Doing 15 countries a year, it’s getting harder and harder to get that “wow” feeling when going somewhere. But Japan was a whole different story!
I was fascinated by Japan’s history and culture for a while, and finally I had two good reasons to go there: TechCrunch conference and a business meeting. I’d like to dive into some interesting facts and details to give you a better idea about that side of the world.
Everyone shows mutual respect to each other. Even people who stay on the bus stop bow to a bus driver before entering the vehicle. It is very unlikely that you can see a real personality of a person that you just met. It is very hard to make friends or business with a Japanese person, but if you do – most likely your grandchildren will play together.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. You have only one chance to make it right, unlike in the US culture where failure is OK. What’s interesting is that when you end your partnership with someone, your next partner would want to have explanations on what happened. It’s like braking up with a girlfriend or even divorcing with your wife.
Overall, Tokyo feels like a successful version of New York! It’s super clean and super..successful in all ways. I was surprised with the overall pace of the city ! In one of the biggest cities on Earth, no-one is in a hurry, like in NYC. And there is an explanation for that – Just In Time logistics system that was invented by Japanese manufacturers (Toyota implemented it in the mid 20th century) seems to be fitting well even for people.
An average toilet room has more buttons and wired than my VW car, I’m not joking.
The responsiveness of ATMs, automatic doors, small gadgets in the hotel room, etc is beyond my expectations. By the way, the national TV has only 6 channels and everybody watches them! So TV is insanely powerful channel to promote and advertise! My friend who made a miniature photo app found it to be #1 in Japan overnight, after some TV presenter introduce the concept of miniature photos.
Japan has the best food in the world. It could be ramen for $5 or a delicious sushi plate for $150. The only regret is that I didn’t force myself to wake up at 4 am to visit the famous fish market. Next time!
This is a place I would want to live and work for a while, definitely. It amazing, welcoming, relaxing, chilled and full of meaningful things. If you are trying to decide on your next trip – book a flight right now for the end of April 2014 (cherry blossom) and it will be the best trip of your life.
Did I miss something about Japan? I am sure I did. Feel free to contribute :)