The Japan Questionnaire

I can’t say that Japan was ever one of my top destinations. As a developed nation, it lacks the  ‘exotic’ factor that pulls me towards countries like, say, Colombia and Thailand. Though it may be pricey and developed, don’t rule it out just yet. I found that Japan had a very unique mix of traits- it’s orderly yet quirky and peaceful yet lively.

If you answer YES to any of these questions, you might want to put Japan on your radar.

1. Do you belt out songs in the car when you’re driving by yourself?

Or maybe you prefer singing in the shower. Karaoke is a popular pastime all over Japan, and it’s the best way to shamelessly sing all your favorite songs. Rent a tiny room with your peeps and belt it out while sipping on beer or wine. The more you drink, the better you’ll sound!

karaoke in Japan

2. Are you Type A?

If you’re an overly organized, list-making freak like me, you might just love Japan. Japan is orderly, efficient, and on time. Ingrained, societal rules about escalator structure blew my mind: one side is for standing still, and the other side is for rushing up, and nobody screws up this system! Japan seems like the perfect place for a go-getter on the move.

3. Could you use a little zen in your life?

We all could. Nothing is more soothing than a stroll through immaculate outdoor spaces that are designed to bring you peace of mind. Japan’s aesthetic zen gardens invite you to enjoy the presence of nature around you and contemplate life for as long as you like.

Ryoanji zen garden

Ginkakuji Temple

4. Are you in need of a thoughtful friend who thinks of everything?

Japan is that friend. I experienced mirrors that don’t fog up in the shower, big baskets on the the floor of every restaurant table to hold purses and coats, baby friendly bathrooms, and warm toilet seats, to name a few. You may just want to wrap Japan in a loving embrace and say, Oh Japan, you think of everything. 

5. Do you enjoy a good soak in a hot tub?

Japan’s onsen is an upgrade from the hot tub. It’s essentially a natural hot springs, but the term is used  broadly to mean a public bathing spot; I took advantage of the communal onsens inside all our hotels and ryokans. After spending the day in the December cold, it’s total bliss. Just strip down and enjoy a naked soak with Japanese people of the same sex.

Onsen

6. Did you parents ever tell you not to slurp your soup?

You can slurp away in Japan! It’s a compliment to the chef. With that last sip of green tea or that little bit of soup, really give it your best slurp to show just how much you enjoyed it.

7. Are you often disappointed by sushi from your local grocery store?

If you like your fish fresh, Japan is the place to go. Sushi platters and bowls of sashimi offer pieces of fish so fresh and oily that it melts in your mouth. Japan’s seafood is plucked straight from the surrounding ocean, and it appears on your plate within a matter of hours. But the seafood isn’t the only noteworthy food; check out this list of things to eat in Japan.

Sashimi bowl

8. Are you overjoyed when you find a robe and slippers at your hotel?

Of course you are! It makes you feel fancy and well taken care of. If you’re like me, the first thing you do is put on your robe and prance around you room before snuggling into bed for a bit. I was pleased to find yukatas (traditional robes), pajama sets, and slippers at every hotel and ryokan we stayed at. Ohh la la!

9. Do you embrace your quirks?

So does Japan. Despite Japan’s ‘by the books’ reputation, their culture embraces so many wacky ways. You can find themed restaurants, cuddle cafes, manga and anime obsessions, eccentric fashion trends, and outlandish ice cream flavors. Three cheers for quirky!

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10. Do you appreciate efficiency?

Who doesn’t? I was blown away by Japan’s efficiency. What is a chaotic mess in most countries operates as a well-oiled machine in Japan. The high-speed Shinkansen trains are the poster child of efficiency. The entire country is connected by trains that arrive on the dot. It’s almost nauseating how effortless and comfortable it is to travel around Japan.

Did you hear that U.S. citizens now have access to high-speed rails? It’s called booking a flight to Japan.

11. Are you up for exploring some interesting islands?

Japan is an island itself, but it’s surrounded by thousands of smaller islands. I visited Okunoshima, which is an island full of adorable bunnies who love treats. If you’re looking for more mystery, Hashima is an abandoned island that formerly housed coal miners and their families. Not all the islands are as odd as these 2; if you’re looking for mountain and beach getaways, here’s a list of awesome islands to visit.

