Wacky, quirky and downright bizarre, Japan has fascinated travel enthusiasts all over the globe for decades. To be honest, it’s difficult not to be in awe of the technological marvels of the country. From its bullet trains to pod hotels, the Japanese experience is nothing less than a step into the future. The country seamlessly blends its ancient tradition and culture with modern values, thereby offering something for everyone, even the most pickiest of travellers. Be it the bustling city life of Tokyo or the sweet scent of cherry blossoms that pervades every corner of the ancient capital of Kyoto, one doesn’t need much convincing to visit the buzzing metropolis.
But Japan hits our travel sweet spot for quite a few reasons. What intrigued us most was its reputation for being rather ‘distinctive’. Home to all things crazy and quirky (read obsession with Pikachu), Japanese folks have taken the art of being offbeat several notches higher. While the typical tourist fare is a done and dusted deal, those looking for something ‘unconventional’ are in for a real treat here. Perhaps that’s why the land of the rising sun is our travel goal for 2020. Here are a few reasons as to why the wacky Japanese experience makes it worth a trip.
The land of the weird and whimsical is not for those who are averse to experimenting with their taste buds. Japan has a definitive style when it comes to dining options. If you are familiar with Japanese culture, then the concept of 'kawaii' is not alien to you. A term that literally means ‘cute’, the kawaii-themed cafes of Tokyo are on everybody’s list. And the list doesn’t end here. From Pokemon-themed to maid-themed eateries and cafes, there are unlimited options if you are up for a gastronomic adventure. While some are super cute (enough to make you squeal) others can be downright nightmarish for some. We suggest you take your pick and go for at least one. In addition to an unusual culinary experience, these themed cafes will surely light up your insta!
Who would have thought toilets could be an overwhelming experience, right? Japan’s high-tech, fancy toilets have redefined luxury loos. Referred to as 'washlets' by locals, the wonders of the Japanese commode are common knowledge now. From toilet seats that rise up as you approach them to those that warm up as you rest your posterior, it's like you are in a sci-fi set! Some feature bidet control panels that not only regulate the temperature of the water but also have buttons that conceal bathroom noises! And let’s be honest, we’ve all been in that sticky situation (pun intended) where the Japanese bidet would have been nothing less than a blessing. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait for this innovation to make its debut in India.
Weirdest Flavour Of Everything
Haven’t we had enough of the same old tastes and flavours? If you are looking for something to spice up your palate, head to Tokyo. It will make your palate want to step out of its comfort zone. Ever heard of a yogurt Pepsi or a spaghetti popsicle? These questionable but popular Japanese foods are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Candy bars to ramen bowls, matcha-flavored KitKat and wasabi-flavoured crisps, Japan excels in the adventurous and unique.
Unique Vending Machines
Be it airports, subway stations, fancy malls or even the tiny break room in your workplace, vending machines come to the rescue when hunger pangs kick in. But when you are in Japan, vending machines are a way of life. Nowadays, they have become a popular tourist attraction, one that reveals a lot about Japan’s unique culture. In addition to selling regular fare like soft drinks, candy bars and other munchies, these machines offer cigarettes, soups, hot food, sake, and even beer. The list of convenience items is not limited to edibles but also extends to some bizarre articles, including ties, umbrellas and even surgical masks.
So book those tickets, hop onto that flight. It’s Tokyo calling all the way!