Wednesday, 14 October 2009

3 things that I love about Japan, #1

Things that I love #1

This one's a combination of things that's hard to give a name to. It'd probably be easier in Japanese, where you'd say something like 便利な日本 (convenient Japan) or 日本の便利さ (the convenience of Japan), as the word 便利/convenient has a broader meaning in Japanese. Basically, Japan is a very easy country to live in because everything is so... convenient.

Like I said, there are many reasons that contribute to this. A big one is that Japanese public transport is always on time, which is very important for a country which relies on trains so much. Japan is also very clean and pleasing to the eye for the most part - you'll rarely see litter in the streets. You're often never very far away from a convenience store, which is useful when you're hungry or thirsty, and you can also do things like pay all your bills or pay for concert or airplane tickets at convenience stores, which is genius. And convenience stores are EVERYWHERE. If you were to walk down any of the main roads on Port Island (where I used to live) you would literally see a Family Mart, Seven Eleven or Lawson every 5 minutes. The same is even truer for vending machines.

Another thing I was extremely impressed with, and used a lot during my time in Japan, was rehearsal studios. I had never had the need to use a rehearsal studio in the UK, as the bands I've been in have always found school rooms, or bedrooms to practise in. Plus, rehearsal studios are pretty expensive to rent over here. However, in Japan, there isn't space in the average house for a band to practise, and the houses are so close together with paper thin walls, so the whole neighbourhood would be able to hear you. Therefore just about every band uses rehearsal studios.

I joined a music society at Kobe Uni, and ended up in 4 different bands, so I used rehearsal studios a lot, and I was impressed with the quality of the equipment and the cheapness of the price. It would generally cost about 4,000 yen to rent a room for 2 hours, but when you split that between a 5 member band, it's only about 800 yen each, which is about £6, which is great value to say you're practising with top of the range equipment. You even get a points card, which you can use to claim back more studio time, or new guitar strings or drumsticks. And although I never tried this out myself, you can also record in these places for a relatively cheap price when compared to the UK.

There are also these things called manga cafes all over too, which are places you can go to and rent out a small cubicle with an internet-enabled PC, a big comfy chair and shelves and shelves of manga for you to read. You can also take showers here too, and the cheap hourly rate means that manga cafes make a cheap alternative to hotels if you're stuck in the city overnight.

If you stay in Japan for an extended period of time, you'll come to realise for yourself just how well organised Japan and its people are. It's unlike anything you'll experience elsewhere. Everything just seems to work without any hitches or delays, and it makes living there very easy and comfortable.

And that concludes my series of the things I love and the things I hate about Japan. Who knows when I'll next write something on here. I'm super busy with uni right now, and have my dissertation coming up, so we'll see.

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Anonymous Diao said...

nice no.1, good luck with ur life home,lad.

15/10/2009, 03:54  
Anonymous Eric Sykens said...

Interesting... Here's a related blog post on vending machines in japan if you care to take a look.

01/12/2009, 14:15  
Blogger 正章 said...

Hello from Japan!!
I really enjoyed reading your opinions about Japan! Thank you

08/02/2010, 12:16  
Blogger Jephso said...

コメントありがとう!日本は生活しやすいから帰りたい。たまに便利すぎだけどなー haha

10/02/2010, 22:32  

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