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Old 11-05-2018, 07:00 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Is Japan really all that?

I can't count the number of posts I find on social media about the wonders of Japan and all the little things that are so great about it. Is it really true or am I missing something?
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:09 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Are you in Japan as you write this and find the things people like about Japan to be untrue?

Or do you just think people are lying about the things they like in Japan?

Or is it something else that’s generating your doubt?

Last edited by Acsenray; 11-05-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:40 PM
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Japan is a wonderful country populated by amazing people. Just like every other country in the world. They do not have any more deep secrets of existence than anyone else.

What is your concern?
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:56 PM
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I hear they're amazingly xenophobic, so that's cool. Especially if you're a gaijin who comes to visit and experience all the wonderful things about Japanese culture.

That said, I do like a lot that very culture. I'll just stick with the bits of it that I can get from the comforts of my own home.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:02 PM
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I can't count the number of posts I find on social media about the wonders of Japan and all the little things that are so great about it. Is it really true or am I missing something?
Perhaps you could share some of those numerous posts so we could evaluate the claims.

My experience in Japan was that it was pretty amazing, but then again I've had similar wonderful experiences in Nepal, India, Switzerland, Iceland, Cambodia, and the US. Japan is an ancient culture and technologically advanced society so there's lots of amazing contrasts and wonders.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:09 PM
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I've never been. But supposedly the culture is pretty racist, sexist and nativist. Plus their salaryman culture means a lot of people are suicidal and spend long hours at work accomplishing nothing just so they can look busy.

But they did lift themselves out of poverty pretty fast. And they moved away from a cultlike war machine to a civilized western nation pretty rapidly.

The women are sexy too. Which helps. But women everywhere are sexy.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:09 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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http://bye-bye-little-sebastian.tumb...lcome-to-japan

I'm not sure if it will show well but this is what I mean.

Wasn't there also something about people working themselves to death and homophobia?
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:10 PM
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I can't count the number of posts I find on social media about the wonders of Japan and all the little things that are so great about it. Is it really true or am I missing something?
Some is from having prior appreciation of Japanese culture. Then there are some things that I feel like are just objectively better. The politeness and diligence aspects are really great... not that I need people bowing and scraping to me, but public life just works so much better when people agree to get shit done and not be assholes to each other. It's nice to be in a walkable society... like I lived in the ass end of nowhere, and I could walk to a bus that took me to a train that took me to a bullet train that took me to an airport that could put me in China by the end of the day. All without having a car. And it's nice to live in a society where the default position is trust and cooperation, not suspicion and resentment.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:13 PM
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Japan is awesome, and it sucks. Just like most countries.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:23 PM
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I bet the lack of school shootings is a big plus.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:31 PM
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I bet the lack of school shootings is a big plus.
True, but they have dudes who flip out and murder people with knives and sarin gas at subway stations. That being said, those are kind of extraordinary events - unlike school, church, or workplace shootings.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:37 PM
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True, but they have dudes who flip out and murder people with knives and sarin gas at subway stations. That being said, those are kind of extraordinary events - unlike school, church, or workplace shootings.
Plus there is very little street crime. I've heard you can walk pretty much anywhere you want at night in Japan.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:44 PM
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Plus there is very little street crime. I've heard you can walk pretty much anywhere you want at night in Japan.
I walked through a "dangerous" part of Osaka a few nights every now and again. It did have some homeless and transient people, and it smelled like piss, but unlike those times when I walked out to the parking lot at Louis Armstrong Int'l Airport at 1 AM or through the French Quarter to go back to my car after midnight, I never felt like I might have a gun pulled on me.

That being said, every place on the planet, no matter how big or how small, has badass people you just don't wanna come across. I remember blogging a few years ago that Japan was mostly a place of polite and gentle people, but there's also a lot of silent, pent-up rage. Once in a while, I'd come a cross someone who just seemed like they were about to explode like a nuclear bomb. A student I was teaching. A guy next to me on the train. A businessman sweating profusely in a crowded train station on a 95 degree day. I arrived in Japan thinking that Japan had no crime and no dangers, but I learned to fear that guy.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:48 PM
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True, but they have dudes who flip out and murder people with knives and sarin gas at subway stations. That being said, those are kind of extraordinary events - unlike school, church, or workplace shootings.
The downside is probably everyone cowering in their houses afraid of all the criminals who have guns.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:58 PM
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I remember blogging a few years ago that Japan was mostly a place of polite and gentle people, but there's also a lot of silent, pent-up rage. Once in a while, I'd come a cross someone who just seemed like they were about to explode like a nuclear bomb. A student I was teaching. A guy next to me on the train. A businessman sweating profusely in a crowded train station on a 95 degree day. I arrived in Japan thinking that Japan had no crime and no dangers, but I learned to fear that guy.
Yeah, Japanese culture seems like it would cause a lot of pent up rage for the people who have to live with it. But I don't think there are mass attacks on the public like we have in the US.

