Located in East Asia, Japan is a delicate and loveable place. Every country on the globe has some distinct features that we love and Japan has a plethora of such things. Visitors are mostly mesmerized by little things such as vending machines and convenient availability of alcohol while the country has so much more to offer. Below are the 6 things we love most about Japan.

1. The People of Japan

People are the ambassadors and the face of the nation they belong to. Japanese people are known to be among the most well-behaved and well-mannered in the world. Their etiquettes and manners make them stand apart from others. They can be best described as polite, kind, respectful, punctual and hardworking people. These traits may be found everywhere in the world but the Japanese people have adopted them as obligatory practices.

The reason behind their good manners and etiquettes is a part of their culture. They are taught and nurtured to be the way they are. It is a commonly known fact that there are no janitors in Japanese schools and the students clean their schools every day after they are done with their classes. Youth and the students are believed to be the future of a nation and this makes us believe that Japan has always had a clean and bright future.

The Japanese way of greeting people by bowing before them reflects their politeness and respectfulness. Handshakes, a universal way of greeting, are also becoming common in Japan but their traditional way of greeting is loved by most. The level of respect they show to their seniors and elders may not be commonly found in other nations. It is believed that the apparent shy behaviour of Japanese people is connected to the abundance of politeness and respect they show.

People of Japan

Arriving at work on time and then working late after the regular office hours is a trait not all people possess. Japanese people are the most punctual and arriving late for work may completely sabotage a person’s impression as an employee. Majority of the population arrives for work by the subway trains. Late arrival of the train may cause chaos because it never pleases the working class of Japan. Showing up at work early and leaving for home late is not uncommon in Japan.

The love for work these people have is a clear depiction of how hardworking Japanese people are. They may sometimes sacrifice their family time for work. Hard work and probably overwork is so common in Japan that the language has a word ‘karoshi’ which means death by overwork. The fact is that it is not considered polite in Japan to leave the office at the scheduled time. The employers don’t pay for overtime if the workers are not on a regular contract, yet they don’t tend to leave for home before time and even on time.

karoshi

2. Japanese Culture

Japanese culture has evolved a great deal over thousands of years. It is among the most significant things we love the most about Japan. As it has evolved, traditional and modern Japanese cultures have perfectly amalgamated into each other. The cuisines and architecture may be considered among the most prominent features of the traditional culture whereas fashion, anime, and manga are among the features of modern Japanese culture. The process of evolution in Japan has also pushed the country to get more inclined towards technological advancements.

As a significant part of the Japanese culture, Japanese cuisine is the most delicate one among all. It is renowned for its delicious and refreshing taste. Food, along with the architecture, represents the culture in its original form. Temples are not built in modern-day Japan. They present a mesmerizing picture of the traditional culture of the country and its essence. These temples are not only dedicated for disciplined practices by Buddhist monks, Buddhist services and meditation are still provided to the visitors by the monks and priests at these temples.

Japanese Culture

Other features of the traditional Japanese culture are performing arts, Sumo wrestling, and tea ceremony. In the field of performing arts, Geisha play an important role as they are the performing artists. They are also known as the custodians and guardians of traditional Japanese culture. Noh and Kabuki, traditional Japanese theatre, are critical parts of the traditional Japanese performing arts.

traditional

Tea and the tea ceremony are significant in making and strengthening the bond between hosts and guests in any Japanese neighbourhood. The tea ceremony is merely a cultural presentation of powdered green tea, the Matcha. Matcha was introduced in the 9th century and has come a long way to become one of the symbols of traditional Japanese culture.

Japanese food

Furthermore, it is not the just the Japanese cuisine which is renowned around the world. Sumo might be the first thing which comes to mind when we hear the name Japan. It is probably the oldest sport in Japan and can be considered a symbol of traditional Japanese culture. Sumo has stood firm in all the tests of time to represent the Japanese culture.

The modern-day culture of Japan features technology, fashion, anime and manga. All these have strongly influenced the world. Japanese technology has inspired its robot restaurants which have gained global fame. Japanese anime and manga are now present in every other modern home around the world. People of all age groups are a fan of them now. All these modern cultural trends have not eliminated the traditional Japanese culture. Both traditional and modern cultures are coexisting in contemporary Japanese society and complement each other where necessary.

3. Japanese Cuisine

Love Sushi? Who doesn’t? There is no doubt that Sushi is one of the most famous foods in the world and it is from Japan. Japanese cuisine and food have made a global statement with the variety of its ingredients, fresh taste, flavour and presentation. All these are achieved through the ‘rules of five’ of traditional Japanese cooking.

The traditional way of cooking in Japan, based on ‘rules of five’, consists of five colours, five flavours, and five cooking techniques. Five colours necessary in traditional Japanese cuisine are black, white, red, yellow and green. Five flavours used are sweet, spicy, salty, sour and bitter. And the five cooking techniques are raw food, grilling, steaming, boiling and frying. There is a plethora of dishes and recipes from Japan we all love based on the ‘rules of five’.

The ‘rules of five’ leaves no one in doubt about the taste and quality of food in every street and every corner of Japan. As mentioned above, the Japanese are among the most hardworking and respectful people on the globe. As such, one can imagine the hard work and respect they put in preparing the food for their guests or customers. Love and respect of the Japanese people can be considered as the secret ingredient in their food. If you’re in Japan, you don’t have to look for expensive restaurants with a sizzling outlook for food with sensational taste and quality. Even a stall on the corner of the street offers the same.

