Shibuya Crossing are two of Japan’s most popular shopping districts; clothing stores and consumers line all of the streets.
Be sure to take advantage of many stores’ tax-free option when you shop. Just spend their minimum amount required, present your passport, and enjoy tax-free souvenirs! Many people traveling to Japan bring an empty luggage to fill with goodies, so be prepared to shop ’til you drop. Don’t forget to browse the huge assortment of organic skincare products in any of Japan’s drugstores.
4. The People
It would be an understatement to say the people of Japan are kind. The Japanese culture is one of consideration, and it goes down to the smallest details. For example, when it comes to escalators, locals make sure to form two lines: one for passing and one for standing. This ensures that rushing people are allowed to pass and don’t get stuck behind people who are taking their time.
Another example of Japan’s considerate culture can be seen on public transportation—people are generally quiet so that they don’t disturb the silence. In fact, there is a rule that prohibits talking on the phone. Look around on any bus or train, and you’ll either see people reading a book or quietly browsing on their phones.
In conclusion, you should add Japan to your travel bucket list for the endless opportunities for fun.
I’m Joanna, a travel enthusiast that’s always been obsessed with beauty. I grew up playing with eyeshadows and lipsticks, and now that I’m an adult, I spend my time exploring the world. I bring my makeup bag with me everywhere I go—from Puerto Rico to Japan. In addition to exploring the food and sights of new places, I love learning about their ways of beauty, too.