12. Do you wish your entire life could come from a vending machine?

It can. Japan is vending machine central. You can buy entire meals from vending machines, a variety of drinks, and I even came across a vending machine for naughty, adult toys. You can barely walk a few feet without running into a vending machine that sells crazy things like this.

13. Do bright lights in big cities inspire you?

You won’t find brighter lights. The vertical, neon signs of Japan’s big cities are intoxicating and inspiring.

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14. Would your bum like a warm toilet seat on a cold day?

I bet you’ve never even had that pleasure! While sightseeing out in the winter cold, and I dreaded the moment I would have to sit down on a freezing, outdoor, public toilet seat. But to my surprise, every seat was warm! The toilets even play a pleasant tune when you flush. With all the options on the toilets, you may find your toilet time to be very enjoyable…

15. Have you ever gotten a green tea latte from Starbucks?

It was damn good, right? I was in heaven at the magnitude of matcha items that were available in Japan. Matcha lattes, matcha ice cream, matcha kit kats, matcha green tea everything. There are no words for my love of this unique, punchy flavor. I’ll take it hot or cold, solid or liquid!

green tea kit kat Japan

16. Have you fantasized about your acceptance into Hogwarts?

My friends, Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan is one of few gateways to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In Hogsmade, under faux snow-capped roofs and dim lanterns, I drank butter beer from the tap, wandered around Dogweed and Deathcap, and tested out wands at Ollivanders. Some of my childhood dreams came true, and it was bloody fantastic.

Universal Studios Osaka, Japan

Hogwarts at Universal Studios Osaka, Japan

Did you answer ‘YES’ to any of these questions?

If you did, you should put Japan on your travel radar. If you answered yes to 10 or more questions, by golly, pack your bags!

13 COMMENTS

  1. Megsy@5DT | 10th Jun 15

    Ohhh I’ve always wanted to visit Japan and your post just makes me want to go even more, I answered yes to so many of these it’s ridiculous lol

    • Words of a Wanderer | 11th Jun 15

      Haha awesome! You would love it then!!

  2. Tami | 11th Jun 15

    Guess I definitely shouldn’t rule it out, but it’s never been at the top of my list.

  3. bournehungry | 11th Jun 15

    Yes yes yes! Great post, great country!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 13th Jun 15

      Thank you!! and YES!!! Japan is amazing. 🙂

  4. titi81 | 12th Jun 15

    I went to Japan and loved it! I liked everything apart from the food! I would love to visit again it is a unique country

    • Words of a Wanderer | 13th Jun 15

      Although I did have some amazing meals, I would have to agree with you in that Japanese cuisine is not my favorite. It’s a little too seafood heavy for me personally! I’d love to visit again too… especially in the springtime!

  5. Revati | 14th Jun 15

    I love this post! And yes to all of the above! Time to book a trip to Japan!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 15th Jun 15

      Thank you! Yes, time to plan for Japan! 😉

  6. katefrankiebrennan | 15th Jun 15

    For some reason, Japan has gone down my list over the past few years. Maybe, as you say, its because I tend to go for more exotic, less developed places. Saying yes to a lot of your questions is making me question why I haven’t been yet! An island of bunnies? Whatever my heart desires from a vending machine? Hogwarts, bright lights and amazing sushi? Where do I sign up?! Great post and love the photos

    • Words of a Wanderer | 15th Jun 15

      Nice!! Maybe Japan is moving up on your list… 😉 Yes… an island of bunnies exists, and it’s AMAZING! I’m the same way- going for exotic places, and that’s maybe why the efficiency and organization of Japan blew me away! To be honest, it was a breath of fresh air! Japan might be a nice change from the chaos of less developed countries.:) Thanks for the comment!

  7. Amanda Kendle | 23rd Nov 15

    Oh I love this Casey!!! Of course being a total Japan addict I answered yes to most of these. But especially number 1.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Nov 15

      Thanks Amanda!! Glad you enjoyed it. And I can totally see why you’re a Japan addict… Japan is too awesome!! I love that I can sing songs horribly and it’s totally acceptable at karaoke. 😀

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