What makes a Holiday in Japan so Good?

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I know that Japan is great. Most of the bloggers and commentators on this site know that Japan is great. And I know from a succession of friends, relatives and friends-of-friends who have returned from a trip to Japan, THEY know it’s great! And whilst everyone has their own favourite destination, or favourite Kyoto temple, or special restaurant, I think there are a few factors that anyone who has been to Japan will agree make a visit to Japan so good. I shall present a few of them over the next few days for the benefit of those planning a trip, or thinking about one…

1. No tourism hassle

I’ve never been to the Pyramids in Egypt.  I have certainly heard stories of how amazing they are, but this is usually coupled with stories of the locals pestering you to buy a rug/hat/postcards from them, “you have ride on my camel, 10 dollars”, locals who won’t get out of the way of your ideal shot until you pay them etc. I’ve been in plenty of countries where you walk down the main street looking to choose a nice spot for dinner, but you daren’t stop and read a menu board for risk of being swamped by over-zealous touts; “you come my restaurant, special discount for you, that place no good, you like it here, come come” etc – you may have experienced the sPyramidsame? Japan however has NONE of this. With its amazing customer service standards the customer is king and will be looked after as such, but will never be pestered into parting with his money unless he wants to. Souvenirs are available of course, like everywhere, but there’s no hard sell, there’s no sense of “we must make money out of these people”, just a freindly smile, a bow and perhaps a polite “irasshaimase” (welcome!) Travelling in Japan is a joy, and it is sometimes easy to forget this when you are there, so next time you are in Japan taking in the sights or looking for dinner, have a quick think of what that experience would be like in most other countries of the world.

2. Everything works

The trains work. The subway works. There are vending machines on every street corner – they work (some even sell booze!). Popular restaurants in busy places might have a queue snaking out the door at lunchtime – the queue works. You need a taxi? I doubt you’ll have to wait 30 seconds – taxis work. And if you try out some of those weird looking buttons on your electronic toilet seat – yep, they’ll work too, so be careful! And after you’ve finished playing with the buttons, wash your hands – the hand dryer works. Everything works so well in Japan, you’ll be looking around your home country when you get back thinking “now why doesnt THAT work here…?”

Come back soon for the next installment…

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