As an introduction to my upcoming posts on all that I ate in Japan, I thought It’d start with a list of 10 things I loved about Japan.

This was my second visit and I am certain there will be a third (soon!).

1. Convenient stores
They are ultra convenient, stocking everything from bento boxes to clear umbrellas.

2. Cuteness overload
There’s a definite appreciation of illustrated cartoon characters. The Japanese have even managed to make warning signs and road poles look cute!

3. Toys
There’s so much ingenuity! Amongst other things, I stocked up on 3D puzzles.

And picked up this adorable biscuit iPhone case!

4. Packaging
Everything is so logically and thoughtfully packaged. For example, this bowl of soba bought from a convenient store just needed to be microwaved! Then there were numbered steps which outline the order that each plastic film sheet should be removed at. There was one to keep the spring onion fresh and crisp, and another separating the noodles from the soup so that the noodles would still have a really nice bite and weren’t soggy.

5. Food
It is impossible to come across bad food in Japan. Even the least popular restaurants are considered a good feed by Sydney’s standards! I also reignited my love with their plastic food displays. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) awesomeness.

6. Public transport
The timely accuracy and affordability of the subway system, plus the speed of the Shinkansen… CityRail should learn a few things!

7. Matcha-everything
Green-tea flavoured ice-creams, Kit-Kats, cakes, lemonades, lattes… I will never be able to get enough of this flavour!

8. Vending machines
There’s so much variety (and I’m not just talking drinks!)

9. Safety
When I travelled to Europe last year, the immediate response of most friends was to warn me about the gypsies and pick-pocketers. In Japan however, there was no need for money belts nor did we have to stay really cautious of where we were placing our cameras, etc. This meant we were able to travel by ourselves freely through day and night, exploring the back streets and more.

10. Car parking
Fully automated mechanical car parks. I didn’t get a chance to video it, but here’s one I found on YouTube:

38 COMMENTS

  1. Japan has the coolest stuff! I can’t wait for the kids to grow up and I can go on a holiday with them there. I’m sure they will love it as much as I would. Oooooo but where are the photos of the desserts?? : )

  2. I’m with you about the safety! It’s so good to travel without having to be on high alert all the time and split all your cash/cards in different places everywhere.
    Sighs – i miss the matcha-everything in japan!

  3. You lucky duck! Looks awesome. One of my gf is leaving for Japan via HK tonight (plus Shanghai in between). I am expecting lots of pics messages over the next 3 weeks

  4. I’ve always felt embarrassed to admit that the main thing that mademe fall in love with Japan when I visited was the convienence stores. Almost every kind of “restaurant” dish could be found there, and dear heavens did I ever act like a kid in a candy store. In fact, when I was by myself, I spent hours walking from one to the other buying a treat at each 🙂
    Also completely with you about the matcha treats! I was helpless in the face of anything that combined matcha and red bean 😀

  5. I was just blown away by how reliable the public transport was! And nobody was ever in a rush… Unlike in Sydney, where we have to plan our train trips rigorously!

  6. Thanks Sophia! I’m so jealous that you’re living there right now! I was thinking that I’d love to work there for a year or so… I’m sure you’re having the most amazing experience 🙂

  7. I LOVED Japan – it is such a beautiful, amazing country and I hope to return one day. I had too many favourite things to list them all, but one of the best would have to be the FOOD! Amazing, delicious food! Even the pre-packaged food in the mini-mart stores tasted fantastic. Let’s just say when I came home to Australia I couldn’t eat instant noodles anymore because they were just so gross compared to the food we’d been eating in Japan! Oh and dumplings – YUM! Damn now I really want to go back now!

  8. Chibo Okonomiyaki, Osaka, Japan

    As mentioned in one of my previous posts, you can expect to find something delicious anywhere you go in Osaka. However, for a truly memorable experience, I’d recommend visiting a restaurant like Chibo Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is basically a “pancake” c…

  9. Matcha (Japanese Green Tea) Pound Cake Muffins

    I’ve blabbed on about matcha this and matcha that in my recent Japan blog posts but how many of you really know what matcha is? Matcha (抹茶) is basically finely-milled Japanese green tea. Traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony,…

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