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07 October 2010 @ 10:29 am
Day 11 - What did you find most..  
It's time for more Japan meme, eh?

Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?

Hmm.. well, to be honest, this is easy to answer. It's an answer born out of hate. (sorry ^^; But I'm entitled to hate some things, right?) I'm trying not to talk about things that I don't like much, but this is something that I come to over and over again.


I HATE TRAINS. Call me an environment hater (not true), germophobe (partially true? Though I don't really think so), or whatever you want, but I hate trains. There are three main reasons:

1- Everybody on the train pays the same price, but doesn't receive the same service. Exactly the same no matter who you are. But only SOME people get to sit down. So what? a lot of people say when I tell them. But this isn't fair. Either everyone does or everyone doesn't. It's not fair for some people to ride sitting and others have to stand just because there are no seats. There are only two ways I will EVER accept this arrangement: 1- You pay more to get to sit (I would). 2- There no seats OR seats for every single person. Otherwise, there is no way that this is a fair arrangement. Disagree with me if you really must, but I feel really strongly that if you pay for a service, everyone should receive the SAME service. If you and your friend bought a massage and your friend was given one twice as long while you had to wait, you would feel slighted, right?

2- They are dirty. I hear that others are dirtier. But that doesn't make the ones here less dirty. They are still dirty! I can't ride the train without seeing someone: 1- cough into their hand (if we are lucky.. it's not taboo to cough all over the people around you here) and then touch a railing/handle. 2- pick their nose and eat it, yes this happens a lot and I am talking about adults touch something. 3- Sneeze/scratch their eyes/wipe their nose/eat and then touch a railing/handle. These things really bother me. I don't want to get sick and more importantly, I don't want to touch your gross germs, stranger! I really don't think this makes me a germaphobe, and you may disagree, but things like dirt don't bother me in the slightest. I just don't like people germs, if that makes sense.

3- They are inconvenient as hell. I have to walk almost 15 minutes to get to my station, then wait until the train comes. Heaven forbid I miss it, or I'll have to wait another 15 minutes for another express, or take the local which takes 20 minutes longer. I have to do this carrying every single thing that I need during the day. If it's going to be a long busy day, then it can be a lot of stuff.

If I was using a car, I can use it as my personal backpack (yay!), it goes directly from where I am to where I want to go, I can use it as my personal karaoke box (yay!), everybody gets to sit, and I control how clean it is and who is inside. It costs a lot more though, and since I am poor, I haven't been able to buy one. But I'm going to, one day! I also miss the control... I loooooooooove driving, there is nothing more soothing! When I was depressed after high school (long story), I would often drive out to the middle of the desert late at night and just listen to the sound of the outdoors or sit and look at the stars, at the end of a long winding road where nobody else was coming or had probably been for a long time.

I can't apologize for how I feel.. ^^; I find trains/public transport overrated, and if I had a car/lots of money, I would only take them when absolutely necessary (like if I was on vacation or something) Others who don't feel this way, please take all the trains that you want, I'll be happy that you're doing your part for the enviroment. But I'm going to participate as little as possible.. at least after I get a car.

By the way, I would like to have an electric car. I just hope they make electric jeeps one day, or I can get one custom-made!

Oh my, what a rant. ^^; I feel like I'm going to get attacked and people are going to yell at me that I'm elitist or something. But I can't do anything about that. I feel strongly, almost as strongly as I do about smoking. I still have to take the train because it's the only way I can get around on my own right now, but I don't have to like it.

Something underrated? This is actually a lot harder. I don't often hear people putting down things that are unique to Japan that I love..

.... hmmm...

Japanese food? (Ramen is WAY overrated, maybe I should have written about that. People outside of Japan sometimes talk about the wonders of Japanese ramen and how it's all special, but I honestly find it boring. It generally comes in salt or soy sauce flavor, which is pretty much the same thing really, or miso, which is, again.. the same thing. Unless you get the cup-noodle instant kind, which isn't pretty like the ones in the restaurants, there really is no variety in flavor at all) But other Japanese food on the other hand! [Insert fish] shio-yaki is the most amazing thing EVER. Eel in the summer, roasted and set over rice with sweet brown sauce is to die for. We all know sushi and it's rated high but it totally deserves it. Onigiri I can live without, but octopus, mochi, okonomiyaki, yakiniku (arguably korean but Japan claims it as their own mroe or less), and red bean paste.. Yuuuuuuuuuum, so many amazingly great awesome things! ♥

I probably wouldn't have written that a few years ago. But I've fallen in love with a lot of japanese food recently ♥

And how about purikura? I can't sing the praises of them enough! They're so much fun to do! I suppose that's part of the kid in me that loves them, and I really should take more. (I especially want to after the picture board that I made yesterday!)

