Sunday, January 21, 2024

my first impressions of japan

note: this is a repost of what i wrote about the 2018-19 trip. 

i spent x’mas and new year in japan. it was my first time visiting the country. and i’m so impressed!

  • the streets are so clean. even in super crowded streets.
  • the air is so fresh. no smokers walking on the street. smokers do it at designated area. why can’t australia do this?
  • public toilets are so clean. even the inferior ones (which has unpleasing smell) is still very clean.
  • some toilet seats are heated! it was really cold when we were there and heated seat is a bonus!
  • the only complaint is the toilet paper. it’s only one layer and you need to pull hell lots!
  • staffs at theme parks, stations etc are very polite and cheerful. what a contrast to station staff we have over here – when opal card was first launched and some commuters were slow at the gate, staff shouted at them to move faster! 
  • people are very polite and helpful – was at coin laundry trying to work out how to use it because there was no english instruction. someone assisted us with his limited english and google translate.
  • the food in general are very yummy - i posted a lot of yummy food photos at my instagram at @_prettymom.
  • food at theme parks are very yummy too!
  • food was also cheaper than expected too - if you’re not going into those really expensive high class restaurants.
  • the only time we got bad food was when we didn’t have much choice.
  • railway system is complex yet convenient. it takes us anywhere! google map was our best friend giving directions which lines to take and which platform to go to.
  • there are markers at platforms where the doors are, which is very convenient so you’re always close to the doors. why can’t we do it here?
  • the station / train could get very crowded but not chaotic.
  • i thought the language could be barrier but their english is better than expected. and in most places you can use mandarin (probably due to huge number of tourists from mainland china).
  • i love the IC cards. it’s not only for trains but you can pay with it at most stores. and you can use in many cities. unlike here you need different cards for different states.
  • shopping malls are almost everywhere i visited.
  • i love the variety of beauty brands and products. although most them are in japanese and have no idea what they mean - can only try to figure out from the kanji.
  • taxi drivers are crazy - ok, we only got on one taxi which took us from airport to hotel, because it was late and hungry and we didn’t want to spend time working out how to use public transports. it was like riding in racing car, speed constantly at 150km/hr!

i’ve only been to tokyo and osaka, and day trips to kyoto and hiroshima. this may or may not apply to the whole country.

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