I love Japan!

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Jimbo
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jan 2018, 11:11

fange wrote: the western side of Tokyo


Where? I'm in Musashi Koganei, four stops past Kichijyoji.
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fange
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby fange » 07 Jan 2018, 11:23

Kichijoji was such a great area, loved going there. I lived a bit further north though; first place was a boarding house for a year to the south of Nerima Takanodai station, and then for the rest of the time I lived in Niiza Shi about 10 mins by bicycle north of Hibarigaoka station on the Seibu Ikebukuro line. Not too far though - were you there between 1997 and 2002, Jimbo? I might have walked past you somewhere one day!
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trans-chigley express
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby trans-chigley express » 07 Jan 2018, 11:32

I love Japan too, been there about 10 times and was in Kyushu last week and had a great time as I always do there.

My only gripe is the lack of places to eat in small towns after 5pm. We had a couple of nights last week when we had to resort to getting buns from a 24 hour convenience store and eating in the hotel room as there wasn’t a single restaurant or cafe open anywhere.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jan 2018, 12:06

fange wrote:Kichijoji was such a great area, loved going there. I lived a bit further north though; first place was a boarding house for a year to the south of Nerima Takanodai station, and then for the rest of the time I lived in Niiza Shi about 10 mins by bicycle north of Hibarigaoka station on the Seibu Ikebukuro line. Not too far though - were you there between 1997 and 2002, Jimbo? I might have walked past you somewhere one day!


I've been here since 1989. I am only very slightly familiar with the places you mentioned having passed by there on the train. But Kichijyoji is still a great place to hang out. I tell visitors to stay there and not downtown because everything you'd want in a Tokyo visit is right there but in a smaller, more walkable area. In fact, I tell people to consider forgoing traveling all over the country because everything Japanese is in Tokyo or nearby.

And the lack of restaurants in small towns is a problem but the convenience stores are usually amazing well stocked with food and drinks. There are videos on YouTube all about how cool the Japanese convenience stores are. I lived four nights a week deep in the Japanese country side and for the most part there really is nothing open after six or so, except the konbini and then there are the vending machines where you can buy a can of warm corn soup.

I haven't done it in a number of years but along with the trains, busses, planes there is a fantastic ferry system that takes you to the islands where the restaurants all close early but you can camp near a free, public hot spring or stay in a shitty little hotel. You can catch the ferry about 7 pm, drink beer and party then sleep on the giant tatami floor and then wake up in the morning at a beautiful little island. And they're cheap!
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Shaun » 07 Jan 2018, 14:00

I love Japan too! I have lived in either Tokyo or a satellite city for most of my adult life, and I now have a Japanese wife and a son who is a good Japanese-New Zealand mix. I feel like there has never been any major road blocks put in my way as a foreigner living here, and that is to Japan's huge credit.

The food in Tokyo is amazing, with every base covered (except for Mexican, for some reason). All the major musical acts stop off for a gig or two in Tokyo, and often at very small venues. In terms of vacation spots, Japan has it all, from the mountainous/snow-swept top end of the island chain down to the tropical bottom end (my family and I recently visited Ishigaki Island, which is a small jump over from Taipei!). And their onsen hot spring resorts are some of the best experiences you will ever have.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Very Stable Baron » 07 Jan 2018, 16:07

Shaun wrote:I feel like there has never been any major road blocks put in my way as a foreigner living here, and that is to Japan's huge credit.


That's interesting to see, as Matty Red Sox often talks about how racist Japan is and how he and his daughter (who is, I think half Japanese) face various ridiculous roadblocks, hassles, and, I guess, discrimination (he might word it differently, but that's my impression).
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jan 2018, 16:26

Very Stable Baron wrote:
Shaun wrote:I feel like there has never been any major road blocks put in my way as a foreigner living here, and that is to Japan's huge credit.


That's interesting to see, as Matty Red Sox often talks about how racist Japan is and how he and his daughter (who is, I think half Japanese) face various ridiculous roadblocks, hassles, and, I guess, discrimination (he might word it differently, but that's my impression).


None here either. Working Japanese wife, "half" son who is gainfully employed and I, now enrolled in the Japanese social security system. And in so many ways Japanese bureaucrats have bent over backwards to help me. Never has a cop hassled me. Never was I asked to see ID - except to get into the movies for my "over 50" discount. I swear, sometimes I am gobsmacked at how kind official Japan has been to me.

When I went to "Hello Work!" the japanese unemployment office, there were English assistants who sat beside the actual official and they were so patient as they explained the rules and read and translated any jobs they offered.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby quix » 07 Jan 2018, 17:34

BCB's Most Tedious Poster wrote:I think all the preciseness, the lack of overtly emotional gestures, the cleanliness and the servility would get me down after a while. But I'd love to visit.