I know guns are much harder to get there, but there also aren't people driving their cars into crowds or going on mass stabbings like you may find in other places.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:07 PM
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Their prejudicial beliefs are more than skin deep to the point that they have blood type discrimination. All the people who crow about how interesting Japan is tend to be in a very shallow, pseudo intellectual mindset when looking at the situation and are easily lead to form impressions of the culture as a whole based on neat cartoons.

I learned what the word vivisection meant from reading about Japanese history.

The Yakuza are largely a product of their deep discrimination against Koreans.

On the whole they're probably no worse than any other culture; but they certainly are not any better or more enlightened.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:31 PM
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On the whole they're probably no worse than any other culture; but they certainly are not any better or more enlightened.
No better, but certainly no worse.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:35 PM
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Yeah, Japanese culture seems like it would cause a lot of pent up rage for the people who have to live with it. But I don't think there are mass attacks on the public like we have in the US.

I know guns are much harder to get there, but there also aren't people driving their cars into crowds or going on mass stabbings like you may find in other places.
I don't disagree.

The one thing I would say - and this is anecdotal - is that Japan is more dangerous for women in particular. Maybe things have changed in the 12 years since I was last there (doubt it), but sexual assaults and harassment of women were under-reported. I never knew her, but when I was there, a Japanese female who was friend to several people in my social circles was strangled to death by a sexually-obsessed male. Not sure he was ever caught. There was the infamous murder of Lindsay Hawker, a British national, who was murdered by someone she knew. I knew of countless females who had their breasts and buttocks grabbed on trains and on the street by random passers by. I knew of female friends who hung their panties out on clothes lines to dry and woke up the next day to find them missing. Japan is in many ways a great culture, but that aspect of it...is completely fucked up. And it gets way worse in some respects.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:55 PM
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Along social fronts in which we in the US have made much progress in the past 50 years, they have made less, but they are moving. When I lived there in 1979-80 there was no acknowledgement of homosexuality, and for a long time the only word for a gay man was "okama" which means roughly a cross-dresser. Now in the media you do occasionally see recognition that there are different flavors of gayness among men. Still very little acknowledgement of lesbians.

As for women's rights, the abbreviation for sexual harassment (seku hara) is quite common. This is also a big change, even if it means more in the breach than in the observance. At least there is a concept that some male behaviors towards women are legitimately objectionable.

In my opinion, the relative homogeneity of the culture is what slows down cultural change in these areas.

Also, I have never met anyone there who seemed to me to be ready to explode. I admit I didn't have a lot of contact with business people, so if that is where they are, I can understand it. But the reduction of the model of lifetime employment has also reduced the power of companies to rule the lives of their employees, and there is also some increasing sense of the validity of work-life balance.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:57 PM
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Child suicide rate is at a 30-year high and is the leading cause of death among young people, but the overall suicide rate is actually down from the peak. It's less than that of South Korea, anyway.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:46 PM
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I haven't been there in over a decade, but in general I'd compare it to an Asian themed 50s America. So if you like the 50s then you'll like it, if you think the 50s were crap then you probably won't.

But as a tourist, it's pretty interesting.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:26 AM
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I hear they're amazingly xenophobic, so that's cool. Especially if you're a gaijin who comes to visit and experience all the wonderful things about Japanese culture.
In fairness, there are a significant number of white men in East Asia who are quite.....skeevy or immature or shady. To the point where some of that xenophobia is justified.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:53 AM
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The US has plenty of cool manhole covers, too. And diagonal crosswalks. Not sure that the need for smoking booths is actually a plus (at least around here, public smoking is basically nonexistent).
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:13 AM
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Is it really true or am I missing something?
Well, they are frequently Buddhist, so it might not be for you.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:48 AM
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Is Japan really all that?

From what I've heard, yes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:27 AM
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From what I've heard, yes.
Yup. I lived there for 25 years.

