Culture

5 Reasons to Visit Japan

Welcome to 2017 everyone! I’m sure you all have lots of resolutions for this new year. Is going to Japan one of them? Well I certainly hope so! Here are 5 reasons to visit Japan in 2017!

1 – Go on an adventure!

How many of you love a great adventure? I certainly do! Unlike here in the USA, Japan’s history and culture goes back THOUSANDS of years.

Probably the most well known and glamorized time period is feudal Japan – when samurai roamed the land and battled! I definitely watch a lot of anime based in this time period – like Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Champloo!

There are a ton of different things that you can do, and lots to explore while visiting Japan. Here are some that you will definitely want to check out:

  • Ancient Buddhist temples.
  • Shinto shrines.
  • The amazing Castles.
  • The beautiful gardens.
  • Kabuki theater.
  • And don’t forget the hot springs!

2 – Use the language!

Japan, Ohara, Sanzen-in Temple, Japanese script

Of course being in Japan will be the perfect time to use and practice the language! Every time you see a sign or use a menu you will get to read Japanese. Check out one of the local manga shops and pick up a few that look interesting to you.

Ordering food, asking for directions, or just chatting up the locals will be awesome for both your speaking and listening skills. Turn on the TV every night and watch a show or find a move that looks good.

Plus there is no better way to learn the culture of the country and its people then by being there yourself and seeing it with your own eyes. Take a tour or visit a museum to get up and close to the history that helped shape the country.

Visiting Japan is the perfect immersion experience! Everywhere you go and everything you see will help you to learn and use Japanese more!

3 – Eat the food!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE eating sushi! Of course there’s much more food than just sushi in Japan. But you must have at least a little while you’re there.

But don’t get stuck on just one food. You will definitely have to try out the curie, the udon & soba noodles, the tempura, and of course the ramen! Never forget the ramen 🙂

A few tips for you while you are dining on the oishii tabemono (delicious food!)

  1. Before you start, clap your hands together and say itadakimasu (thanks for the food!)
  2. Use the chopsticks of course, but don’t stab your food with them. That’s a no-no 🙁
  3. When possible, refill your friends plates and let them refill yours. It’s the Japanese way.
  4. And finally, when you’re all finished say gochisō sama deshita (it was a feast!)

And be sure to drink lots and LOTS of green tea. In most restaurants it’s free!

4 – Buy ALL the things!

What better time to get Japanese things then while you’re there? Personally I would be hitting up every manga, anime, and video game store I could find!

The United States Dollar has actually been getting stronger against the Japanese Yen over the last couple of months. Meaning that you can get more and more Japanese stuff with the same amount of money (if you’re from the USA ^_^).

A lot of people love to get beautiful kimonos, which is traditional Japanese clothing, but they can be very expensive. Alternatively you could pick up a yukata, which is like a thinner version of a kimono that Japanese people wear during the summer months.

Be sure to get lots of little omiyage (souvenirs) for all your friends and family back home!

5 – Meet the people!

Of course let’s never forget that when it comes down to it, a country is all about its people!

Meeting people from other countries and forming friendships with them is one of the biggest joys in life. Try and meet some Japanese people who share similar interests with you.

You might even try to meet some people who live in Japan ahead of time so that you can visit them when you go. There are lots of websites you can join where you can meet people from Japan.

Usually the websites are setup so that you can practice your Japanese and they can practice their English. But there’s no rule that says you can’t become friends!

As a final note, if you feel like you need to practice your Japanese before visiting the country, then check out this great resource by clicking here.


Now it’s your turn! What would you like to do when you visit Japan? Maybe you’ve been there before? What are your favorite things to do there? Let me know in the comments below!


 

6 Comments

  • Carmen

    You have a very informative website! I feel like I could really learn Japanese with the techniques you’ve provided. And from what I read about Kanji being different, I never would of thought that there would be so much in learning about Japanese. But It’s really very interesting to me because I have traveled the US, but hardly any trips to other countries. I will be back to learn more!

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey Carmen, thanks I’m glad you found the site interesting! A lot of people are kind of tepid when it comes to learning kanji, but once you get into it, it’s actually a pretty fascinating topic. You can even learn a lot about the culture when you learn the origins of each kanji. If that is something you’d like to know more about, check out the link below. Thanks!

      JapaneseTactics.com/read-japanese

  • Ki

    Haha, as if I needed more reasons to visit Japan. Have you ever been?

    I would really like to learn how to snowboard in Japan, learn Aikido in Okinawa, and become a sushi master in Kyoto!

    I have never visited though! Do you offer travel advice, tour itineraries etc? Perhaps you can devise a homeswap/cultural exchange service?

    • Nick Hoyt

      I’m actually planning on going this year, sometime in the fall. I haven’t yet decided where (uh, procrastination!), so I’d better get on that.

      As it so happens, I’m working on creating a post that covers those things, but I haven’t complete researching it all yet. Stay tuned for more!

  • Jim Cochrane

    Hey Nicholas,

    Nice guide on visiting Japan. I studied Japanese a while back, but never really had much use for it here in the states.

    It’s on my to do list to visit Japan, so maybe it’s time to dust off the course 🙂

    Thanks for your insightful post on what seems to be a great place.

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey Jim, my pleasure! It can be tough to learn Japanese in the States since there’s not a whole lot of people here who speak it. You gotta practice speaking to yourself like a crazy person sometimes :p to get the practice you need.

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