Ganbare Gaijin Girl, or Why I Love Japan

by Linda Okazaki

Japan is so confusing; I guess that’s what is so appealing to me. Nothing is quite what it seems. The culture is subtly nuanced and often difficult for the typical foreigner to understand. But there is much to appreciate in this society, which dates back thousands of years.

Bride and Groom in Kurashiki


Here are my top ten reasons for loving Japan, in no particular order:

1.  The juxtaposition of old and new

2. The appreciation of nature, especially seasons

3. The food (except for natto)

4. The strict sense of behavioral expectations and social order

5. The politeness

6. The mix of Nihongo and English in silly ways that I call “jinglish”

7. The transportation

8. The sense of punctuality (see also #7)

9. Heated toilet seats

10. Wabi Sabi, or finding the beauty in imperfection

11. The, oh wait, I forgot I was going to stop at ten…

Mt. Fuji Taken From the Bullet Train