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View Full Version : Japan : Top 5 pros, cons, reliefs and disappoitments



Maciamo
Nov 30, 2006, 18:38
I would like you to think about :

1) the 5 best thing that would make you want to live in Japan
2) the 5 worst thing that would make you want NOT to live in Japan
3) the 5 things that surprised you in a positive way when came to Japan (compared to your expectations)
4) the 5 things that disappointed you most when came to Japan (compared to your expectations)

Naturally, only people who have been to Japan (and lived there) can give their top 5's.

It's always good to have a balanced view of the pros and cons, and make the point between reality and expectations. This thread is meant to summarise our feelings and share them with everyone so that we can compare and discuss them. Expectations will probably give the bigger differences from individual to individual, based on their knowledge of Japan prior to come to the country, and the type of society they come from.

I'll start the dance :

N.B. : the numbers in bold represent the 5 most important points in my eyes for the pros and the cons.

Top 5 best things about living in Japan

1) The frequent sight of women in kimono, the matsuri and other traditional aspects
2) Convenience stores, huge department stores, and shopping on Sunday
3) Peaceful and orderly people
4) The general non-religiousness of the Japanese
5) Low taxes (sorry, couldn't think of anything else)

Top 5 best things that I didn't expect about Japan

1) The food, as much the quality as the low price and quick service of restaurants
2) The care of girls for their style and fashion (in big cities)
3) The cleanliness and extensive network of the metro (in Tokyo)
4) Mild and dry winters (in Tokyo)
5) The ease to move around cities by bicycle

Top 5 worst things about living in Japan

1) Japanese people's reluctance to express their opinions and their general naivete (i.e. lack of critical sense)
2) Natural disasters (esp. earthquakes, as it is a deterrent to buying a house)
3) The lack of beautiful houses (I haven't seen single house I would have fallen in love with)
4) Japanese TV
5) 5-month-long muggy summers

Top 5 worst things that I didn't expect about Japan

1) The shocking ignorance about the rest of the world (or even about Japan)
2) The attitude toward Westerners (not everybody, but enough to be disturbing)
3) The destruction and mismanagement of the historical and natural heritage
4) The lack of thermic isolation and central heating in houses
5) Concrete and electric lines everywhere, and poor urban planning



Note that what I selected in the "worst things about living in Japan" are things which I more or less expected before first going to Japan. My strongest deterrent to living in Japan are mostly things which I didn't expect at first. There are also things for which I had positive expectations, but which have become tarnished with time (e.g. the helpful and respectful character of the Japanese, as it really depends on the people when it comes to interacting with foreigners).

GaijinPunch
Dec 1, 2006, 12:33
1) Japanese people's reluctance to express their opinions and their general naivete (i.e. lack of critical sense)5) 5-month-long muggy summers

I'd put this on the good list. Nothing better than a nation of people that mind their own business and don't get up in your ***.


1) The shocking ignorance about the rest of the world (or even about Japan)

Go to America for a while. Even more shocking.

Maciamo
Dec 1, 2006, 19:55
I'd put this on the good list. Nothing better than a nation of people that mind their own business and don't get up in your ***.

I was talking about people who don't tell your opinion even when you ask them, even when you want to have a discussion. Hard to have a serious discussion with a Japanese !


Go to America for a while. Even more shocking.

I know, I know... :(

senseiman
Dec 2, 2006, 04:14
My top five good things about living in Japan:
1) I really like the way the cities are laid out. You can walk or ride a bicycle just about anywhere, unlike in North America where the cities are so spread out you can't get anywhere without a car.
2) I love Japanese history and the large number of beautiful temples, castles, machiya, gardens and shrines that are scattered throughout the country. Nothing like that where I come from.
3) I like the countryside. Very laid back feel, lots of attractive mountains and ricefields.
4) I like the social life -karaoke, Izakaya, etc.
5) Sports - I'm a huge sumo and Japanese baseball fan.

Top 5 bad things about living in Japan:

1) The concrete everywhere, especially on riverbanks and shorelines, is just really really ugly
2) The downside of living in convenient, compact cities is that you have to live in a tiny apartment, and you also have to deal with all the noise...
3) The apartments are really cold in the winter. I used to have to lug this gas heater (which I had to manually refill everyday) around from room to room just to keep warm. I'm from Ottawa, where the winters are way worse, but the homes are way better heated.
4) It really bothered me whenever I saw some attractive old building being demolished to make way for some eyesore, which seems to happen on a daily basis.
5) The lack of trees in the cities.

One thing I wasn't sure which list to put on was my relationship, as a foreigner, with Japanese people in social settings. On the one hand as a foreigner you aren't really subject to the rigid social norms (which is a plus), but on the other hand you get treated like a baby sometimes ("Wow, you can use chopsticks??!!"), which used to rub me the wrong way. So I would say that is a neutral point.

ghettocities
Dec 3, 2006, 13:24
I'd like to consider myself the top con when it comes to Tokyo, Japan.