Reasons You Might Like Japan
The more I thought about Evangelion, the more I realized that that particular anime is actually pretty relevant to Japan as a whole, perhaps as culturally relevant as Superman in America, maybe. I mean, sure, a lot of it is stupid, but then again, the themes transcend boundaries because a lot of Japan is stupid too. Without getting into it too much, here are some points to consider:
Prominent authors like Murakami Ryu (and people in general) believe that middle school students are the ones who possess the power to truly change Japan.
Most Japanese men want subservient woman. Some want a new mommy, others just want a wife who’ll stop complaining and let them do their pachinko. (Shinji jerking off to a bandaged Rei… See where this is going?)
Kids piloting giant mecha suits in Tokyo fight off huge killer aliens that may or may not be God trying to unmend the world pretty much every day.
Ok, so maybe some of the themes work…
Anyway, in short, this entry is about cool stuff in Japan. Reasons why you might want to live here. Things that you might not find in other countries that makes this one a unique, exciting place to be.
1. Good Cell Reception
Japanese cell phone reception is pretty awesome, no matter how far from the beaten path you travel. When I lived in Nagoya I was with AU and my reception was great. Sure, I had 0 mins. of talk time, but damn, had I paid the exorbitant fees I would have been able to make calls anywhere. Last year, for the whole of the year I was with DoCoMo in an area where AU reception was trumpeted as being being better. I did sometimes have trouble getting a good signal in the teacher’s room, but other than that, I had full bars most of the time such that I had no shortage of places to use my 20 minutes that came with my $30 plan. Now I’ve got an iPhone with Softbank and I pay by the minute (20円 per 30 seconds?) and again, I can’t fault the reception at all. It’s great pretty much everywhere I go.
Japan is a great place to drink beer. Most people do it alone or in large groups of the same sex. There are delicious seasonal brews and three main brands of beer (Suntory, Asahi and Kirin) to choose from based on your budget and taste tolerance. (Hint: Kirin is the high end.) Then of course, for the adventurous, there are local brews too that vary as far as taste is concerned. Out here where I am we have a brand called “Cyonmage”. It’s really delicious.
3. Fast Internet
I have fiber to my living room that is touted at 100Mb/s. However, I’ve seen it go as fast as 200Mb/s in controlled bandwidth testing. I’ve uploaded TV shows to the pirate intranets at 3MB/s (yes, megaBYTES per second) and have downloaded builds of Anki at 6MB/sec. Ultimately my connection is usually limited by the other side, rather than my own. Unfortunately, for the purposes of gaming, even a connection this fast is limited by latency. Everything has to pass through thousands of miles of oceanic fiber to reach most North American server facilities. It’s not bad, but it could be better, sometimes. Also, there is very little IP enforcement, here in Japan. FTW.
4. Long Life Expectancy
People here live a long time. There are some 36,000 people and counting in Japan over the age of 100. I think its a combination of low crime rates, healthy food with lots of omega oils, and the lack of any real or imagined dangers. There are fences and security guards everywhere, people to help you pull in and out of parking lots, and speed limits that barely breach 50mph on the highways. It’s a paradise for long life.
5. Ramen Shops
Ramen is an amazing fast food that pretty much everyone likes. Need I say more?
6. Tons of Comics and Television Dramas
If you’re a 12 year old boy who speaks fluent Japanese, there are tons of really awesome comics available for your perusal. And, if you’re a 30-something housewife lush at the idea that you’ll be able to pursue your dream of being a stay-at-home mom, there are a ton of great television dramas with over the top acting and terrible, terrible scripts jam-packed with hot Korean stars fresh-off-the-boat that will woo you with their feminine wiles. (Ok, ok, so there is some sarcasm here. The fact is that while there is a ton of anime, there is very little that broaches topics of any depth. Most manga is about emo kids succeeding in basketball, baseball, or soccer with the help of their coaches who have a heart of gold and a little temper to go along with it.)
7. Health Insurance
Japan has great national health insurance that ensures you’ll be able to pay for the doctor visits, all of them, whether it be one for a cold, or 10 for your wisdom teeth.
Next up: Reasons you Might Not Like Japan.