Read an Excerpt
"What I Love About Japan"
Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national soccer team, winning the 2011 World Cup and galvanizing the country.
That ramen noodle shops have distinctive flavors in each region.
The Astro Boy melody from the ’60s at Takada-no-baba station in Tokyo, which signals the closing train doors.
Trains arriving on timeand during rush hour, conductors helping to push people on.
Food carts on long-distance trains, which offer coffee, boxed lunches, and frozen mikan (mandarin oranges) in summer.
That political campaigns last only two weeksby law.
Omoiyaripeople who put the welfare of others before their own comfort.
The hearty “Irasshaimase” and “Arigatoo gozaimasu” by the entire staff to welcome customers in banks, stores, restaurants, and hotels.
Quiet gardens and parks, where grandparents walk with their grandchildren.
Sinking into an outdoor onsen (hot springs) and gazing up at snow-covered mountains.
Sipping matcha (powdered green tea) and nibbling on a sweet in a Japanese garden.
That konbini (convenience stores) are truly convenient, with 10 kinds of salads, 20 kinds of onigiri (rice balls), and 30 kinds of entrées.
Vending machines everywhere with hot and cold drinks, corn soup, sake, and beer.
Half-off sushi, sashimi, and deli items, 30 minutes before closing at supermarkets.
Temple bells ringing in the New Year with 108 gongs, along with sweet amazake to drink.