IN PHOTOS: 29 Reasons Why Japan Is Love

Japan is a dream destination for many. Its rich culture, well-preserved historical sites, delicious food, and amazing people are reasons enough to love this country. I have been to Japan more times than I can remember and it still astounds me every time. And even if I have traveled the country a lot of times, I’d still come back for more.

When asked why I love traveling to Japan so much, I can’t think of just a single reason. There is a lot to love about Japan. Its serene surroundings, its culture of honesty, its tasty food, and more.

I love how quiet it is even in public places. People stay quiet when traveling on trains as a sign of respect because some of those who travel on it are people who often use this time to squeeze in a quick nap from a tiring day. Also, no one plays loud music, be it in public or at home. I’m not sure if there’s a law for that but I have never heard blasting music even in residential areas.

I love how clean they are. Everyone has a sense of duty to clean up after eating whether it is in a restaurant, in the park, in the World Cup, or on the Shinkansen. It doesn’t matter, they always clean up and throw their trash in designated areas. And they strictly segregate at home. They have a specific schedule when to throw certain trash.

Anyway, I’d have to agree to what Yui Mendoza, the guy who looked for real-life locations of Kimi no na wa, said, “Why exactly I love Japan is a difficult question. Is it the history? Culture? Food? People? All these common reasons aside, here are 29 more reasons Japan is love!”

Here they are:

29. Trains. In addition to its transportation system that arrives unbelievably on time (on the dot), passengers are quiet and go about with others in mind.

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28. Respectful commuters. This photo captures the rush hour in Tokyo where commuters line up for their turns on the escalators. There’s not even a sign telling people to do so, they do it instinctively.

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27. A convenient place even for people with special needs even at bus stops, trains, restaurants, and concert venues.

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26. Kawaii kids! <3

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Tropa. ? #japan #japantravel #japantrip #cooljapan #traveljapan

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25. … and waitresses

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24. Vending machines. It’s everywhere! “Everywhere”!

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Vendo not break ?

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23. Locals. In Japan, people do not tell you how to reach your destination, they bring you there. As in the case of this chef sending me off to my accommodation.

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22. Only in Japan can you find beautifully designed manhole covers, even in the areas outside the city!

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21. Convenience stores. You can’t go a block without passing at least one — and it has everything you need: bentos, desserts, office items, and shipping services!

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Lunch options: onigiri mula sa suking konbini. ?

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20. Japan’s concert scene. Your attendance and seat number are decided on the basis of the ‘lottery’ selection process. Also, you get to enjoy listening to the artists as applause is demanded “only after” every song number. There’s a concept of personal space, so expect not be shoved by frantic audience members.

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19. Fuji-san!

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You can see Fuji-san even on the Shinkansen.

18. The marriage of culture and modernity. A perfect example is Meiji Shrine, a Shinto jinja located right at the very heart of Tokyo, adjacent to the crazy Harajuku Street

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17. Respect for religious norms. Wishing tablets, fortune papers, and a lot more! Buddhist temples built alongside Shinto shrines are a common sight.

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16. Matcha-flavored-anything!

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Uji Matcha and Black Sesame #icecream #Kyoto

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15. Ads. It’s common especially in train stations to be given a pack of tissue paper — with advertisement flyers attached! How can you say no to free tissue papers?

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14. The crazy scramble at Shibuya Crossing

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13. Expectation meets reality. What’s on the menu will be served to you exactly as it is — or even bigger and better. The hardest part of Japanese food-hopping is selecting one from the menu!

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12. Deer. Especially in Nara, deer own every block!

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Pangalan ng pet nila Pat. Pat the deer. ?

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11. Unique practices. In this photo are omikuji, fortune-telling paper strips. You draw one and get a fortune ranging from great curse to great good fortune. Should you pick a bad fortune paper, it is customary for you to tie it up on these wires to counter the curse. Interesting.

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10. Coexistence with nature. Deeply rooted in Shintoism, Japan’s oldest religion. It is by Japanese beliefs that to achieve nature’s full blessing, one has to exist “with” and not “against” it.

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9. Respect for the old. How Japan manages to preserve its cultural heritage while coping with modernization is still a mystery for outsiders. In this photo is Pontocho alley giving visitors a slice of the glorious Kyoto era.

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8. The izakaya experience. A more casual, laidback bar experience to those looking for the most authentic Japanese vibe. In this photo are me, Ms. Bizen, Pres. Matagawa of Morioka, and friend-turned-family Mr. Shinji.

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7. The Shinkansen

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Racing? ?

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6. Cute Japanese students!

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5. Ubiquitous recycled items. When I asked my Japanese friend why there are few trash bins in the streets, she replied: “We are expected to bring our trash home and reuse it if we can.”

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4. Realize your anime fantasy! You can visit real-life locations of your favorite animations in a pilgrimage called “seichi junrei”. The closest encounter you could ever have with your fave characters.

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3. The extravagance. Especially in Tokyo’s Harajuku area, you can dress up and be whoever you want. Where ordinary is not a word and everyone is basically Lady Gaga.

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2. Security and safety. Lost my phone and had it returned 20 minutes later. Just one among the many lost-and-found stories of foreign travelers in Japan.

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1.The people. My trip to Japan was special because of my beautiful Japanese friends-turned-family (Hiroyo-san, Rika-san, Ken-chan, and Yuki). Throughout my stay in Kansai, Yuki and her husband have been family to me — showing me around, serving the best food I’ve ever had my whole life, and exchanging stories! Home away from home. I will surely be back.

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I’d have to agree with all of this! <3

Have you been to Japan? Do you agree with these reasons that Japan is love?