Karaoke, too. I think that William wrote about this too(?), but karaoke in Japan is WAY better than karaoke abroad. For the simple reason that you get your own private room for you and your friends, and sing your heart out! It's not a smoky bar where you have to stand up in front of people that you don't know and probably don't care about you and sing. Nope, this is all about having a great time with the people that you came with, instead of random strangers! How can this not be the best thing ever? ^^ The down side is that it's really a bit expensive, at least to me, especially at night, so I can't go that often. When I do, I try to go during the free time during the weekday which is cheaper if they have a deal. For example about $10 for 6 hours as opposed to $3 for 30 minutes. (It varies depending on the company/time of day/location)

And... Japanese fashion magazines!

The only one I read at the moment is Ray (レイ http://ray.shufunotomo.co.jp/), but there are tons and tons out there, for nearly every kind of fashion that you could ever want! I like Ray because it seems to have the fashions that suit me the best, but really there are so many to choose from, I could make a whole post about them. I think that I will, some time, even though I'm not an expert by any means. I just started to pick them up one day to do reserach for a manga, and ended up liking the fashions in this one a lot. =^-^=

The Japan 30-day Meme ♡〜(ゝ。∂)

Day 01 - A picture of you "in Japan". (doing or wearing something "Japanese")
Day 02 - Describe your neighborhood in Japan.
Day 03 - Most interesting person you've met.
Day 04 - What's your favorite place that's not in any of the guidebooks/lists of places to visit?
Day 05 - Which, if any, Japanese mannerisms or expressions have you adopted?
Day 06 - Food that you swore you would never eat but now love (or tolerate).
Day 07 - Which Japanese words do you use in English? (hanami, shinkansen, etc.)
Day 08 - Are you a Herbivore or Carnivore? S or M?
Day 09 - Favorite stores/shopping centers.
Day 10 - Something about Japan that sets it apart from anywhere else.
Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?

Day 12 - Describe a fail!gaijin moment. (Where you did something wrong or completely misunderstood because you couldn't ~read the air~ or just plain had no idea what you were supposed to do because you weren't born and raised here) Describe a gaijin!smash moment .(Where your foreignness was to your benefit)
Day 13 - Favorite live event that you attended
Day 14 - What is the hardest thing about living in Japan versus your home country?
Day 15 - Weirdest food item you've seen, and weirdest food item you've actually eaten.
Day 16 - How you realised you'd acclimated to Japan. (if you have)
Day 17 - Your karaoke top 5, your sushi top 5, your conbini top 5.
Day 18 - Post some amusing/cute/faily purikura.
Day 19 - Your favorite Japanese character(s) and Gachapon/UFO Catcher toys
Day 20 - Favorite Japanese festival or folklore.
Day 21 - Favorite and least favorite Japanese fashion trends.
Day 22 - Your favorite Japanese saying or kotowaza (proverb).
Day 23 - What is something you have/do in Japan that you wish you had/could do in your home country?
Day 24 - Your favorite Japanese slang or borrow-word (外来語), e.g. セフレ "sex friend"
Day 25 - Most interesting vending machine find.
Day 26 - What's your favorite/least favorite train line.
Day 27 - Place you avoid going to if at all possible.
Day 28 - A picture of you looking like a weaboo/A picture of you trying to blend in and failing.
Day 29 - What's the thing you [will] miss most about Japan when you leave (either on vacation, or move away)?
Day 30 - Did Japan meet your expectations, both good and bad? What has been the most surprising thing about Japan for you, or the thing you least expected?