I felt the same way after living in Germany for six months in 1984. I couldn’t wait to get back to London and the smell of urine in telephone boxes, chaos at the first sign of a flake of snow and random train delays :lol:

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Copehead » 07 Jan 2018, 20:13

Jimbo wrote:[And the lack of restaurants in small towns is a problem but the convenience stores are usually amazing well stocked with food and drinks. There are videos on YouTube all about how cool the Japanese convenience stores are. I!


I love a well stocked Lawson
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trans-chigley express
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby trans-chigley express » 08 Jan 2018, 04:36

Jimbo wrote:[And the lack of restaurants in small towns is a problem but the convenience stores are usually amazing well stocked with food and drinks. There are videos on YouTube all about how cool the Japanese convenience stores are. I!


I dont go on holiday to eat at conveience stores but I agree they are well stocked.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby trans-chigley express » 08 Jan 2018, 04:42

Very Stable Baron wrote:
Shaun wrote:I feel like there has never been any major road blocks put in my way as a foreigner living here, and that is to Japan's huge credit.


That's interesting to see, as Matty Red Sox often talks about how racist Japan is and how he and his daughter (who is, I think half Japanese) face various ridiculous roadblocks, hassles, and, I guess, discrimination (he might word it differently, but that's my impression).


Never experienced anything myself on my many visits so was interested to read Matty's experiences and see the photos he's posted on FB of him on trains with empty seats all around him and people prefering to stand rather than sit next to him. I planned on making observations of this myself next time I used the train but have always hired a car on my last few visits so haven't had the opportunity.

Which brings me to another thing I love about Japan: driving there is a joy. There are no asshole drivers, no road rage, everyone sticks to the rules and the traffic flows nicely even in major cities (mainly because drivers DO stick to the rules) and it's just a very relaxed place to enjoy the drive without the stress you get in most places.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Shaun » 08 Jan 2018, 12:35

Copehead wrote:I love a well stocked Lawson


Natural Lawsons are another level up!
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 08 Jan 2018, 12:37

trans-chigley express wrote:
Never experienced anything myself on my many visits so was interested to read Matty's experiences and see the photos he's posted on FB of him on trains with empty seats all around him and people prefering to stand rather than sit next to him. I planned on making observations of this myself next time I used the train but have always hired a car on my last few visits so haven't had the opportunity.


I remember the same, that some would rather stand rather than sit next to me on a crowded train. Maybe it's the Olympics or the huge influx of Chinese tourists buying up loads of goods, but something has come over the town, or maybe a memo went out that read: "Don't fear foreigners," because people could not be more polite than the Japanese. Yes, there is a difference between polite and friendly but if you want friendly go to a small bar and you will have more new friends than you can stand. And it is because you are a foreigner. Consider it xeno-philia rather than xenophobia.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 08 Jan 2018, 12:55

It is interesting to see how in the 90s when they were fretting over how the aged will overtake in numbers the young and there were suggestions of allowing in more foreigners, especially, as I recall, more nurses from the Philippines to care for the aged, there was some hesitation. But recently I see more foreigners, asians, working in fast food places than I had ever seen before. So far there has been no scandal or outrage, which is another good thing about Japan, that they seem to have broken the xenophobia stereotype.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Shaun » 08 Jan 2018, 13:00

Indians working in convenience stores! How do they remember all the fiddly things they have to do in another language!?
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 08 Jan 2018, 16:33

What it’s like to live in a well-governed country

Japan
Not only does the island nation rank highest in Asia by the World Bank for overall government effectiveness, rule of law and political stability, it also received the highest marks in Asia from the Social Progress Index for its access to basic knowledge, water and sanitation, and access to nutrition and medical care.

“The effects of government policies are often quite evident in cleanliness, efficiency and functioning of tax-paid parts of society,” said Adam Goulston, a cross-cultural resume writer who lives in Fukuoka but is originally from the US. “Part of this can be attributed to the natural tendency of the Japanese to value social and public things and keep up appearances. However, a big part also owes to effective and in some cases quite liberal policies, especially in comparison to my home country, the US.”

Health insurance is universal, though it can be expensive since it’s income-based and taken out of wages – but residents can go to any doctor any time and costs are capped. Though the aging population and population decline is putting pressure on the solvency of the programme, said Goulston, overall, the system works. Japan also has some of the world's best cancer doctors.

The education system is another of the country’s strengths; elementary and secondary school is mandatory, and Japanese schools rank well globally. Though the schools are highly regimented and systematic – which can lead to over-standardisation, according to Goulston – they have prioritised nutrition as a key part of education, with school lunches prepared with locally grown ingredients and paired with lessons on healthy eating and food history.


http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/2018010 ... ed-country
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