I’m always a little more sad to leave Japan than most of the other places we visit on our travels. Since so many things are different it makes everyday feel like an adventure. Here are some of the things I will miss most about Japan:
It doesn’t hurt that I love the major components of Japanese cooking (fish, rice and umami taste). In fact I wrote a whole post about how much I love their food here. It seems like there are restaurants everywhere, but the quality of the food is really on another level. From the smallest kiosk to the fanciest sushi or kaiseki, I don’t think I have ever had a bad meal in Japan.
Conbini is the Japanese word for convenience store and they are the mother of all convenience stores. I don’t really know why they are more exciting than convenience stores at home, but they are. They are everywhere and always have great food and random odds n’ ends. Plus it’s where you can buy museum or concert tickets, pay your utility bills and taxes, and you can even ship parcels there. Here’s a link to a music video about the awesomeness of the conbini.
THE VENDING MACHINES!
I don’t really care for soda, but Japanese vending machines are on another level! My favorite part about them is that you can get hot beverages, makes every chilly evening walking around some much nicer. I’ve heard tale of being able to find anything in vending machines, but drinks were of course the most common.
Now bear with me for a moment! Our toilets are in the stone age compared with the toilets of Japan. First let me say this… electric seat warmers! Now if that didn’t get you look at your multitude of options:
The public toilets will even play music or a flushing noise so no one has to hear you pee.
Some of the toilets have a sink on top so the CLEAN water that goes into the tank is useful for washing you hands first. This is such a smart and more efficient use for that water in my opinion, I hope to one day see that trend here.
SENTOS AND ONSENS!
Sentos and onsens are public bathhouse. The main difference being that in onsens the water comes from a natural hot spring. Both usually have an indoor and outdoor area, but the type and number of pools varies greatly. There in nothing better on a cool day, or a warm day, or after a busy day. All the ones I have been to do an amazing job of being an oasis, even in the middle of very busy urban areas. They are another thing I wish we had more of in North America.
I think the best part of any of my trips are the friends you make there, which of course makes it the saddest part of leaving 😦
Goodbye Japan, hope to see you again!