And the short answer is :

Whatever you want it to be.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:36 AM
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IMHO it’s because the Japanese have taken a lot of things from the west and improved them in such a way that they are (again IMHO) better then the originals. Things like anime, the Japanese RPG (Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest in particular), and otaku culture compared to American geek culture. I think it could even be argued that if it wasn’t for the Japanese love of console video games, they would likely have died out in the west during the 1980s and we would no longer have video games as we know them. Sure, these aren’t profoundly important things, but they do make Japan seem “cooler” than the US.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:16 AM
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Japan is awesome, and it sucks. Just like most countries.
Any thoughts about the beer?
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:29 AM
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I knew of countless females who had their breasts and buttocks grabbed on trains and on the street by random passers by. I knew of female friends who hung their panties out on clothes lines to dry and woke up the next day to find them missing. Japan is in many ways a great culture, but that aspect of it...is completely fucked up. And it gets way worse in some respects.
The Japanese have a fascinating relationship with sex. In many ways they are extremely open and liberal about sexuality, but in many other ways they are extremely repressed. They seem to be publicly open, but privately repressed. It's a weird duality in their culture.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:43 AM
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I've been a Japanese cartoon nerd my whole life, and when we got the chance to visit Tokyo I felt "hey, I'll go, I'll get this Japan thing all out of my system, and I can move on with my life."

Turned out Japan was much more interesting than a lifetime of watching their pop culture exports had led me to believe. Most of the preconceived notions I'd had were incorrect. Food wasn't outrageously expensive, there weren't overworked salarymen rushing everywhere, and the "high tech" stereotype Japan exists right alongside low-tech, old school, "I can't believe they're still using these things" Japan.

Tokyo felt like a terrifically livable city, with amazing public transit, fascinating things to do and see everywhere, and citizens that weren't grimly marching off to death by overwork, but seemed to have plenty of time to shop, drink coffee, socialize, manage ridiculously specialized businesses that seem to somehow be able to stay in business, and everyone was dressed very nicely compared to us tourists. I can't wait to go back.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:49 AM
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. I knew of female friends who hung their panties out on clothes lines to dry and woke up the next day to find them missing. Japan is in many ways a great culture, but that aspect of it...is completely fucked up. And it gets way worse in some respects.
Doesn't Japan have vending machines where you can buy (used?) panties?

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The Japanese have a fascinating relationship with sex. In many ways they are extremely open and liberal about sexuality, but in many other ways they are extremely repressed. They seem to be publicly open, but privately repressed. It's a weird duality in their culture.
Take kancho. Please! It's a "game" where (mostly) kids make a gun-like shape with their fingers and try to poke others in the butt.

I liken Japanese sexuality to a balloon. If you try to squeeze (repress) it in one area, it just pushes out in another. So maybe you don't have some of the open expressions of sexuality like we do in this country, but you get kancho and tentacle port.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:00 AM
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I liken Japanese sexuality to a balloon. If you try to squeeze (repress) it in one area, it just pushes out in another. So maybe you don't have some of the open expressions of sexuality like we do in this country, but you get kancho and tentacle port.
I'd suggest that's true of humans in general.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:08 AM
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I can't count the number of posts I find on social media about the wonders of Japan and all the little things that are so great about it. Is it really true or am I missing something?
it's great if for no reason other than how different things are compared to what a lot of Americans are used to. Especially if your experience is suburban/outer suburb/rural. the biggest difference that I saw at first was how dense everything is. I spent most of my time in Iwaki which isn't a big city, and even then it felt like stuff was built on top of other stuff. Oh, and there's no such thing as "zoning." the hotel I was staying in was (IIRC) a narrow 10 story building, and next to it was a multi-level parking garage. And crammed in between them was a tiny house. But after a couple of days, the "new-ness" kind of subsided, and then I was just in another place with other people. Tokyo was like a lot of big cities (though naturally more dense) and is so international now you'll see tons of people from everywhere in the world there.

