Sometimes I wonder if it’s harder for a Westerner to jump straight from their home countries to China or Japan, or to simply jump from China to Japan. Though they are only separated by a small sea, the differences between these two ancient Asian countries could fill an entire ocean. Read this article to find out which ten are the most contrasting.
If there’s one country in Asia that most Westerners unanimously shower with praise, it’s got to be Japan. But does the isolated island country really deserve so much credit? This blogger certainly doesn’t think so. Read more to find out which ten aspects of Japan I found the most aggravating, and hence ultimately made me leave the country much earlier than planned.
My time in Japan has nearly reached its end. Now that I’ve lived in the country for just shy of a year and a half, I can sincerely say the industrialized country is an anomoly of Asia, where many countries are still deep in developing mode. In some ways that’s bad, yet in other ways that’s good. This article focuses on the ten things I’m going to miss the most from Japan’s better half.
Rice is by far the most consumed staple in the Japanese and Asian diet. As a result, someone somewhere must be growing a whole lot of rice. Look no further than Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, where rice is grown in every nook and cranny of open field space. This photo essay explores what’s been going on over the last half year here in Ibaraki to get rice from the farm fields all the way to your dinner bowl.
The classic mom-and-pop style restaurants that can be found all over Asia have been mostly phased out in modern Japan. Instead, say hello to their rich cousins – the restaurant franchises owned by giant parent corporations. Some great, some bad, and most somewhere in between, here are ten ubiquitous restaurant franchises you can find in almost every corner of the isolated island nation.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, so does that mean unfamiliarity breeds admiration? This last June and July my older brother made his first ever trip to the Eastern Hemisphere by visiting me here in Japan. Though not a seasoned traveler, he does have some notable foreign travel under his belt. So what did he think of the great former Nippon Empire? Read more to learn which aspects of Japan blew my brother away, and which aspects he found to be sorely lacking.
Up until this point, my vision of Japan revolved around Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto region. I haven’t been the world’s biggest fan of Japan up to this point either. Can Kyoto, an old and cultural city on the other side of Japan, come in and save the day? Have I just been looking at Japan through the wrong lens this entire time? Read my trip report to find out what I learned about Kyoto, Japan’s overwhelmingly-loved-by-all former capital city.
American expat David has spent over five years in Japan, and almost three of those were spent in Tokyo, the country’s bustling capital that needs no introduction. After over half a decade spent in the Land of the Rising Sun working as an English teacher, what does he think of the country and its famous mega city? Read this week’s episode of “Interview with an Expat” to learn about Tokyo from an experienced expat’s point of view.
Japan is constantly touted as an “expensive” country, but can over 125 million people really live in a place with such a ridiculously high cost of living? Yes? No? Maybe? Read this cost of living guide to better understand the typical expenses associated with living in one of the world’s most industrialized nations.