Hey guys! I’m back again with another country I really want go to (hopefully for the 2020 Olympics?)!

Cultural Phrase: 井の中の蛙大海を知らず。

Literal Translation: “A frog in a well does not know the great sea.”

Current application: Now we’re in college, we have opportunities in research, study abroad, and really whatever else your brain thinks up, so expand your horizons by doing something you wouldn’t normally do to avoid becoming the frog in the well which is satisfied with itself because it isn’t aware of the great wonders beyond the well.


Today’s country is Japan, a country with culture that has fascinated me for the past few years.

Kenrokuen Garden

In my eyes, Japan is somewhat of a strange nation. In other nations as developed as Japan, such as the United States and Northern European nations, most of the traditional culture has disappeared to give way to globalization. In Japan, which was the very example of globalization after World War II, the traditional culture thrives alongside the technological innovations, which seems pretty amazing.

Of course, one of the main reasons this has happened is due to Japan’s general wariness of foreigners who move to their country. Although it’s a fantastic nation to travel to, many foreigners living there have noted that the immense pride the Japanese have for their country have caused them to shun outsiders a little bit.

Though from what I’ve seen in videos, most people in Japan welcome tourists with open arms, eager to share their unique culture to those who want to listen. There’s a great YouTube channel called Rachel and Jun, which has many travel and cultural videos produced by a couple in which one is American and one is Japanese, which gives a lot perspective into Japanese culture.

As you probably noticed, I’ll spend more time on the culture than general travel tips, but here are a few facts about traveling to Japan. Before doing the research myself, Japan seems like one of the more expensive places on my bucket list. However, if you put some planning into the trip, it becomes surprisingly affordable. For example, buying a Japanese Rail pass online before you arrive in Japan helps reduce transportation costs, which take up a significant portion of your travel budget. As for accommodations, many hotels allow you to “work for your room,” which basically entails you staying there for free if you help clean. Hotel rooms start at $62.50 per night, which is generally the same price as American motels, but hostels tend to cost around $25 per night, which spreads the money out longer. If you look into it, there are many methods of cheap travel to Japan.


Finally, to the cultural aspects of Japan.

The vending machine culture.

It’s not what you’d first expect when talking about Japan, but they seem to have vending machines for everything, from those that dispense fruits, umbrellas, clothing, and even puppies?

The 5.52 million vending machines in Japan may seem useless or strange to foreigners (especially when many vending machines are filled with interesting items that don’t really seem to have a purpose) but it’s just so convenient that I’m sure the Japanese people don’t mind either way.

Well, that’s all for now! I need to find ways to make money so I can spend it all on Japanese vending machines.

One thought on “Cultural Bucket #2: Japan

  1. This is awesome! I love that you pick a certain place that you want to travel to and kind of work your way through affordability and why it would be worthwhile travel there in the first place. I also love the cultural phrase that you started the blog post off with, it’s really unique. I’ve also personally heard that the Japanese have a strong sense of nationalism and can be a bit harsh to outsiders who travel to their country, but don’t let that deter you from traveling to somewhere you want to go! After all, no adventure is complete without stepping outside of your comfort zone. What a great post!

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