but at no point did I see anything which would explain why your typical anime-devouring otaku thinks it's The Promised Land. other points:

positive:
  • you can get almost anywhere in the country via train and a bit of walking
  • people in general (where they're used to foreigners) are polite and may try to help you if they can
  • if you are in smaller cities where Westerners are less common, school kids will always want to practice their English with you
  • the food. the Japanese food you find in the US is mostly authentic, but it's only a sub-set of the depth and breadth of the cuisine. e.g. yakitori in the US is usually just grilled pieces of chicken breast on a skewer, with dressing/sauce. in Japan, you can get pretty much any part of the chicken on a skewer, like gizzard, heart, "soft bone" (cartilage,) and so on. Plus, there are any number of smaller restaurants which serve pretty much only one thing. There was this tonkatsu place in Iwaki which was phenomenal. They're not as paranoid as we are and don't cook things to death, so the cutlet I was served was cooked until it was just done and was so damn good.
  • promptness. Public services e.g. trains absolutely run on time.

weird:
  • in spite of their reputation as a technological wonderland, they can be surprisingly archaic. the first time I went there, when I bought a train ticket the cashier calculated my change using an abacus (soroban.)
  • the cheaper hotels such as near train stations have seriously tiny rooms. but beer vending machines in the hallway, so that was all good
  • Roppongi is something to avoid, it's nothing more than a tourist trap. IIRC it's what The Simpsons was riffing on when they all wanted to go to "Americatown." It's also where they kind of "stick" foreign residents, and it was the only place in the country where I felt someone was going to boost my wallet. You will be endlessly hounded in Roppongi by people trying to get you to go to the "massage parlors."

bad:
  • the people are still rather xenophobic/racist, at least the older crowd. They will be polite to foreigners, but there's still an element of distrust.
  • it is legal for businesses to serve Japanese people only.
  • the workplace (at least in the remaining bigger "Japan Inc." companies) is still very patriarchal; it's slowly changing but when I was there women were still more or less relegated to secretary and assistant jobs.
  • there are way more homeless people than you'd expect. We arrived at Ueno station when it was dark, and homeless people were piled up sleeping along the outside walls. and there was the time we stepped onto a commuter train to see everyone crammed at one end. because a homeless guy at the other end was passed out and had shit himself.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:08 AM
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I've been to Japan about a half dozen times, each visit lasting 5 - 14 days. Most Americans I know who have visited share experiences like mine. It's an awesome place...for about a week. The food is good, the culture is interesting, there's a lot of history, some very cool stuff to see and do and the people are mostly pretty friendly (it's true kids will want to practice English with you, and adults will introduce you to their kids for that reason). But after a week or so I'm ready to get back to America.

I've been to countries that I didn't want to spend more than about an hour in. And I've been to countries where I thought yeah, I could live here. Japan is neither of those.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:59 AM
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I've been to Japan about a half dozen times, each visit lasting 5 - 14 days. Most Americans I know who have visited share experiences like mine. It's an awesome place...for about a week. The food is good, the culture is interesting, there's a lot of history, some very cool stuff to see and do and the people are mostly pretty friendly (it's true kids will want to practice English with you, and adults will introduce you to their kids for that reason). But after a week or so I'm ready to get back to America.

I've been to countries that I didn't want to spend more than about an hour in. And I've been to countries where I thought yeah, I could live here. Japan is neither of those.
Out of interest, what countries would you live in? Apologies this is off topic (I've never been to Japan, but everyone I know who has loves it. Even my father, who finds France a bit too foreign).
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:40 PM
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Out of interest, what countries would you live in? Apologies this is off topic (I've never been to Japan, but everyone I know who has loves it. Even my father, who finds France a bit too foreign).
Top of the list would be Sweden. That place is awesome, but admittedly I've only been there in the spring and summer months. Experiencing winter might change my mind, but I doubt it. Food is good, people are so nice, laid back, it's not at all crowded. Another thing that helps a lot is English is pretty ubiquitous.

Japan is quite crowded and the opposite of laid back. That's one of the reasons it's just nice to visit for me. It's just personal preference, but noise and bustle isn't my style.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:21 PM
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it's great if for no reason other than how different things are compared to what a lot of Americans are used to. Especially if your experience is suburban/outer suburb/rural. the biggest difference that I saw at first was how dense everything is. I spent most of my time in Iwaki which isn't a big city, and even then it felt like stuff was built on top of other stuff. Oh, and there's no such thing as "zoning." the hotel I was staying in was (IIRC) a narrow 10 story building, and next to it was a multi-level parking garage. And crammed in between them was a tiny house. But after a couple of days, the "new-ness" kind of subsided, and then I was just in another place with other people. Tokyo was like a lot of big cities (though naturally more dense) and is so international now you'll see tons of people from everywhere in the world there.

