After living in Japan for almost three years, my time here is up. I am going back to the states soon. While preparing to leave, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. Currently, I am thinking about the things I will miss about Japan. Here is a short list of the basic stuff.
- Trains: If you know LA, then you know that the public transportation sucks and traffic is absolutely dreadful but that comes with the territory of living in LA. However, trains and subways in Japan are so convenient (though super pricey). You don’t even need to drive in most Japanese cities. It’s great for a girl like me who has hard core driving anxiety. Being behind the wheel stresses me out and I don’t look forward to having to go back to driving in LA. I wish LA would magically have trains like Japan before I return.
- Kindness: Japanese people are known for their nice hospitality. This statement rings true majority of the time. Old people are especially nice. Once, I was riding the bus in Kyoto on a rainy day and a grandma asked me if I was wearing enough because it’s cold out.
- Cleanliness: Japan is known for being a clean country, and this is also true for the most part. I love how in a country where trash cans are rarely found, there is still this sense to not litter. Okay, sometimes when you do see the rare trash can, it is probably filled to the max, but at least the trash is in a trash can.
- Seasonal food / Pop-up restaurants: Every season, restaurants in Japan come out with their seasonal items or menus which are always awesome. Additionally, out in the big cities, there are quite a lot of pop-up restaurants and shops which are really fun especially when it is a theme you enjoy.
- Convenience stores: Convenience stores in Asia are the SHIT. You can buy anything and everything. It’s your one stop shop. Why can’t American convenience stores be convenient like in Asia? Also, they are ubiquitous which adds to their name -convenience (stores). This reminds me of vending machines in Japan.
- No tips: Why is tipping a thing in the US, but like nowhere else? Why do Americans tip? It makes no sense and is quite inconvenient. It is frustrating thinking about how much to give. By the way, splitting a bill is crazy easy in Japan. Why can’t that be the case in the US? In addition, we need bells on restaurant tables in the US, like most restaurants in Asia. This is becoming a restaurant post now. Never mind~
- My current apartment / Living on my own: Alright, I am getting personal now, so this will end here.
- My friends in Japan: This is the last one but probably the most important. I have made a lot of great friends during my stay in Japan. I will miss them a lot. Two of them are planning on having babies, and it is sad thinking about how I won’t be there with them for such a big moment.
There are many other things and cultural stuff (ex: matsuri) I will miss about Japan that I did not add to this list because I felt that it was getting long. There is no need to go into too much detail or get too personal. So, I will end my list of things I will miss about Japan after returning to the states here.