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Japan the fabulous

This entry was posted by on Wednesday, 31 May, 2006 at

It has been a hectic few weeks with few updates, and I am truly sorry about that. I have had numerous ideas for posts, but lack of time has stopped me.

Now I am overseas on a business trip, it is the first time in two years that I am back in my “homeland” of Europe, and it has made me reflect on my situtation as a foreigner in Japan.

There are surely a lot of things about Japan that I absolutely despise and cannot understand; but there are so many more things that are so great they should not be underestimated. Just a simple thing as shopping on weekends. I know it differs from country to country in Europe, but I think Sweden is sort average when it comes to business hours. How on earth are you supposed to enjoy shopping on weekends (the only real time you have time, if you have a full time job) if stores open at noon and close at 4 PM? Further, I estimate 75% of all shops are fully closed on Sundays, and the ones that are open are open as short (or shorter) as on Saturdays.

This is never a problem in Japan, where most shops are always open from 10-11 AM to 8-9 PM everyday including weekends. Sure, stores are occasionally closed – but what is most common is that many department stores are closed on a regular weekday instead; and not necessarily once a week, but once a month or less. Fabulous. Truly fabulous.

Speaking of shopping. (Sounds like I love shopping… I don’t, but hey, sometimes you gotta do it, and it’s better to do it in a fun, relaxed way isn’t it) The amount and variety of products available in Japan is purely amazing. Speaking in European terms, I doubt there is a city in Europe, maybe except London, that has a greater market for consumer products. And I am not only talking about luxury goods or electronics (where Tokyo undoubtedly is #1), but also cheap shopping is fantastic. Where else are the cities filled with “100-yen stores” (where everything costs exactly 100 yen, or close to; i.e. roughly $.90) that has everything from napkins, cutlery, cups, frying pans, rakes, handbags, chips, noodles, sodas, etc. etc. etc. There is one big myth about Japan and that is that everything is expensive. It is utterly false. The living expenses as in rent etc. may be high, but otherwise you can live dirt cheap here. And it’s fabulous.

34 Responses to “Japan the fabulous”

  1. Moein

    I’m a Pre university student in IRAN.
    I Love Japan and Japan’s people because they are innovative people and they are civilized people…
    I am fidget for Japan’s Tsunami and Earthquake and I hope all problems become solve as soon as possible and I hope to a nice future for Japan…
    Your blog is very useful and amazing for me. thank you very much for your useful posts.
    Also Sweden is a nice country that I think everyman should travel to Sweden at least one time in his life!
    IRAN is a historic country and however we have many problems with government, but It’s a nice place for tourists yet…
    I want to study in the field of Software Engineering and I Love Computer and Technology world and your weblog is very useful blog for technology lovers, too.
    But I want to know more about Internet Security (and Personal Security) in Japan and Sweden. Please write more about this subject and inform me (by email) to read it.

    Best Wishes

  2. Jim

    I appreciate yor site, I am an over-protective husband and father. I have always been the worry wart. You see so much bad going on. Anytime you turn on the news there always seems to be a horror story of an attack or robbery etc. etc. I insist on my wife and daughters all carrying pepper spray and not being affraid to use it on antone they feel is a danger to them. Good work on getting this information out to folks. Thanks again!

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