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Japan Blog Matsuri – Reasons to Visit Japan

September 13, 2011 By: Nopy Category: Other Stuff

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.

Japanese Burgers

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.

Spot Schoolgirlsmen

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.

Japanese Doctors

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.

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25 Comments to “Japan Blog Matsuri – Reasons to Visit Japan”

  1. *continues crying all alone in the corner, in sheer jealousy*
    Justin recently posted..Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 9

  2. 1) I never realized the 109 was just women’s, or that there would be security guards to help you find your way out when they realized you’re not a woman. … I’ve definitely passed by countless times, but somehow it just never occurred to me to look into what exactly sort of store it was, let alone to actually go in.

    2) Did the deer think you had food? Were you actually carrying shika senbei? Because I’ve never had them follow me or bother me when I didn’t have any shika senbei to give them…

    Thanks for your post. It’s always fun and exciting to read about others’ experiences in Japan, as we all approach it from different expectations, interests, and reactions, and we all go for different reasons or lengths of time, in different contexts, and to different parts. :)
    Travis recently posted..And Six Months Ago

  3. “Then he said something along the lines of “oh no, this is going in your butt”. Only in Japan…”

    Oh s***…

    I was wondering about 109 when I first looked at it, I saw tons of girls walking inside and was like “what?” then saw the directory…then proceeded to walk into 109-2 in embarrassment.
    Seinime recently posted..El. Psy. Congroo.

  4. Hey at least he didn’t say “this is going UP your butt” haha.

    Didn’t know the 109 was an all girls thing. For being so famous it’s a wonder how that fact escapes so many people.

    I didn’t get to eat a 10 patty burger when I was over there though. I only managed a quadruple burger from McDonald’s.
    exilehero recently posted..Haruhi T-Rex Hunting

  5. You were chased by a deer? How did you stop it from chasing you? Any tips?

    “fat man dressed in a girl’s school uniform” <- not something I wanna see in Japan. At all.
    Hoshiko recently posted..Japan Blog Matsuri: Hoshiko’s Reasons for Visiting Japan

  6. small deer for small people? XD
    alucard13mm recently posted..Onegai Twins! Karen Onodera dakimakura by Cospa

  7. @Justin:
    I’m sure you’ll find your way to Japan one day if you really want to go.

    Actually, it wasn’t bad when I had the shika-senbei, the deer would just surround me and start looking cute. When I had a big mac though, they started nipping me everywhere. I thought deer were supposed to be herbivores.

    I actually wanted to check out 109-2 since that’s where all the men’s clothing was, but I didn’t have time to go back.

    If it was going up, I would’ve just walked out and found another doctor. I guess the Shibuya 109 building is kinda like most landmarks, you don’t actually know what’s inside.

    Well, the best thing to do is run out of food, so if you have any, make sure to eat as fast as possible. I was eating my burger while running away.

    Hmm, I guess so.

  8. I wonder what silly things I would do in Japan that I can’t do anywhere else. I do hope at least not being pursued by animals/police/yakuza/etc.
    Miette-chan recently posted..Comment on Haruhi T-Rex Hunting by exilehero

  9. @Nopybot Don’t worry, you’re not missing out on anything. Mostly imported, extremely expensive…window shopping food.

    @Miette-chan Tons of things to do, it’s a great experience. :D
    Seinime recently posted..The door to Himari’s psyche

  10. You do have lots of memorable experiences when you were in Japan. I’m sure it was super fun even if you were chased by a deer (really?) and got stomach flu. ^^

    Hopefully I’ll get my chance to visit Japan too. ^^
    Xine recently posted..Hey Hey Thursday #03 – Shopping for figures online and dealing with customs fees

  11. beware of the deer, but I guess he only wanted to steal your food XD
    stomach flu must be bad when you actually want to walk around and explore the city.

    lol I thought no groping was common sense, even in Japan.

    I think visiting japan must be fun, maybe someday I will take a flight =)
    Fabienne recently posted..Hatsune Miku – lat type version by GSC

  12. @Miette-chan:
    Now that you mention yakuza, there was also one time when my friends and I thought we were going to get murdered by them. We went into a restaurant and one of the waitresses led us into the alley and motioned for us to get into this tiny elevator. Then she bowed to us as the doors closed. We thought there’d be a bunch of thugs at the top floor, but it was actually a separate seating area with its own chefs.

    Well if it was mostly imported, then I guess it’s good I didn’t spend any time there.

    Yep, it was definitely fun and a great adventure.

    The worst part about the stomach flu was that I couldn’t eat very much so I missed out on some good food.

