In my YouTube channel, this was the most request question viewers gave me to ask native Japanese in Japan. That’s quite understandable. We have lived in Japan for so long time and people assume we know well about our own country.
Actually It took me 2 weeks to shoot these below videos recently. It was quite hard. But if this would help somebody coming to Japan, I’d be really happy with that.
Here is something you don’t know. I asked the question, “What do you like and dislike in Japan?” to more than 50 people on street interview for the videos, but most of them didn’t want to be on the YouTube. Fortunately most people were very kind, but too shy.
So, the above videos are just very small sample actually. But, I asked their opinions from all people I approached on the street interview anyway.
Let me tell you top 3 things Japanese people like and dislike about Japan.
Although western foods are getting common in Japan, it turned out not only non-Japanese, but also Japanese people are big fan of Japanese cuisine.
Why not? Sure, I’m also. Sushi, Okonomiyaki, Oden, Ramen, Takoyaki, I can’t count my favorite Japanese foods. I really like the variety. The traditional cuisine of Japan is based on rice with miso soup. The side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth or something like that.
Fish is essential in Japanese cuisine. It could be grilled, steamed, flied, or even raw(sashimi or in sushi). Either way, it’s fucking yummy. And don’t forget the quality of rice is tremendous and it goes well with any ingredient!
Probably this is because I did street interview in Akihabara. But even aside from that, Japanese Anime is definitely awesome.
Japanese anime is not for children, but it is for adult audience too. Many films offer an insight into the subconscious of Japanese society well.
Actually, Japanese anime are quite similar to cartoons or animations, but it is the characteristics of Japanese anime that makes them special and unique from just cartoons. The storyline is tend to be really complex and elaborate especially nowadays.
The kanji character wa (和) means harmony or peace in English. This is one of our concepts. Thanks to this concept, we easily get along with anyone in anyplace. I strongly feel Japan is harmonious society. We all were taught the importance of caring and contributing others more than yourself.
In business situation, most companies in Japan encourage this in the workplace. Not only you have to be talented and bring good result, you have to get along with bosses or coworkers to be promoted in the company.
Actually, rewards and bonuses are usually given to groups, rather than individuals, further enforcing the concept of wa.
I didn’t notice about this until doing street interview. But looking around, I realized a lots of trash like plastic shopping bag, wrapping parcel of rice-ball, etc
Actually it’s no doubt. This is tons of stores out there in big cities like Akihabara. 24hr convenience stores, shopping malls, are everywhere, and no trash can even though.
It’s very easy to grab some foods but you can’t find any trash can, so have to take the trash together. That’s actually annoying, so many people just throw away.
In Tokyo, not few stores or restaurant don’t have trash can and accept any trash, because some people use store’s trash can to throw their own trash or unnecessary things.
And also, this is related that Japanese people tend to be very tidy. We're not comfortable with unorganized things. So I think usually room or office is always clean in Japan.
Many non-Japanese complains about this, but actually many Japanese also.
This is called as Tatemae (建前) by many people.
So often, we can’t express our true feelings or desires and just say something expected by society or required according to your position and circumstances. The chances are what they say is not actually what they think honestly.
If you come to Japan as a customer or just visitor, there is no problem. But if you live for a long time, this might bother you a lot. No matter how honest and friendly you try to be, they are just superficial and pretending good person. I think this is exactly why it’s quite hard to be friends with Japanese aside from language barrier and culture difference. Even I, as a Japanese, feel so.
This is why I don’t really like Tokyo. Everywhere is fucking CROWED!! Especially trains in the morning makes me crazy all the time. If you have ever ridden a train during rush hour in Japan, you know it’s difficult to survive, right? Of course, we also dislike that.
Even I've lived here since I was born, actually I still can’t get used to that. Sometimes I avoid super stuffed trains and wait for next train.
But whether it’s rush hour in the morning, rush hour at night, you’re gonna face in a position where you have to give up the luxury of personal space in Tokyo I guess you feel so disgusted if you’re from cozy big countryside.
So, these are the top 3 Japanese people like and dislike in Japan, based on my survey. I asked just a small number of people, so the result might not be actually true in Japan. My apology in advance if you actually feel these things are not actually true.
But anyway, it was really interesting to hear from Japanese about Japan. Some of them are something I haven’t realized or even never thought about that as a Japanese.
After all, every country has something good and bad. There is no perfect place in this world. Whether it’s good or bad thing for you, you have to deal with in Japan.
But as a Japanese, I promise Japan has a lots of interesting and great people out there!! If you’re interested in Japanese people, watch my YouTube channel. You’re gonna know how awesome we are!