but at no point did I see anything which would explain why your typical anime-devouring otaku thinks it's The Promised Land. other points:

positive:
  • there are way more homeless people than you'd expect. We arrived at Ueno station when it was dark, and homeless people were piled up sleeping along the outside walls. and there was the time we stepped onto a commuter train to see everyone crammed at one end. because a homeless guy at the other end was passed out and had shit himself.
Which is weird when you consider officially Japan only has 25,000 homeless people total and only 5,000 in Tokyo itself. That seems like an absurdly low figure even in a place where cultural norms and social programs try to eliminate homelessness.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:24 PM
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Which is weird when you consider officially Japan only has 25,000 homeless people total and only 5,000 in Tokyo itself. That seems like an absurdly low figure even in a place where cultural norms and social programs try to eliminate homelessness.
Isn't Japan known for "officially" underestimating many things by a wide margin? I've read that the government deliberately suppresses the statistics of homicides, for instance; wouldn't be surprised if the homelessness figure is far beyond the official figure.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:18 PM
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I can't count the number of posts I find on social media about the wonders of Japan and all the little things that are so great about it. Is it really true or am I missing something?
Well, there are good things and bad I guess. I thought it was pretty amazing, though I have to admit I didn't enjoy the crowds, especially on their trains. I was very uncomfortable, but I feel the same about any crowded place as I have a bit of a phobia about confined spaces and crowds. But it's a truly beautiful country that has an interesting mix of modern with tradition and history. And it's really REALLY clean...amazingly so if you are coming from some place like New York or other large cities.

Like others, I'd like you to go into detail about what you are actually having issues with or think you are missing. Like I said, there are good and bad aspects to Japan. Were you wanting a more traditional experience? Are you coming at this from the perspective of having gone to some other Asian countries? What were your expectations and what has disappointed you?
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post
I've been to Japan about a half dozen times, each visit lasting 5 - 14 days. Most Americans I know who have visited share experiences like mine. It's an awesome place...for about a week. The food is good, the culture is interesting, there's a lot of history, some very cool stuff to see and do and the people are mostly pretty friendly (it's true kids will want to practice English with you, and adults will introduce you to their kids for that reason). But after a week or so I'm ready to get back to America.

I've been to countries that I didn't want to spend more than about an hour in. And I've been to countries where I thought yeah, I could live here. Japan is neither of those.
My biggest problem with actually being in Japan is that nothing fits me. The chairs are too short both in height and depth, there is not enough room between rows of seats, the beds tend to be too short, doorways even in modern homes can be only 6' tall, and so on. The older I get the more uncomfortable this feels. I was able to live there for an academic year when I was 30; now I can barely last a week.
  #41  
Old 11-06-2018, 04:33 PM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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A long time ago it was more acceptable not to like foreign countries because they were just foreign, different and we're better.

You can't say that anymore but it's interesting how via accusations of ist/phobe nowadays you can get back to almost the same thing. Thing is a lot of Americans with very sensitive antennae to ist/phobia think their own country is hopelessly ist/phobe too, or a lot of it anyway.

I'm not dismissing anybody's actual hatred of other racial, national etc groups where it exists, it should be condemned. I absolutely wouldn't sweep Japan's long ago offences in that regard under the rug (or the US's for that matter). But IME, having live in Japan for awhile, though it's not the Asian country I'm most familiar with (I speak Korean reasonably well, Japanese a lot less well, I read Japanese passably for my own purposes in studying Pacific War military history), I really feel a lot of the rap on those countries as ist/phobic is relatively surface stuff. Sometimes it's just people being more honest about how they feel, not involving any malice, because they haven't been browbeaten into keeping it to themselves the way people in (especially in 'enlightened' parts of) the US have. Not ruling out some real difference and if you go to Japan and really think you are the target of ist/phobia, then you're entitled not to like it, of course. Likewise if you're of a different background than I am YMMV. But I don't think it's likely at all for anyone to come to harm in Japan because of their background, something you can't say nearly as surely about Europe for example (say you're Jewish for example and people in certain neighborhoods in France find out).

Again, this is based on having lived there, so I know some of the quasi-comical (though sometimes after awhile it's not so funny) stuff that can happen re Japanese assumptions about foreigners. I'm not speaking from complete blissful ignorance.
  #42  
Old 11-06-2018, 07:51 PM
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Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post

Japan is quite crowded and the opposite of laid back. That's one of the reasons it's just nice to visit for me. It's just personal preference, but noise and bustle isn't my style.

