Curiosity · Food · Travel

Japan – Anime, Food, and Vending Machines Galore!

I have sometimes wondered about traveling to Japan. In my opinion, out of the hundreds of wonderful countries and places in the world for travel, Japan has some of the most amazing features and attractions. Growing up, I spent my jap2time reading manga, watching anime, and trying to draw my favorite characters, though I failed horribly every time. I can remember cracking open shoujo mangas (I’m a hopeless romantic, forgive me…), singing the theme songs of Pokémon and Sailor Moon at the top of my lungs, and watching episodes of One Piece, Fairy Tail, and Naruto for hours on end. Looking back, I recognize that aspects of Japanese culture have always been a part of my life style. For example, one aspect would be Japanese cuisine. I’ve always enjoyed eating sushi, sashimi, ramen, soba, and tempura. With so much of my childhood and current lifestyle influenced by Japanese culture, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate the culture and my longing to travel there continues to grow.

I know that Japan is one of the weirdest countries. By weird, I mean an absolutely, amazing weird. As a foreigner of Japan, I may perceive the country’s activities and creations as weird while they see them as an everyday norm. Japan has some of the most bizarre flavors of food ever. Kit Kats, a type of chocolate bar, come in flavors like candied jap4.jpgsweet potato, sweet corn, and apple vinegar. On shelves, you may see Pringles, a popular type of chips, come in flavors like grilled shrimp, blueberry and hazelnut, and lemon and sesames. These flavors tend to not be any you’d find in a local supermarket in your area. But because they aren’t easily found elsewhere, many people, including myself, would travel to Japan to taste odd, yet intriguing flavors. Japan is also home to some of cooliest and craziest of inventions. They’re behind the banana slipcase, butter grater, square watermelons, food splash hair protector, and the cuddle pillow. While many of these inventions may seem useless, it’s fun to see and experience. Overall, the country of Japan’s perceived weirdness and differences encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and into a different light.

I also know that traveling to Japan is like traveling through a time machine. Japan is definitely a leading country in technological advances. The island nation has made giant contributions in fields of automobiles, robotics, and engineering. A popular aspect of their advanced technology would be their high tech toilets. Like other Japanese inventions and technology, the high tech toilet wasjap5.jpg made in consideration of the people and their well being. With the high tech toilet, the seat can be heated, jets of water will appear and wash you, and you can play music in the background of whatever it is you may need to do. Another aspect of Japan’s advances in technology would be its bullet trains. Times needed to cover a given distance are drastically reduced when riding on a bullet train. According to tourists, trains in Japan are rarely ever late. With these advanced trains, tourists and everyone alike, are able to cut down on the time required for them to make it to certain places.

With all its amazing innovations, I can’t understand why my country, the United States of America, hasn’t adopted some of these aspects. One wonderful thing about Japan that I want here at home, would be Japan’s abundant amount of vending machines. In fact, jap3.jpgJapan has the highest per capita of vending machines, having twenty three vending machines for every person. Everywhere you turn in Japan, you’ll most likely see a vending machine. Japan’s vending machines offer nearly everything you may ever need or want. For example, some things that have been found in these vending machines would include hot soups in cans, beverages of all sorts (including alcohol), books, religious amulets, noodles, batteries, and even undergarments. In the United States, most vending machines only offer beverages. How boring.  

With so much to offer, I will always know that Japan will forever remain at the top of the countries I would love to travel to list. In Japan, I’ll be able to satisfy my taste buds, travel hundred of years into the future, spend my time testing out every vending machine I encounter, and possibly relive my childhood.

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