Life abroad

Personal experience. My Japan: from love to hate – and again to love

How much do you know about Japan? If the first thing that comes to mind is Toyota, Hello Kitty and geishas, ​​that's not so bad. Here's editor Prian's view of life in the country: from utility bills and medicine to cultural features and ways to move. The article is written based on personal experience.

Personal experience. My Japan: from love to hate - and again to love0

About the author: Olga Logovskaya
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How I ended up in Japan

I am an orientalist by education, specializing in Japanese. One teacher once told us a phrase that was imprinted on my subcortex: “Every fool, having gone to Japan for a week, returns ready to write a book. Those who have lived there for years usually think that they still don’t know enough about it.” Therefore, I think it is important to clarify: this text reflects only my personal experience, and for some, getting to know Japan will be different.

I first came to Japan back in 2016. Then it was a one-year internship under the student exchange program. I was immediately lucky – a good status university in Tokyo. There were a lot of plans: to improve the level of knowledge of the language, to get acquainted with the country and culture. And of course, to understand what Japan is like, which before the trip I knew only from the pages of textbooks and anime.

Before the trip, the thought of cherry blossoms did not cause me much delight – well, it blooms and blooms. But when I attended my first hanami – admiring the cherry blossoms – my opinion changed dramatically. Magic and inspiration in one bottle

First impressions

First impression then, in 2016: why is it so clean here?

Second: not a single pothole on the roads, although this is normal residential area, does this even happen?

Before the Land of the Rising Sun, I had a chance to visit Europe, but it was the Japanese level of universal cleanliness and order that caused a real culture shock.

And of course, public toilets. They are everywhere, even in seemingly incomprehensible and unexpected (by Russian standards) places – somewhere in the middle of a small park, on the top of a mountain, at a gas station in a godforsaken village. And most importantly, these are clean, civilized toilets, and not a parody of the toilet from Shrek.