I guess that's all for the moment..! It's only 10:30 am and I've already studied japanese, gotten ready for the day (I suppose that's because I took a shower last night so I didn't have to this morning), and written in lj. I feel so accomplished! It's now time to get to real work, I suppose. ^-^ I have to study/print my Asahi Pop'n Press script, draw for it, and do a few other things before I can get down to other business! ^^
Wee Lisaweelisa on October 7th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
It's okay to dislike public transportation. The buses here in Winnipeg aren't called the Pox Mobiles for nothing!
Sherrysherryillk on October 7th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I went to school in NYC so I kinda get the train thing. Being squished on an express train and having to fight your way out after desperately cling for your life to a pole that you may or may not have access to because there are so many people trying to get their hands on something to keep themselves in place is not fun.

But still, I kinda miss it now that I'm away from it. I never liked driving all that much so I found public transportation a better alternative, at least when it wasn't during rush hours. Or weekends/holidays where the tourist infestation was at its highest...
 ❀ ☆ ☂mokonekochans on October 7th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
I love public transport, like trains. Its so easy and convenient, that I dont need a license to drive. I can go anywhere I want relatively quickly, and quicker than the traffic on the streets.
I dont know if they are very different between London and Japan though, they probably are! :D
คเг ☆彡air on October 7th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
I never really think about the seating issue unless someone is taking up more seats than they need. It really frustrates me when people keep their stuff on a seat, usually to purposely block it so other people can't use it. Did you pay $4.50 for two seats? No? Kay, move please. x(
Vickytoldtojoinlj on October 7th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
The train system is one thing that I know I would try to avoid if I ever go to Japan. It's mostly because I don't like being all close to people and the fear of getting lost, but still... No thank you. >_>

I have to agree about the karaoke thing, though we do the same thing here. I think I may have mentioned it before, but my friends and I go to noraebangs which are Korean karaoke places that give you your own room (you can order food and drinks as well). I have to say, though, the ones I've seen in your photos are much bigger, cleaner and brighter, but it doesn't surprise me since it's not that popular here.
The Euni: Big and Simple like Worldkarakurimi on October 7th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Ya to you about the trains! On the NYC Subway system, it's pretty much the same about the germs and how people seem to want to use the same hand to rub their face and hold onto the pole...eck. I've also seen the eating snot bit happen way too many times. In addition, people eating sunflower seeds and spitting them out ON THE FLOOR (!!!), or some other similar food where the packaging or the shells are just dumped on the floor, is the biggest thing that really grates my nerves.

I like looking at Japanese fashion magazines in Kinokuniya when I pass through! Some of them have free small bags within their packaging...but I've not bought any Japanese publications in a long time now, so I mostly just stare. @_@
The Eunikarakurimi on October 7th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Oh! And the karaoke places you go to seem really nice, from how the pics look. In NYC there's a number of places that do have private rooms and, like a previous poster mentioned, they also come to serve you drinks if you want (but often not food) to order, but they can get pricy depending on the time of day and you often need to make reservations when it's nighttime or the weekends you want to come in.
Melissa D. Johnsonmippa on October 7th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
It's definitely okay to dislike the trains. But I miss them so much, and I would get rid of my car to ride trains any day! I have a strong immune system, so I'm fine washing my hands/using disinfectant/wearing gloves while I'm on the train!

I think people rave about ramen because of Naruto, I dunno. I never heard people talk about it until Naruto became popular...
akibareakibare on October 7th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
I miss actual ramen. Why? Because it's the sort of thing you only really get at a restaurant (you can make it at home, but the amount of labor to make quality stuff is Just. Not. Worth it. unless you're making for hordes) and no restaurants near me make it. There are no actual Japanese restaurants anywhere near me, mostly we just do home-cooked potluck parties to get the really good nostalgic eating happening. Takoyaki, etc.

That said, quite a few Chinese restaurants have quite good udon dishes, I'm satisfied (and getting fat) on those :)

I don't worry so much about dirt though, I figure I grew up when people never CARED about that sort of thing and so I'm good to go, now!

akibareakibare on October 7th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
There's box karaoke with rooms in the US too, but not advertised in English usually :)

athenazandrite on October 7th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
After my trip to London and that trip we took to San Fransisco, I loved public transit. I wish we had something like that that worked here. I pay fourty bucks to fill my freaking tank up. T_T The light rail is a start but it doesn't go anywhere I need to be. I loved being able to hop a train and get anywhere I needed to go.

