Japan maintains an exceptional image as it ranked the 2nd best country in the world for 2021. Also called the Land of the Rising Sun and home to 126 million people habituating the 377,975 square kilometers territory stretching in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean.
About 6,852 islands are making up the Japan archipelago, but the most known are the four major islands, namely: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is located in Honshu and is also the most populated area.
Amidst the pandemic, there’s still an increasing trend of foreigners visiting and settling in Japan. In fact, 2.3% of the country’s population are foreigners, mostly from its neighboring Asian countries.
The cost of living is relatively high, specifically in Tokyo, one of the world’s most expensive cities. Living in Japan is three times more costly than living in the United States, ranging from $2500 US dollars to a maximum of $2700 US dollars a month.
But what to expect living a pricey life in the Land of the Rising Sun?
Japan has four seasons: spring from March to May, summer from June to August, and autumn from September to November, and winter, which occurs from December to February.
The northern part is usually cold, while the southern part has a tropical climate. Meanwhile, summer and autumn are prevalent in all parts of the country, just like how it randomly rains in the whole archipelago.
Every season showcases the beauty of Japan, but the spring season is the most awaited because of the Cherry Blossom Season. Several festivals enliven the regions of Japan. This viewing festival, also known as Hanami, is a symbol of a new beginning where people appreciate the pink blossoms coating the cherry trees.
The calming scenery inspired many writers, poets, and painters back in the 8th century. People look back today in the form of throwing parties and gathering together to drink traditional tea or saké, Japan’s famous alcohol drink.
Safe and Efficient Transportation
Despite being covered with mountains and wilderness, Japan gracefully balances its urban lifestyle. The country is at the forefront of efficiency in transportation, making traveling an incredible experience. The major cities of Japan are connected to Tokyo by the famous Shinkansen or the high-speed bullet train traveling past the serene view of the highest mountain in Japan, Mt Fuji. Shinkansen travels 320 kilometers per hour that could cost about $82 US dollars.
What’s impressive about this is not only the convenience of traveling but mostly the train’s braking system. It can detect early signs of earthquake and stops before it hits, avoiding casualties among the commuters.
Since its construction in 1941, Japan’s transportation system is admired all over the world!
Urban Life Balanced with Rich Culture
Japan was able to preserve its culture even after reigning as one of the most developed countries where the richness of its cultural influence ranked 5th in the world. Your experience won’t be complete without visiting its temples that endured strong earthquakes over the years or experiencing the festivals and meeting its disciplined people.
About 300,000 festivals or matsuri in Japan are celebrated to commemorate either a historical event or worship celebrations.
Among the famous celebrations in Japan are the Kanda Matsuri, Kyoto Gion Festival, and Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka. These major celebrations usually last a week with parades, fireworks show, and showcase performances.
Meanwhile, Japan is also famous for its shrines and temples that express the richness of their religion. Its 100,000 Shinto shrines and 80,000 Buddhist temples depict how Japan values the oldest two significant religions in the country: Shinto and Buddhism.
The country’s stability is also shown in the number of shopping centers in Japan. You won’t mind spending hours hopping from malls to malls and finding goods that can only be found in Japan. The most famous and biggest shopping area can be found in Ginza, Tokyo, which is Ginza Mitsukoshi. It offers luxury apparel, cosmetics, goods, and foods.
People looking for quality clothing can also roam around Osaka, Umeda, and Grand Front stores.
Clean and Healthy Cuisine
The discipline and richness of Japan’s culture also extend to its delectable cuisine. Typical Japanese food consists of rice, noodles, meat, seafood, and vegetables. Japan is also home to the famous hotpots, savory sauces, and fermented foods for a healthier gut.
Even vending machines and convenience store offers reasonably healthy food selections on the go for reasonable prices. No wonder why the obesity rate of Japan in 2020 is just 4%.
Favorite foods in Japan include Sushi, Tempura, Curry Rice, and many more crafted by the most experienced cooks in the country. It would be best if you tried dining in the tight alleyways of Tokyo, where restaurants and street vendors offer the authentic taste of the Japanese culture.
Choosing the best restaurant to visit is a hard decision since Tokyo alone offers many dishes one can enjoy. No wonder why Japan got nine spots in the recent ranking of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2021. Among the restaurants to make it to the list are Den, Florilège, Narisawa, Sazenka, Ode, L’Effervesence, Nihonryori Ryugin, La Cime and La Maison de la Nature Goh.
Generally Low Crime Rate
Crime rate is probably the most concern, especially of foreigners planning to visit or settle in Japan. The good news is, Japan has a meager crime rate compared to other countries in the world. 2020 data shows that it lowered to 18%, making Japan an ideal place to live.
This year, Japan holds 9th place of being the safest country globally, not to mention it being consistently part of the top 10 for the past 13 years.
Japan is undeniably consistent in ranking the best in terms of efficiency and development while maintaining its rich culture. It is a dream destination ideal for every tourist looking for a fair amount of solitude, festivity, and new experience.
What more will Japan achieve in the coming years?