That is a bit of an inaccurate generalization--large Japanese cities are crowded, but rural areas of Japan are emptying out. What you are saying is like visiting New York City and thinking that you now have a grasp of Montana, too.
  #43  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:21 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
A long time ago it was more acceptable not to like foreign countries because they were just foreign, different and we're better.

You can't say that anymore but it's interesting how via accusations of ist/phobe nowadays you can get back to almost the same thing. Thing is a lot of Americans with very sensitive antennae to ist/phobia think their own country is hopelessly ist/phobe too, or a lot of it anyway.

I'm not dismissing anybody's actual hatred of other racial, national etc groups where it exists, it should be condemned. I absolutely wouldn't sweep Japan's long ago offences in that regard under the rug (or the US's for that matter). But IME, having live in Japan for awhile, though it's not the Asian country I'm most familiar with (I speak Korean reasonably well, Japanese a lot less well, I read Japanese passably for my own purposes in studying Pacific War military history), I really feel a lot of the rap on those countries as ist/phobic is relatively surface stuff. Sometimes it's just people being more honest about how they feel, not involving any malice, because they haven't been browbeaten into keeping it to themselves the way people in (especially in 'enlightened' parts of) the US have. Not ruling out some real difference and if you go to Japan and really think you are the target of ist/phobia, then you're entitled not to like it, of course. Likewise if you're of a different background than I am YMMV. But I don't think it's likely at all for anyone to come to harm in Japan because of their background, something you can't say nearly as surely about Europe for example (say you're Jewish for example and people in certain neighborhoods in France find out).

Again, this is based on having lived there, so I know some of the quasi-comical (though sometimes after awhile it's not so funny) stuff that can happen re Japanese assumptions about foreigners. I'm not speaking from complete blissful ignorance.
Are you ethnically East asian (just curious)?

Last edited by Isamu; 11-06-2018 at 08:22 PM.
  #44  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:24 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Well, they are frequently Buddhist, so it might not be for you.
Actually Christianity is pretty big but also secularism.
  #45  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:29 PM
Nava Nava is online now
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Especially if your experience is suburban/outer suburb/rural. the biggest difference that I saw at first was how dense everything is. I spent most of my time in Iwaki which isn't a big city, and even then it felt like stuff was built on top of other stuff. Oh, and there's no such thing as "zoning."
Both of which are also true of most of Europe. The way zoning is usually done in Europe (where it is done at all), which involves sending bothersome stuff out of town and that's it, is completely alien to Americans. With some dishonorable exceptions (dishonorable because everybody who lives there complains about it), even our suburbs tend to look like your downtowns.
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  #46  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:35 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Are you ethnically East asian (just curious)?
I ask because people who at first glance could pass for Japanese have a somewhat different experience in Japan. They can avoid a great deal of the wierd behaviour, like they would never be sitting in a hotel lobby minding their own business and have another guest enter the lobby, look around, and walk straight up to them and demand to know when they are leaving. You get the reverse wierd behavior too, like people you don't know suddenly asking you to speak at their wedding.
  #47  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:54 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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An (American) sailor in a bar told me that, at port (the name of which he told me but I do not recall) in the 1960s, the villagers burned down the tavern they would frequent because the hostess dared to serve and was friendly towards Americans.

But, again, if you turn things around, at the same point in time there were plenty of Americans who did not have warm, fuzzy memories of the war and the Japanese. So it's hard to draw conclusions about whether xenophobia in Japan is worse, better, or the same as elsewhere. Though if people are still being kicked out of hotels even today, that's not cool; did that happen in or near a major city, or out in the sticks?
  #48  
Old 11-06-2018, 11:01 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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ETA I am well aware that sailors tell a lot of stories.
  #49  
Old 11-06-2018, 11:06 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Though if people are still being kicked out of hotels even today, that's not cool; did that happen in or near a major city, or out in the sticks?
If this is to me, well I wouldn't say I was kicked out - just asked when I was leaving (in a very gruff manner) In the sticks, but at a resort hotel. Wierd stuff happens often but hardly ever happens when I'm with someone who looks Japanese. Been here for 23 years so far, so I have a lot of data, I think.

Last edited by Isamu; 11-06-2018 at 11:07 PM.
  #50  
Old 11-06-2018, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Any thoughts about the beer?
Oishii!!!!

Still, I like the American craft beer scene better, I must say. But I used to love going to the izakayas and getting hammered on Asahi or Kirin
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