As for sitting vs. standing firstly they'd have to have some seats regardless for people who were handicapped or very old. Also how is it fair that only people who could afford to buy seats would get to? I like the first come first served thing. Regardless of who you are you could get a seat if one was open. In Japan it wouldn't be very economical to make seats for everyone, you couldn't fit enough people in the trains to serve the needs of the cities I don't think. But I know it's a drag having to stand for long periods of time after a long day. :(
chiharu: LotSeeker: The Compasseien_chiharu on October 7th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
One thing I don't miss about Japan is the dirty habits. Usually, it's the men whom are responsible for holding them too. >.< What irks me most are booger pickers and guys who spit. I just think that if you're gonna spit: 1. dont spit in public if you can help it, 2. Do it in a location where people won't have to worry about stepping into/on it and 3.Do it discreetly. The sound of someone spitting is almost as gross as seeing the spit itself.

As for subway tickets and seat availability, I don't think it's really all that big of a deal. I grew up riding Metro in my area and be it bus or train you pay the same price even if you don't get to sit down. That's just how it is. So, I'm used to it. First-come, first-serve.

Now, I have disagree with you when it comes to Ramen. I LOVE RAMEN!! XD

And the reason why people rave about Ramen in Japan is because it's a totally different experience eating Japanese Ramen. Japanese Ramen is 1 Million times better than Cup o' Noodle. It just tastes better fresh.

Also, there are lots to choose from miso, curry, shio, tonkotsu or shoyu. My personal fave is yasai tappuri and chukasoba. Now, the quality of ramen can depend on the shop you eat it at. Of course, there are some places that serve really crappy ramen, but usually those are the really cheap places that don't specialize in it. But when you find the right place, Ramen is awesome!

Gosh, how I miss ramen!

Wait a second, I thought you didn't really like noodles. So, wouldn't it be only natural that you would have a distaste for ramen?? :/
Chiakichiaki777 on October 7th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
Consequentially.... Over here, I just came home by train... and my seat smelled like urine. Huzzah hobos.

Japanese trains are so much better than any train conceived in America.
☆: IH - blatheidolhands on October 7th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
Never move to the Bay Area, especially the cities. All your arguments would be doubly valid and then some.
dchan: claymore markerryuu_no_hime on October 7th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
I actually LOVED the Japanese trains when I went to visit Japan. I live in Los Angeles and the public transit is horrible! There are only buses, pretty much, and they're mostly only in the downtown areas. And unlike Japan, our buses don't run on time at all. Sometimes it doesn't come at all, and you have to wait for 20 or 30 minutes for the next one to come. It's horrible. When I didn't have a car I either had to walk there myself or bum a ride from someone else because the public transit here is so unusable. When I was in Tokyo I could get almost anywhere I wanted to go using the JR or the chikatetsu. It was very convenient, especially since I don't like driving in city traffic very much. (I love driving out on the open road, but heavy rush our traffic really stresses me out.)
loki_leeloki_lee on October 7th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)
I loved Japan's public transport (though it was the squishy-est thing ever early in the morning), mainly because it was ONTIME. :/ In Aus, when the train is only 5-10 minutes late it's considered ok. grrrr D<

Haha, I want to go back and eat Takoyaki!! And-And the Purikura! It's so nice to you, it makes your eyes HUGE and your lips HUGE and your skin perfect. All the machines in Aus, well, let's just say you had better look good before stepping into the machine!
And the Karaoke in Jap was so good... hahaha, I sang Prince of Tennis songs. Anime Music! (Though it was strange seeing random people on the screen instead of the actual MV.) The one time I did Karaoke in Aus the price was.... around $150-170 for 1 room for 6 hours. :O Not cheap, not cheap. The room was also quite small....
Floor No Battleblodeuedd on October 7th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
I can't agree with your first argument against trains at all. You're paying for the transportation, for being taken from point A to point B. Nowhere does it say you're entitled to a seat. Even the cheapest shinkansen tickets don't guarantee you a seat; you have to pay extra for reserved seating. While it's feasible on long-distance trains (and buses) to have seats specifically for people willing to pay more, I'd love to hear how this would be possible in an area where millions of people use public transportation every day.

