Would you like to gain new experiences while travelling?
If so, Japan is a great country to visit.
There are several characteristics that set Japan apart from other countries and make it an amazing travel destination.
Each of these are unique to Japan and there isn’t any other country in the world that has all these characteristics.
That’s why visiting Japan will be a new experience for you.
And these characteristics are things you are likely to notice and experience when you visit Japan.
So, what are they? Here are my thoughts on the characteristics of Japan.
Japan is a safe country. It is in fact one of the countries in the world with the lowest crime rate.
What many people may not realise is that safety in Japan will give you a lot of comfort when travelling.
It means you don’t need to constantly have your guard up. It may be a nerve-racking experience for you if you’re travelling by yourself and have to figure out how to get to the next destination without knowing the Japanese language.
But no matter where you travel in Japan, you would have a good level of comfort, meaning someone will give you a hand if you make an effort to speak to them or ask for help, even if they are a complete stranger.
Japanese people care about cleanliness.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t spot any rubbish or trash in public spaces you are at like train stations and streets. Not only that, it’s hard to find a rubbish bin or trash can in public spaces because Japanese people usually bring their own rubbish home.
Also, when you are at a restaurant, you will usually be given a wet towel to wipe your hands before your meal as part of the service.
These days, disposable wet towels are more common. But you may get actual hand towels that are cold or hot depending on the season, meaning in the summertime the towels are cold so that you can cool down from the hot temperature outside. In winter, the towels are usually warm because the outside is cold.
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Punctuality is very important in Japan. This is especially true to public transport such as trains.
Because people do check public transport timetables to get to their destination on time. In fact, arriving five minutes before the actual meeting time is a common practice in Japan.
Trains are usually on time but when they are delayed, platforms get really busy especially during the rush hours. And what you’re likely to notice will be train crews who keep apologising for the delay and that caused inconvenience for passengers.
This tells you a lot about how important it is to be punctual in Japan.
Japan has a great variety of cultural assets, regional characteristics, and geographical features in addition to seasonal variations.
From arts and crafts and the self-discipline focused “the Way” practice, to spirituality and religious traditions and traditional entertainment like theatre performances, variety is huge in Japanese culture.
Not to mention, each category has at least several to hundreds of different kinds. For example, “the Way” practice includes sado (tea ceremony), kado (ikebana flower arranging), shodo (calligraphy) and budo (martial arts), to name just a few.
Also, regional characteristics are significant. Japan is divided into 8 different regions namely Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu, which includes Okinawa.
From the northeast to the southwest, it covers subarctic to subtropical zones. Climate conditions are also different even among the main Honshu Island from the Pacific Coastal area to the Sea of Japan zone to the Central Highland area to the Seto inland sea region.
These differences are creating variations in food, festivals and other local activities as well as people’s lifestyles. And these are an important part of the regional culture.
In addition to that, Japan has four distinct seasons. Strictly speaking, each four seasons are divided into 6 different sub-seasons according to the old lunar calendar. Japanese people feel slight changes of days passing by through all the 24 sub-seasons.
It means there are endless possibilities for your trip to Japan depending on when, where and what to experience and so whatever you’re looking for, you’re likely to find what you will like in Japan.