Inspired by Justin and Kuuki’s blog posts, I have decided to participate in the Japan Blog Matsuri. If you are unfamiliar with the event, it’s similar to the My History with Anime project, but every once in a while it gets a new topic. The topic this time is “Reasons to Visit Japan” and is being hosted by A Modern Girl.
If you’ll recall, I’ve already visited Japan in 2010 and stayed there for a month. Being in Japan for that long turns the idea of sightseeing and sushi-eating into a chore so I won’t bore you with things like “oh, you should see X temple and Y tower”. Instead, I’ll tell you the REAL reasons why you should visit Japan (ie: experiences you won’t get anywhere else):
Walk into Shibuya 109 Without being Stopped by Security
This one only works if you’re a guy. Shibuya 109 is one of those trendy fashion stores that caters to the young and hip. The thing is, it is entirely devoted to female fashion and so everyone that shops there is female. Sounds like a great place to find a girlfriend right? Well, that’s if you can get past the several dozen security guards at the entrance. To prove I actually made it inside, above is a picture of the floor directory before I made a run for it.
Get Chased by Deer
Speaking of running, there’s nothing better to help you get into shape than being chased by Japanese deer. I was chased by every land animal imaginable while I was in Japan, but none were as persistent or aggressive as the deer. Despite being smaller than North American deer, these vicious creatures have no trouble taking down an unsuspecting tourist by attacking in packs. If you thought joining the Running of the Bulls in Spain was a thrill, just try escaping the deer in Japan.
Perhaps the reason why I was chased so much was because I always had a burger in my hand. I love burgers, but you’ve never had a real burger until you’ve tried Japanese burgers, I mean just look at this thing:
If that is not awesome, I don’t know what is.
Order Pizza Hut
Continuing with food, one of the things you must do is order pizza from Pizza Hut. Unlike in North America, Pizza Hut Japan does not have any actual restaurants, they are a delivery-only franchise that takes orders by phone. During my time in Japan, my friends decided to order some pizza one day. The problem? we only spoke English and they only spoke Japanese. Many laughs and an hour later, our pizza was on its way and actually made it to our door. That was probably the most win moment of the entire trip, not to mention the pizza was delicious.
Japan is known for (at least to some people) having lots of innocent schoolgirls with short skirts and cute sailor uniforms. It’s also known for cosplay and cross-dressing; combine these elements and you get schoolmen. Now, the actual moment this happened during my trip, I was looking at some sweets in a bakery. When I came out, my friends’ faces were expressionless for they had just experienced the
horror wonder of spotting a fat man dressed in a girl’s school uniform. I imagine it’s like spotting a Pikachu on your first trip to the Viridian Forest.
Find “No Groping” Signs
You hear a lot of stories about perverts groping women on trains in Japan, but I never thought they were actually true until I spotted some “No Groping” signs at a train station. Japan has signs for everything, but this just blew me away.
If any of you remember Azrael’s blog (the black English teacher in Japan) in the good ol’ days, he wrote extensively on this topic. While I was in Japan last year, I got terribly ill. Luckily for me, I had 2 future doctors travelling with me and they diagnosed me with the stomach flu. Back here in Canada, it would not have been a problem to just walk into a drug store and get the medication I needed, but apparently it’s not sold over the counter in Japan (or the drug lady couldn’t understand us), so off to a doctor I went. Sure enough, he diagnosed me with the stomach flu. I was expecting to get some pills from him after that, but then he took out a needle and syringe, so I rolled up my sleeve, then he said something along the lines of “oh no, this is going in your butt”. Only in Japan…
Well, that’s my list of reasons to visit Japan. Some of them might not seem like fun, but hey, when are you ever going to have a chance to do/see anything I mentioned? I can guarantee that you won’t find these experiences anywhere else in the world, and it’s something to consider the next time you decide to take a vacation.