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Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

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Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by statnerd » March 11th, 2018, 5:24 am

Immediately after coming back to the U.S. from my second lovely trip to Japan, three things hit me in the face like cold water:

1: Americans are FAT. Seriously, I very rarely encountered a fat person in Japan. They are in much better shape than we are. Their food is very healthy, and they don't eat garbage like we do. Also, they walk around a lot more, which contributes to their health.

2. Americans have pissy attitudes. Seriously, just experiencing the rudeness from the airport staff and shuttle bus driver after getting off the plane put me in a bad mood. I wanted to go back to Japan and be around polite people again.

3. Americans are unhappy. You hardly ever see Americans really having a good time and smiling. In Japan, even though they are strict about rules and noise in public, they smile more and seem happier. Their television is also more lighthearted with a lot of variety shows. The waiters at restaurant and hotel staff tend to pamper you, unlike the U.S. where service isn't usually that great.

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by onethousandknives » March 11th, 2018, 8:29 am

Basically how I felt coming back from Taiwan. Even though Winston is right about the "Hello Kitty" look girls in Taiwan have, it's way better than a sea of resting bitch face and airport staff that are either apathetic or mean-spirited most of the time.

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by flowerthief00 » March 12th, 2018, 12:13 am

I quite agree with 1 and 2. Although on the downside there's not much in the way of vegan options over there and restaurants are not flexible with their menus. How many okonomiyaki joints did I walk into before I found one who would make it without eggs....

3 I'm not so sure about. Just because Japanese are smiling does not mean that they are happy. You also definitely cannot say that they are more friendly to strangers than Americans. Yeah, their variety shows are hilarious.

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by CannedHam » March 12th, 2018, 10:22 pm

I felt the same way when I returned from Hong Kong last year.

1. Agree 100%. Americans are fat. I hate suburban sprawl. I hate that I can't live in most places in the US without a car. I hate that raising kids in a condo is looked down upon. When I was in Hong Kong, despite eating like a pig for the entire time I was there, I LOST 3 pounds due to walking 3-4 hours a day.

2. Agree 100% with the attitude issue. I found everyone in HK to be pretty polite: customs/immigration, airport security, hotel staff, McDonald's employees etc. Contrast that with the rude as f**k TSA, post office, police, McD's workers in the US. It's embarrassing. Don't get me started on the dbag immigration officials at US airports.

3. I would actually disagree on point #3 for the most part. All the Japanese people I know are incredibly polite, although are they really happy?

And my own...

4. In Hong Kong I wouldn't worry if my wife was taking public transportation back at 11pm alone. Same would almost certainly hold true in Japan, large cities in China, Korea etc. In the US I feel nervous when she tells me she's taking the bus home at 2pm. And we live in one of the "safer" large cities in the US. It's a disgrace how "ghetto", unsafe, and dirty so many large cities in the US are compared to their Asian counterparts.

I was seriously depressed for 2-3 weeks when I got back.

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by Yohan » March 14th, 2018, 11:46 am

Living in Japan as I do since 40 years has like everywhere some advantages, some disadvantages.

It's a big difference of course, if you live here over years or if you visit Japan as a tourist for a few weeks.

Generally said about Japan:

Streets are clean and safe, nobody will bother you wherever you go and at any day or nighttime - nothing to worry about security, there are no so-called 'no-go zones'.

There are plenty of public toilets and free of charge everywhere, plenty of restaurants will offer you good food.

Public transport is OK, nothing to complain about it.

Japan is not a cheap place, but prices are fix and people will not cheat you, tips are unknown.

Japanese are not into graffiti and do not damage public property. You will not find any form of hooligan behavior.
Police will always be helpful to you, people will in general react friendly if you need any help or information.
Criminality against a foreigner like me as a white man from Europe is 'zero'.

If you are holding a working permit or otherwise a visa for one-year or longer as a foreigner you will find fairly good and cheap medical care covered by obligatory Japanese Medical insurance including dentist.

Salary if you find a regular job - even as a foreigner - is likely better compared to most other countries around Japan.


If Japanese are happy is another question, Japanese media are rather sceptical about it. ... qj7elQ5ZNA ... 43079.html

The rating is not so good as you expect it to be.
I think this has something to do with housing, which in all larger cities is seriously overpriced and often too narrow for a family life.
Many people have to travel a considerable distance between their home and their workplace.

It has also to do with overpopulation in the cities, it's not a happy situation, if you have to use everyday crowded trains, working overtime with little vacation.
Many people are just busy with not much time for private conversation outside their workplace. Not the best place for dating.

Also higher education which depends often on private universities, is remarkably expensive.

For foreigners not familiar with Japanese language, it is not an easy place to stay. Of course Chinese and Koreans have some advantages, as there are some similarities between Chinese, Korean and Japanese in the written and spoken language.

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by Yohan » March 14th, 2018, 1:04 pm


Everdred's "All About Japan" Living Report

Everdred made a long report about his time in Japan, take a look, worth to read.
His report offers many good pictures taken in Japan.

Well, it's a difference if you are living in a large city or in a small community 100 miles outside of Tokyo.

Not always a place of 'happiness' but rather boring...

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Re: Thoughts after returning from my 2nd trip to Japan

Post by xiongmao » March 20th, 2018, 11:35 am


Much of your previous post applies to East China as well.

Here in Zhejiang there's no grafitti. It's really safe. My school left their school bus door open over Spring Festival yet nobody stole it or set fire to it.

It's not that cheap here either (also like Japan). My student spent 1/3 of her day's wages on a mango. It was a good one though. The Chinese love fruit but it's not cheap.

Like Japan there are toilets everywhere here which is great. Berlin was ruined by toilet frauers who always demanded some money to use the WC. And in my native UK it's really difficult to find toilets.

On the downside it's pretty boring and the people never really try to engage with you. It is a kind of introverts paradise I guess.
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