Actually, there is a way to have a guaranteed seat, and that's by taking a taxi. ^_^

Also, comparing that to your friend getting a longer massage than you get is comparing apples to oranges. If you pay the same price for a massage (presumably at the same business), of course it would be unfair for one person's to be twice as long as the other's. But you're paying the same train fare as everyone else to get to the same place as everyone else in the same time it takes them, so what's unfair about that? To me, that sounds like going to the park on a Sunday and saying that there shouldn't be any benches at all in the park because there aren't enough for everyone when it's crowded. Sure, the park is free, but it's still a service (courtesy of the city, or country, whatever), and considering how little the trains cost (compared to other modes of transportation here, anyway), I don't think it's that much of a stretch...

As for your other points, to each their own. XD But I don't quite understand how you can be a germophobe, yet not be bothered by dirt. It's full of germs too, just like everything else!
秋野 ふじこakinofujiko on October 7th, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)
I can understand why you'd hate trains but maybe because I'm from Australia where the public transport is so bad... I can't help but think that Japan must be better.
Here, the normal time you have to wait for a train is 15mins for some lines and other lines... much longer. Then, they're late, delayed or cancelled half the time.

I've never really thought of how we all pay the same but some get to sit and others don't. I guess cause it was so normal for it to be that way, I never thought that it was wrong. But now that you point it out, it does seem kinda strange in way. The only thing I can say is, sometimes you get a seat, sometimes you don't. It's the same in that sense for everyone.
megsanmegsan on October 7th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC)
Haha it's OK to like public transit! I used to hate taking the train to school because it was so smushed and crowded...but then I tried driving and it was much more stressful! I like that I can sleep (if I have a seat) or read on the train-I used to get a lot of homework done that way.

We have SO many sushi places in Vancouver (and, to be honest...I think overall the sushi is better here. It's cheaper and they always give you really large, fat pieces of sashimi) so in Japan I always want to eat things I can't get here-especially okonomiyaki, omurice, and takoyaki. And unagi! Grilled eel is so delicious. I like that most restaurants only cook ONE thing (like unagi) so they can focus on making it really well. I don't think I ever had a meal in Japan that wasn't good!

Japanese fashion magazines are awesome-they're so nice and fat with lots of photos. I prefer them way more to western magazines that are just full of ads and articles with a couple of fashion spreads.
Kate: [Angelique] Franciskiyohimee on October 7th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Nothing wrong with hating anything. I hate buses. I dread using them for transport for work (we use shuttles but ugh).
momiji redmomiji_red on October 8th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
NEVER, Ever, Ever, come to New York City.

Every day I chant to myself "I wish I was on a Japanese train, I wish I was on a Japanese train."

You think the concept of trains are bad in Japan? Please, come to New York, you will be begging to get back on Japanese train.
ore-samathesundaywriter on October 8th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
You're entitled to your own opinion =3 I do agree that it's a very mucky and unpleasant experience especially in hot weather =X In Aus you can eat and drink on public transport, and they aren't so strict with litter so you can get abandoned coffee cups and bottles on the floor, ick, even worse if there is still food inside! And often there aren't enough seats, I feel with the newer trams and trains they want to save costs and stuff in as many people so they have more standing than seating space =X Still, I can't afford a car and because I stay very close to public transport, I prefer taking, if for those reasons only, also fuel and parking here is a bitch =P
Firsa Asahiasahifirsa on October 8th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
I actually thing that Ramen does taste differently. Best Ramen ever I had in Sapporo which was a miso broth with mochi and vegetables in it and the tastiest bit of meat. Second best was Hakata-Ramen in Fukuoka and third best miso Ramen in a restaurant in Shibuya, but it seems they only have it during winter. But they changed the seasoning last time I went and it's not as good now.
sleep_deprivedyurasama_love on October 11th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Feel free to hate on public transportation. No judgment on my part.
I love how every time you start to extol the virtues of Japan, food is usually the first thing you bring up. I love it!
ext_310491 on November 5th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
(Anonymous) on December 20th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
I dislike public transportation in general. But I always see paying for public transportation as a "general admission" ticket. Like going to the movie theater. You paid the same price as everyone else but you aren't necessarily going to get the best seat or a seat, especially if it's a popular movie. A long time ago, I went to see Saving Private Ryan but was forced to sit in the front row, after the movie I could barely remember what I saw and walked out with a neck ache...