Japanese Cuisine

We’ve all heard of and probably tried Sushi for its refreshing taste and amazing presentation. There are a lot of other Japanese recipes which we all must try. Ramen, Okonomiyaki, Udon, Yuba, Soba, Horse and Japanese desserts are among the best of the lot, with much more to consider as well. All these dishes use fresh and hygienic seasonal ingredients making them stunningly delicious.

Japan doesn’t only serve soups and seafood. Japanese desserts are also unique and refreshing. Furutsu Sando (fruits sandwich), Castella, Wagashi, Kohi Zeri (coffee jelly), and Anmitsu are some of the common and famous Japanese desserts. Furutsu Sando, as the name suggests, is a sandwich made of fruits, unlike sandwiches served in the rest of the world. These sandwiches and other such recipes make Japanese desserts unique as most of them use fruits. Anmitsu, a traditional dessert, is another one with fruits.

traditional dessert

4. Efficient Railway System

We have all seen the busy train stations of Japan, either personally, on social media or on television. Japan has arguably the best and most efficient railway system in the world. Majority of the population travels by trains which makes Japanese train stations very much busy. This is a no brainer but Japan has most of the busiest train stations in the world. Surprisingly, Japan has 45 of the 51 world’s busiest train stations in the world. Shinjuku Station of Japan tops this list. This fact makes one believe that most Japanese people travel by trains.

Railway System

The punctuality of the Japanese nation is well-known all over the world. The efficiency of the country’s railway system can be deemed by its punctuality and that of the Japanese people. There are a very few known occasions of trains arriving late on a station. Such a case would result in anger of the waiting passengers because every minute counts. In case a train gets late, late-tokens are given to the passengers to show to their employers as the reason for their late arrival at work.

The efficiency of the railway system can also be gauged by the fact that in the last 49 years there have been no passenger deaths even during natural disasters. As Japan is home to earthquakes, its metro trains have automatic emergency brakes in case of earthquakes to save the passengers from any accident. Japanese bullet trains are among the fastest trains in the world. Japan set the record for having the fastest train in the world. Maglev bullet train set this record by running at 603 km/h in 2015.

Maglev bullet train

The fun side of the most efficient train system in the world is getting the services of pushers during rush hours. Pushers are attendants who push the passengers into over-crowded train cabins. The reason is that everyone is in a hurry and doesn’t want to get late for work. The pushers then help them to get into the cabin even with a very little space.

very little space

5. Japanese Technology and Electronics

 Japan had been leading the way in technological advancements and is the world leader in robotics. Technological advancement is the main reason Japanese industries are so efficient. Most of the revolutionary innovations, such as bullet trains, Walkman, blue LED light and the Android robots, are all Japanese. Bullet trains have shortened even the longest distances. Blue LED light paved the way for LED TV screens, LED smartphone screens and LED light bulbs. Even the laptop computer was first produced for a mass-market by Toshiba, a Japanese company.

Sony and Panasonic have given the world the most advanced and user-friendly electronic devices from time to time. Their smartphones, TVs, and cameras are among the most loved and appreciated electronic gadgets around the world. These gadgets recognise and understand your voice and respond to your command without any language barriers. Your smartphone and smart TV understand multiple languages.

Robotics in Japan is touching new heights and robotic companies are making the country lead the world in this particular field. Japanese robots can now understand and analyse human expressions and react accordingly. These kinds of gestures from robots are making people fall in love with them and adore them. Automation and robots have already replaced humans in the mass production process of big industries. Smaller and smarter robots are providing services to humans already.

robots

Japan already has robot restaurants and the rest of the world will also have them soon. What’s more appreciable of Japan is that these robots are now providing services in the hotels, and will be working as personal assistants very soon. Intelligent robots are now being given human faces to duplicate or replace human beings. Japan has used technology, automation and robotics for the best. Its population is ageing and instead of relying on immigration, Japan has adopted technology to replace the ageing population and reduce human effort.

6. Cleanliness and Safety

Etiquettes and manners of the Japanese people have already been discussed and mentioned above. Cleanliness is among the major etiquettes they practice. Japanese do not eat while they walk on the streets, thus producing no litter or garbage. This is the reason why most cities in Japan do not have trash cans in the streets. You have to keep the litter with you until you find a trash can. Litter boxes or trash cans are also classified for paper, aluminium and glass. Japan has taken recycling very seriously as well and this classification helps to collect recyclable trash easily.

recycling

It has already been discussed that Japanese schools have no janitors and students clean their schools regularly after their classes. This is a clear reflection of the Japanese attitude towards cleanliness that they teach their children from a very young age to keep their surroundings clean by themselves. It has also been observed that the shopkeepers clean the pavement in front of their shops and the surrounding area as well. Japan doesn’t feel the need to have trash cans in the streets in the given circumstances. Shopping malls and stations usually have litter boxes for the convenience of the people.

trash

Safety has always been a big concern of law enforcement agencies all over the world because crime can happen anywhere at any time. Japan is considered as one the safest countries where strangers and visitors also feel safe and relaxed without any fear of being approached or harassed. It is probably because of the polite, friendly and respectful behaviour of the Japanese people. There are always criminal-minded people in every society, but the behaviour of Japanese people to even strangers can make anyone fall in love with this country and its people. Sleeping in trains in Japan has become a norm because no one fears of being robbed in the train while sleeping.

being robbed

Japan stood at number 5 in the Global Peace Index for 2019 and ranked number 9 in the list of safest nations around the world for the same year. Despite these impressive rankings among the safest nations, crime may happen in some areas of the country. However, people, especially visitors, can stay safe by staying alert all the time. Usually no one is approached in a negative way, but you may be told to lower your voice if you are talking too loud. Almost no complaint has been filed by any visitor about being harassed in Japan in decades.

All of these reasons make one fall in love with the country!