What’s so great about Japan anyway?

Met up with an old chum tonight – a guy I’ve known since high school.  Let’s call him “Dusty.”  A guy frequently in between Vancouver and Tokyo.

Prefers Tokyo.

Loves Japan.  In his words, ‘Tokyo is a playground.’  In his mind, nothing here can live up to good old Edo.  I guess I can see where he’s coming from.

Tokyo life: where the beer is always flowing, and the karaoke bars and boxes are always open.

Tokyo, where there’s no need to worry about getting home after getting drunk – even if Japan is zero-tolerance for impaired driving.  “関係ない,” as they say.  The trains are always running – and when they aren’t you can just crash at the station, or even better: at a net cafe.

The Kirin Bridge in Tokyo is where all roads in Japan lead to.  Which means plenty of sweet, open,


oooooooooopeeeeennn highway to cruise on your bike – motorized or otherwise.

Amusement parks and game centres and maid cafes and historical monuments and people, people, PEOPLE!  Lovely, awesome, friendly people!  Everywhere you go!

…what am I missing?

I get this strange feeling when Dusty and I go on about like this.  It feels as if – the more we talk, less I can keep up my grin.

Kinda like there’s a sinkhole forming someplace in my chest, and all the little bits and constitute and form my smile are running off into it.

Dusty is the opposite.  He comes back from a prolonged trip to Japan.  He comes home and feels out of whack.  He feels listless and uninspired.  He yearns, he craves going back.  He’s always looking for a new reason to go.

I come home to Canada and I’m pretty, yeah… pretty good not to get back to my lovely Nippon.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do like Japan but…

But something calls me back to Vancouver………  why can’t I relate to all the other Japan-infatuated out there?

15 thoughts on “What’s so great about Japan anyway?

  1. However I ended up being the way that I am, people in the DC area simply don’t appreciate me. Quite the opposite in say, New York, but Tokyo somehow gives me that +50 charisma gaijin aura that’s kinda hard not to enjoy. That said, its all location, location, location and then your charisma stat added into the social equation.

  2. I know how you feel. I love living in Japan, and I’m very happy with my life in Japan. But I’m always so excited to go home for the holidays, and coming back gets harder every single year. It’s not that I like Japan any less, but as they say, there’s no place like home. Especially when your home is a country that’s as great as Canada. It’s pretty hard to compare. I also think people who visit Japan (no matter how often or how long they stay) don’t have the same experience as those living here day in and day out. It’s easy for a place to be a playground when you’re not tied to it.

    1. Oooooooooh yeah! Canada is a very tough country to live up to for a lot of great reasons. *High-5!*

      I don’t think I can do the living-in-Japan bit for too much longer. Maybe again in the future, but I think it’s time for a little break for me.

  3. I have yet to visit Japan and stay there for a while. And even though I have never been there before, I can understand Dusty and his wish to be there whenever he can. On the other hand, I do understand your feelings also. Canada is your home, not only as a physical place you can call home, but also in your heart. I guess this is why you might not feel the deep wish to be in Japan as much as Dusty does, when you can’t be there for some time, or even for a long time. I wouldn’t want to live in Japan, or in any other country, for that very reason. Because the place of my birth is Austria, and I wouldn’t trade it in for all the money in the world.

    1. Canada is in my heart, for sure, yes. It’s really good to hear from people who understand where I’m coming from (it means I’m not as crazy as I thought). ^_^ Thank you.

  4. I can relate to Dusty, and not just because of the name. Tokyo can seem like a playground, but like you, I prefer my home back on the farm in Kansas. Tokyo is a fun place to go, but not to stay for an extended period of time.

  5. I want to go because the culture is drastically different than what I’m experiencing now. It has to be an incredibly odd feeling to live in a country where I can’t speak the language.

    Vancouver wouldn’t be a bad place to live either. Have you ever seen any of the tv shows being taped like the X-Files or Dead Like Me?

    1. Totally aware of the X-Files, but never got a chance to get into it. Is Dead Like Me any good?

      Thanks for giving Vancouver a chance!! :D I kinda like VanCity… I like to think I’m a peanut in the city’s butter……rrrr orrr something, lolz.

  6. I can understand Dusty. When I’m in Australia, I feel the need to return to Japan. It’s not infatuation in my case; the scales have well and truly fallen from my eyes. I just miss the challenge, I guess.

    1. It is a challenge, I can’t deny that. Perhaps I’ll miss the challenge when I go home for good. I can totally see that happening and me not being happy being home either though, lol.


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