  13. Nice entry Nopy :)
    As for the burgers: when I first saw a picture of this “tower”, me and my friendy went to McD’s and ordered 24 cheeseburgers. We then made 3 of them (well, at least 8 pattys and 8 cheese :P) ^^ it was kind of disgusting, but fun :D

    Meh, there will come the day I visit japan, but I guess I’ll only be in Akihabara the whole time :P

  14. Very interesting and nice read. Never knew you’ll get chased by a deer in Japan. I already know that Japan takes groping seriously but it’s still mind-blowing to have those signs because that’s something that I don’t really see in North America.

    If I’m going to Japan, I’ll first visit Hokkaido first then I want to experience living in those capsule-sized hotels.
    Snippett recently posted..Late Night “Kataomoi” Talk About Hanasaku Iroha

  15. The butt?! Ugh, the arm is enough. Anywere else would be like trying to kill me.

    So you only spoke English? I’ve heard people say that you need some basic understanding of Japanese, but maybe you can stick with English as long as you’re in the bigger cities?

  16. @Key-Fan:
    Haha, that sounds like a good substitute for Lotteria’s tower burger. It’s more of an “I dare you to eat this” burger than one I would eat regularly.

    The no groping signs shocked me too, it’s weird that it’s so common there but unheard of here. Sadly, I had to skip Hokkaido because of the cost, but if I go back to Japan, I’ll definitely spend a few days there.

    English is the most popular language to learn in school, so the younger generations (people around 30 and younger) can speak a little bit of it. All you really need to do is ask around and you’ll eventually find someone that speaks English. If that doesn’t work, they’re also really good at understanding hand gestures.

  17. For my job here in Japan I had to go to the doctor to get checked out.

    It was very… embarrassing.

    For starters I wore a dress. Which was a problem when they did the chest xray and only had shirts for my to change into. And my doctor was a dude. And I’m 6 feet tall.

    Then, they had to check my heart rate with this weird suction cup things they had to put all over my chest.

    Nothing like a Japanese woman speaking to you in a language you don’t fully understand while hiking your dress up to your chin with an ALMOST completely closed curtain separating you from your male Japanese guide.

    Oh, memories.
    Kaley recently posted..I get it, I’m the awkward foreigner.

  18. @Kaley:
    Oh my, that certainly sounds like quite the experience. I’m glad I only had to see the doctor once while I was in Japan.

  19. I’d love to stay there for a month, but unfortunately at the current stage of my life 2 weeks is about all I can do. Next year I’ll be at the point where I get 3 weeks of vacation time available to me per year. My boyfriend and I plan to visit Japan in 2012 or 2013, it’s something we’ve been planning on for years. We’ll be spending 5 days as part of a tour group and the rest of the time will be us exploring on our own. If I was able to stay for a month I’d laugh at the idea of a tour group, but since we’ll only be there 2 weeks I want to make sure we see certain basic sites for sure. The only issue is the tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka….so should we spend more of our free time in Kyoto/Osaka or Japan? I’m inclined to split the difference.
    lovelyduckie recently posted..Selling Some Figures

  20. Wow, that is a pretty impressive burger. Wonder how many people got a heart attack from one of those.

    And, a deer vicious? But the one the picture looks so docile, lol.

  21. @lovelyduckie:
    Tour groups tend to rush things, so if there’s someplace you really want to spend the time to enjoy, I would recommend reading up on it and going there yourself. As for Kyoto/Osaka vs Tokyo, I actually preferred Tokyo because it is literally twice as big and has more of the modern futuristic feel. Kyoto and Osaka are great if you like more traditional stuff without giving up the big city.

    They’re just pretending to be docile, once you bring out some food, it’s life or death.

  22. The results of the September Japan Blog Matsuri are now up! Check out your post and others at:

    If you’d like to share this link on your blog, Twitter, etc., I’m sure all of your fellow contributors would appreciate it. Thanks for participating!
    A Modern Girl recently posted..September 2011 Japan Blog Matsuri: Reasons to Visit Japan

  23. @A Modern Girl:
    Thanks for the heads up!

  24. I totally want to be chased by a deer!! I probably won’t outrun them, but it’ll sure be fun. Reminds me of Tsukasa from Lucky Star. Should be super fun!
    Yi recently posted..Learning the Art of Love: Yuri versus BL

  25. @Yi:
    Well, if you really want to be chased by deer, make sure to bring lots of food.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Japan Blog Matsuri: Hoshiko’s Reasons for Visiting Japan « World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko 14 09 11
  2. September 2011 Japan Blog Matsuri: Reasons to Visit Japan | A Modern Girl / モダンガール 30 09 11

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