The journey across Japan and the realization.


This article will be a longer version of my tweets.


During this trip, we came to realize quite a lot of things, one of the most important one is that Japan is no longer an option.

Or, I should say Japan is on the way to it’s doom day.

As people see from the surface, and I believe even people not in Japan would know that Japan is in a deep DEEEEP trouble.

It’s Govt. bond and yen is on the edge of destruction, low birth rates, etc etc.
Whole country is losing it’s soul and it is not looking good.

And here comes to what I believed, the cleanness, moral standards, and in general, the calibre of person, they all come from one thing.

That is MONEY.
When people have money, it doesn’t need that much, just the amount to make them feel like “rich” would be enough. They tend to act like a normal human being as society decided them to be.

But the problems come from, if they don’t have enough money, specially when they have had the luxury life and all of sudden it’s gone.

That’s what we experienced during this trip.

The decline of Japanese service quality, rip offs, broken infrastructures and all other stupid sh*t.


The decline of Japanese service quality.

As all economics principles, when people are not being paid enough, wether they quite their job, or they do their job within their salary.

By saying “do their job within their salary”, means they won’t do things they were not being told, leave alone the things beyond would consume more energy their salary could afford.

That’s the reason why people sometimes have that weird feelings about today’s Japan.

The service is ok, sometimes it’s better than most countries in the world. But it’s just not the Japan in our memory. Or, for those visit Japan for the first time, it’s not that crazy super fine service quality people advertised on the Internet.


More on this topic. Doing nothing beyond the salary is ok. It is commonly acceptable for obvious reason.

But what I saw, is more than just that. It’s more than just not getting paid enough.

There’s a deeper reason for this.


When a society as a whole, started to down turn. It affects all people in it. No matter you’re a foreigner or not.


The mood, the pressure, etc of this society is affecting and eroding Japan. Pealing off it’s fake mask of highly educated, developed country.

That’s the main reason why you would sometimes see a dead man walking clerk or a Convenience Store staff.


The Rip-offs.

This part should be listed within the “The decline of Japanese service quality” but since it is having a significant up trend and happened multiple times, it’s a separate topic.


The rip-offs, so familiar………………… When I was in China.

Clearly, after I came to Japan, like many others, lowered their defense system and begin to trust people.


But that should be considered as a past. From now on, we have to stay alert all the time.

Small things like the gas stations, prices are no including tax. (New law has fixed this in some degree.)


When you can get the thing you want free but scamming you to buy the thing you don’t want.

e.g. the certificate of arrival of the most southern place in Japan.

The certificate issued by local government is free, but there’s a 300 yen certificate issued by civil organization.

And for the worst part. certificates issued by civil organization has a different format, which if you want to collect all 4 certificates, it’s impossible to complete the collection.

I feel sorry for those who can only go there once in their lifetime and got scammed.


And here’s another one, I feel sorry for.

When I went skiing in a Ski resort made by *******(I’ll shadow it and keep me out of troubles.)

A group of Europeans, people at lease in their 40s. went to the ticket office and I was waiting for the Gondola, saw the whole thing.

They stayed at the Ski resort, which usually came with the ticket when you book the resort hotel. And somehow they didn’t have one!

It’s their travel agency? Hotel front? I don’t know, they just have to buy the ticket. And they discussed for quite a while, which is painful for me to see.

Finally they decided to buy the ticket, but the clerk at the window can’t speak english and somehow started to screaming like a gorilla… (WTF)

And they bought the 5-hour ticket at a price we bought the one-day ticket.

p.s. When you register their App on your phone, you can get a discount.(which I did.), but there’s no poster or anything is the ticket office to tell you. Only if you visit their website.

The whole thing is just not fair and weird. People spent 3, 4x money to stay in Ski resorts don’t have the ticket with their stays. And got yelled at the ticket office.


And this is just a friction of the rip-offs I experienced and saw.


The broken infrastructures

This started like a year ago, or two years ago, when the local government no longer have enough budget to maintain the infrastructure.

One example and the one which most people had experienced at least once in their life.

That is, the toilet.


Somehow Japanese local government thought it is a good idea to first close down toilets in winter.

Here’s some backgrounds, in the north part of Japan, the public toilets are usually heated using electric power, to prevent water pipes from ice up and rupture.

In the past, when the price of electric is relatively low, it worked like a charm. But when the electric bills came last year. I only can imagine when the mayor saw the electric bills.

From my observations(Yes, I do pay attention to these things.), a public toilet has at least 2 heaters and each consumes at least 2 kw per hour. 4 kw per hour in total and it’s 96 kwh per day. Which per month is at least 2880 kwh. And it’s not residential. It’s on business plan.(Due to the high power consumption. Normal residential electricity has 6kw as upper limit and the limit of electric meter.)

The most expensive month I experienced is roughly 70 yen/kwh. Now averaging at 40 yen/kwh. Business electricity only goes higher.

But just for the example. let’s say 40 yen/kwh, It’s 115200 yen per month. And this is the most basic value. Excluding lights, water pipe heater, janitors, electric provider fees. etc.


So somehow they decided to close toilets in winter to save their cost.

But if you have experienced finding a toilet when you about to shit you pants, and the toilet on the map is closed.

Dude, you know what I mean.

p.s. Japan is known for you can find a toilet everywhere. But it’s no longer true. Since toilets in big cities’ convenience stores are no longer open to public and the public toilets are too expensive to afford for the local government.


All other stupid sh*t

If you had the time and endured my bad English expressions. This part is relatively not important but just some micro observations.

The whole trip took almost 2 months, starting from 3 Jan. and Ended yesterday(20 Feb), just need to ride home, maybe 4,5 days more.


During this trip, we have had at least 3 times, angry Japanese came to us out of nowhere.


Soya Cape

One is that at the north most point of Japan, in Soya Cape. We were chilling, thought the trip is about to end and the Journey across Japan is such a huge project and we pulled it off.

We took some photos at the statue, and walked alone the path to another statue where we met a creepy, neurotic Japanese grown male.

All of sudden, the man screamed like there’s a homicide scene over there.

I was walking behind my partner, he was confused and I didn’t even know what he said.

So I asked, “What happened?”

The man is even more excited and yelling “DO NOT take the photo of me!!!”(俺を撮るな!)

But the problem is, no one is interested in taking photos of him. We are here to enjoy the landscape and our time. Not to met some crazy Japanese.


Still, confront a person like this is not only a waste of time but also dangerous.

So we have to wait, wait for him to leave the statue so we can go there and have a look what it means.

Waited like 4,5 minutes in strong wind and sub-zero degree temperature.

The day is ruined, I realized. A beautiful day instantly turned into a disaster.

(This event will be included in the video which will be published sometime in the future.)


Ah…. So f**king stupid, I don’t even want to write more about the bullshit we had.


The End

Some even more stupid people, especially those who love Japan so bad that want to be a part of sinking ship would say “It”s that bad, why don’t you leave?”

Well, first, I am going to leave, I have absolute zero interest in living or working in Japan.

Second, I paid my tuition fees, so I have to get my degree and finish all the idiotic course.

Third and the most important one, is that I can still suck Japan. “suck suck suck” like Korean uncle described.

The yen, and the asset bubbles. So much opportunities.


Don’t get me wrong. I was having a little bit hope about Japan. That I might be working in here, still have that “I don’t want leave yet” feelings.

But this trip, changed me a lot, changed us a lot.