The Land of the Rising Sun is known for its love of popular culture, cleanliness, and respect. But when it comes to surpassing other countries, there’s no competition. A popular online forum pinpointed some of Japan’s best aspects. From high-tech toilets to diverse vending machines, here are ten things that Japan does better than any other country.
1. Vending Machines
Japan has a reputation for having unique, sometimes bizarre, vending machines. Many of them can follow the rule that if you can think of it, you’ll likely be able to find it in a vending machine.
Of course, there are the usual beverage and snack ones, but there are also vending machines for hot meals, soup, alcohol, and even non-food products. I’ve even seen a vending machine for Cup Noodles with a built-in hot water tap!
2. Clean Streets
Cleanliness is not something taken sitting down in Japan, but streets are on a whole other level. In some parts of the country, even the gutters on the sides of the roads are so clean that koi swim in them. And the surprising part? There aren’t that many trash cans on the streets. Instead, people carry their trash until they find one.
This one is less about having earthquakes and more about how the country deals with them. It makes sense for a place that experiences so many a year to become efficient at handling their aftermaths. One person even replied with a time they had watched a video of a sinkhole caused by an earthquake being filled in two days.
4. Security of Belongings in Public Places
Many contributors to the forum shared stories about forgetting their wallet at a train station, only to remember it later and to go back and find it untouched. Others talked about seeing unlocked bikes on the street and phones left on tables at a food court. Not only does this show a great deal of security, but it also shows a great deal of trust.
5. Solo Accommodations
The commenter who mentioned this aspect of Japanese life did so with the angle that it benefits those who see social situations as challenging. Many restaurants, shops, and even hotels throughout the country do not require you to interact with another person. Instead, there are robots and dividers to keep you away from other customers and workers. However, as many others mentioned, this is also nice for those who prefer to dine alone.
6. Public Transport
Whether it’s trains, boats, or even buses, Japan is a model for excellent public transportation. It is socially expected for you not to talk on the phone while taking public transportation, making them surprisingly quiet. Everything is on time and clean, too.
One person notes that Japan has been recycling for “decades before it became a thing everywhere else.” And it’s not just your usual cans and bottles that can be recycled, either. In Japan, steel, building materials, and even air conditioners can be recycled!
8. Grocery Stores
If you’ve seen pictures of Japanese apartments, you know they are not that spacious, especially in the cooking department. Grocery stores can accommodate this by offering smaller portions for sale. Not only does this save on space, but it saves food from going to waste. Don’t worry. If you need that large amount of something, it’s still possible to get it, and Costco is still a thing.
I know I know, this sounds a bit odd, but hear me out. Not only are public restrooms immaculate (and some even have seat cleaners), the toilets for your home will make you feel like you’re in the year 2300. Many of them have bidets built in, but there are also those with heated seats and even music for those needing a little more privacy.
10. Convenience Stores
Japan really puts the “convenient” in a convenience store. Shops like 7-Eleven offer more than just snacks (though to be fair, they are affordable, delicious snacks). Delivery pick-ups, printing, and even places to heat your tasty treats are some benefits awaiting you! One forum respondent even bought bike insurance there!
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